Carrot Sticks do NOT belong in Mishloach Manot

My origami-boxed mishloach manot

Just one more Purim-related post, for all my friends in Shiloh and Jerusalem who are celebrating Shushan Purim. :)

When I was trying to decide what to put in the mishloach manot (traditional gifts of food) that I would send on Purim, my first thoughts were to go for things like fresh fruit and crackers. This made sense based on what I'd experienced in America. My husband explained to me that this is NOT how things are done in Israel. Here, mishloach manot should contain nothing with more nutritional content than Bamba (which, for the uninitiated, are a lot like Cheese Whizzes only flavored with peanut butter). Ideally, mishloach manot contain chocolate, hamentaschen, hard candies, and more chocolate. Maybe a small bottle of wine, but the antioxidants in red wine might make it just a bit too healthy to include.

Therefore, I went nuts on Monday baking cookies. I also found an amazing recipe for hamentaschen in an Israeli cookbook. I've never seen a recipe like it in the US. Here's my best translation!

From the book Chagim (Holiday Entertaining), by Shai Li Lipa Angel. Apparently you can order it in the US through the Israeli bookstore chain Steimatzky-- http://www.stmus.com/prod/product_info.php?products_id=2595&language=en

This cookbook contains creative recipes for every holiday (including Israeli specialties for Independence Day), and the Hebrew in the recipes is quite easy to understand. I've only made a few recipes from this book so far, but they have all been fresh and delicious. (I love the simple recipe for goat cheese-stuffed dates!)

Disclaimer: this is my best translation of the recipe. And even if I misinterpreted parts, my version tasted better than any other hamentaschen I've made!

Oznei Haman
(Hamentaschen-- although the Hebrew literally tranlates to "Haman's Ears")
Makes 25

320 grams (2 1/4 cups) flour
200 grams butter, softened
100 grams powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon smooth jam

2/3 cup jam (or neutella or chocolate spread, carob butter, or more-- I used date spread!)

For decoration:
Powdered sugar

Jam in the dough? Yes. It's true that it's just one tablespoon, but it makes all the difference. You get a pastry that is crunchy and melts in the mouth. Oznei Haman with the taste of "paam" (yesteryear, essentially), in the best sense of the word.

Click on the image to enlarge:

1. Preparing the dough: Mix together all the ingredients in a big bowl with your hands until it comes together into a ball. If the dough is sticky (mine was), add some flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap (nylon) and chill in the refridgerator for an hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (about 360 degrees F)

3. Fill and bake: Roll out the dough until it is about a half centimeter thin. (I think I made mine a bit thinner.) Using the rim of a class or a cookie cutter, form circles about 8 cm across. Place a flat teaspoon of the filling in the center of each circle, close each "ear" (i.e., fold in the sides of the circles), and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

4. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the pastry browns slightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Keep in a closed container for up to a week.

Did I mention that Israeli recipes use odd measurements like grams, centimeters and celsius? Believe me, I'm still confused about how many grams of butter make a half cup. This is why the first half of the oatmeal cookies that I made from an American recipe spread to a crispy, lacy film on the cookie sheets... I think they were a little butter-enriched. If anyone can tell me how many cups are in one of our sticks of butter here, I'll be eternally grateful. The hamentaschen, on the other hand, turned out beautifully-- exactly like the picture in the recipe, just a little more brown than golden. I'm not so good at the whole "not burning food" side of baking. But it was nothing that a generous amount of powdered sugar at the end couldn't cover up...

If you're looking to entertain on the holidays like an Israeli, buy this cookbook! :) And remember, the more calories you can fit into your mishloach manot, the better. Feel free to treat yourself to your very own shushan purim hamentaschen feast... I know I'm still enjoying all those butter-enriched cookies. :)


  1. I can attest to the Hamentaschen myself! When I got to work today, there were a couple other kinds waiting from previous mishloach-manots. Maya's date-filled ones were by far the best, though. Not as sweet, but very very tasty!

  2. Hi Maya,

    Those sound delicious! Here's a web site with the gram conversions:


  3. Thanks, that's really helpful! However, I still can't figure out how to use grams to tell me how many cups are in a stick of butter. When I measure it out it seems like on of our sticks is about 3/4 of a cup, but then when I actually bake it seems to work better to treat a stick like a full cup. It's confusing!

  4. A cup is 8 oz, so 3/4 cup would be 6 oz. (or about 1 + 1/2 sticks of "American-sized" butter)

    A *rough* conversion is 29 grams per ounce (wet or dry), so 29 (gr) x 6 (oz) = 174 (gr) of butter.

    I specifically googled "sitcks of butter" and found this conversion (for an Aussie asking about America recipes) for "American butter":

    1 stick of butter = 1/4 pound
    1 stick of butter = 1/2 cup
    1 stick of butter = 8 tablespoons
    1 stick of butter = 4 ounces
    1 stick of butter = 113 grams

  5. nice!! thanks!! Now I have to find you some pictures of the sun. :)

  6. That would be welcome here in middle America! We had about 4-5 days that were in the 60's, but last night another cold front came through. Last night, when I went to the store about 9pm, it was 55 degrees. When I awoke at 5:30 this morning it was 18 degrees with a wild chill of 9 degrees.

    I guess winter isn't over just yet!! :-)

    I have a question for you, Maya. How do I make the perfect homemade Hummus? I really enjoy your recipes and stories about day-to-day life (like the differences in mops!) Keep up the good writing!


  7. Thanks for the recipe Molly! I'm totally going to try it and thanks to prophetjoe for the conversion table! Hamentaschen is like my favorite kind of cookie (as long as there are no poppy seeds), I'll have to make them to the next cookie swap.


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