The three-cornered filled pastries known as Hamantashen are a traditional Purim treat. The name literally means "Haman Pockets," but they are also called "Haman's Hat." Is Israel they are called "Ozney Haman" -- Haman's Ears! In Yiddish, the word for poppy is mon. Tash means pocket. A "mon-tash" then, is a "poppy pocket," which is an apt description of the pastry itself. When the Hebrew definite article "Ha" is added you get "ha-mon-tash." The fact that the "ha-mon" part sounds like the name of the villain of the Esther story may be the reason that the "hamantash" became associated with Purim. In any case, in the Jewish world of today it wouldn't be Purim without them, so here's a recipe so you can make your own:
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 pound of butter, melted
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup honey
- Poppy-seed filling (buy ready made or make your own).
- Preheat oven to 350÷F
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
- Mix in the eggs, honey and butter.
- Roll out the mixture onto a lightly flowered board. (This is a very sticky dough because of the honey, so have some extra flour handy to sprinkle in as needed in order to get it to roll flat).
- Use a glass or cookie cutter with about a 3" diameter to cut the dough into little circles.
- Put a little filling in the center of each circle and fold the edges into the three cornered shape, leaving an opening in the center.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let cool.
YIELD: about 48 hamantashen.
POPPY SEED Filling:
- 2 cups poppy seeds
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Bring water to boil in a small saucepan
- Put seeds in a strainer and pour the boiling water over them.
- Drain thoroughly
- Grind the seeds in a mortar or food processor.
- Place the ground seeds in a medium saucepan and add the honey, sugar and salt.
- Cook over a low flame until thick, stirring continually.
YIELD: enough filling for about 48 hamantashen.