My Hamantaschen: A Cooking Drama Not Quite As Dramatic As the Book of Esther

Although my family has never been very religious, I remember that for the period of time that we belonged to a synagogue Purim was a time to wear costumes, play games and win prizes at a bazaar, and watch the rabbi and the other men get drunk while reading the Book of Esther. However, even in the non-synagogue years, we always made Hamantaschen for Purim.

When I first graduated from college, my mom must have given me her recipe over the phone.  I know I made it a few times, but today was the first time I’ve made in years. Here’s what I found on my 3 by 5 card.



  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • shake of salt
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • (grated orange or lemon rind)
  • oranje juice
  • cream sugar and butter
  • add eggs beat well
  • add flour mixture with rind gradually
  • add orange juice to moisten
  • refrigerate for an hour
  • roll out 1/8 inch
  • brush with egg wash
  • bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes

Yes, that’s really how I spelled hamantaschen and orange.  There are numerous recipes from that year that also say sause. I was a pretty sloppy speller but oranje?

I was really excited to get started and make the most of my recipe and enjoy my hamantaschen. I was especially excited to roll out dough on my counters instead of struggling with that rolled pastry mat.

It went pretty well and I used a glass to cut out circles that would be filled with the cherry pie filling and apricot preserves I bought.

I noticed they were a little thin and sort of heavy but I got them on the tray, gave them a brush of egg wash and put them in the oven.

I went on to roll out my second batch.  I made them a little thicker this time and they definitely looked nicer.

These went in when the others came out and the first batch looked awful.

And when they were cool enough I tried to get them off the tray.  I never greased the sheet because the recipe didn’t say to and these thin heavy hamantaschen resisted.

There were a few casualties, mostly little corners that still tasted pretty good since I ate them as they fell off.

At this point I felt a little defeated. I knew my second batch was definitely better because the dough was thicker but I hadn’t greased the sheet and I was worried they would also break apart when I tried to get them off.

So I greased a new cookie sheet, dropping it on the floor and scaring away my baking companion Chica who was so patiently sitting by my feet. And then I decided there would be no more hamantaschen but I didn’t want to waste the dough. I mixed together some cinnamon and sugar and sprinkled it over the remaining rolled out dough.

Then I sprinkled it with some raisins and began rolling it up.

I cut it into about one inch rolls and and put it on a greased baking sheet.

Meanwhile, my second batch of hamantaschen were finished baking and they looked perfect.

And when I braced myself for chipping them off the baking sheet, they came right off. No chipping necessary.

This batch was such a success.

Mike and I sampled hamantaschen from the first batch and they still tasted pretty good. But these look great and I bet they’ll taste wonderful.

And those rolled up dough things.  They look pretty good too.

I haven’t tasted one yet but I’m sure that they’ll be sweet and soft and good.  I guess if you’re not a raisin fan, they might suck.  Mike asked hopefully if the brown things were chocolate chips.  I guess that would make them even better but in my frustration I went with raisins first.

So it all turned out well.  I thought I would have tons of hamantaschen to share but this is a nice mix of delicious treats.  Good thing I did eight miles this morning.


5 thoughts on “My Hamantaschen: A Cooking Drama Not Quite As Dramatic As the Book of Esther

    • My mom used to make Rugelach out the leftover dough but they were a lot more elaborate than these. That’s where I got the idea for this simple version.

  1. Pingback: For BYOCN Some Soft and Fluffy Blueberry Lemon Cookies | It's Knot You

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