by Andrea Gudeon
March 17 is often associated with leprechauns, corned beef and cabbage, and green beer. But another joyous holiday shares that date this year.
Purim, a holiday that commemorates how the Persian Queen Esther saved the Jewish people from the evil Haman, is sometimes called “Jewish Halloween.” Kids dress up in costume, adults drink copious amounts of alcohol – tradition says that you should drink until you cannot tell the difference between good and evil – and treats are given as gifts.
The most popular of these treats are hamantaschen, a buttery, triangle-shaped filled cookie that’s almost like a little pie. They’re traditionally filled with poppy seed or pureed prune, though many variations on filling flavors exist. (Nutella, anyone?)
This time of year, you can find hamantaschen with the ethnic foods at Giant, and Bread Furst is offering apricot and prune & poppy varieties through March 20. But for a special indulgence, try baking your own. Sure, it’s a bit of a project – mixing, chilling, rolling, filling, shaping, baking – and the health conscious among us might not want to think too hard about the ingredients (butter AND Crisco!), but the results are worth it.
This recipe, printed in The Washington Post 25 years ago, is stellar. Use the accompanying recipe for the prune filling; leftovers are delicious spread on toast.