Issa Cooks: Hamantaschen

Any holiday centered around costumes, feasts, and excessive amounts of drinking deserves to be celebrated to its fullest. Purim is celebrated in memory of the Jews surviving a near-genocide by the evil Haman in Persia. Haman is known to have worn a triangular hat; these celebratory cookies (modeled after a popular poppy seed filled pastry in Germany) are shaped just like the villain's wardrobe and have been a symbol of the holiday for centuries! Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, room temperature 2/3 Cup Sugar 1 Egg 1 Tbs Vanilla 1 Tbs Orange Juice 2 1/3 Cups Flour Pinch of Salt 1 Can Cherry Pie Filling, Chilled

Beat the butter and sugar together. If you don't have an electric mixer, cutting the butter into small slices before beating the mixture with a fork will help excessively.

Once the ingredients are sufficiently blended, crack the egg in a separate bowl and pour it into the mixture. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and orange juice. 

Slowly add flour, 1/3 cup at a time, to the dough and mix until the dough and smooth and without clumps. Sprinkle in your salt during this process.

Knead in all of the flour until the dough is thick and can maintain its shape.

Roll into a ball and refrigerate (covered) for 1-5 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees before you're ready to bake!

Flour a clean surface and grab a rolling pin (if you don't have one a floured glass or jar works just as well). Roll the dough until it's 1/4 inch thick. Remember to flip  the dough frequently so it doesn't stick!

Use a glass (about 2-3 inches in diameter) and cut circles into the dough.  

Pull away the extraneous dough and put cookie circles on a greased cookie sheet.

Now the fun part- the filling!  Remove chilled filling from refrigerator (keeping it chilled helps the cherries in sauce maintain their shape when baking).  Drop about a teaspoon (3 cherries) in the center of the cookie.  While it's tempting to add overflowing amounts of the sugary goop, it will spill out and burn on the pan.  Try and resist the urge?

 Fold one side about a 1/4 inch over the filling. 

Fold the next side over to make a triangle.

Fold the last part on top and voila, a triangle cookie!  Feel free to dab the corners with warm water if they're not fully sticking together.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the corners are a golden brown.  

Wait for the filling to stop bubbling and move hamantaschen to a cooling rack.  Enjoy!

And don't forget to share with friends, as traditional for Purim!