On Purim, Jews are commanded to send out gifts of food or drink, and to make gifts to charity. The sending of gifts of food and drink is referred to as shalach manot (Hebrew for “sending out portions”). Among Ashkenazic Jews, a common treat at this time of year is hamantaschen (or Haman's pockets). These triangular fruit-filled cookies are supposed to represent Haman's three-cornered hat.
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup orange juice (the smooth kind, not the pulpy)
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup wheat flour (DO NOT substitute white flour! The wheat flour is necessary to achieve the right texture!)
- Various preserves, fruit butters and/or pie fillings.
Blend butter and sugar thoroughly. Add the egg and blend thoroughly. Add OJ and blend thoroughly. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating white and wheat, blending thoroughly between each. Refrigerate batter overnight or at least a few hours. Roll as thin as you can without getting holes in the batter (roll it between two sheets of wax paper lightly dusted with flour for best results). Cut out 3 or 4 inch circles. Put a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each circle. Fold up the sides to make a triangle, overlapping the sides as much as possible so only a little filling shows through the middle. Squeeze the corners firmly, so they don't come undone while baking. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown but before the filling boils over!