A lot of Jewish holidays follow the same theme – they tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat. Purim is no exception to the rule. The evil Haman, King Achasverosh’s favorite minister, tried to wipe out all the Jews in the Persian Empire. He failed and was hanged on the gallows instead of Jewish Leader Mordechai. That’s it in a nutshell.

To celebrate Purim, we give money to the poor, give food presents to friends, and of course, have a huge meal. Haman, our evil villain, had a pointy, triangle shaped face and ears (Oznei Haman is hebrew for Haman’s ears), so to commemorate we make triangle shaped cookies. Not sure that I follow the logic of it, but it’s fun to make hamantashen, no matter what the reason is.

This recipe did not come easily to me. There was a lot of trial and error, with my family “suffering” with the ugly cookie results. It took me four batches of cookies to get the consistency needed to make the triangles without them opening up. You shouldn’t feel too sorry for the kids, they did taste yummy each time, but they just weren’t fit for public consumption. My family has asked me to make more of these mistakes in the future.

To fill the hamantashen, you can use any kind of jam. I’m partial to strawberry and apricot. We often take out a few types and make a bunch of different fillings for each cookie. Date spread and poppyseed filling are always very popular, but I’ve never been able to get very excited about them. We always make some hamantashen with chocolate chip filling. It’s a family tradition.

You can roll the dough on a floured surface if it’s a bit sticky, but be careful not to over flour it. If you use too much flour, the dough will not be sticky enough to stay together while it’s baking. That’s basically why I needed to make four batches in the first place.

When my kids were little, we would have our annual hamantashen making party. I never really cooked with my kids when they were little. Hamantashen were different. I’d make the dough and roll out the cookies, and they’d fill them and shape them. We always had a great time doing it. I don’t think that any of the cookies made it to Purim. Even though we made them for gifts for friends, they always got eaten before they got out of the door.

This year was no exception. Although four batches were made, they are all gone. It wasn’t too bad making four batches. My son was there, just as he was when he was a little kid, filling and shaping the hamantashen alongside me. I think that I just might make a fifth batch. Good times.

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