Thursday, October 22, 2009


After the Orange Cookie Sandwich disaster that will now be known forever as "October 21st, 2009: Worse Than the Hypothetical Horrors Awaiting Us All in 2012, Theoretically of Course", I needed a pick me up. I woke up this morning shaking my fist out of anger. It was weird. After a cold shower, a few slaps in the face, and some tears (there was something in my eye - get off my case) I was ready to face the world.

It has always been a dream of mine since starting this blog 2 days ago to make Hamantashen. What can I say, I'm a dreamer. Little triangles filled with gooey goodness promising outrageous difficulty all for the sake of a little hat. That's an idea I can get behind! Little hats! Adorable!

I was immediately impressed when I read this recipe in my Betty Crocker Cookie Book (pg 274 if you're into that sort of thing). In two sentences, this recipe managed to teach me more about Purim than I retained from literally years of Hebrew and Sunday School.

So gather round children and I'll tell you the story of Purim,
These rich, filled cookies, celebrate the holiday of Purim, which honors the victory of the Jews of ancient Persia over Haman's plot to destroy them. Haman was an advisor to King Ahasuerus, and Hamantaschen are "Haman's pockets."

Thanks Betty Crocker! I mean, I refuse to go along with the pockets thing - no one would make a cookie shaped like a pocket. I don't care about translations. That's just ridiculous. Julie and Julia ridiculous. (sorry but she thought 90 year old Julia Child knew how to use the internet circa 2002. Unbelievable, Julie! Unbelievable!) Anyways, I digress.

I got to making the dough for this little labor of Purim love, wearing my favorite 3-cornered hat and a smile that could light the world. But my heart was heavy. I was scared. Was I going to be able to make these as adorable as the millions (literally millions) of professionally assembled Hamantashen I have consumed in my 22 years?

I had another reason to be nervous. The recipe called for plain bread crumbs to thicken up Apricot goo and this was the only package my neighborhood Giant had to offer:

Um those have been on the shelf since 1972, right? Are they kidding with that packaging?

I tentatively "cut in butter" to my flour/sugar/baking powder mix for the first time ever. "Tentatively" turned into all out dough groping. I think it was as I was manhandling the crumby dough that I gained a little Purim courage. I made that dough my Haman bitch - for my people of course. If I had a noise maker at the time, I would have ring-a-linged it with one hand while I abused the dough with my other hand. (Get it? Purim!)

I set the greatly anticipated dough in my fridge and promptly forgot about it for 4 hours longer than I had intended. Yay for priorities!

Upon returning to the rock hard dough, I was nervous all over again. This was probably due from my baking inexperience. I have this constant feeling that the first second I do something just slightly off what the recipe says, my entire kitchen will explode and someone will end up poisoned. Pots and pans all over the places. Kids crying. Adults combusting. It's not good. This is something I need to work on. Yay for blogs on helping me become a better me! High fives all around!

No one exploded. In fact, the dough rolled out easily once I let it hang out and enjoy the counter for a few minutes. Then I went along my merry way making the delicious gooey filling for the Hamantashen.

I chose poppy seed and apricot fillings because they are the best and I won't discuss this any further. Get over yourself Prunes.

Really the rest was rather simple. All it took was cutting out 3" circles from the dough, putting a leveled teaspoon of goo in the center and folding up the edges of the circle to make the triangle. I could have accomplished this all even with a noisemaker in my hands. That should probably be one of my rating categories instead of "ease". Ease is so basic and boring. Can this cookie be made while holding a noisemaker? I like it.

They baked for 15ish minutes probably and then...well then, it was love at first sight. Seriously, these are amazing Hamantashen. They were literally perfect. The cookie part itself was absurdly yummy and a little biscuit-y. Not at all dry. The apricot filling I made with little bits of pecans is the kind of stuff I imagine Unicorns munching on in between giggle fits and bathing in sunshine and happiness. And the poppy seed, even though I bought it pre-made, was a delight.


TASTE: 4.75/5 > Incredibly yummy but I'm uncomfortable giving a perfect score for taste right this moment. Sorry Hamantashen, it's not you, it's me.
FILTH OF KITCHEN: 5/5 > Again, rolling out dough creates cleanliness issues. Plus, now I have an ant infestation. Gross.
DID THE DOG EAT IT THE DOUGH: Better yet, he spoke for the first time ever and told me I was doing a "bang up job, champ."
IMPRESS-O-METER: 5/5 > Not only is this cookie appropriate for the most fun (only fun?) Jewish holiday ever, anything you have to make into a tiny adorable package like object is bound to impress. I mean, you don't have to tell people it was ridiculously easy to make. And you can share your 2 sentences about Purim! Learning!

SHOULD YOU MAKE THIS COOKIE? Only if you can handle being the most popular person at Purim.