Slice of Life: Purim

By Eileen Goltz

My children are at that age where their costumes for the Purim parade are far less important than the size of the noise-maker they get to take to the Megillah reading.

Purim 5756 is going to be the year of the power-grogger, so I’m warning you, don’t sit next to us.  We’ve been to at least five different stores that cater to this kind of Purim accessory.  I gravitated toward the beautiful, hand-carved wood and silver groggers that even the Rothschilds would find a little expensive.  My little experts in total chaos, however, saw nothing that was quite big enough, loud enough, or obnoxious enough.

They used to like to those little metal groggers that sounded like a baseball card stuck to the spoke of a bike.  I liked those.  I could easily confiscate that tinker toy from whichever little Esther or Haman happened to be clunking some poor Achashverosh on the head.  These new plastic ones look like they were designed by an alien from a planet that never heard of volume control.  We settled on a mid-sized wooden model that gets about 500 decibels per crank.

The children’s costumes are set and so are ours (I’m going as Haman’s mother, again, and my husband is going as the rush hour traffic-crazed father that raced home in order to get to the reading on time).  Now all we need to do is bake the hamantashen.

As always, the kids want to help.  So, this year instead of having half the hamantashen come out like bricks, I’m going to use several different dough recipes:  One for the kids to have fun with (too much extra flour won’t hurt) and one or two that are a little lighter and won’t give the adults indigestion.  The fillings, of course, can range anywhere from the traditional homemade poppy seed to the more irreverent chocolate chip and cherry pie filling.

Kids’ Hamantashen Dough


4 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 c. brown sugar

1 c. margarine, melted

grated rind of 1 orange

1/2 t. cinnamon

4 1/2 c. flour plus extra flour for rolling out

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat the eggs.  Beat in the sugar, melted margarine, orange rind, and cinnamon.  Gradually stir in the flour.  Divide dough into 4 balls and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (You can make this dough up to 2 days ahead.)  On a lightly floured board, roll out one of the balls to about 1/4 of an inch.  Cut into circles, place 1 t. filling in the center and form into triangle, leaving a little of the filling showing in the center (this allows the steam to escape).  Place on greased cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes or until lightly golden.


Hamantashen Classique


4 c. sifted flour

3 t. baking powder

3/4 c. sugar
1/4  t. salt
4 eggs
1/3  c. vegetable oil
grated rind of one lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix together and sift dry ingredients.  Add eggs, oil, and grated rind.  Mix well.  Knead until smooth.  Roll out on a floured board to 1/8 inch thick.  Cut into 4 inch rounds.  Place a heaping teaspoon full of desired filling in the center and bring edges together to form a triangle.  Bake on greased cookie sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Hamantashen Cookie Dough


2 c. sifted flour

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. margarine

1 c. sugar

1 egg

2 T. milk substitute

1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cream together the margarine and sugar.  Add the egg.  Add the dry ingredients alternately with milk substitute.  Add vanilla.  Mix well.  Roll out to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into 2 inch rounds.  Place 1/2 t. of filling in the center and form into a triangle.  Bake on greased cookie sheet for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.


E-Z Poppy Filling

1 can poppy seed filling

1/4 c. raisins

1/2 c. dried apricots, chopped

1/4 c. ground pecans

Mix all the ingredients together and let set 20 to 30 minutes before using.


Prune Filling

1 lb. pitted prunes

1/2 c. white raisins

2 t. lemon juice

grated rind of 1 lemon

dash of cinnamon

In a food processor, mix all the ingredients together.  Do not over-process into a paste with no lumps.  Small pieces of the prune and raisin are okay.  This can be used immediately.


Apricot Filling

12 oz. apricot preserves

1/2 c. white raisins

1/2 c. bread crumbs or ground pecans

dash of cinnamon

Place all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender.  Process until well mixed.  This may be used right away.


Chocolate Chip & Cherry Pie Filling

1 can cherry pie filling

1 c. pareve semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 to 1/2 c. bread crumbs

Drain about 1/2 the sauce (not the cherries) from the can.  Pour remaining filling into a bowl.  Add the chocolate chips and bread crumbs.  Mix well.  Let set for 30 minutes before using.


DAIRY HAMANTASHEN (Try ’em with your kids!)

Cream Cheese Dough for Hamantashen

8 oz. cream cheese

1 c. butter

2 c. flour

1/3 c. powdered sugar

Cream together cream cheese and butter.  Add flour and powdered sugar.  Wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.  Roll out and cut into 3 to 4 inch rounds.  Fill with favorite filling and bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

This article was featured in the Spring 1996 issue of Jewish Action.
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