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Hamatashen or Oznai Haman Recipe
By Bossie Krapfman
What is Purim without hamantashen? I can not remember Purim when I did not have hamantashen, can you? In Israel they call hamantashen by the name of oznai Haman, meaning the "ears of Haman". This I really can't understand, since when I was little I remember learning that hamantashen has three corners like the hat that Haman wore. But since oznai Haman are three cornered also, how can they call it Haman's ears? Who ever heard of a three cornered ear?
Irregardless if they are Haman's ears or his hat, they are very popular for Shalach Manot, the gifts of food that we send to our friends on Purim. Remember that we are obligated to send at least two gifts of food to one friend. In reality most people send to all of their friends so that no one should have bad feelings. In addition I always include fruit or small tin or bottle of drink. The reason is that there should be more than one bracha and it should be something that can be used for the Purim meal. By the way, this is a good time to send a special gift to that person who has help you and/or family in a special manner, such as a rabbi or great neighbor who does some really special favors.
When I get food gifts on Purim, I always like to check to see who is a good cook and who is not. Bakery hamantashen is always good, but some of my friends' hamantashen can even be excellent! I must admit that there have been times that I have lowered my standards and opted for bakery hamantashen, but I really enjoy making them myself.
Since I have several girls in the house who enjoy baking, and need to learn what a kitchen is, we start the day before preparing our hamantashen. Although I use the same basic recipe, it turns out different each year.
I hope that you will try it out and enjoy!
The hamantashen recipe is divided into two parts the dough and the filling. The dough is rolled out into 3 to 4 inch circles. The filling is put in the center and then the dough is folded up on three sides and pinched at the three corners.
Ingredients (for 4 dozen hamantashen):
4 cups of whole wheat flour - remember whole wheat or no wheat!
3 teaspoons of baking powder
¾ cup of brown sugar - gives better taste and is healthier!
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of margarine
Grated rind of lemon or orange
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
The most traditional is poppy seed filling which is a really messing job, so I use a modified pie filling or put jam or jelly inside, I find that apple and strawberry are the best. Other favorites are date, chocolate, and apricot. My apologies to purists out there! (My husband says that if the outside is whole wheat then the white sugar and calories that are inside don't count. On this, I rely on my husband's expertise.)
First mix all the dry ingredients together in mixer bowl. Add eggs, margarine, and liquids and mix well. Dough should be solid, if not add more flour. Roll into tube 3 or 4 inches in diameter and about 1/8 of an inch in thickness (right, get out your husbands yard stick!).
Next drop a tablespoon of the filling on top of the dough circles (which are put on a greased cookie sheet of course!) and close on three sides, remembering to pinch the ends.
At this point your remember that forgot that you were supposed to pre-heat the oven to 350°F, but this forgetting is also a tradition in my house too!
It should take about 30 minutes until they are ready.
For a little extra, you can glaze it before you bake by brushing them with a beaten egg.
Remember to put some aside for the mitzvah of Shalach Manot before you and your family "try them out" so that you have plenty left to send to your friends on Purim.
from the Febuary 2007 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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