Monday, March 5, 2012


How to Make Hamentaschen

Previously: A Trip to the Cinema.

Esther C. Werdiger has a weekly podcast and a rich internet life, but also a job in Jerusalem.

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Oh lawd, the prune ones are my JAM.

As it were.


@DH@twitter My favorite is POPPYSEED.


@ennaenirehtac Poppyseed represent.

I may or may not have an apricot and a poppyseed hamentaschen from my local yummy deli on my counter right now.

(I totally do.)


@DH@twitter Oh man, we need to trade places. right. now.

wasabi peas

If you make them without butter, are they still delicious?


@wasabi peas

More delicious than bricks without straw


@wasabi peas You can get vegan margarine, so you could do that and they would still taste good.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@atipofthehat Gahhh I love this comment so much!


@Veronica Mars is smarter than me Love the username!

Tragically Ludicrous


I should totally make some of those.


Why are more recipes not in comic form?
And Happy Birthday, Esther!


@Maria I don't know how to make links pretty, but this should keep you busy for a day or so:


@PrettyNicola Ahh! That's fantastic. Thank you.

Cat named Virtute

@PrettyNicola I was just thinking of nipping back over here to suggest that Esther pitch to Saveur Comix because they are GREAT and Esther is GREAT, and I loooved Carolita's.


@Maria My friend Sarah did the crepes in Brittany one!

Esther C. Werdiger

Thank you! xo

Party Falcon

@laurel A version of Carolita's soup was today's Allrecipes email recipe of the day! It was super Americanized with noodles and no leeks, but they called it Butter Soup and I recognized it and was racking my brain about why. Because it was Soup l'hiver!! Yay!


Is there anyone else who is old like me and remembers when Sassy magazine published a hamentaschen recipe? The had the story of Purim and called them "a tasty Purim nosh." I wanted to make them but never did.

Sarah Coffey@twitter

@Cavendish I am breaking my lurker status to tell you that was the first thing I thought of when I read this. And I still bake hamentaschen using that Sassy recipe! I had no idea what Purim was when I was a in high school but hamentaschen ended up being a part of my xmas/new year's cookie baking repertoire thanks to Sassy.


@Sarah Coffey@twitter Yay! I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I still have my Sassys somewhere. I should find it and make some hamentaschen.


Grate the butter if it is too hard.

Grate. the butter. if it is too hard.

how the hell did i get through my life without realising this :(

Cat named Virtute

@Karinna Deller@facebook This is also a great way to make biscuits because it makes the dough really flaky.


@Karinna Deller@facebook Me toooooo!


@Karinna Deller@facebook GAMECHANGER!


@Karinna Deller@facebook This reminds me of when I used a knife to get the pit out of an avocado (the thing where you get it stuck on the knife blade?) and my aunt wailed, "SIXTY-NINE YEARS WITHOUT KNOWING HOW TO DO THAT"

But yeah, I didn't realize the thing about the butter, either. I am probably so lazy that I would rather just do something else and wait for it to soften, though.


@Mosey I put the [still wrapped] sticks of butter in my bra while I prep the dry ingredients, seems to work all right without dirtying up a grater. (hot tits humblebrag)

Neve Garrett

Also, poppyseed hamentaschen are so incredibly delish.
Happiest yummiest birthday to you, Esther!!!!


A baking themed League of Ordinary Ladies. All of my dreams have come true!


I am embarrassed to admit that I have no jams. I keep passing the jam section in the store and thinking that I don't need any jam. Which now sounds absurd. Of course I need jam!

Tuna Surprise

Home for Purim is my favorite Purim movie.



@Tuna Surprise does it... have a lot of competition? Is there a spate of Purim movies I'm missing out on?


@Tuna Surprise "From the depths of your womanhood!"


@Tuna Surprise You can't throw the baby out with the bathwater because then all you have is a wet, critically injured baby.


@Tuna Surprise Someone's killed their children and made them into cookies, and I want to go see that.

Cat named Virtute

Ahhhhh, Esther, I am so happy you drew my request! This is delightful, and I am gonna make these this week for all my Jewish and goy friends alike! :-D

Cat named Virtute

@Marika Pea@twitter ALSO, for non-Jewish peeps--my roommate kept having to correct me when I said HAY-men-tah-shen instead of HOM-in-tah-shen, so the memory trick we came up with is that HOM rhymes with NOM, which is what you will want to do to all these cookies.


