Its Purim time! And what do Jewish people do best but make food reminiscent of biblical stories and symbols. I have to tell you, in my many years at temple sunday-school, I didnt really pay attention to Purim. I thought of it as a Jewish Halloween with minimal costume choices: Esther, Haman, and whats the other guy? Anyway, Haman, he's the important one b/c he had the cookie; hence, Hamantaschen.
For my non-jewish friends, if anyone asks you, Haman was bad guy and he had a 3-pointed hat. Thus, his hat has been turned into this cookie. At least, I think I got it right. As I said before, I didnt really listen in sunday school. Without this cookie, I dont know where I would be.
Now alot of traditionalists probably wouldnt deem my recipe authentic. I didnt make the dough from scratch. Again, I cheated and used a boxed cake mix but if you tasted them, you would never have known. As for the filling, I did go with the usual poppyseed (which also happens to be my favorite), apricot preserves, and chocolate. Anything can pretty much work for a filling but its the technique that you have to master.
Yes, unfortunately, there is a technique to making perfect shaped Hamantaschen. The most common problem people have is getting the edges to stick together. Some recipes tell you not to pinch the sides; others say the opposite. I am a pincher and its b/c the dough isnt cream cheese based like so many other recipes. Personally, I reserve that dough for rugellah (which is AMAZING) but I will leave that for another post. And because I can pinch the sides of this dough, I also think its the reason it can withstand a variety of fillings.
Have fun and go crazy, Haman did (at least I think so)
1 box white/yellow cake mix
1 c. flour
2 Tbl. water
poppy seed (this is found in the baking asle with the almond paste)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
For cookies, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine with hands, form into a ball and lightly knead on a floured surface till dough combines. Should resemble a pasta dough. Using a rolling pin, evenly roll the dough into 1/8". Using a round cutter (I use approx. 3-4" cutter for small cookies and 5'6" for large cookies) cut out as many cookies as can fit. Reuse remaining dough and try to cut out more circles.
Depending on size of cookie, place a 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. of filling in the middle of the dough. Using a wet finger, trace the round edge of the dough with water. Mould into a triangle, pinching the sides together. Bake 6-7 min.