Friday, August 8, 2008

Purim Hamantashen Pastries

This week we have been studying the story of Esther and some of the traditions of Purim that are part of our Year 1 Tapestry of Grace Study. One of dd's assignments was to make the tasty traditional jewish treat called Hamantashen.

Why do Jewish people eat Hamantashen at Purim? We had that question and when we went looking we found several answers. Our favorite was that Haman wore a three-cornered hat. Eating an image of Haman's hat is a way to symbolically destroy his memory. Another explanation included the fact that Hamantaschen means "Haman's pockets" in German and it was rumored that the evil Haman's pockets were filled with bribe money. Whatever the reason for the tradition, they look and smell very good.

Here is the Hamantashen Recipe we used:

4 cups flour
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest
1 jar rasberry or blackberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease cookie sheets with vegetable spray and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar. Add butter, eggs, vanilla and orange juice and zest. Mix well. Finally add in flour and baking powder. You should have the consistency of sugar cookie dough. Divide into 4 parts. Roll out each part to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using a round 3 inch cookie cutter (biscuit cutter) or jar, cut out circles. Place on greased cookie sheets. Place 1/2 teaspoon preserves in the center of the cookie. Fold the sides up pinching them on 3 edges making a triagular cookie with filling in the middle. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Hope you all have as much fun as dd and I did making these together. Blessings in your school, Suzie

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