As usual, I’m last-minuting everything. So this post comes out on the eve of a delicious Jewish Holiday, Purim. With dressing up, eating biscuits and sweets, giving gifts and of course getting rip-roaringly drunk, who would’t love this holiday. (The theme of they tried to kill us, they didn’t, let’s eat; though the usual for most Jewish holidays, really works in spades for this festival).
But, one of the best parts about Purim (well, most Jewish festivals), is that there’s plenty of baking to be done, perfect for picnics, sharing and eating!
The most notable treat is the Hamantashan; a triangular biscuit (or yeasty treat) generally consumed in their hundreds (per person) before, during and after Purim.
I never realised, until I came to the UK, that there was such a diversity when it comes to the traditional delectable treats. Growing up, it was a stuffed biscuit with prune, poppy seed or nut filling that was on offer. In the UK it’s more of a yeasty bread treat filled with apple, poppy seeds or jam. Though both are delicious, I prefer the biscuit ones (both because they taste yummy, and they’re easier to make). But, offer me a yeasty treat, I won’t turn it down (except if its poppy seed – yuck!).
While I’ve consumed many dozen of hamantashan in my lifetime, I only started to make them myself once the the Lady came around. I’ve had mixed reception to my Tashen I think because the prune, mixed nut & sugar, pistachio and peanut butter ones aren’t to my loving husband’s taste. But, this year’s crop of nutella, jam, chocolate and apple & cinnamon seems to be acceptable (phew). And while I’ve made yeasty ones in the past, I was “allowed” to only make the biscuity ones this year because the fillings were tasty enough (double phew since I just don’t have the time or energy to make both the biscuity ones and the yeasty ones).
The great thing about these treats is that they’re versatile. Fill them with anything and you’ll have a tasty treat to take out with you (or if you’re like me, you’ll eat them straight out the of the oven and burn your mouth). They’re also a fun thing to do with kids, particularly the filling bit. It’s great for little hands.
There are plenty of recipes out there to choose from, but I quite like this one from Second Helpings, Please! (Thank you Jewish Women International of Canada!)
You’ll have to excuse me UK people but I haven’t converted the recipe into weights. Gonna have to just deal with cups! 😉
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups flour (approximately)
|Combine ingredients in the order given, using enough flour to make a soft dough that isn’t sticky (this make take more than 4 cups, I used another cup). Let stand for 15 minutes. Divide into 4 parts. Roll out on a floured board (or oiled surface). Cut into circles with a cup or cutter and place a spoonful of your filling in the middle. Form triangular shapes by pinching the sides into the middle. Make 3 sides. Brush with beaten egg and bake on a lightly greased shet at 350C or gas 4 for 30 minutes until golden on top.
(makes about 5 dozen)
This is the fun the Lady and I had making ours… totally a great time! So, go on, it’s fun, it’s tasty and super easy. Give it a try with your favourite fillings and let me know how it goes!