It comes just once a year, kind of like color war at the end of summer camp. This special war involves food, specifically one of the most iconic foods eaten on Jewish holidays: the three-cornered pastry that commemorates Esther's and Mordechai’s battle against he whose name, when said in the Megillah, we drown out with groggers.
To celebrate Purim and Esther's and Mordechai’s victory over the nameless one, Federation is holding its first ever Hamantaschen Wars.
Federation is proud to announce the winner of its first ever Hamantaschen Wars. Bragging rights go to Jaclyn Goldberg for the best hamantaschen recipe in Rockland County courtesy of David Kolotkin, who judged all entries. Congratulations Jaclyn Goldberg. You also win a one-on-one conversation with Chef Kolotkin to discuss any element of cookery or bakery, whether hamantaschen or something else of your choice.
Have you made your hamantaschen this year? Perhaps you'd like to try one of the recipes here. Chag Sameach! Happy Purim!
*We will accept recipes from northern New Jersey, and the counties around Rockland.
To enter: the recipe must include a complete listing of all ingredients and instructions. All ingredients must follow Jewish dietary laws. The pastries must be shaped as triangles. We encourage you to use Israeli ingredients.
All recipes must be submitted by Friday, February 12 at 3 p.m. The winner will be announced on Federation’s Facebook page on Tuesday, February 23. Please be sure to include your email address and the best phone number where you can be reached.
Chef Kolotkin is well-positioned to be the judge of the best hamantaschen recipe. He has spent over two decades working and operating world renowned restaurants, including The "21" Club, Windows on The World, Patroon, and 15 years as The Corporate Executive Chef Director of the iconic kosher restaurant, The Prime Grill. He has been executive chef for numerous Passover, Sukkot, and Hanukkah programs throughout California, Colorado, Utah and Florida at only the finest hotels such as St. Regis, Four Seasons and Fairmont Resorts.
Chef Kolotkin is a graduate of The Culinary Institute Of America and a recipient of the Christopher Keating award of " Most Likely To Succeed". He has appeared on Fox 5, CBS, and NBC, and is the author of The Prime Grill Cookbook published by Pelican Publishers.
Beat eggs, then add other wet ingredients in bowl
Add flour one cup at a time until mixed in well. If consistency of dough too sticky can add in a small handful of flour until consistency more useable.
Sprinkle a pinch of flour on wax paper or placemat and spread around so dough doesn't stick.
Roll out dough, use cookie circle cookie cutter (3-inch average) or end of a cup. Add fillings and follow instructions to close them up.
Bake @ 350 for 20 minutes
Cookies will expand while baking so make sure leave space when placing on baking sheet
For crispier cookies roll dough thin, for softer cookies roll to medium thickness.
Cooking times may vary depending on thickness so check mid-way.
If place on bottom rack of oven cook faster so be sure to check not burning
Fillings - can use regular jam/jelly or Solo brand filling in baking aisle. Other options include chocolate chips, chocolate spread, Nutella, Hershey kiss, apple butter, etc.
Let cool before storing them
Soften margarine to room temperature. In electric mixer, cream margarine with sugar until well combined. Add eggs, beat well, add orange juice and vanilla. On low speed, add flour and baking powder. Mixture will be soft. You may add more flour as needed. Separate into 3 or 4 balls, wrap in wax paper or place in plastic bag and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Dough can be made in advance and frozen.
If making dough in food processor: using metal blade, put flour, sugar and baking powder into processor bowl. Add margarine, divided into small pieces. Pulse processor to mix. While running, add eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Process by short bursts or by pulsing until mixture forms a ball. Proceed as above.
Solo canned poppy filling
Solo canned prune filling
Hershey’s chocolate spread
Nutella (makes hamantaschen dairy)
½ lb dried apricots
water to cover
Place dried apricots in saucepan. Add enough water to just cover apricots. Simmer for ½ hour, checking & stirring frequently, adding more water as necessary until apricots are soft. Drain well. . Place in food processor and process until thick paste. This method may be used with other dried fruits. (Last year I used Cran Raisins which were delicious)
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll a ball of dough on lightly floured board. Cut rounds with cookie cutter or the top of a drinking glass, whatever size you prefer (I find 3” round works well). Place about one teaspoon of filling in center; pinch or fold sides to form triangle (pinch poppy seed filling very well as it expands & hamantaschen open up). Bake until lightly brown, at 350 for about 12-15 minutes. I don’t know how many this recipe makes; it depends on the size of the glass or cookie cutter you use.
(Makes four dozen)
Combine ingredients in order given, using enough flour to make a soft dough which is not sticky. Let it stand at least half an hour. Divide into 4 parts. Roll to ½ inch thickness on a floured board and cut into 4 inch circles. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle and form into triangles. Bake on a lightly greased sheet at 350 for 30 minutes.
Fill with Solo filling (I use apricot or raspberry), or chocolate chips (yum), or make your own filling.
I found this in a synagogue bulletin in Houston Texas when I was living there many years ago.
I've been using it for my hamantaschen ever since.
Rabbi Jill Hackell
My grandmother, Lena Konigsberg, was one of the best bakers in the world. Of course, that's always been my opinion, subjective as it might be. Her hamantaschen are a hit with family and strangers alike. Every year I have to make at least 250 of them to send them to family in New York, Florida, Chicago, and lately Bloomington, IN where one of my grandsons goes to college.
I hope you like it.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7 C flour
1 C plus 2 huge Tbsp of shortening
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C. sugar
1 C orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
Blend into dry ingredients and form into a ball. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Filling 2 lbs. of prunes
1 lb. of apricots
3 T to 1 1/2 cups sugar, depending upon your taste
1 C walnuts
Steam the prunes and apricots together on low heat until tender. Then, after cooled down, place in a food processor and swirl until combined. Add the sugar and the chopped nuts.
This amount of filling will be just right for the dough you make in this recipe. Adjust the amount of filling you make if you are going to make other fillings. I like apricot by itself. My kids like peanut butter. If you use peanut butter, be sure to add an egg yolk so it doesn't go all over your baking pan.
Roll the dough thin, approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Cut circles (I use a 4 inch shape). Place a tablespoon of filling on the circle. I dot the edge of the circle with a little water so the sides will stick together when baking. Pince half the sides together. Then push the other half perpendicular to the pinched-together sides to get a triangle shape.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
(Recipe by Miriam Allenson)