Monday, November 2, 2020




A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by preparing
the hamantashen; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:
  1. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer.
  2. Measure and combine ingredients.
  3. Roll out dough and cut into rounds.
  4. Make lekvar filling for hamantashen.
  5. Form dough circles around filling into triangular shapes.
  6. Bake cookies and remove from pan.
B. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of Purim by completing the final Sample Test.



1. The dough for this recipe must be well-chilled to roll out properly and so must be made ahead of time. It will keep for several days in the refrigerator if necessary.

2. Allow the students to prepare one batch of dough so that they can see how it is done.

3. While some of the students are preparing the dough, others can be preparing the lekvar filling. The honey-walnut filling can be made ahead if desired as it must be cool to use. It can be skipped for purposes of the classroom and made by the students at home if they wish to try it.

4. Have several students rolling out and re-rolling the dough while others cut and remove the rounds to pans, still others fill each circle, and some form the circles into triangles. These jobs can be rotated so that each student gets to try each part of the operation.


1. Fillings such as lekvar (prune), poppy seed, almond, cherry, etc. can be purchased at most supermarkets already prepared and ready to use. If you are making several batches of dough with several classes, it is nice to have a variety of fillings.

2. Demonstrate the method of turning up the edges of the circle to form a triangle before allowing the students to begin.

3. If time allows, roll the scraps together after cutting circles, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for a few minutes before re-rolling. They will roll out more evenly when they are cold.

4. Edges cannot be pinched together if filling gets between them so try not to overfill the centers.

5. Plastic yogurt cups and orange juice cans make good cookie cutters.

6. This dough can be re-rolled and floured a good number of times before becoming "tough" so it is pretty sturdy to use with novices.

7. Use only “Wondra” flour for this recipe. It is a granulated flour which does not need sifting and nothing else has the same texture.

8. The pans need only be lightly floured and not greased for this recipe.


A. Ask the students if they have ever sent or received a mishloach manot package and how they felt about it if they did. What kinds of goodies were in it? How was it packaged? Who sent it and who received it? If they could choose, what are their favorite items to receive as food gifts?

B. Hamantashen can be frozen nicely and can be baked in quantity, frozen, stored, and sent to a shelter or nursing home as mishloach manot when enough have been prepared by the class.

C. A Purim Se’udah can be thought of as a “theme party” with the theme being masquerade, joke-telling, and general clowning. What sort of foods would be in keeping with this theme? What sort of decoration for the table?

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup butter)
  • 1 doz. eggs
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3-1/2 c. Wondra flour
  • all-purpose flour for rolling and dusting
  • 2-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • fillings (lekvar, poppy seed, cherry, etc.)
If making lekvar filling:
  • 1/2 c. dark raisins
  • 1 T. honey
  • cinnamon
  • electric mixer
  • small bowls
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • plastic wrap
  • rolling pins
  • cookie cutters
  • baking pans
  • mixing spoons
  • 2 batches of dough made ahead
  • honey-walnut filling (optional)



    During ancient times in Persia, an evil minister named Haman schemed and connived his way into a position of enormous influence with the King. When King Ahasueras decreed that all must bow down to him, another advisor who was a Jew named Mordechai, refused. Haman used this opportunity to accuse the Jews of being disloyal and persuaded the king to set a date for the extermination of all the Jews in the country. The date was to be set by the casting of “lots” or Purim in Hebrew. Unknown to both Haman and King Ahasueras was the fact that the beloved Queen Esther was a Jew and a cousin to the condemned Mordechai. She prepared a feast for the king and, at the risk of her own life, pleaded with the king to spare her people’s lives. This made the king realize what a danger Haman had become and so the king had him hanged on the gallows that Haman had prepared for Mordechai. On the date that had been scheduled for the destruction of the Jews (the thirteenth of Adar), the king allowed them to take vengeance on the enemies who wished to destroy them. On the following day, there was a great celebration of the victory, but in the walled capital city of Shushan, the fighting continued for one more day and so the celebration was delayed. As a result, it is customary for Jews in walled cities to celebrate Purim on the fifteenth of the month of Adar, rather than the fourteenth as elsewhere. This celebration is called Shushan Purim, but in reality, the celebration is such a major event in Israel that most people celebrate both days.
    The holiday is marked by a carnival and parade called Ad’lo’yada which comes from the Talmudic suggestion that one should drink enough wine so that he “doesn't know the difference” between the names Mordechai and Haman during the reading of the Megillah, or scroll which tells the story of Queen Esther. Children and adults dress in masquerade. A festive meal is eaten called a Purim Se’udah during which merriment and joke-telling are the order of the day. It is also a time to distribute gifts of food called mishloach manot in Hebrew to friends, relatives, and the poor.
    Triangular-shaped cookies called hamantashen are a traditional treat among the Ashkenazim, but how they came to be associated with Purim is obscure. One explanation is that they already existed in the form of mohn tashen, meaning poppy-seed pockets. The similarity of the name of these cookies may have caused them to be renamed Haman tashen as a remembrance of the bribes that lined the evil Haman's pockets. In Israel, they are known as oznai Haman, or Haman’s ears.

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3-1/2 c. Wondra flour
  • 2-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • Fillings (Lekvar, Honey-Walnut, Cherry, Poppy Seed)
1. Cream butter with sugar in bowl of electric mixer.

2. Add eggs one at a time.

3. Add salt, flour and baking powder.

4. Add vanilla and orange juice.

5. Mix together well and chill at least two hours in refrigerator.

6. Divide into four portions and roll out on a well-floured surface until about 1/8-inch thick.

7. Cut with a large thin-edged cup or drinking glass or round cookie cutter making cuts close together to avoid re-rolling wherever possible.

8. Place on a floured cookie sheet or baking pan.

9. Place a scant tablespoonful of filling in the center.

10. Turn up opposing edges of the circle and pinch together at the corner where they meet.

11. Bring up remaining edge of the circle and pinch together at the corners where it meets the first two edges to form a triangle.

12. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

13. Re-roll scraps and proceed again from Step 7.

Makes 35-38 cookies.

Fillings for Hamantashen

Lekvar Filling
  • 1-lb 1-oz. jar lekvar
  • 1/2 c. dark raisins
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
1. Stir these all together and use as filling for hamantashen.

Honey-Walnut Filling
  • 3/4 c. honey
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 t. grated orange rind
1. Place the honey, walnuts, sugar and bread crumbs in a saucepan.

2. Stir constantly over low heat until the mixture becomes thick. Scrape the bottom as you stir to prevent sticking.

3. Remove from heat and stir in grated orange rind.

4. Cool before using.

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