Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hamentaschen Cookies

Chag Sameach! Happy Purim! Today, many people around the world are reading from the Book of Esther.  The story is about a brave woman who risked her life by telling the king that a certain man planned to annihilate her people.  The tradition on Purim is to read the entire Book of Esther, and boo, hiss, and make a lot of noise when the "bad guy's" name is mentioned.  Another way of drowning out the evil man's name as it is read is to swing a gragger, which is a ratchet-style noisemaker.  My son and I created a quick impromptu gragger today using a small plastic lidded bowl filled with jingle bells.  The villian in the story wore a tri-cornered hat, so the custom on this holiday is to make triangular-shaped sugar cookies called hamentaschen.  They are filled with fruit preserves, such as prune, apricot, or raspberry.  This year, I changed things up a bit and made a chocolate sugar cookie dough.  We filled the centers with red and black raspberry preserves.  

Hamentaschen are very easy to make.  Simply whip up a batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough, roll it out, and cut circles from it.  We used a drinking glass to create the circles.  Place the dough circles on a greased cookie sheet.  Fill the centers of each dough circle with a small dollop of your favorite fruit preserves.  Flip up the dough sides to create three flaps, and pinch them where they meet each other.  Bake at 350F for approximately 15 minutes, about the same time it would take to bake decorated sugar cookies.  Cool on a wire rack, then enjoy!