I also like to egg wash my hamantaschen! My hamantaschen are super not kosher I guess.


@PrettyNicola They are! Eggs are neither dairy nor meat. And delicious. Totally kosher! Unless by "egg wash" you meant "shrimp" or something.


@BadWolf Anyway, like I was sayin', egg wash is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, egg wash-kabobs, egg wash creole, egg wash gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple egg wash, lemon egg wash, coconut egg wash, pepper egg wash, egg wash soup, egg wash stew, egg wash salad, egg wash and potatoes, egg wash burger, egg wash sandwich. That- that's about it.


@Anne I... don't know if I want eggs benedict, coconut shrimp, or some combination of both in a hamentasch right now. Amazing. What's that from?


@BadWolf Forrest Gump!


I've eaten at least a dozen hamantaschen today. Apricot for the win!


Ahh, this is so good. I was just talking about Purim with one of my coworkers because she used to teach at a Jewish school and looooves Purim. And then I lent her For Your Consideration because she hadn't seen it. The family's heads coming out of the hamentaschen on that movie poster still makes me cry with laughter.

"Is that my sweet Rachel's voice I heard? Or am I just goin' meshuga?"

What I'm saying is, I'm going to make these.


@figwiggin Also, I want a fridge magnet that says "ugly hamentaschen too HAVE CHARM".


@figwiggin I want one of the magnets toooooooo

Also maybe an apron that's been embroidered with ...DOUGH HOOK real big across the front


Happy Birthday Esther, you extraordinary lady you!


Oy gevalt. I needed a good hamentaschen recipe; a couple years back, my friends and I made THE WORST hamentaschen, they were like fat, dry scones with daubs of jam that totally opened in the oven, and were so freakin' bad. I am willing to bet money I will make these instead of writing my thesis tonight. I like chocolate in the middle, because I am not a very good Jew.

Faintly Macabre

@BadWolf I made really good ones while I was abroad, but for some reason I didn't save the recipe, even though it took me ages of searching to find one that sounded good and used easily-found ingredients. I will have to try these!

I think I used cherry jam, fig jam, apricot jam, and maybe dulce de leche last time I made them? Lemon pie filling is usually my favorite, even though it's kind of gross when you think about it.


@Faintly Macabre Oh, my heavens, not gross! That sounds amazing. Have you ever tried it with pumpkin pie filling? I suddenly want to try that. All my ancestors are rolling over in their graves.

Faintly Macabre

@BadWolf Haha, I mean gross as in lemon pie filling is made of yellow food coloring, sugar, and probably gelatin. Not exactly traditional! But it tastes wonderful.

Oooh, I don't know about pumpkin pie filling. It sounds a little...rich? dry? to me--there isn't same contrast with the dough that jam makes. Though I guess it depends if you use a flaky dough or a more shortbready one.


@Faintly Macabre Oooh, you are really right about the texture. And it would get super dried out in a tiny shell like that. Hmm. Maybe with cream cheese in the pie filling, and a shortbready dough?

I am totally trying that lemon pie filling, though, that sounds glorious. Reminds me of those amazing, disgusting, probably plastic Drake's Cake "fruit" pies, and their long-lost lemon flavor. Those were so good. Bad. Goooood.


@BadWolf What would happen if we put nutella in there? Would it bake right?


@hijabeng Yes it would. My coworker used to make Nutella hamentaschen and they were fantazgreat.

Faintly Macabre

@hijabeng I think maybe I made a few of those that year? I wish I could remember! In any case, you can make the circles pretty much any size, so for richer fillings like nutella, you can make baby hamentaschen and/or roll the dough a little thinner.

called birdy

@BadWolf We just made some with pumpkin pie filling this weekend-- pretty tasty!

Carly Marie@twitter

@BadWolf Three words: Pumpkin pie empanadas. They are the best things ever.


@BadWolf hey, can you tell me why chocolate in the middle would make you a bad jew? I presume that has something to do with it not being kosher. If I make some with butter, i think i'd be in the clear if i said, "hey, there's butter in these, don't eat with your chicken sandwich," but would they be totally uneatable for the Good Jew if there was also chocolate? i'm the Goyest Goy, so i need guidance.


