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Hamentaschen…A Sweet Treat for Purim

February 22, 2012

Purim is almost here!  The kids are getting excited to dress up in costume…King Ahasuerus, Esther, Mordecai, Haman, Barbie, a doctor, a cheerleader or baseball player.  We read the story of Purim in Megillat Esther and celebrate with good food and wine.  We send out gifts of food and/or drink (shalach manos) and we give charity.  It is a tradition to bake or eat hamentaschen which are triangular shaped cookies filled with fruit.  These Hamentaschen respresent Haman’s three-cornered hat.    

Typically, hamentaschen are filled with calories and fat.  And, a common cry I hear from my clients is “I can’t stop at one, so I can’t have any.”  I encourage everyone to stop denying themselves.  Simply modify your recipe so it is lower in fat, and don’t label food as good or bad.  Once you take the “conditions” off food, you will see that you can enjoy your favorite treats in a controlled fashion.

Try my recipe for Apricot Filled Hamentaschen and experience a joyful Purim!



2 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour                         2 tbsp. brown sugar                           

1 tsp. baking powder                                                2 tbsp. honey

½ tsp. baking soda                                                   2 large eggs

1/4 tsp. salt                                                                1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup lowfat margarine                                           3/4 cup apricot filling ( see recipe below)


1.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  

2.  In a large bowl, cream together margarine, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and mix in until dough is well combined and forms a ball.  Flatten ball into a disc, wrap well, and refrigerate for several hours, or until dough is firm (dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

3.  Preheat oven to 350° F.  Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or thin-edged glass, cut out 2 ½ to 3-inch rounds of dough.  Gather scraps, press together, and roll out again to cut more rounds (you should have about 32).

4.  Place 1 teaspoon filling in the center of each round.  Fold up edges by thirds, leaving an opening in the center, and firmly pinch edges together where they meet, so the finished shape is triangular.

5.  Place hamantaschen about 1 inch apart on lightly sprayed cookie sheets, and bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.


Yield » 1 ½ cups


9 oz. dried apricots, coarsely chopped                                ½ tsp. grated lemon zest

1 cup apple juice                                                                     1/4 tsp. coriander

2 tbsp. light brown sugar                                                      ½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. cinnamon                                                              


1.  In medium saucepan, combine apricots, apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest, and coriander.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

2.  Uncover, raise heat to a slow boil, and cook until liquid has evaporated, stirring often.  Remove from heat, cover, and let stand until cool.

3.  Puree cooled apricot filling in food processor or blender.  Stir in vanilla and refrigerate until needed.  Allow filling to return to room temperature before using.  


Yield: 32 Hamantaschen

Serving size: 1 Hamantaschen

Per serving: 75 calories, 2 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrate



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