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Once the holiday rush is long gone, and spring is almost within our reach, the Jewish community throws one more party to let loose and celebrate Purim. Even if you're not familiar with the holiday, you may have noticed hamantaschen at your local bakery: these pretty, triangular cookies with colorful fillings are a hallmark of the festivities, and they get their name from the story that Purim commemorates.
As it goes, Haman, the ill-willed advisor to the king of Persia, had planned against the Jews -- but his plans were thwarted by Mordecai, the hero, and they were saved. Hamantaschen are said to get their name from Haman's pockets, ears, or maybe his three-pointed hat. Some say that on Purim you should drink more than usual, and others say to drink until you can't tell the difference between the villain and the hero. We'll save face and stick with the cookies for now.
If you've never experienced the buttery dough and flavorful filling of homemade hamantaschen, now's your chance. And who better to teach you than Joan Nathan, an expert on the subject of Jewish Cooking in America? We've partnered with Tablet Magazine to share Joan's chosen cookie recipe: here, she shows how easy it is to make hamantaschen with a Persian-inspired filling. We hope you enjoy making them as much as we have, and that you have a wonderful Purim.
Makes 30 cookies
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange juice
2.5 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 lemon, quartered and seeded
1/2 orange, quartered and seeded
1 tablespoon Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueur
2 dried figs, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cups orange marmalade
Photo by James Ransom
Want more ways to celebrate? See 9 more festive edible gifts for Purim.