Purim is all about the story of Esther, a Jewish queen who saved her people from the evil plans of Haman, an advisor to the Persian king. The holiday is celebrated with costumes, food, and lots of noise-making. This year, Purim takes place March 6 and 7.
During Purim, people dress up in colorful costumes, eat triangle-shaped pastries called Hamentashen (also spelled hamantaschen, and variations between the two) — there's some thought the shape is meant to resemble Haman's hat — and make noise with groggers (noisemakers) every time Haman's name is mentioned during the reading of the Megillah (the biblical book of Esther).
So, whether you're a kid or a kid at heart, Purim is a time to let loose and have some fun. Just remember — when it comes to Purim, the louder, the better!
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Basic Hamentashen recipe
From Merri Cohen
Hamentashen cookies are crunchy and crumbly with just the right amount of sweetness. Use a variety of fillings to make a beautiful platter! Ideas on what to use include apricot, cherry, or raspberry preserves, prunes, chocolate chips, or Nutella.
- 4 cups of flour
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Filling of choice
- Sift together dry ingredients. Work in butter to dry ingredients.
- Add the eggs and orange juice. Mix all. The ingredients should be stiff and difficult to mix.
- Knead with your hands (the mixture should not stick to your hands. If it does or if it looks wet add a little more flour)
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- After refrigerating, roll dough onto a floured surface. You want it to be between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch typically.
- Use a cup or glass to make circles in your dough (about a 6-inch circumference).
- Add about a teaspoon of your choice of filling in the center of each dough circle.
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9. Fold three sides up to make it look like a triangle. Make sure most of the filling is in the dough. Seal the sides tightly!
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10. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.