Purim’s almost here, so poppyseeds, apricot jam and even prunes are filling kitchens, as Hamentaschen baking is in full swing. Hamantaschen are the traditional fruit or poppyseed filled triangular cookies eaten on Purim. An item up for discussion is whether the name for these treats alludes to the holiday’s villain Haman’s ears, hat or pockets, but everyone seems to agree on the shape. However, once the dough circles are cut and filled, how do we close them? It’s a great debate for ages: to fold or to pinch?
I have to admit I have a text chain with some friends running on the topic of closing Hamentaschen. So far we are split on pinch, fold and a combo of the two! A good way to practice these skills is with some felt holiday cookies which are easy to craft. Since doughs these days seem to span the spectrum of the rainbow from red velvet to chocolate chip, any color felt can be used for the dough. And fillings from fruit jams and hazelnut spread, to veggie jams and sprinkles, are showing up all over social media. So any colored fillings will work as well.
If your child is able, they can help with the cutting and Velcro, if not they can just play baker and put together new Hamentaschen combos with the materials after you prepare them. Aside from being a good manual dexterity and make-believe plaything, these felt cookies make a fun Purim decoration when displayed on a plate or tray. They can be packaged into an alternative Mishloach Manot Purim gift for friends to play with as well.
Felt in a variety of colors
Adhesive Velcro (small circles or squares)
A bowl (5”-6” diameter)
Optional: white glue or hot glue gun
- Trace a bowl upside-down onto pieces of felt. Place the bowl close to the edges of the felt to maximize how many circles you can get from one piece.
- Cut out all of the circles.
- Color the tops of the cotton balls by making dots on them with the markers. You can keep them all one color or make them multi-colored.
- Place the soft side of the velcro on the bottom of the cotton balls, and the rough sides in the middle of each circle. You can glue them in place or just use the adhesive already on them.
- For a “pinched” look, place pairs of soft and rough velcro pieces evenly spaced along the inside/top of the circle, the same side that has velcro in the middle. For a “folded” look, place three soft pieces evenly spaced on the top side, and three rough pieces on the bottom, in a place where they will match up with the soft pieces when folded over.
- Give the supplies to your kids, and let them mix and match fillings, and fold up their cookies.
Enjoy playing and celebrating Purim!