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Purim is right around the corner! Among the traditions of the holiday is the exchanging of gifts of food with one another. Many communities exchange mishloach manot (Hebrew: sending of portions). In our Ladino community, I’ve always heard it referred to as Platikos di Purim (Purim plates). As part of the Platikos, my mother usually makes biscochos, boulicunio and baklava.
Biscochos are often called tea biscuits. We think of them as a “biscotti”, a crunchy treat! Biscochos are a bit sweet and are wonderful with your morning coffee (could be afternoon or evening coffee or tea or even milk, for that matter!!) If you want to add a little flair to your Purim celebration, my mother’s recipe for biscochos is below!
In the month of Adar, our joy is increased. In commemoration of Haman’s evil decree to annihilate the Jewish people in ancient Persia and the miracle of the turnaround from fear to triumph as Queen Esther and her uncle, Mordechai, found favor with the King and the Jewish people were spared and Haman, instead, was hanged, we rejoice, we remember, we celebrate and we stand strong.
May we continue to celebrate in joy; may we share memories and stories of the holidays past with our children and grandchildren; may we create new memories with them, as we celebrate today. May ‘evil decrees’ be lifted and light and right triumph over darkness. May we savor the treats we bake and share, and may our hands always be blessed.
Biscochos de Huevo – Kaye Hasson Israel
1 C eggs (by volume)
1 C sugar
3/4 C oil
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
5 – 7 C flour
1 egg + 1 drop of water, beaten well
(alternative to sesame seeds: cinnamon and sugar or “sprinkles”)
With electric mixer, beat eggs and oil in a mixing bowl. Add sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended. Add flour and baking powder gradually, knead into a medium dough until no longer sticky.
Place onto floured work area and finish kneading dough with additional flour as needed. Dough should not be sticky as long as you can handle it without it sticking to your hands.
Take walnut-sized pieces and roll down on table with palms of hands into a rope 5 inches long and only 1/2 inch thick.
Press down with fingers to create channel;
Fold rope over and cut slits into the edge.
Join into a bracelet shape. Brush egg on top side.
Dip top side into chosen topping ( sesame, cinnamon sugar or sprinkles):
Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from pan. Allow to cool.
Pronounced: PUR-im, the Feast of Lots, Origin: Hebrew, a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre during the Persian period.