Purim is the Jewish holiday celebrating the defeat of Haman's (the main antagonist in the book of Esther) plot to kill all the Jew's. What a reason to celebrate! Hamantashen (plural of Hamantash-literally Haman pockets) or Hamentaschen are triangular shaped cookies or pastries associated with Purim and this evil villain. These are little sweet symbols of victory.
While there are many things I love, Molly Yeh seems to find the 'sweet spot' with me. Her blog and her recipes are well thought out, creative and the photography is always spot on (makes you want to try to replicate- good luck!). She has two recipes for hamentaschen that speak to my soul, one includes cardamom-and being of Norwegian descent that's a staple in my Christmas krumkakes. The other includes halva and let's just say after the first time I tried halva it was like where have you been all my life?? I have convinced myself that not only is halva a food of the Gods but being that it's made with sesame it's full of nutrients your body is supposed to have.
This year Purim begins the evening of February 28th and ends the evening of March 1st. Here are two favorite hamentaschen recipes from Molly Yeh. If you don't follow her blog already just go and jump into that rabbit hole and stay there. Blessings!
Halva & Jam Hamantaschen
makes about 36 cookies
dough (from leah koenig's modern jewish cooking):
2 1/2 c/315 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tb fresh orange juice
1/4 c/60 ml vegetable oil
2/3 c/130 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest
whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
in a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest until combined. slowly stir in the flour mixture until the dough begins to come together. turn the dough out onto a flat surface and knead a few times with your hands until it is smooth, but not sticky. (if the dough appears too dry, knead in more orange juice, 1 tsp at a time. if it looks too wet, knead in up to 1/4 c/30g more flour, 1 tb at a time until you reach the right consistency.)
divide into two flat discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
preheat oven to 350f/180c and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. remove half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-in/4-mm thickness. use a 3-in/7.5-cm round cookie cutter or glass to cut out circles and transfer them to the baking sheet, 1/2-in/12-mm apart. re-roll scraps and cut out additional circles.
spread about 1/2 tsp of halva spread in the center of each circle and then add a small dollop of jam. fold the left side over on an angle, followed by the ride side and then the bottom, forming a triangle-shaped pocket. pinch the seams firmly to seal. repeat this process with the remaining dough.
bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. let them cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Cardamom Lingonberry Hamantaschen
makes about 22 cookies
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
powdered sugar, for dusting
about 1 c lingonberry jam
in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until combined. beat in the egg yolk and then add the vanilla, cardamom, and salt. beat in the flour to form a dough. divide the dough into two parts, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
preheat the oven to 400ºf. line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
dust a work surface liberally with powdered sugar and roll out half of the dough until it's 1/4" thick. cut out 3" circles and spoon about 2 teaspoons of jam in the center, fold the edges up to form a triangle shape and pinch the edges firmly. transfer to the baking sheet. repeat with the remaining half of the dough, adding more powdered sugar as needed. bake until lightly browned. begin checking for doneness at 10 minutes. let cool slightly, dust with additional powdered sugar, and enjoy!
Make these with love in your hearts and share them with strangers. May you defeat all evils this year and eat sweets eternally.
FaithHaus has some modern essentials to help you host your first Passover Seder. From the hip dorm room, to the beach-y first bungalow, to the organic urban dwelling- we have handpicked a few items that work with multiple decors. Bonus- we’ve included one of our favorite Passover dessert recipes too!
A prerequisite for the seder is the Haggadah. This simple set of 5 works for a family or a whole group of friends. At $20 a pack why not get two or three and invite your friends too! Each Haggadah is published on 32 lb. base paper with all natural Kraft paper card stock cover. Chag Sameach!
The foods eaten on Passover are special and have a purpose. The Seder plate allows a space for the seven meaningful foods to be placed and shared with your group. This version is from a designer in Israel named Marit Meisler. Her company is aptly named Cemment as her items are made with cement as a base. Her beautiful and organic creations have an industrial-chic feel. This comes in three colors: white, gray or black.
We love that this Jewish holiday REQUIRES one to drink wine. That’s right. The blessings are recited as the Kiddush cup is passed around the table for sips in honor. Again we have chosen a design with a modern simplicity yet a real elegance in black ceramic with 22k gold trim from Tzad Sheni- also an Israeli artist.
On the first and last day of Passover, the candle is lit so one can see the flame, feel the heat, and focus on the blessings. These candles are of pure beeswax for a clean burn and have the faint smell of honey. They come as a braided 3 or 6-wick candle. $10-$15
One of our favorite blogs (and Instagram feeds) is MyNameIsYeh from Molly Yeh. She is a vibrant musician that moved to a farm with her husband- from New York. She has Jewish and Asian roots which you see reflected in her recipes but also this strong Midwestern farm-life that influences her food. Don't miss and psst...this cake is the bomb!
The pomegranate is very symbolic in the Jewish culture. It is customarily eaten on Rosh Hashanah and represent good luck, beauty and wisdom. These beautiful, ceramic pomegranates are handmade from white clay and then hand-painted in this vibrant red. $25 each.
Enjoy this time with your family and friends. We know they will love to learn they why behind the ritual.
We would like to hear about your first Seder so please send us pictures or comment below. FH