Ashkenazi-style haroset made with apples, cinnamon, walnuts, and sweet wine may be the haroset many North American Jews grew up eating. But there is a whole other world of harosets out there, quite literally.
Like so many other Jewish foods, each region where Jews have lived developed their own spin on haroset. Some make it with dates, others with dates and raisins, and even others with apples and dates. The symbolism of the dish is perhaps more important than the actual ingredients, which is why you can really make it any way you like.
But if you are looking to try a different recipe this year, pick your favorite region! I tried out this Moroccan haroset and my family loved it. Here are a few others and a short video on how to make this important (and delicious) Passover dish.
VIDEO: How to Make Sephardi Haroset
Putting the final touches on your Passover seder menu? Don’t forget one of the most important, and easiest, dishes: the haroset.
Haroset symbolizes the mortar used by the slaves in Egypt, and so it’s not only a tasty part of the seder, it’s a pretty important part of the Passover story as well.
There are dozens of ways to make haroset, and different Jewish communities from around the world all have their own version. But today we are going to focus on one of the most popular ways that North American Jews enjoy haroset, and that is the apple, walnut, cinnamon and sweet wine version that many of us know from our childhood and beyond.
After spending time with my own 90 year old grandmother and talking haroset, I learned she never even made hers: her dear friend Clare, of blessed memory, used to make a large enough batch for both families. (Note: Clare was a much better cook than my grandmother. So, thanks Clare.)
We based our version on this classic recipe from Claudia Roden. But here is another version I like to make with candied walnuts, pomegranate juice and pomegranate seeds.
Now it’s all here in one video, in one post–from A-Z, from Ahasuerus to Zeresh–how do you make those perfect hamantaschen? Here you have it, in short little videos with my own two hands and messy kitchen.
This little guide is geared toward avoiding the worst pre-Purim fate: making beautiful, delicious-looking hamantaschen and then opening up the oven only to find they have exploded all over the place.
With these few easy steps, we think all bakers can avoid the curse of the leaky hamantaschen.
Find our classic hamantaschen dough recipe below, and tons of variations here.
And without further ado, here is a 1-minute video that combines all the steps (including a surreptitious Nutella-lick) into a quick jaunty watch:
Now let’s take that one step at a time:
Step 1: Make the dough and chill it for at least an hour.
Step 2: Roll it out your chilled dough to 1/4-1/2 inch thick:
Step 3: Cut out your cookies using a regular old drinking glass or 2.5 inch round cookie cutter.
Step 4: Place a scant 1/2 teaspoon of filling in each round, then fold the sides up pinching carefully along the edge and three corners.
Step 5: Place cookies in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before baking. This will help the cookies set and further ensure no leaking.
Bake, cool, and enjoy!
½ cup butter (or margarine)
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp milk (or almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add egg, milk, vanilla and orange zest until mixed thoroughly.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add dry mixture to wet mixture until incorporated.
Note: if the dough is too soft, increase flour amount by 1/4 cup of flour at a time until firm.
Chill dough for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Dust surface with powdered sugar or flour to keep from sticking. Roll the dough to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
Using a round cookie cutter, cut out and place onto cookie sheet. To keep the dough from sticking to your cutter, dip in powdered sugar or flour before each cut.
Fill hamantaschen with scant 1/2 tsp of filling in each.
Carefully fold in the edges to form a triangular shape, and pinch the corners and edges tightly to seal.
Bake at 400° for about 7-9 minutes.
I grew up in Chicago, and my mother shopped at a variety of kosher butchers. That said, in Chicago, the understood rule is that all kosher hotdogs need to come from Romanian, an old style kosher butcher. Today Romanian is the only kosher butcher left in Chicago (there are lots of places to buy kosher meat, but Romanian is the only real butcher). Watch this fun video about Romanian. I’m not sure if my favorite part is when he admits they have bad service, or looking at the random boxes piled around the store.