Food, Photography, Quotes

I love the Jews, simple as that

Somehow that title seems even more sacrileg then I intended it to. (We should also note, as I don’t think it has been noted before, that apparently people from the west coast like to chop endings off of words. Ex. obvi, phenom, and my personal favorite…sacrileg). But now on to the topic at hand.

The Jews.

Which leads to my favorite Jewish Holiday…Purim.

Which leads to why it’s my favorite holiday…Hamantaschen.

And you know when it got better, last year when Deb at SmittenKitchen posted a hamantaschen recipe. I near about died and went to heaven. And so this year, I was totally going to accomplish my goal. It was messy, a lot of them fell apart, I took them with me when I went out of town with friends, everyone look baffled by the name, but they were eaten with great gusto. Thus, I was happy.

The recipe (and more Purim love) is after the jump, and after what could be the start of the best Gossip Girl comments ever…all the ones referencing religion. The first…went to the Jewish Seder (making it so appropriate for this post):

Eleanor Waldorf: “I don’t even know how to say half the words in this prayer book named after Joe Lieberman’s wife.”
Dan: She’s Hadassah. This is a Haggadah.

And in case you all don’t know what Purim actually is…

…it is a day (the 14th day of Adar) when the Jews celebrate their deliverance from the Persian Empire’s plan to destroy them. Not so much the plan cause everyone throught it was great, nope…all about one guy Haman who hated the Jewish people but had the ear of the King. Really, the entire story can be found in the book of Esther, which may in fact be one of my favorite Old Testament books. Probably cause it’s about a girl, tragedy, redemption and a party often called the Jewish Mardi Gras. I mean, what isn’t there to love.

Now on to the cookie recipes, figuring out how to keep the edges tight and together is next on my to do list.

Hamantaschen
taken from Deb at SmittenKitchen

Yield: About 22 2-inch cookies

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/3 cups plus 4 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Various jams (we used raspberry, blackberry and apricot, but my favorite is this stuff) or prepared fillings (such as poppy seed or prune pastry filing)

Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add sugar and mix for one minute longer, then egg, vanilla extract, orange zest and salt, mixing until combined. Finally, add the flour. The mixture should come together and be a tad sticky. If it feels too wet, add an additional tablespoon of flour.

Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To form the hamantaschen, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter (3 inches is traditional, but very large; I used one that was 2 1/2 inches), cut the dough into circles. Spoon a teaspoon of you filling of choice in the center. Fold the dough in from three sides and firmly crimp the corners and give them a little twist to ensure they stay closed. Leave the filling mostly open in the center. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Cool on racks. Resist the urge to try a still-hot one unless a jam-burnt tongue is as much of your Purim tradition as are these cookies.

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One thought on “I love the Jews, simple as that

  1. Pingback: blueberry crumb bars = heaven in a bar « Throwing Cake Around

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