Ozni Haman or Hamentashen – this is a reflection of the Italian (non-Jewish custom) of cutting off a criminals ears before his execution. The way Jews have dealt with the precarious nature of our life in the diaspora was by feasting in the face of adversity. That phrase of ‘The tried to kill us, we survived, lets eat!” is never more true then on Purim. One of the key components to our perseverance for millennia in an often unfriendly world was and remains humor, and it was and remains funny to reduce our enemies into pastry and eat them.
- 470g (3 ¾ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for kneading
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 180ml (3/4 cup) of oil
- 60ml (1/4 cup) of orange juice
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- Filling of your choice: Jam, fruit preserve, poppy seed filling, date spread, chocolate spread, Nutella
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar, eggs, oil orange juice, zest, and vanilla, mix until well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until all the flour is incorporated into the wet ingredients. You should have a smooth dough that looks more like cake batter than cookie dough, but don’t worry it will set up in the fridge.
Refrigerate for at least an hour but preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 180℃ (350℉), line two cookie sheets with baking paper, and set aside.
On a well-floured surface or on a baking mat, tip the refrigerated hamantashen dough onto the work surface and knead a couple of times. Divide the dough into four equalish pieces.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, on a well-floured surface using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough about the thickness of a British Pound coin (about the thickness of a poker chip). Using a 3-inch cookie cutter or a large glass, cut out as many circles as possible, reroll the scraps and cut out more circles.
Fill the cookie circles with desired filling, no more than a teaspoon, fold in the sides of the circle to make a triangle.
Place the hamantashen on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, for 15-18 minutes, until the cookie is golden brown.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Cool completely (especially if you used jam/jelly as the hot fruit preserve will burn your mouth – thus making it much harder to eat more hamantashen.
Baked hamantashen will keep for 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature, or well wrapped in the freezer for a month.
I roll out the dough in small batches and use a glass to cut out the circles. I brush the edges of the circles with egg wash and that helps them stay closed.
Bake at 350 for 17/18 minutes.