It's Purim today (well, I'm pretty sure it's today or tonight and tomorrow, I'm on vacation, so I've lost a bit of time). Anyway, Purim is a Jewish holiday, like many other Jewish holidays, that we celebrate, in that, the reason we're celebrating is someone tried to wipe us from the face of the earth, they failed, let's eat. Well, Purim is a little different because in addition to eating we drink for this one too (like Passover where we must have four glasses of wine), for Purim, if memory serves, we're supposed to get so blasted, we can't say, recognize or something the name of the villain in the story, Hamen.
Purim was always my favorite holiday as a child (well that and Simchat Torah) because we would go to the synagogue to hear the story, dressed in costume (it started as being dressed as one of the characters from the story but now pretty much anything goes. One year, I was a garbage can - that was the year, I discovered the Men's Club keg in the kitchen - but that's another story). The other thing we're allowed to do during this service, is make a lot of noise - they actually hand out noisemakers because we need to drown out Hamen's name. I mean, if you've ever been to synagogue, you know it's not like church, Jews talk during services (boy do we - hey we're there for hours, give us a break) but this one is a raucous good time.
The other thing I like about Purim is that the one of the heroes of the story is a woman, Queen Esther (chicks rule) and now as part of an interfaith marriage, I like the fact that it was her interfaith marriage that was a key to the Jews' survival. The penultimate thing I like about Purim, is that every synagogue has a carnival for the kids, games, face painting, little goldfish that die a few days later, you know what I mean. Last year, our synagogue added a little twist, while the kids are off in the carnival, the adults can join the Sisterhood for a Passover Wine Sale and Tasting in another room of the building - yum (not all kosher wines are like Manishevitz (sp).
And the ultimate thing I like about Purim are hamentashen. I can't remember the story, if we eat these cookies, filled with fruit, in the shape of the triangle because they're shaped like Hamen's hat or his ears, but they're pretty darn good. So before I left for California, I made a batch for the girls and my Mom.
Now the traditional filling for hamentashen is apricot and prune (at least in my shul aka synagogue) growing up. But many years ago, I started to experiment with strawberry and raspberry jam in the center. It was good, but the jam melted and ran. Then someone suggested to me using the Solo Pastry and Pie fillings that can be founded in cans in the bakery aisle and an entire new world opened up. This year we made prune (because they're still my mom's favorite), Apple (my favorite), Raspberry and Blueberry.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, you take these hamentashen and make little goodie bags for people called Mishloach Manot (or Shalach Manot depending who you ask), and give them to friends and family.
So anyway, I thought today, I would share my hamentashen recipe with you all. I got it originally from my aunt Sheila and it's since been given to dozens of people (I taught a class using this recipe last year). Unfortunately for those of you who keep kosher, it's dairy - but it's good, so just enjoy it with a meatless meal.
Hamentashen (2 points)
Recipe By :Aunt Sheila
Serving Size : 66 Preparation Time :0:00
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream (I use fat free with no ill affects)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cans solo pastry filling (or four half cans as I did or make two batches to use them all)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
0. Preheat the oven to 350.
1. Dissolve baking soda in sour cream.
2. Cream the butter and sugar.
3. Add the eggs, beat well after each addition.
4. Add flour, salt & sour cream to mixture - stir until combined.
5. Refrigerate for an hour.
6. Roll dough out to about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick.
7. Cut into 2 inch circles using the top of a glass or round cookie cutter.
8. Put pie filling in center and pinch ends to form a triangle (here are some photos to demonstrate).
9. Bake 15 - 20 minutes - until golden brown (I bake them on parchment paper, so can't remember if it's a greased or ungreased cookie sheet.