For our family, Purim means more than just reading the story of Esther and making noise when we hear the name of Haman. Purim reminds us that God knows what He is doing. Purim encourages us to be faithful in the daily little things because we can't see the big picture. And, especially this week, Purim shouts that God provides (even when our financial support is going backwards instead of forwards).
We invited some special friends to make hamantaschen with us this year. Abigail and Katherine made one recipe, and Olivia and Adia made the other one. This combination made the house ring with laughter.
We have our old favorite, the chocolate raspberry version that we feel just can't be beat. But this year, with the addition of extra hands, we decided to try a different recipe, too. Both were yummy, but in this house, chocolate always wins.
For the dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp. orange juice
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
For the filling:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. jam (any flavor - we used some of the strawberry jam we made last summer)
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two cookie sheets.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the margarine and sugar together in a large bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sugar and egg mixture. Mix together with a large spoon. If this mixture is too sticky, add a little more flour. (The dough will be easier to handle if you refrigerate it for an hour or more.)
5. Since the dough will be soft, sprinkle flour on the rolling pin and on a piece of waxed paper that you use to roll out the dough - so it doesn't stick. Roll out the dough to 1/8 - 1/4 inch thickness.
6. Find a round glass, mug or cookie cutter with a rim about 2 1/2 - 3 inches across. Flour the rim. Use it to cut the dough into circles.
7. Mix together the filling ingredients. Put about 3/4 of a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Shape into triangles by bringing two sides of the circle up to the center and pinching them together. Then bring up the third side and pinch it to the other two sides. Be sure to pinch the dough firmly so the pastry will not open during the baking. Do not close the tops completely, so some filling shows in the center.
8. Place the hamantashen on the greased cookie sheets, about an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned along the edges. Cool on wire racks Makes about 5 dozen.
Our library had some sweet books available to enhance our celebration:
On Purim by Cathy Goldberg Fishman
Cakes and Miracles by Barbara Diamond Goldin
Raisel's Riddle by Erica Silverman
Goldie's Purim by Jane Breskin Zalbin