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Let’s Make Savory Hamantaschen for Purim!

(Photo: flickr/sierravalleygirl)

Next weekend Jews around the world will celebrate Purim! It’s one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. During the Purim celebration, Jews participate in a boisterous public reading of the biblical book of Esther, as well as delivering baskets of food and drink to friends, eating hat-shaped cookies, or hamantaschen, and dressing up in costume.

Hamantaschen is a cookie usually filled with sweet jam or poppy seeds, but today’s recipe from My Jewish Learning shows us how to make a savory filling!

See the recipe below, and learn more about the Jewish holiday Purim here.

Ingredients

pinch of pepper

(optional garnish) course sea salt

1 egg

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

pinch of sugar

pinch of salt

3 onions, chopped

1 Tablespoon butter or oil

1 cup butter, chopped into 1 inch sqares

3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (about 3 twigs, stripped)

2 cups white flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Directions

Make pastry:

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and herbs. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. Pour in 1/4 cup of water and mix until large clumps form (if you need it, you can slowly add the other 1/4 cup of water). Pat the clumps into two balls but be careful not to overwork the dough. Put the dough in the refrigerator and chill for one hour. Keep your flour on hand for the rolling out portion of the hamantaschen making. In the meantime, make the filling.

Make the filling:

Melt butter or heat oil in a heavy skillet and cook the onion with the pinches of salt and sugar. Begin at medium high heat to get a bit of color, then lower the heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Once your onions are caramelized you can set them aside until your dough is ready. Once they come to room temperature, mix them with your egg and feta cheese and a bit of pepper. Set the filling aside.

Roll out one of the balls (if you’re new to rolling out dough, keep in mind that you want everything to stay as cold as possible and that adding flour prevents your dough from sticking to surfaces…you can always brush off the extra). Press out rounds using cups with about a 3 inch diameter. Place a 1/2 teaspoon of filling in the center of each one, and then pinch up 3 points to make a triangle. Repeat with the other ball of dough. Arrange on your baking sheets and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until the hamantaschen have a nice golden brown hue.

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