Treats for Troops

We spent our Sunday surrounded by a great group of friends, putting bags together to send the American troops stationed overseas. In thirty pairs of hands, dough made from scratch and fresh fillings, danced and took shape into triangles pockets full of sweetness and dedication. We got creative on the fillings, including Apricots, cherry, poppy seed, chocolate, Nutella and even peanut butter cups!

SF Volunteer ProjectWith Purim around the corner, we thought what better way to sweeten their days a bit, then a bag filled with candy, a colorful hand written card and freshly baked Hamentashen?!

What are Hamentashen?

Hamentashen are delicious little sugar cookies stuffed with delicious fillings (typically fruit). These sugar cookies are pinched into little triangle “hats” to represent Haman the Agagite. If you’ve heard the term “the whole Megillah,” you know that Haman the Agagite was the man who wanted to rid the ancient Persian empire of the Jews. Haman wore a hat that was in a triangular shape (I once heard them referred to as “Napoleon hats or French hats,” which made me chuckle), which is where we get the name: HAMEN-tashen or the singular hamantash.

How do I make Hamentashens?

And of course a recipe (though as per Jewish cooking laws, there is no one recipe, share yours with us!):

Hamentashen with Yeast Dough

1 package (2-1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3-cup sugar
1-teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1-cup warm water
1/3-cup vegetable oil
1 large egg

Egg Wash:

1 large egg
1-tablespoon water

Filling

Purchased filling of your choice!

Combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together all liquid ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to the liquid to form a dough. Knead dough for 5 – 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Spray a large mixing bowl with Pam and place dough inside. Spray Pam on dough and cover loosely with a towel until dough doubles in size.

Punch down dough. Divide into thirds on a lightly floured surface. Roll out each piece until it is ¼-inch thick. Cut out 3 -inch rounds. Reroll scraps. Place filling in the center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center.

Place hamentashen 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Cover again and let rise at room temperature until nearly double, about one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush tops of the hamentashen with the egg wash. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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