As Purim approaches Niv is delighted to share four delicious treats for the holiday. The classic hamantaschen gets a twist, pumpkin empanadas get their due, and a North African Purim bread gets “spicy.”
Flip through the recipes below. We hope you enjoy.
Sephardic Spice Girls
12 eggs, plus 1 beaten
7 cups flour, divided (all purpose or bread flour)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons of anise seed (fennel seeds)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Boil 12 eggs, discard water and set aside. Peel when cool and dry.
- In large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and water and let sit 5 to 10 minutes until frothy.
- When mix is frothy, add 5 cups flour, oil, salt and fennel seeds in a bowl or knead by hand. Cover with plastic and a dish towel and let rise for one hour.
- Beat one egg for egg wash.
- Punch down and divide dough, separating it into equal-sized balls the size of your palm. Take a ball, flatten and cut into strips that will hold egg in place.
- Using a finger, poke hole in the centre of dough ball as if making a doughnut, place egg in centre and place on baking sheet.
- Fold two strips of dough into an “X” atop egg. Use beaten egg as glue to secure strips. If they slide, hold in place with toothpicks.
- With a knife or scissors, cut around edge of bun on each side and pinch together to form a flower or sun. Brush top with egg wash.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
*Optional: For dark crust, mix one egg with one yolk and 1 tablespoon honey.
Makes 12 cookies.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon butter or parve margarine, room temperature
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoon milk or unflavoured, unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 3/4 cups sliced carrots (cut in 1/4-inch rounds)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon orange oil OR 1/2 teasoon orange extract (see notes)
Water as needed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
All-purpose flour as needed
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- Cut butter into small pieces. Use two forks to cut butter into flour until the bits of combined butter and flour are each about the size of a lentil.
- Mix in egg.
- Stir in milk until a rough dough forms. Hand knead until ball forms. Use as directed above.
The dough ball can be made ahead and wrapped airtight and kept in the refrigerator for up to three days before using at room temperature.
- Place carrots in saucepan with water just to cover.
- Stir in sugar, zest, salt and orange oil.
- Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring often.
- Lower heat to keep at simmer. Simmer uncovered 45-60 minutes, adding only small amounts of water if necessary to prevent sticking or burning.
- Stir occasionally until carrots are very, very soft and most of the liquid is evaporated and what is left is syrupy.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in cinnamon.
- Coarsely mash carrots.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin.
- Roll out dough 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 3-to-3 1/2-inch diameter circles with cookie cutter or upside down glass.
- Combine scraps into a ball and repeat as necessary.
- Place on ungreased baking sheet. Lightly brush the outer rim of the top of each circle with egg wash.
- Place 1/2 tablespoon of filling in centre of each.
- Push up 3 sides to form triangle, firmly pinching so cookies maintain their shape.
- Brush egg wash on outside of cookies, making sure to cover all pinched seams.
- Bake 22-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on rack.
*If orange oil or extract is not available, substitute 1/2 cup orange juice to replace some of the water used to cover carrots.
1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon milk (or other non-
1 teaspoon ube extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
(plus more flour for rolling)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
Filling of your choice (see
recipe for the suggested
poppy seed filling below)
- Bake at 400 degrees F for about 7-9 minutes.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth.
- Add one egg, milk, and ube extract until mixed thoroughly.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add dry mixture to wet mixture until incorporated. Note: if the dough is too soft, increase flour amount by a few tablespoons at a time until firmer and coming off the side of the bowl.
- Form dough into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Chill dough for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. (You can also place in freezer for at least 15 minutes.)
- In a small separate bowl, make egg wash by lightly beating the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Dust surface with flour to keep from sticking. Roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thick.
- Using a round cookie cutter or a glass, cut out and place onto cookie sheet. To keep the dough from sticking to your cutter, dip in flour before each cut.
- Brush each round with egg wash. Then, fill each round with 1/2 teaspoon poppy filling or your favourite filling, and using your favourite method, pinch corners together tightly to make a triangle.
- Pop into the fridge for 10 minutes, or freezer for 5 minutes, to ensure hamantaschen hold their shape.
2 cups butter softened to room temperature
4 cups (or more) all-purpose flour
12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
16 ounce can mashed pumpkin (pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl mix the butter and cream cheese with a wooden spoon or a fork.
- Blend in the flour, knead for a few minutes and form into 4 balls and wrap each ball with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to use.
- Roll the dough, one ball at a time, on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick.
- Cut into 3-inch circles.
- Combine all filling ingredients and mix well.
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling into the centre of each circle of dough.
- Bring half the circle over the filling and press edges together, making a half moon shape.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
*If desired, instead of making your own dough use a couple of packages of flaky biscuits. Just separate (horizontally) each biscuit into three pieces, and let sit on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 30 minutes, then fill and bake.
Header image photo by Faith Kramer.
Brought to you by the Niv team.