March 3, 2015


If you invite other people over to help, they
may go crazy and make nonsense shapes.
There is a Jewish holiday called Purim. It's one of the lesser known ones. You won't see it on episodes of Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm. Which is a shame, because it's mostly celebrated through excessive drinking, merriment, and eating delicious cookies called Hamentashen. Like most Jewish holidays, its meaning pretty much boils down to "a long long time ago, somebody tried to kill all the Jews, and they didn't succeed. So eat foods, drink alcohols, and be merry." And yes, it's technically possible to fulfill that eating, drinking, and merriment with store bought cookies, but there's something nice about making them yourself. Also, this way they won't taste like cardboard.


4 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 and 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
Assorted flavors of Jam and Pie Filling
A cylindrical rolling implement (Like a rolling pin, a lead pipe, or the femur of your enemies)
More Sugar!
More Flour!

The first step is to sift your flour. If you're anything like me, you don't have a flour sifter handy. But sifting flour is just aerating it and breaking up any crazy flour lumps. You can totally do that with a whisk, or even a fork if you need to. So it looks like all you people who bought flour sifters before reading past the first sentence of the paragraph are suckers! Thanks for reading, suckers! Make sure to click on the banner ads and buy things. Anyhow, once your flour is broken down and airy, like an aging hippie, add in the Baking Powder and the Salt, and stir to combine.

Take a second bowl, add in the Sugar and the Oil, and whisk it until it forms a semi-gelatinous sugar-ooze (which, for the record, would be an awesome band name). Then add in the Orange Juice, Eggs, Lemon Juice, and Vanilla. Stir this mixture until everything is incorporated. Now the time has come to mix your two worlds. Add about 1/4 of your Flour mixture into your goop bowl, and whisk it until it fully incorporates. Then repeat that process with an equal amount of your flour mixture 3 more times (math!) By the end, you'll probably have to abandon your whisk as a lost cause, and just start digging in there with your hands. The downside is that it's messy and kind of gross. The upside that you have an excuse to give in to the urge to lick the batter, which cartoons have taught me is one of the fundamental forces of the universe.

Once your dough is finished, mix some more flour and sugar together, and spread it out on a sanitary flat surface. Plop your dough down in the center, flour up your rolling implement to keep it from sticking. You can do this by rolling it in your flour/sugar mixture, but you get valuable bonus points if you throw handfuls of flour and sugar at it, pretending that you're the crooked warden at an old-timey prison. In any event, roll out your dough until it's thin. How thin? That depends on your personal tastes, but no thicker than a 1/4 inch.

You could stop at just once batch. Or you could be awesome.
Take either a round cookie cutter that you bought special at a store for this purpose, or literally any drinking glass ever, and cut rounds out of the dough. Place them on to a greased baking sheet, take the dough leavings, re-roll it, and repeat until it's all done. Then put about a teaspoon of filling into each cookie, and fold it into a triangle, finally putting a use to that ridiculous culinary origami class you took in college. Bake those suckers at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven and location and lots of other factors. You can tell they're done when they firm up and get brown around the edges. And that's it! Let them cool down, and eat the crap out of them, either while celebrating a Jewish holiday, or while drunk in your bathtub on a Wednesday night. Or both!


  1. Wow you made a lot of hamantashen! After years of shame, I'm finally proud to not own a flour sifter, so thanks for that :) Happy Purim!