November 19, 2018

Haman Nashen

Hamantashen are filled pastries traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Purim. There are  different theories as to why we eat them on this holiday.  Most likely, it is because a popular German pastry filled with poppyseed was called “mohntashen,” or “poppyseed pockets,” and Haman is the name of the villain in the Purim story. Thus, “mohntashen” became “Hamantashen,” or Haman's pockets. Some say the pastries are meant to represent Haman's pockets, which were filled with bribe money. Others say the three-cornered pastry represents a three-cornered hat Haman wore. Another explanation is derived from the Midrash, a commentary on scriptures, which describes Haman as covered with shame and humiliated (literally, with clipped ears) when he entered the King's treasury. The tradition is that hamantashen are symbolic of Haman's ears. In fact, in Hebrew, the pastries are called “oznay Haman,” or Haman's ears.

Although originally, hamantashen were filled with poppyseeds, today many types of fillings, especially jam, are used. This is my mother's recipe for hamantashen. It's easy, quick and delicious.

2 cups regular flour

1 tbs orange juice

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking pwder

1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)

1/4 level tsp salt

1 tsp liquid vanilla

2 eggs


Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix. To make the hamantashen, use a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass to make a circle in the dough. Put a small amount of jam or other filling in the middle. Pinch three corners to make the hamantashen shape. Put on an ungreased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Depending on your oven, check a little before 10 minutes to make sure the bottom does not become darker than light brown.

Enjoy, and happy Purim!