@candybeans Ahahaha, there's nothing not kosher about chocolate, you can even use not-dairy chocolate, and be totally in the clear to eat it with meat meals. It's just not traditional; my grandmothers' recipes call for prune jam and poppyseed paste, and they have been known to raise their eyebrows at raspberry jelly.


@Carly Marie@twitter OH MY GOD give them to me now. How have I lived this long without pumpkin empanadas?

Carly Marie@twitter

@BadWolf Right? I had them at a local Mexican restaurant and they were so amazing I tried to recreate them at home. Since I do not have a deep fryer (because if I did, I would fry ALL the things), I just used frozen puff pastry dough cut into rounds and filled with pumpkin pie filling, and then folded over like empanadas. So, I guess they aren't really empanadas, but they were super easy and delicious, and now they have become a fall/holiday time party staple.


@BadWolf haha, thanks for the clarification! I like the idea of a grandmother looking side-eyed with eyebrows raised at a raspberry-jam-filled cookie.


@candybeans Fast forward to today: I made them! Ground walnuts in the dough (which replaced ~3/4 cup of the flour), apricot preserves for filling. Should've chilled them more/rolled them out thicker, but totally delicious! So glad that I got the idea from our Ordinary Lady!


I just want cookies now.


One of the best cookies ever! Chag sameach!

Faintly Macabre

I thought I missed Purim! I babysit for a super-Jewish family and saw a big bag of Purim snacks on their table and thought, "HOW DID I MISS PURIM? NOOOOOOOOOO!!" But I didn't!

And hamentaschen are the best! You can make a million flavors, so as long as people like jam/fruit/cookies, there's something for everybody.

ALSO on Purim, in the Marais in Paris, American Lubavitchers dance crazily and literally throw candy and bags of gross Kosher snacks at everyone. But hamentaschen cost ~$3/each.


I always get really excited when I find other people who share my birth date. It's like we share a special bond!


@acefreakly Happy birthday!!!


@acefreakly I feel the same way! when I find someone with my birthday, I get SOOOO excited! But they don't usually think it's that interesting. I cannot imagine why not.
Also, happy birthday yesterday! Hope it was awesome and full of hammentaschen.


I almost never find people with my birthday (next week!), so when The Internet was invented, I immediately used it to look up famous people with my birthday. Other than Jerry Lewis, the only other person whose name I recognized? Josef Mengele, Nazi Doctor extraordinaire. Bah.

And sheesh, that was a depressing thread jack. SORRY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY YAY MARCH BABIES!

Esther C. Werdiger

I share my birthday with Dawson's Creek's James Van Der Beek AND International Women's Day. Illustrious!


I want to make these! I went to go look for a 3d pic to see if the triangles stood up, and I found out that you can DRESS UP LIKE A HAMENTASCHEN. http://www.costumecraze.com/PLAY368.html

RK Fire

@LuluMonster: Dressing up like delicious pastries knows no religious boundaries!


@LuluMonster Slutty Hamentaschen for Halloween this year?

George Templeton Strong

At my previous job a colleague used to bring in the most delicious homemade hamentaschen. Purim is the only time I eat prune by-products willingly. One year another coworker and I decided to fantasize that they were "hashentaschen" and speculate about which of our office mates would ingest these and commune with the copier, or just give up office life and move to the Sierras and try to raise llamas. You're not laughing? You had to be there. Happy Purim, everyone!


I used to have this boyfriend, whom I kissed for the first time at a Purim party, so we called that our first date and our anniversary for the 4 or 5 years we dated. It was so long ago now, but any reference to Purim reminds me of that, in a nostalgic way.


I was literally just eating hamentaschen! I feel so cool and validated now.


I'm totally laughing about the ugly-cookie line: "Strong men also cry, sir. Strong men also cry."

Porn Peddler

People at my hebrew nursery school were def fans of putting walnuts in these, and, being four years old, it didn't dawn on me to mention my allergy to walnuts. I definitely scratched my face/eyes/throat and waited for my mom to pick me up and give me benadryl while the rest of my class consumed hamentaschen...

Susie the Bear

Hmmm, I wonder about shoving a little bit of brie in there with the jam? Clearly not kosher, but I do love desert cheese. Yes... I shall be making these.


