One year, Hillel Academy gave out recipes with their shalach manos. I think it was supposed to make everyone feel like family – every single family would have a neon-green recipe card for Sugar Cookies which would unite us for years to come. I’m not sure it worked out that way.
However, last year I sat contemplating my hamentashen. Those hamentashen, a dark brown color due to a strong dose of cinnamon, were supposed to be perfect. The recipe promised that they’d be the best. Yet, I sat and munched, and thought them too dry and plain. Thinking of Purims past, I remembered the recipe cards, and called my mom. My mom had kept her recipe cards, and organized as she is, pulled out in moments. We discussed, I adapted, and the results are below. According to taste-tester Special Correspondent Perel, Hillel and I have a sweet thing going.
Sugar Cookies, or Hamentashen Dough
3/4 c sugar, or less as desired
1/2 c margarine
1 tsp vanilla
2 c white flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour [this one is a personal touch; Hillel recommended all white flour. Then again, they wrote the recipe in a different era when whole grains were not appreciated as the heart-healthy alternative they are today.]
1 tsp baking powder
optional: 1 tsp salt
Cream together sugar and margarine. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Separately, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt if desired. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, stir until smooth.
Roll out dough on floured board [rolling pins are recommended for this sort of thing. I use a hard plastic water bottle picked up for free from Starbucks by Tzippora.] Cut out circles [cookie cutters are recommended. I use a glass cup, a gift from grateful guest Alisa]. Put small amount of filling in the center, and crimp edges so that you’ve made a three-sided cookie. If you have trouble keeping the edges together, dip your finger in water, and brush the circumference of the circle with your finger. It’ll work like a charm.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
According to Hillel, this recipe makes 4 dozen cookies. According to me, this recipe make 4 dozen hamentashen.