hamantaschen

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Date & Almond Hamantaschen

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

You know Purim is coming around when the blogosphere is overflowing with creative hamantasch recipes. It almost feels as if no-one makes classic hamantaschen anymore! The funny thing is, I’ll make just about any triangular-shaped-cookie-concoction besides classic hamantaschen. I’ve heard way too many disaster stories of the corners splitting open and jam spilling all over the place.

Call me a hypocrite but if I want good old-fashioned hamantaschen, I reach for the highly-processed Reisman’s variety. I mean, if I’m gonna eat a hamantasch, I might as well eat. a. hamantasch. Right?

But if I’m eating a different kind of hamantasch, well then I might as well go crazy, right? And by crazy I mean whipping up some sushi hamantaschen, baklava hamantaschen, or a trio of savory puff pastry hamantaschen.

Believe me, I’ve been dreaming up some crazy hamantaschen ideas all year long! But as we got closer to Purim, I couldn’t imagine breaking the momentum of my diet for some 3-cornered cookies. Instead, I challenged myself to come up with a healthy hamantasch for a change. And by healthy, I don’t mean spelt, or whole wheat, or even sugar-free. I’m talking no-flour, no-baking, no-dough or jam of any kind!

My first thought was to create a raw hamantasch using dates to create a cookie “dough”. I went to my local produce market to pick up some medjool dates and there was my inspiration – marzipan stuffed dates! Brilliant!

I got right to work creating my healthy no-bake hamantaschen. It’s amazing how something with such few natural ingredients can come out so spectacular! Not only do the raw hamantaschen resemble a real cookie, they taste incredible too, all without the guilt.

The best part about making these cookies is choosing what to roll them in. While coconut, pistachios and cocoa keep things healthy, you can up the fun-factor with some nonpareils or colorful sprinkles. Don’t worry, my lips are sealed. We’ll call it our Purim secret ;)

Other hamantasch recipes:

trio of savory puff pastry hamantaschen
sushi hamantaschen
baklava hamantaschen
“The Hamantini” Purim cocktail

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The Hamantini

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Purim has got to be every child’s favorite day of the year (and every dentists worse nightmare!). They get to dress up like princesses, go house hopping with their friends and amass an unconscionable amount of candy. It’s quite literally a kids dream come true.

But for the parents of those kids? Maybe not so much. First you got the weeks leading up to Purim where you have to wrack your brain for that perfect shalach manos gift basket. Not to mention all the kiddies, and their teachers, principals, therapists and bus drivers. It’s no wonder by the time Purim comes around, we’re meant to drink up until we don’t know the different between Haman & Mordechai.

And then you got Purim day where you’re up at an ungodly hour to dress all the kids in their Purim costumes, barely make it for Megillah reading, and run about town taking each of your kids to their list of friends, not to mention your family and friends. By the time you sit down for the Purim meal, you need a stiff drink! Enter: THE HAMANTINI, a riff on the classic Purim cookie – hamantaschen.

The 3-cornered hamantasch is customarily eaten on Purim because it resembles Haman’s hat. For more on that story, read this holiday guide. Hamantaschen are traditionally made with raspberry or apricot jam – both of which I have incorporated into my Hamantini cocktails.

For my Raspberry Hamantini, I went straight for my favorite drink of all time – Raspberry Snapple. A shot of vodka and some raspberry jam simple syrup offer a serious raspberry experience with just the right amount of buzz. Of course, the rim of the glass is dipped in raspberry jam syrup and raspberry hamantasch cookie crumbs – making The Raspberry Hamantini a most befitting name!

If raspberry is not your flavor, give The Apricot Hamantini a try. With apricot nectar, dark rum and apricot jam simple syrup, you’ll be in apricot heaven! Of course the rim of this cocktail glass is also dipped in apricot jam simple syrup and finished in apricot hamantasch cookie crumbs for a festive finish. Apricot euphoria in a glass, if I may.

While I’m no mixologist, I had so much fun creating these festive cocktails! I found some great stuff hiding in my liquor cabinet, and I can’t wait to whip out my shot glasses come Purim. I make quite a fun drunk, I must say. So if you see me around and I’m a wee bit tipsy, you’ll can blame it all on Haman and his three-cornered hat.

So as the day dwindles down, and the kiddies collapse all shmeared in makeup and chocolate, whip out your martini glasses and let the real fun begin!


Pick the flavor that suits your fancy – Raspberry or Apricot (or both!)- and drink up and be merry! Happy Purim!

Other Cocktail Recipes:

whiskey cider
3 layer chocolate cake martini

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In honor of Purim, the Kosher Connection is having a cocktail linkup party! Read on for more great cocktail recipes and ideas!


Baklava Hamantaschen

Sunday, February 17th, 2013


“Good, better, best; never let it rest till your good is better and your better is best.” 

Have you ever heard that quote before? Well I don’t know who came up with it, but it should be my motto. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been trying to outdo myself. It’s like I’m in competition with me. And the funny thing is, I’m not even a competitive person. I couldn’t care less what the next person is doing. I just want to outdo ME.

Nothing brings this out more than Purim. I spend an entire year thinking about what kind of crazy, amazing. blow-your-mind kind of idea I can come up that will outdo what I’ve done the year before. Since last year’s sushi hamantaschen were such a huge hit, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. It had to be a twist on a classic, a creative reversal of the expected, and it had to resemble hamantaschen. Not an easy feat, I tell you!

