#BakingforUkraine and #CookingforUkraine are two growing online movements of bakers and chefs around the world who are showing their solidarity with Ukraine by creating Ukrainian-inspired dishes to help raise money for Ukraine and the growing number of Ukrainian refugees. I love this idea! So I thought I would jump on board. As I was looking at the various dishes bakers and chefs have been making I came across a cookie called Hamantashen.
Hamantashen is a traditional Jewish cookie served for the Jewish holiday Purim. However, the inspiration behind Hamantashen has many direct parallels to the horrible war in Ukraine.
Purim is a time of reflection about destructive megalomaniacs and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. It’s based on the Biblical story of how God used an unlikely young girl named Queen Esther to rescue the Jewish people from an evil schemer named Haman. Ukrainians are, in real-time, facing a modern-day Haman in Vladimir Putin.
The traditional Jewish Shortbread-inspired jam-filled cookie has a number of sources for inspiration. Some say the cookie represents Haman’s hat. Other sources say that the cookie resembles Haman’s wallet, and others say it’s inspired by Haman’s ears. In Alfred J. Kolatch's The Jewish Book of Why. Kolatch writes that Queen Esther derived strength from her ancestors, and the three corners of the cookie represent Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Overall, the story is about how God worked through young Queen Esther to foil an evil plot that would have led to the destruction of her people. I find hope in stories like as we pray for peace and long for the end of this horrible war and the suffering that it brings.
Bakers around the world are making and selling Hamantashen during Purim. hamantashenforukraine.com Profits are being donated to the Polish Humanitarian Action (www.pah.org.pl/en/) to help them assist Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border escaping the violence.
I recently had a conversation with a Chef in Ukraine. When I asked how I could help, he said please donate to whatever organization is helping people in Ukraine that you have access to.
You can donate via the link above or if you are in Canada you can give through Global Aid Network https://globalaid.net/2022/02/25/ukraine-refugee-relief/
These Hamantashen are filled with blueberry and pineapple jam to symbolize the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag.
1 ½ cups butter or margarine, room temperature.
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon zest from 1 orange
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
You can use almost any fruit or jam as a filling. To show solidarity with Ukraine I recommend Blueberry and Pineapple Jam.
1 Jar Pineapple Jam
1 Jar Blueberry Jam
Step 1 In a large bowl, or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange zest and vanilla. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Gather the dough into a ball and refrigerate at least 2 hours for the dough to firm up.
Step 2 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).Line cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
Step 3 On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place circles on the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each circle. (Any more and it will ooze out and make a mess of your cookie) Pinch the sides of each circle on three sides to form a triangle. This is the tricky part as the dough can be crumbly and open up in the oven. The filled and shaped cookies may be frozen on the cookie sheets if desired to help retain their shape while cooking.
Step 4 Preheat the oven to 350 F Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Enjoy!