Mondays can go in one of two directions, depending on how well planned we are for starting the week. To keep some consistency laid out for the beginning of each week, I’ve added the Monday Make as part of our routine to kick start the week of snacks off better. I find when there are snacks made and available in the house for those in-between meal hours, then everyone stays content (for the most part). And I always welcome suggestions so forward your own recipes and we’ll add them to our baking sessions and post them, making sure we give credit where it’s due.
Though none of our gang that we named Club 56 years ago–because all our phone numbers added up to the number 56–are Jewish, we still celebrated the Feast of Purim. This holiday celebration is held in the 12 month of Adar on the Hebrew calendar. This year it falls on March 5-6, but since none of Club 56 could gather on those dates, we opted for an earlier observance.
The Feast of Purim is a celebration of Queen Esther in the Old Testament saving the Jews under King Xerxes’ (also known as Ahasuerus) kingdom in the time the Medes and Persians were ruling.
Because I’m so interested in Biblical celebrations, I was pleasantly surprised to hear of this one a few years ago from a friend who had celebrated this feast by way of acting out the story with another family. Every time the name Esther was spoken there would be cheers, and every time the name of the evil Prime Minister of the land, Haman, was spoken, there would be boos or noise makers.
This was just the set of crazy adults I needed to pull off the skit, and just the set of children to apply good loud noise for the cheers and boos. Uncle Mordecai would not bow down to the evil Haman (in the plaid) and so we set this tableau to display Haman’s anger, and everyone else’s shock.
Our Queen Esther had some good dance moves each time she was cheered by the faithful crowd.
The evil Haman pleading with the King to seal a decree.
Haman leaving the first banquet very happy after supping with Esther and Xerxes, until he passes Uncle Mordecai sitting at the palace gates refusing to bow down to him.
The perfect storyteller, who had more lines than anyone. What good sports they all were, braving a snowstorm to gather for this blustery winter day celebration. Thanks Club 56 (and next generation) for partaking in the fun and teachable evening (because who didn’t re-read the book of Esther in the process?)
And our most delicious, gooey, yet visibly gross, Haman’s ears, complete with apricot jam as the ear wax.
We learned these are a traditional treat during the Feast of Purim, and not only that, they’re truly delicious despite the rather gross visual one gets at first sight.
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 C butter or margarine
1 tsp lemon peel
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Apricot, Plum, or Poppy Seed Filling (see below)
Prune filling option:
1 (12 ounce) pkg pitted prunes
1 C chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Apricot or Plum filling
1 1/2 C apricot or plum jam
1/2 C finely chopped almonds or walnuts
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 C dry bread crumbs
Poppy Seed filling
1 C poppy seed
1/4 C walnut pieces
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1 egg white
Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in large bowl. Cut in butter until fine crumbs. Mix lemon peel, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir into flour mixture until dough forms a ball. (Use hands to mix all ingredients if necessary; add up to 1/4 C additional flour if dough is too sticky to handle.) Cover and refrigerate about 2 hrs or until firm.
Prepare desired filling
Preheat oven to 350 F
Roll out half of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth covered surface (though I didn’t do this). Cut into 3-inch rounds. Spoon 1 level tsp filling onto each round. Bring up 3 sides, using metal spatula to lift, to form triangle around filling. Pinch edges together firmly. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 mins or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Yield: 48 cookies
For the Prune filling: Heat prunes and enough water to cover to boiling in 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 mins; drain well. Mash prunes. Stir in remaining ingredients.
For the Apricot or Plum filling: Mix jam, almonds, lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir in just enough bread crumbs until thickened.
For the Poppy Seed filling: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.