HAMANTASHEN: COOKIES FILLED WITH CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FILLING
Recipe by Isabelle Lapin
Preparation: 20 min (rest dough overnight)
Cooking: 12 to 15 min
Makes around 60 cookies
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 Lb. margarine (can be butter)
1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven at 350F. Mix all ingredients by hand or with the k form of a stand mixer. Knead until it comes together. Wrap into plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hour or overnight. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut 3” circles and spoon 1 teaspoon of filling in the center. Pinch the edges to form 3 corners. Brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. milk). Bake until lightly brown, between 12 and 15 minutes.
½ cup brown sugar
6 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients until well combined.
2 cups. Dried pitted apricots (can be any dried fruits you like)
Enough water to cover
Cook until the apricots become soft. Add water just to cover until it is cooked. Process in a food processor or with the hand mixer. Do not add too much water while cooking, as it will be too liquid for a filling. If that happens add enough almond powder or crushed pumpkin seeds to make a paste.
Tips and info:
Hamantashen are triangular, filled cookies, which are traditionally served on the Jewish festival of Purim. These filled cookies are supposedly named after the Persian king’s royal adviser Haman. He wore a three cornered hat so these cookies are triangular. Haman took a dislike of the Jews, particularly a Jew named Mordechai, because Mordechai did not want to bow to him. So Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish people. He told the King that the Jews did not follow the King’s laws. The King gave Haman the fate of the Jewish people. But Mordechai had a niece named Esther. The king of Persia, Ahasuerus fell in love with her, married her and made her Queen. Esther told the King about Haman’s plot and saved the Jews.
A good question is: why Jews would want to immortalize their enemy Haman by eating cookies named after him?. These cookies were originally called Mohntashen, which means “poppy-seed pockets” in German. The tradition to eat them on this festival came from Germany where they were very popular. It is said that eating an image of Haman’s hat is a way to symbolically destroy his memory.
Today most are filled with jam or other very creative fillings. But poppy seeds used to be the popular filling.