Israel: Hamantaschen (Haman's Pockets)
Hamantaschen are a traditional sweet of the Purim holiday. Purim takes place in the early springtime and celebrates the deliverance of the Jews long ago in Persia from the plotting of the Persian prime minister, Haman. The cookies represent Haman's triangular-shaped pockets which were filled with silver coins given him to massacre the Jews.
These cookies are baked using poppyseed, prune or apricot fillings and are also known as "Haman's Hats" and "Haman's Donkey Ears".
Hamantaschen (Haman's Pockets)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
one 10-oz can poppyseed filling, lekvar (prune butter) or apricot butter
For the top:
1 tbs cold water
In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil and sugar. Add the 2 eggs and mix until well blended. Add the vanilla extract and combine.
Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the egg mixture, mixing well after each addition. Wrap dough in plastic wrap or cover bowl and place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour. Roll out the dough until it is approximately 1/8" thick. Cut out as many circles as you can using a round cookie cutter or rim of a drinking glass. With a spatula, transfer six of the circles to the baking sheet. Put a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center of each circle.
Moisten the edges of the circles with cold water. Pick up the sides of the circle and bring them up and together to form a triangle or pyramid. Pinch the edges together so that there is only a very small space open at the top. Repeat with the remaining circles.
In a small bowl, beat one egg with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Use a pastry brush to brush this mixture on each cookie, coating evenly all over.
Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.