Food related traditions like hamantashen are some of my favorite parts of being Jewish. I had to work on this hamantashen recipe for a while, because creating a gluten-free cookie dough that can be rolled and cut is no easy task. But I think I’ve finally got it (don’t skip chilling the dough, it really makes all the difference)!
This recipe makes hamentashen that are crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. If you prefer them to be completely crispy, bake an additional 2-3 minutes.
*Make sure you choose a gluten-free flour that includes xanthan gum (I like Bob's Wonderful Bread Mix or Namaste Foods Perfect Flour Blend), or add 1 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum with the flour.
Cream margarine and sugar on high for 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, allowing to combine before adding the next.
In a separate bowl, whisk together baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 cups of gluten-free flour (and xanthan gum if required). Turn mixer to the lowest speed and add to wet mixture a 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the dry ingredients to be incorporated before adding more. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
Divide the dough into four parts, roll each into a ball, wrap separately in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Dust the counter and the rolling pin with gluten-free flour. Remove 1 dough ball from the refrigerator and cut into circles using a 4 oz. mason jar or small juice glass (if the dough is too sticky to roll out and cut, add additional flour a tablespoon at a time until it is pliable enough). Fill with 1/4 tsp tsp of filling, pinch into a triangle, and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Repeat with remaining dough balls.
Rella Kaplowitz has blogged gluten-free and mostly dairy-free as the Penny Pinching Epicure for the last 3 years. In "real life," Rella lives in Washington, DC with her husband where she specializes in organizational improvement consulting for the federal government.
Well I am just tickled to share that I have been asked to serve as a judge at an upcoming Hamantaschen Throwdown, being hosted by Jersey Tribe on Sunday, March 3rd. What a perfect role for me – not only do I get to participate in the most beloved Jewish female activity, judging, but I will also get to taste a variety of Hamantaschen and weigh in with my preferences. There will also be a Persian cooking class as part of the evening, and you may recall my expressed adoration of all things Persian, especially food.
As I have mentioned before, I do not typically like hamantaschen so I hope the contestants will be bringing their A game. The three contestants kindly shared some brief information about their plans for the competition: Hindy Garfinkel, a fellow food blogger at Confident Cook plans to go a savory route while Lisa Radding will be bringing her family’s dough recipe as part of her arsenal. The third contestant, Christine Broussard, shared a number of unique flavor combinations she is considering for the throwdown. I can’t wait to see what the three bakers come up with as their final product.
For more information about the event you can visit Jersey Tribe. I will be sure to report back with the winning combination and hopefully a new recipe you can add to your own Purim arsenal.
In the meantime, we have a GLUTEN FREE hamantaschen recipe from a guest blogger this week so stay tuned!
Yesterday I posted our latest guest post featuring a gorgeous Valentines Day themed tri-color cupcake. And while I am not surprised some of our readers took issue with Jews celebrating Valentines Day, nevertheless I wanted to address it.
I did not grow up celebrating Purim, but I did grow up celebrating Valentine’s Day. Each year my dad would bring home a single red rose to my mother and a box of her favorite chocolates from a local chocolatier. He would also bring me a present – some years a fancy box of chocolates with a silk flower on the cover; other years a bouquet of my own flowers; and one year a small gold heart necklace. I loved these small tokens and have fond memories of my father’s simple romantic gesture to my mother.
I understand that for some Jews, celebrating a seemingly Christian holiday feels problematic, and frankly, I am not going to argue with anyone and try to convince them one way or the other. The amazing Rabbi Mike Uram offers his assessment of whether or not it is problematic for Jews to celebrate Valentine’s Day, so feel free to read his view, or any other that you like.
But what I want to say about this is: many Americans Jews (dare I say – the majority) feel the same way I do and like celebrating “Hallmark holidays” like Valentine’s Day. We are American, and we celebrate American holidays (and Jewish holidays too) even if they sometimes feel silly or superficial because something in these traditions connects us to one another.
I do celebrate Purim now, and can’t wait to dress up with my daughter and husband in a few weeks. And I do love making Hamantaschen, just like I enjoy a good box of drug-store-bought chocolates with a silk flower on top. At the end of the day, I respect all Jews’ choices and traditions and don’t care whether we agree on what those choices and traditions should be; my only hope and expectation is that other Jews will respect my choices in return.
But onto the really important stuff: what kind of Hamantaschen will I be making this year!?
Last year I made PB& Jelly Hamntaschen which were a huge it as well as a s’mores flavor with chocolate and mini marshmallows. Both these flavors deserve a repeat performance, and I am also thinking about a berries ‘n cream or chocolate caramel flavored Hamanhaschen. Stay tuned for what I cook up this year!
In need of THE BEST recipe for Hamantaschen? We’ve got that too so try out this recipe – it’s the only recipe I will use.
I have had a lot of confessions this week…so here is yet another one: my husband and I are obsessed with all things Persian! We have a number of close friends from Iranian-Jewish families, and we have always been fascinated by their traditions, history and (of course) FOOD! But this interest has reached new heights over the past few months.
Last week writer Esther Amini welcomed us into her home for Shabbat lunch, where we enjoyed home-cooked Persian rice and two kinds of Persian stew including my favorite, ghormeh sabzi. My husband has also been experimenting with some Persian-inspired recipes from the cookbook Jerusalem, which have been delicious, if not somewhat time consuming to prepare.
And I would be remiss not to mention my husband’s almost-obsessive interest in the Bravo TV show Shahs of Sunset (his favorite character is Reza). While their typical Bravo-drama antics may be what is “entertaining,” a glimpse into the Persian immigrant culture of Los Angeles has been fascinating. A few of the characters even come from Iranian-Jewish families including handsome Mike and the ever-hysterical Reza, whose father is Jewish.
Purim is coming up soon, a holiday truly steeped in Persian history and tradition. The Book of Esther recounts the story of Purim, telling of how the Jews of Persia were saved from destruction. Purim is truly one of the most joyous Jewish holidays, when we are obligated to drink, eat and celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than to share in the diversity of Jewish traditions and foods!?
Well, all this is to say….we are looking for YOUR Persian Purim recipes! If you’ve got a great family recipe and story to share, we would love to feature it for our readers. Email us your recipe, a photo if you’ve got one and if appropriate, a short story about the recipe, to TheNosher.Contests@gmail.com.
Deadline is Friday, February 15th at noon. We can’t wait to see what treats you’ve got – and try them out for our own families.
It’s almost time for Purim, so no better way to start Shabbat than with this creative recipe for Hamantaschen Challah!
I love classic roasted chicken for Shabbat dinner, but sometimes you need something a little different. Try this Spinach Stuffed Roasted Chicken from Overtime Cook as a new twist on classic Friday night chicken.
No matter how many times I make brussel sprouts, or how many recipes I come across, I simply cannot get enough! This week I came across this simple, tasty recipe for Zesty Fried Brussel Sprouts, which makes a perfect veggie side.
Shabbat Shalom and happy cooking!