Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hamentaschen

I know - you want to say 'Gesundheit", don't you?

On Saturday evening, we tried something new - Hamentaschen.  These triangular cookies are part of the celebration of Purim, and we thought they sounded delicious. And we were right - they are very tasty, and not very difficult to make. A couple of weeks ago our history study (in America the Beautiful from Notgrass) focused on the people that emigrated to the United States at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, and the ethnic communities they established.  Among the groups we talked about were the Jewish people that came mostly from eastern Europe.  Kennady also read the book All of a Kind Family which is a story about a Jewish immigrant family with five little girls living in New York City in the early twentieth century.  The textbook suggested making Hamentaschen, and included the recipe, as a family activity, as the baking and sharing of these cookies has been an important part of Purim celebrations by Jewish immigrants to America. The kids were excited to bake these cookies, but that was a busy week, and since I knew Purim would be coming up on the calendar soon anyway, I convinced them to wait. So, we made them to coincide with the beginning of Purim on Saturday at sundown.

I guess I should say that I did almost all the work, since the kids were both getting over colds.



Hamentaschen (adapted from America the Beautiful)
2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg white
cherry, strawberry or apricot preserves

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.  Cut butter into small pieces and blend into flour mixture using a pastry blender.  Mix egg, egg white and sugar together, then blend into flour mixture.  Mix to a stiff dough.  Divide into two discs, wrap each in plastic and chill for about 30 minutes.  Roll out to 1/8-inch thickness.  (The original recipe suggested doing this between two sheets of waxed paper.  I used a floured pastry board, but did find that a sheet of waxed paper on top kept the dough from sticking to the rolling pin without incorporating more flour into the dough.)  Using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut dough out into circles about 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter.  Spoon about a quarter-sized drop of preserves onto each circle.  Fold the edges in to form a triangle, overlapping the corners and pinching them a little.  Bake about 1 inch apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet in a 350* oven, for about 15 minutes.  The preserves will start to bubble and the cookies will be a light golden brown when done.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

The hardest part is getting the triangles to be triangular.  As you can see, mine are not all nice equilateral triangles, they're more scalene, I think.  (See what I did there? A little math along with the Home Ec and Social Studies.  Now I'm wondering if there's a way to teach geometry with cookies.  If there is, I know *I* will understand it better!)


Now, we're not Jewish, but as Christians, we are very interested in our Jewish "heritage" because we believe we have been 'grafted in' as the Bible teaches.  Last year our adult Sunday School class studied the Jewish feast days laid out in the Old Testament and the ways that each of them point towards Messiah.  We have a deeper respect now for the significance of the feasts, and feel that we should celebrate them, so we are in a process of figuring out how we can start doing that. Purim is not a feast that we are commanded to keep, but it has been a traditional remembrance by the Jewish people of the way they were delivered during the days of Queen Esther.

You can read more about Purim at Maoz Israel.


What new recipe have you tried recently? Leave a comment and let me know! Be sure to visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog (this link will be live on Tuesday, February 26th) to see what the recipes other Crew members are sharing this week. You can also visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog homepage to see the reviews we are working on, past reviews, and past blog cruise topics.  
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I also linked up at Try a New Recipe Tuesday, hosted by Home to 4 Kiddos.

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This post was added to the Throwback Thursday Blog-Style link-up hosted by Tots and Me... Growing Up Together! on February 25, 2016.

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7 comments:

Mary said...

They look so good!

Lindsey Clair said...

Yum! Shared your post on my Facebook wall.

Lexi said...

Those look fun! I think I can adapt them to be allergy free! I think I need to try. Thanks for sharing!

Charlotte said...

Those look so yummy! I am totally making them this weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

Stacie said...

Very interesting. I love learning about different ethnicity and religions. These look really yummy!

Meg said...

They look pretty good to me! It has taken me three years to get mine to stay shut in the oven (did you hear me shrieking when they came out in the same triangles they went in as???), so you did downright awesome for a beginner! My mother-in-law says the trick is in how tightly you pinch pinch/press them.

GwenLittle said...

These look wonderful! We have found some amazing recipes by including them in part of our culture studies! It's a delicious way to learn :)

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