Hamantaschen are one of the most common gourmet foods world-wide. They are sought after for their gooey goodness intertwined with a scrumptious cookie texture. Indeed, the beauty of this food is rare, and it is a favorite of artists throughout the globe.
This still life oil painting rendered by John Vander Stelt illustrates the comfort and amusement one can derive from a seemingly simple food item.
Hamantaschen originated in the former Persian Empire, currently known as Iran. At the time, Persia was a vast empire, having conquered most of the civilized world. Haman was a barber turned royal advisor to King Xerxes I.
Xerxes I did not enjoy having his hair cut.
There was much political intrigue during the reign of Xerxes, which included back stabbing, finger pointing, and copious amounts of assassination. Fortunately, fine people remained amongst the living and Hamantaschen were created amidst this tumultuous epoch. This warrants a lot of noise.
If you have no bakery which sells hamantaschen, gather the following:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups flour
2 tsps. baking powder
strawberry or apricot preserves (everyone knows strawberry’s the best, but I’m just giving you options here)
greased cookie sheet
If you have all of those things in addition to a kitchen with a working oven, do this:
Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl, then mix everything else into that bowl EXCEPT for the PRESERVES. Save those for the filling. As we were saying, mix that whole recipe (except for preserves) and it will form into a dough. Flatten your dough on a floured surface. Cut your dough into circles using the opening of a cup or a round cookie cutter. Place 1/2 tsp. of preserves/filling in the middle of each circle. Lift the bottom, right, and left sides of the dough to form a triangle. Place on greased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350.
Traditionally, hamantaschen are eaten in noisy localities, so if you do not have friends who are willing to scream in your ears, eat your hamantaschen in a subway station, airport, or elementary school during recess. Other, admittedly less comfortable, locations include outside during a thunderstorm, on a speedboat in middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and from the center of a random demonstration.