There was no other holiday or food item that inspired Bubbe to send her home-made delicacies by mail. But Purim was different, and hamantashen were what you made for Purim. Maybe it was because of the age-old tradition of shaloch manot, the sharing of food and gifts…or maybe it was just because…
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, shortening or par eve margarine, softened
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup orange juice
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more flour for kneading and rolling dough
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 12-ounce cans of prepared filling or 3 cups of homemade
- For the filling
- Options include poppy seed, cherry, strawberry, chocolate chips, prune, raisin and nuts and almond or use your favorite jam. To make your own filling, combine fruit (prunes and raisins work well) with a little orange juice, sugar and cinnamon to taste. Cook over low heat until thickened. Nuts may be added. Be creative!
- For the dough
- Bring all ingredients to room temperature. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Add the vegetable oil and eggs and beat until blended. Add orange juice, zest and vanilla and mix together. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix together. Mix dry ingredients into the large bowl with wet ingredients. Knead dough into a ball, adding flour as needed to keep from sticking, but not too much to dry it out. Divide into 4 balls of dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keeping remaining dough refrigerated. Roll out dough on floured surface to ⅛ inch thickness. Cut in 3½-inch circles (a band from a wide-mouth canning jar or the jar itself make the perfect-sized cookie cutters). Put a rounded teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Pinch the sides and top together very securely to make a triangle shape. Place on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 14 to 16 minutes until edges are lightly browned.