Sugar cookies, Purim Punch, and of course… Hamantashen!
QUEEEN ESTHER’S JEWELS: SUGAR COOKIES FOR PURIM
*Or, use sugar cookie mix available in the baking aisle at grocery stores, follow baking directions on the package Note: the packaged mix makes a very soft dough while the from-scratch mix is a bit sturdier.
Kids love fresh-squeezed juice. Buy a large bag of juicing oranges and some grapefruits. A juicer or an electric squeezer makes this process much simpler. It also is easier to juice fruits that are at room temperature. Gently press and roll the oranges and grapefruits to soften the interior of the fruit. Then wash and cut the fruit in half, and squeeze the fruit.
Depending on the juice content of the fruit, you will need three to four oranges or two oranges and one grapefruit for each glassful. Decorate with a maraschino cherry or a strawberry. Pouring in some lemon-lime soda will add a sparkle and fizz to the juice.
The dough for this recipe comes from Chocolate Chip Challah and Other Twists on the Jewish Holiday Table , by Lisa Rauchwerger, published by the URJ Press.
Making the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter (or margarine) and the sugar with beaters.Add eggs and beat a little more.
In a smaller bowl, mix flour and baking powder.Add a little of this mixture to the creamed butter, sugar and egg. Add the milk (regular, rice, soy or water) to the creamed mixture. Add the remaining flour mixture. Add the vanilla.
Mix well. Knead the dough into a ball. (The dough works best if you wrap it in plastic and chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.You can make the dough early in the day and bake the cookies in the afternoon, or prepare the dough the night before and chill it overnight.)
Forming the Hamantashen:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Roll out the dough on a floured board until it is 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough into 3-inch to 4-inch rounds with a floured glass or cookie cutter. Drop filling by the teaspoonful in the center of each round. Mentally divide the cookie into thirds, fold over the left and right sides, and pinch the top together. Then fold up the bottom third and pinch in place. A triangle should emerge, with the filling showing in the middle. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
Fruit and chocolate chips are kid-pleasing fillings for hamantashen. Canned apricot, cherry, apple or berry pie fillings are available from the grocery store.