Sunday, March 23, 2008


These jelly-filled cookies are traditionally made for the Jewish holiday Purim, and the shape is meant to represent the three-cornered hat that the biblical villain Hamen wore when he tried to have Queen Esther (and all the Jews) killed. In some countries, people also eat Hamen's ears! This recipe is from Joan Nathan's "Jewish Cooking in America." Over the years, my mother and I have discovered that certain jams work better than others: fruits like blueberries, that have less natural pectin tend to get runny and ooze out of the cookies while they bake. For this same reason, store-bought jam is preferable to homemade, unless you have some very firm homemade jam on hand. Our favorite (for its flavor and consistency) has always been apricot.

2/3 C butter
1/2 C sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 C unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Jellies or jams of your choice

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and process till smooth. Add the dry ingredients and process until a ball is formed. Chill the dough for 2-3 hours, or overnight.

Taking 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll out on a lightly floured board to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch circles. Drop one teaspoon of jam in the center of each circle, and then bring the dough up around it, pressing the three corners down well. Bake at 375 degrees on a well-greased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Makes 36 cookies.

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