@Susie the Bear Goat cheese! You could put a dab of goat cheese in the middle of the jam. Or, the kind of cheese that ends up in cheese danishes.


@Susie the Bear I was just thinking that I want to make these with ground walnuts in the dough and fig preserves in the middle, and your brie idea would be the total cherry on top.


@PistolPackinMama Cheese for danishes is usually just baker's cheese or cream cheese. :-) (On another note, homemade danishes take FOREVER and I just prefer to buy mine from the vending machines at work.)


Hamataschen! I see these all over the place in my Orthodox neighborhood. Apparently there's a little song that goes with them/Purim in general? About a three-cornered hat, unless Wikipedia has lied to me.


@area@twitter Yes, they are three-cornered to mimic the shape of Haman's hat!


@anachronistique My hat it has three corners, three corners has my hat/And had it not three corners, it wouldn't be my hat.

acid burn

@area@twitter For some reason I remember being told that they are also triangle-shaped to represent LADYBUSINESS because, you know, ancient spring festival, etc. But the internet has zero information about this so maybe it was just some feminist propaganda I was taught as a kid.


@area@twitter HOLY CRAP I think that song was adapted at some point to be about Minutemen! I grew up in Lexington (birthplace of the revolution wooo) and we had to learn about Minutemen (basically like the neighborhood watch meets army reserves, the point is they fought a lot of Redcoats) all. the. time. and they had three-cornered hats! And I swear we sang a song a lot like that one! I AM JEWISH and I never connected those two things, HOLY CRAP.

Don't mind me, I'll go freak out by myself now.


@area@twitter I think my mom used to sing this song in German? We aren't Jewish, but my siblings and I went to a JCC for preschool, so maybe that's why.


ooooh, i just realized that i have some jewish coworkers now! I TOTALLY have an excuse to make these tonight and bring them in tomorrow! eee, i feel like today has a purpose now.

Carly Marie@twitter

And suddenly the over-priced (but delicious) fig-ginger jam I bought at the farmer's market has a purpose! Thank you, Esther.

Esther C. Werdiger

@Carly Marie@twitter
JINX. I had a jar of fancy orange and coffee jam. I don't know why I bought it; I don't eat jam at all. But it was perfect AND it complimented the orange rind in the dough so well.

Carly Marie@twitter

@Esther C. Werdiger Yum! And, happy birthday!

Esther C. Werdiger

@Carly Marie@twitter
Thank youuuu : )


My mother INUNDATES me with homemade jam all the time. It's delicious, usually made from whatever berry she found up there in the wilds of Alaska where she lives, but they kind of sit around a lot, not getting eaten. Those days are OVER! Thank you, Queen Esther!


@kayjay Send your homemade jam to me! I am a total jam whore!

Princess Gigglyfart

Happy Birthday!!

...30 minutes at 350 degrees sounds like a long time for cookies.


@Princess Gigglyfart They're more like little tarts than cookies, both in shape (all folded in on themselves=longer cook time) and dough type, so that's why the long baking time.


That's such a nice reason to be named Esther. It's one of my favorite names. I would love to use it for a child, but my mom's family is very close with another family that all my mom's siblings grew up with and their version of my grandmother was named Esther - I had a very nice individual relationship with her, but not close enough that I'd feel comfortable literally naming a kid after her. None of her grandchildren (my generation) has named a kid Esther either which I guess makes it more possible for me to do so but also would be weirder, like I'm shaming them for not naming a kid after their grandmother? I also really like the Hungarian version "Eszter" so maybe could get around it with that. The end.


Ugh this one wasn't even funny. It was just an excuse for a cookie recipe, and any one of hundreds of google results could do the same thing (or even better.) At one point this series looked like it could hit it out of the park like our dear departed Relationshapes, now it is barely even trying.

Stick a fork in TLOOL, its done.

Cat named Virtute

@Joshie Oh, go home.


DOUGH HOOK! (Also, I thought it was funny.)


@literary_hippie Oh, man, you totally stole my intended comment! That was my favorite part.



I just made them, and they turned out awesome! And I made three different fillings: prune, apricot jam, and chocolate chips (My destiny is to be a Jewish mom) Have a great birthday Esther, chag sameach, and have a freilichen purim!

Esther C. Werdiger

Hooray! You too!


Making these right now! They are in the oven. I used rose apricot jam, and they look delicious.

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