You’re probably thinking, “What?!? This isn’t hamantaschen season! Who makes hamantaschen in October?!?” Well, poppy seed filling was on sale at Walmart for only 25¢ per can, so I bought some. The cans aren’t good forever and the expiry date will come before Purim, so it looks like we’re cooking hamantaschen in October this year.
Last year we made latkes around Hanukah time and we wrote a blog post about it. I made a honey cake for Rosh Hashanah this year, but alas, I forgot to write a blog post about it. People say it tasted pretty good, but I am trying to eat less sugar, so honey cake is off the menu.
Speaking of things that are delicious and in violation of any reasonable diet, we went to the Texas State Fair with some friends yesterday. It was a lot of fun! I tried a bit of deep-fried sheet cake and almost slipped into a diabetic coma, so, yea, I don’t think I’ll be eating today’s creation.
I signed up to bring food to our small group at church tomorrow, so we’ll have to see what they think about it.
The villain in the book of Esther is a guy named Haman. That’s whom hamantaschen are named after – the word, “hamantaschen” (Yiddish: המן טאַשען) means “Haman pockets.” He tries to kill all of the Jews in Persia, especially Queen Esther’s uncle Mordecai. As the drama unfolds, Esther and Mordecai do good and Haman does bad. Eventually, Haman sets up some gallows to hang Mordecai, but the king hangs evil Haman on those gallows instead (spoiler). Then, Esther and Mordecai co-reign in the kingdom of Ahasuerus and the holiday of Purim becomes an annual observance.
I really admire Esther and Mordecai. They live among evil people but are patient and able to prevail to become rulers in the kingdom. I also have bad people in my life and I am learning to be more like Esther in how I relate to them. We don’t live under a king today, but I work hard now to become a co-ruler in a future Kingdom… but that’s another topic. Today, we cook hamantaschen!
1 stick and a 3 tbsp butter (softened)
2/3 cup sugar
1 squirt of vanilla
2.25 cups flour
Orange juice (as needed)
First, you’ll want to mix the butter and sugar together. Slowly add in the flour and mix it up. Then, you can add a squirt of vanilla, an egg, and a bit of orange juice to keep the texture right.
Knead it into a lump. You don’t want it to be sticky, so add flour or orange juice until it’s tacky.
Next, you’ll cover it and stick it in the fridge with your filling for a few hours. Make sure it’s covered – my personal pet peeve is uncovered items in the fridge.
While we’re waiting for that to get cold, let’s talk theology. Sure, only horrible people leave things in the fridge uncovered, but Jesus died for everyone, even those who leave things uncovered. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that those who leave things in the fridge uncovered can’t be saved; anyone can be saved through faith in Christ (Eph 2:8-9). As for believers who backslide into the sinful fridge habits, fellowship with God can be restored upon confession of sin (1 John 1:9). In fact, the word for “atonement” in Hebrew is kippur, which means “covering,” so when God forgives your sin, it’s like he’s covering the nasty fridge-stink of sin.
Ok, now that everything is cold, it should be easier to work with. Take the dough out and make 3-inch circles. Some recommend rolling out the dough and cutting out circles with a glass, but we found that it’s easier to make little balls of dough and squish them flat. Then, put a teaspoon of filling in the middle and fold in three sides like so:
Careful not to put too much filling in there. As they heat up, they explode if there’s too much. Our hamantaschen suffered a few casualties that way. In the end they look suspiciously like the Shield of Trinity, but that’s none of my business…
Then, you’ll stick them in the oven at, oh, about 368 degrees for, oh, maybe, 16 minutes… basically ’till they turn brown or you get impatient, whichever comes first. We ended up with two batches.
Welp, there you have it. Hamantaschen. Enjoy!