Purim is almost here, and that means hamantaschen.
So what is Purim anyway?
Well the story is a bit more complicated than this, but essentially the holiday celebrates the freeing of the Jews of Persia from a hateful decree by the king’s advisor, Haman.
Haman? Hamantaschen? Are they related?
Hamantaschen are filled, triangle-shaped cookies, which, supposedly look like Haman’s hat.
Why would we want to eat a cookie shaped like the hat of a man who wanted to destroy the Jewish people? I’m not sure. But, they are delicious and super fun to make.
How To Make Hamantaschen Everyone Will Love
The secret to good hamantaschen is using a sugar cookie dough. Yes, I know, that’s not the traditional method, but, trust me, it’s much better.
You can use any rolled sugar cookie dough recipe you like. I prefer this one, just with about a 1/4 cup less sugar. You can also use a store-bought dough. If you need to swap out the butter for a non-dairy alternative, most recipes allow you to do this easily.
Once you have your dough ready, roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick. You don’t want to make it to thin, otherwise the filling will spill out.
Using a glass, circular cookie cutter, or whatever other device works for you, cut out circles from the dough.
The filling, for me, is the trickiest part of making hamantaschen. Because this a sugar cookie dough, you have to be careful about not overfilling the cookie. I recommend using a teaspoon or two per cookie of whatever filling you desire. (In the picture below, my son added a bit too much, but he still enjoyed the end result.)
With my kids, we used Nutella, because we all love it, as well as strawberry fruit spread, which is more for me.
Once you have your filling in your cookie, form the triangle shape by folding the sides in and then the bottom up. Finish off the shape by pinching the corners together.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for six minutes.
You could stop there, or you can be extra and have some fun decorating the hamantaschen.
For my cookies, I melted about five ounces of white chocolate chips over a double boiler until I had a nice, smooth liquid. I drizzled the white chocolate over the strawberry hamantaschen and dipped the Nutella ones. I also added sprinkles to the latter, to make them extra fun. According to my seven-year-old, this made the Nutella variety super sweet and delicious, so one was enough for him.
Every year, I wonder why myself, and others, don’t make hamantaschen year-round. They are good enough to go beyond the holiday of Purim. Then again, only having them around this time of year makes them special for me.
Baking hamantaschen with your kids is a great way to get them into the Purim spirit and teach them about the holiday. You can also find lots of great information and ideas on the PJ Library website.
PJ Library has been a part of our family for more than seven years, and both our kids enjoy receiving their monthly books from this incredible organization.
If you are raising Jewish children — regardless of your affiliation — you can sign them up for PJ Library.
Based on your child’s age, they will receive a new book each month, each focused on a different theme or holiday. Often, the book will be packaged along with a special project, game or recipe for you and your child to explore together.
PJ Library is a wonderful program, and it is free — yes, free — for participating families.
Disclaimer: As a PJ Library influencer, I am compensated for promoting this program. All opinions expressed are my own.