I surfed pinterest for inspiration, flipped through cookbooks for ideas and wracked my brain until I hit the finger-’lickin jackpot. BAKLAVA HAMANTASCHEN – oh. em. gee.

To really capture the spirit of the story of Purim (set in Persia in the year 3392), I turned to a classic Persian recipe: baklava. Traditional Persian baklava uses a combination of chopped almonds and pistachios spiced with cardamom and a rose water syrup. Since I really wanted to turn things upside down (VeNahafoch Hu, right?), I switched up the rose water for apricot jam syrup (a’ la classic hamantaschen) and cut my baklava into true hamantasch shapes. The result is a decadent sweet and adorable treat that will be the talk of your Purim seudah!

Now if you’re the type who doesn’t mess with tradition, you may go ahead and prepare your baklava a’ la classique, rose-water syrup and all. Just make sure to cut them into hamantasch shapes, to really capture the Purim spirit.

Now tell me, how on earth will I outdo myself next year?!


1 year ago: sushi hamantaschen (onigiri)
2 years ago: savory puff pastry hamantaschen

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Sushi Hamantaschen (Onigiri)

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m just not that big a baker. So when Purim comes around, I’m not about to make my own hamantaschen. The bakery stuff is good enough for me. I still like to get into the Purim spirit, so coming up with something that has three corners (reminiscent of Haman’s three-cornered hat) is a must. Last year, I made these puff pastry ones, filled with sauteed spinach, cabbage, and pumpkin fillings. This year, I knew I had to step it up.

Sushi has become a staple (read: obsession) in many Jewish homes. You can find sushi bars at most kosher restaurants, groceries, and even pizza shops. We Jews just can’t seem to get enough. So what better way to celebrate Purim, and enjoy everyone’s favorite food than with these adorable sushi hamantaschen.

It turns out that triangular shaped sushi is not my own creation. It’s a popular street food in Japan, named Onigiri, meaning “rice ball”. Onigiri can be made by hand, or using a rice mold. Either way you do it, these adorable hamantaschen are sure to be the talk of your Purim seudah table.

Onigiri can be stuffed with all different sorts of fillings including vegetables, fish, or meat. Fill them with whatever suits your fancy, or take some inspiration from your favorite sushi spot.

Onigiri Filling Ideas:

scrambled eggs
pickled vegetables
pickles
guacamole
portobello mushrooms
umeboshi (pickled plums, Eden makes a kosher version)
marinated tofu
tuna
lox
mock crab
flaked salmon
caviar
hot dogs
meatballs
chicken nuggets
gingery chicken
diced cold cuts

1 year ago: Savory Puff Pastry Hamantaschen

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Not your Typical Hamantaschen!

Monday, March 14th, 2011

I am SO excited to post these delicious and festive savory Hamantaschen for Purim! Honestly I was more excited about making these into triangles, then about how they would taste. But once I gave them a try, I couldn’t even pick a favorite – they were all THAT good. I’m not gonna lie, making these Hamantaschen is time-consuming. But in my humble opinion, they are well worth the effort. You can make them for your Purim Seudah or give them out for Shalach Manos. You can probably even make them in advance and freeze them. Go ahead and get creative with the fillings. You can do a deli roll one – just cut up some turkey and pastrami into strips, mix it up with some bbq sauce or honey-mustard. Or try a brocolli, cauliflower or carrot filling. Really, anything goes. If you have more of a bagels ‘n lox kind of meal, you can make very large triangles with the puff pastry, bake them (empty), and fill them with eggsalad, tuna, or any other dips (think serving bowls). Or make individual salad bowls for each place setting. The skies the limit, really! So go ahead, get out your rolling pin, and in the spirit of “Venehapoch Hu”, whisk up a batch of these “not your typical” hamantaschen!

Prepare the dough:

What you’ll need:
1-2 boxes of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
rolling pin
flour
wide-rimmed cup or round cookie cutter

Leave puff pastry in the fridge overnight to thaw. Remove from fridge. Flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll out the pastry until it is thin. With a cup or cookie cutter, cut out circles in the pastry and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Take your leftover dough and roll it out to the same thickness. Cut more circles, until you have used up all your pastry dough. Refrigerate your circles as they will be difficult to use if they are left out.

For the Cabbage Filling:

What you’ll need:
1 bag coleslaw
1 large spanish onion
1 tsp sugar
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
oil for sauteing

Slice your onion and saute in oil until golden. Add coleslaw, salt, pepper, and sugar and continue to saute until coleslaw shrinks and softens. Stir occasionally, and add more oil if needed.

For the Spinach-Mushroom Filling:

What you’ll need:
1 bag baby spinach
1 container mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
oil for sauteeing

Saute 3 cloves of garlic in oil, until fragrant, but not browned, about 2 minutes. Clean and slic mushrooms and add to the pan. Saute for 2 more minutes. Add baby spinach, salt and pepper, and continue to saute until spinach is completely wilted.

For the Pumpkin Filling:

What you’ll need:

1 can Libby’s pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
3 tbsp flour

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until incorporated.

Assembling the Hamantaschen:

What you’ll need:
prepared puff pastry circles
prepared cabbage filling
prepared spinach filling
prepared pumpkin filling
2 eggs, whisked
cookie sheets

Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease your cookie sheets and set aside. Remove your pastry from the fridge and let thaw for a few minutes.  Brush the circles with egg, and fill with a spoonful of filling. Pinch the corners together to form triangles. Brush again with egg. Lay on a cookie sheet.

Bake & Serve!

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until golden.

HAPPY PURIM!

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