Foodie Factoid: The word ‘Hamentaschen’ means Haman’s (the evil villain in the Purim story) pockets. They say these cookies are triangular either to represent Haman’s hat or his wicked pointy ears haha.
Since it’s almost Purim I thought I would pay it some homage. It tends to get forgotten in all the Saint Patrick’s festivities. I am
not technically Jewish (are you happy, Mom?). I fight with my mother about this multiple times a year when the holidays roll around. Strictly speaking, I am part of the community since I had a bat mitzvah, much to my chagrin. However, I promptly dropped out of Hebrew school as soon as I was done–much to my parents’ chagrin. In the words of my stereotypic Jewish mother (coupled with a heavy dose of Jewish guilt) “you can’t just quit being Jewish, Rebecca.” Eh. I disagree. I think religion is a personal choice, but let’s not go there. Besides, there are many battles worth fighting with my mother and that isn’t one of them.
See, when I tell my mother that I’m not Jewish anymore, she likes to insist that “you’re still culturally Jewish” or “you’re still Jewish for the food”. As if I can’t enjoy the food without following the religion–I like Easter candy does that make me Christian? And then of course my dad likes to chime in that “you’re not fooling anyone, you can’t hide from the fact that you look Jewish.” *Sigh* Usually I just end up waving the white flag since I know I’m never going to win. Anyway, I know I’m going to get grief from them about this post if I say too much else on the subject so maybe I’d better keep my mouth shut haha. Does anyone else see the irony in me going to Brandeis?
In spite of my reservations about Judaism the religion, I will confess that I do very much enjoy the food (except for on Passover). The hamentaschen that the temple my family goes to taste like soap. I kid you not, I don’t know what the hell they do to that dough, but it tastes like soap. I figured that in the spirit of Purim, which is basically Jewish Halloween for all you non-Jews, I would have to make hamentaschen that were delicious and didn’t taste anything remotely like soap.
Hamentaschen (that don’t taste like soap):
Adapted from Food.com
-3/4 c butter (softened)
-3/4 c sugar
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla
-2 Tbsp orange juice
-2 1/4 c flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-A few teaspoons of water
-1/2 c chocolate chips
1.Preheat the oven to 350ºF
2. Cream butter and sugar.
3. Mix in orange juice, egg, and vanilla.
4. Slowly stir in the flour until a crumbly dough forms.
5. Then, add cold water until the dough is slightly sticky, but not too wet.
6. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2-3 hours.
7. On a well-floured surface roll the dough out to about 1/8th inch thickness.
8. Cut out circles with either the top of a glass or a circular cookie cutter.
9. Put a few chocolate chips in the center of each circle and then pinch the corners of the dough to form a triangle. Be sure to fold the corners over a little bit so the cookies maintain their shape in the oven and don’t unfold while baking.
10. Bake for 12-15 minutes.