Happy Purim! Purim is often referred to as the Jewish Halloween or the Jewish Madri Gras. It’s the time to put on your costumes, celebrate Esther and eat Hamantaschen!

To the kitchen I went, armed with a Hamantaschen recipe by Joan Nathan, a very well known author of many Jewish cookbooks, and someone I had a pleasure of meeting at the Hazon Food Conference.

Never one to follow the recipe to the t, I added a zest of one lemon. By mistake, I used baking soda instead of baking powder. I realized this after the dough was already chilling in the refrigerator. On top of using the wrong ingredient, I used only half the soda amount. With fingers crossed, I kneaded the baking powder into the dough, and let it chill for another few hours.

Usually, Hamantaschen are made with a poppy seed filling. I decided to go a different route. My filling was a combination of my mom’s homemade black currant jam, toasted chopped walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Once the cookies were filled and formed, I lightly brushed the outside with milk and sprinkled poppy seeds.

Make sure to pinch the edges of the cookies tightly to prevent the filling from spilling out and forming lovely pools on your baking sheet. Chilling the formed cookies in the refrigerator prior to baking will also help them to keep the shape and spread out less.

As hard as it might be, do wait for the cookies to cool slightly before eating. Pour a glass of milk, and enjoy!

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