Creative Hamantash ideas

Unique hamantaschen recipes inspired by the Book of Esther

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One sweet Purim tradition is to nosh on a hamantashen — even if it does have a sour past!

There are many explanations as to why this triangular cookie with poppy seed, prune, date, apricot, or strawberry filling is eaten during the holiday, and most seem to be linked to Haman — the villain of Purim — and how Jews deflected his dastardly plan to destroy them.

Some sources say that the cookie is a reference to Haman’s tri-cornered hat. Others say its name hails from the German word for pocket, alluding to the gold that deep-pocketed Haman offered to King Ahasuerus in exchange for destroying the Jews.

Aptly, the earmark of this holiday confection seems to be the word “ear,” as in “the ears of Haman,” a reference to the ancient practice of cutting off a criminal’s ears before they are hung — a fate that befell the evildoer, himself. Yet another explanation refers to Queen Esther’s strength, and that of Judaism founders Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So why not have a cookie inspired by her and other Purim notables, like Ahashverosh, Mordechai, or even Vashti?

Below are some unique hamantashen recipes inspired by each key player in the story of Purim — even evil, earnest Haman!

King Ahashverosh

He was king, so why not use recipes that claim to be the sovereign of sweets? Food.com claims to have the “best ever!” recipe that comes an apple, apricot, raisin, and prune filling, while the New York Times lays dibs on the “perfect” combination of ingredients.

Vashti

Vashti can be seen one of two ways, depending on your point-of-view — a vain, vile vixen, or an independent feminist — but whatever your outlook, we’ve got the flavor to match. We suggest a raspberry filling for those who view her as a tart, and a lovely ricotta, pomegranate, and cream cheese variety for those who feel she thought outside-the-box.

Queen Esther

The Girl Scouts of America live by the words:

On my honor, I will try:

To serve God and my country,

To help people at all times, and

To live by the Girl Scout Law.

Esther lived by a similar set of morals, plus she was adored by many — much like the beloved Girl Scout cookies are — so why not honor her with Samoa, Tagalong, or Thin Mint hamantaschen?

Mordechai

Mordechai refused to bow down to Haman, and hamantashen inspired by him should rebel against traditional fillings. Try steak and mushroom for some agita (just kidding!), or a unique flavor combo like candy cane and cheese cake. Anyone for goat cheese and pear hamantashen?

Haman

Haman was evil, through and through — and fishy to boot. A kosher sushi hamantaschen sound appropriate enough to toast his malevolent memory. He was also nutty to think his sordid scheme would actually work, so here’s a delicious almond filling recipe to gobble up his lurid legacy.

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