Happy Purim!

Happy Purim, dear readers! As you probably know, Purim is the annual holiday celebrating the Queen Esther story (you can read about the establishment of Purim in Esther 9). Esther, providentially in the right place at the right time, was God’s instrument for saving His people from Haman’s dastardly plot. In honor of Purim I made Hamantaschen cookies, and after lunch today Josh read the Esther story aloud to us. We didn’t have noisemakers, so instead Hannah and I cheered for the good guys and booed loudly every time Haman’s name was mentioned. We all got really into it and had a great time. Hannah never misses an opportunity to shout, “YAY!” so that worked out well.

Hamantaschen (“Haman’s hats”) are traditional Purim cookies, and recipes abound for them. I sort of cobbled together a recipe from several I found online. The result was pretty good, but I think next year I will try to come up with a dough that is slightly more pliant so that I can roll it out thinner. You’re supposed to make them with a prune and plum filling, but I remembered that I don’t like that filling very well, so I did apricot jam for filling (that was one that was recommended on a lot of websites as an alternative).

Here is my recipe in case you are interested:

Hamantaschen

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond
1/4 cup water (or a little less)
Jam, preserves, etc for filling

1. Blend butter and sugar thoroughly.
2. Add egg and blend.
3. Add extracts and blend.
4. Mix flour and baking powder. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 or 4 batches, blending between batches.
5. Add water slowly, just until a thick dry dough forms (not too moist, it should be a sugar cookie dough consistency).
6. Refrigerate dough overnight.
7. Roll dough out as thin as possible between two sheets of waxed paper. Cut out dough into 3 to 4 inch circles.
8. Put a dollop of filling in the center of each circle. Fold the edges of the circle up to form a triangle around the filling, making sure that each edge is overlapped. Pinch edges a little.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until cookies are golden but don’t let the filling boil over the cookies.

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