Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hamantaschen

Purim, a holiday that, to be completely honest with you, I don't know much about. I can only recall celebrating the Jewish holiday Purim a handful of times, yet it is one that I look forward to every year. Come to think of it, the reason why I like any holiday doesn't have anything to do with the holiday itself, but more about celebrating and spending time with my family. Although I do remember enjoying all of the fun activities that came along Purim (winning costume contests, playing all different types of games, and making new friends), it was making Hamantaschen with my Baba (what I call my Jewish Grandmother) that really stands out in my mind.

For years it was solely my Baba that would take on the big task of making an abundance of these sweet and healthy little triangles, but after breaking her hip several years ago, it became much more difficult for Baba to get around. Although Hamantaschen are very easy to make, they can be quite time consuming when made by yourself. The process goes much faster and smoothly if you have one person rolling and cutting dough, and someone else doing the filling. I knew Baba could use an extra hand, so I offered to help her out, setting up a little Hamantaschen production line for us to work on. Although it was a couple years ago that we had our Hamantaschen-making day, I still vividly remember how special that day was for the both of us. We spent our time assembling the Hamantaschen swapping stories about celebrating Purim and other Jewish holidays in the past, and Baba's old house and the games she used to play with us in it. By the time all of the Hamantaschen were assembled and baked, we had perma-smiles on our faces, having had such a great time together and proud of the big plate of tasty cookies we had made so lovingly.

So by now I guess wondering, what the heck is Hamantaschen? Well...Hamantaschen are little triangle-shaped cookies filled with different types of fillings like poppy seeds (traditionally used...although not my cup of tea), dried fruit, fruit preserves, chocolate, cheese, and more! I grew up eating prune Hamantaschen, which no, does not sound very appetizing, but when combined with sweet golden raisins, fresh and juicy orange, and nutty and satisfying walnuts is actually quite tasty! Because Hamantaschen are not too sweet, it's easy to clean off a whole plate of them in no time at all...and still consider having more!

Recipe by The Pleasures of Your Processor
Ingredients:
Prune Filling
1 medium seedless orange
12 oz. package pitted prunes
1 1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
Dough
1 medium seedless orange
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp baking powder
2 3/4 cup flour


Directions:
Prune Filling
1. Cut orange in quarters but do not peel. Process half of the orange until fine. Add half of the remaining ingredients and process until fine. Transfer processed filling to a bowl and repeat with remaining ingredients. Store in fridge until ready to use.

Dough
1. Cut the orange in quarters but do not peel. Place in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine. Add the eggs, sugar, and oil and process for 10 seconds. Add baking powder and flour and process with several on/off turns, just until flour is blended into dough. Do not overprocess. Dough should be very sticky

Assembly:
1. Prepare the filling and dough as directed.

2. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and flour each piece lightly. Roll out the dough, one piece at a time, on a well-floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness.

3. Using a circle-cutter or the rim of a glass, cut the dough into 3-inch circles. Place a small spoonful of filling in the middle of each circle. Bring up the sides of the dough to meet. Pinch the ends together to form a triangle. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 400ยบ for about 15 minutes or until golden.

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If people are giggling at the juxtaposition of certain songs with my content, I feel you! I just select whichever song I've been listening to the most lately, or at times what I was listening to while making the dish.

1 comment:

Kris said...

These look lovely!