0 Time to Bake the Hamantaschen—It's Purim!

Hamantaschen cookies, Purim
Hamantaschen cookies—the traditional Purim treat. [Photo Credit: NetGlimse.com]
Sound your graggers, it's time to celebrate Purim! The Jewish holiday officially began at sunset on Saturday and ends at sunset on Monday, March 1. Like most people, my favorite aspect of Purim is, of course, the delicious hamantaschen cookies.

Traditionally, hamantaschen are made with prune or poppy seed filling (though I much prefer the ones with apricot preserves or apple filling). In fact, the word hamantaschen is derived from two German words: mohn (poppy seed) and taschen (pockets). The most popular explanation of why Jews eat this three-cornered pastry is that Haman, the antagonist of the Purim story, wore a three-cornered hat; eating hamantaschen is essentially a way to symbolically destroy the memory of his evil.

Here's a simple recipe for hamantaschen so you can try this tasty Purim treat for yourself.
Easy Hamantaschen (yields 24 cookies)

3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup orange juice
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup fruit preserves, any flavor

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until lightly and fluffy. Stir in the oil, vanilla and orange juice. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter to form a stiff dough. If dough is not stiff enough to roll out, stir in more flour. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter or the rim or a drinking glass. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of preserves into the center of each one. Pinch the edges to form three corners.
3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

[Source: AllRecipes.com]

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