The celebration of Purim is a festive time in Israel that is mandated in the book of Esther and is still a fun celebration of treats and costumes, commemorating the story of Esther and how her bravery helped save the Jewish people. Today, celebrations fill the streets with parades and an important Jewish treat for the day, hamantaschen purim cookies.
Hamantaschen purim cookies are triangle shaped cookies made to resemble Haman’s three pointed hat. It is also said to be shaped like his ears. Haman was the villain of this Biblical account who was trying to wipe out the Jewish race through deceiving King Xerxes.
Making hamantaschen purim cookies is a time honored tradition in Jewish culture and consists of a three cornered, shortbread like cookie with dried fruit or other filling in the middle such as chocolate. Dates and poppy seeds are the traditional flavors, but there are countless variations that can be made to suit people’s tastes. It is recommended to make a few variations at once so you can get different flavored cookies with minimal effort!
Do you want to try to make your own hamantaschen purim cookies:
To make the famous tradition cookies, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
Gather the following ingredients to make 24 cookies:
1 cup of sugar
1 1/3 cups of butter
2 large eggs
6 Tablespoons of water
1/2 teaspoon of either orange or vanilla extract
4 cups of flour
Powdered Sugar (Optional)
Choice of Filling
Cream together the butter and sugar. It’s best to have the butter be room temperature.
Mix in the eggs one at a time and then the water and extract of choice.
Add flour one cup at a time to make a ball.
Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least an hour, or overnight.
Take out of fridge and put on a floured surface and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Take a 3” cookie cutter or glass rim and cut circles and lay out for filling.
Choose your filling. (see below)
Put about two teaspoons of filling and place in center of dough cutouts.
Pinch the cookies into three corners to make a triangle and the appearance of a pouch for the filling.
Put on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Other ways to enjoy and celebrate Purim include the following:
- Read the Book of Esther- What better way to celebrate the story of Esther than to read the story of Esther! Esther is a wonderful role model for children to be brave and stand up for what is right, even if it isn’t easy. One of the most known verses of the Bible used to inspire people who find them in extraordinary circumstances is Esther 4:14
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
2. Send gifts of food to friends. It is customary to send at least two gifts of food comprised of ready-made food and beverages. Even better is to send these gifts through a messenger instead of giving it directly. Children love to be the messengers!
3. Dress up in costume! Purim is a festive and fun celebration and many wear “disguises” in honor of Esther. Much like Halloween, while mostly children dress up, it is also normal for adults to dress up too and participate in festivals and parades.
4. Fast and Feast. Many people will fast during the daylight hours the day before Purim is held in honor of the fasting that was held by the Jewish people in the story of Esther. Then, the evening of Purim is one big feast and party! There is much food and wine and sining and celebration, just like it says happened after their victory!
We hope you have a very wonderful celebration of this fun holiday and that next year you will consider a celebration in Israel! Start planning your trip now and talk to our tour operators today!