Purim is the story of a young Jewish woman, Esther, who rises to be Queen of Persia with the help of her guardian Mordecai. Haman, the grand adviser of the king, plots the Jews’ destruction. Although Esther has hidden her Jewish identity, Mordecai tells her to risk her life by revealing her heritage to the king and denouncing Haman’s plot.
Therefore, the Jews are able turn the tables on their enemies. The Hebrew date of Purim is the 14th of Adar.
How will you, your family & friends celebrate Purim?
Jewish tradition teaches there are 4 mitzvot (commandments) that must be fulfilled on Purim:
Hear the Megillat Esther, the story of Purim.
Give matanot levyonim, gifts to the poor.
Give mishloach manot, gifts to friends and family.
Eat a festive meal, called Seudat Purim.
Do you know these fun hamentashen facts?
The traditional cookies eaten on Purim are called oznei-haman (Haman’s ears) in Hebrew and hamentashen (Haman’s pockets) in Yiddish.
Many Jewish cultures feature Purim foods with “hidden” ingredients such as kreplach (a dumpling stuffed with meat), folares (pastry containing a hard-boiled egg) and of course, hamentashen.
The Best Purim Hamentashen Recipe
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (12 ounces) strawberry, raspberry, apricot, chocolate, or poppy seed filling
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange juice and vanilla extract. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Grease cookie sheets.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place circles on the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each circle. Pinch the sides of each circle to form a triangle, covering as much of the filling as possible.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light golden brown. Let cool before serving.