Dish of the Week: Hamantaschen

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're sharing a recipe for hamantaschen.

Hamantaschen are filled triangular cookies or pastries that are typically eaten during Purim. According to judais.com, the word "hamantaschen" is a Yiddish word meaning "Haman's pockets" -- with Haman, being the villain in the story Purim. The pastries symbolize the Jewish people's escape from the enemy. The suffix "-tasche" references filled pouches of dough.

Though Purim isn't until March, the short bread-like cookies -- which are often filled with things like poppy seed, prunes, nuts, dates, apricot, raspberry, fruit preserves, chocolate, and even cream cheese -- would make a great addition to any holiday cookie exchange.

This recipe, from joyofkosher.com, uses dates, walnuts, and ground cardamom to make a sweet and nutty filling, but feel free to fill the pastry pockets with whatever you please.

Date Walnut Hamantaschen yields 3 dozen 2/3 cup pareve margarine 1/2 cup Sugar 1 egg 1/2 tsp vanilla 2½ - 3 cups sifted unbleached flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 cup chopped dates 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 2 - 3 tbsp sugar 1/2 - 3/4 tsp ground cardamom 1 tbsp. rose water (optional)

Directions

Use a mixer to cream the shortening and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla and continue creaming until smooth.

Stir in the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt until a ball of dough is formed.

Chill dough for 2-3 hours, or overnight.

Prepare filling using chopped dates, walnuts, sugar and optional rose water.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using 1/4 of the dough (keep rest in refrigerator), roll out on a lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut circles of dough with a drinking glass or round cookie-cutter. 8

With your finger put water around the rim of the circle. Fill with 1 teaspoon filling and fold into three-cornered cookies. Repeat, using rest of dough and filling.

Bake on a well-greased cookie sheet 10-16 minutes, until the tops are golden.

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