I have one last Purim idea to share, and this one by far (at least in my opinion) gets you the most bang for your time.
I've read so many articles over the past few weeks promising to share with me the easiest hamentashen recipe ever - and let's face it, those headlines are alluring because hamentashen are a serious pain in the you-know-what to make and bake.
But I'm going to do it anyway. I'm going to say it. These are the EASIEST Hamentashen Ever.
More often than not, recipes start out with the author claiming to be offering the simplest and most time-efficient way to make and bake and cook. And then, funnily enough, that same author will then offer 17 steps, no pictures, and an optional but not really optional trip to the local ethnic market.
My hamentashen though, do not have 127 steps because hamentashen are my #1 holiday-themed-baked-good-nemesis.
Rolling out the dough without it sticking to the counter? Pretty much never happens.
Lifting the dough circles off the counter and not losing their circular shape? Not mine.
Sticky jelly everywhere, from the kitchen counter to the front door? Every single time.
And the worst - I pinch and I crimp and seal the hamentashen triangles with water and a paint brush, I lovingly put them into the oven and wait patiently while they bake. And then, something happens - and the tray will always emerge full of wide-open hamentashen that are oozing scorching hot jelly all over the oven door.
No. Just no.
So here's the secret.
1. Drive to the closest Shoprite.
2. Buy hamentashen.
3. Drive home.
See how easy?
Once the hamentashen are safely inside your house and you've thrown away the evidence, um, I mean packaging, it's time to personalize them.
There are so many ways, where to start?
1. Melt some chocolate in the microwave, let it cool briefly and, using a spoon, gently drizzle melted chocolate over each hamentash. Let the hamentashen dry on a sheet of wax paper.
2. Repeat step #1, and moving quickly before the chocolate hardens, toss a handful of sprinkles over the hamentashen. Bonus points for rainbow sprinkles, but chocolate on chocolate is always nice too. Triple points for edible glitter.
3. Grab a pack of lollipop sticks and dip the top third of each stick into melted chocolate. Use the chocolate to glue the lollipop stick to the back of the hamentash and lay the hamentash face down on a piece of wax paper until the lollipop stick and the hamentashen have dried together.
I'm not going to lie, I used this trick to make hamentashen lollipops for mishloach manot for Josh's work family. And I also might have done the same to some packaged pareve chocolate chip cookies to round things out and to make it okay that the only thing I put into the mini mishloach manots was a real lollipop. I have no idea if any of them follow along here, but seriously, I'm not even a little bit embarrassed. There are so many of them and only one of me and a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to get through Purim.
Also, packaging? It's everything. Piling dressed-up hamentashen on a paper plate and covering it with plastic wrap is certainly one way to go, but taking some time to play around with ribbon and lollipop bags can be sort of relaxing. Heck, who I am I kidding? Everything is relaxing when the kitchen isn't covered in jelly and I can pretend to be the lady from the old Rice Krispie Treats commercial, reading a book in the kitchen and throwing some flour on my face before the kids come home.
It works, by the way, the whole throwing flour on yourself thing. Don't trust me? Try it yourself. Just don't ruin your perfectly tricked out hamentashen by getting flour all over them by accident. Then just sit back, and read a good book until your family comes home and oohs and ahhs over your very special hamentashen that took all the live long day to make.
How stinkin' cute are these?
And I say that as someone who did not at all come up with this idea.
I found the original idea here, and then we kind of did our own thing because I couldn't get the printable download to print for me. It was just as well, because there was a half day of school on Taanis Esther and we needed an activity.
My girlies made these for their morahs for mishloach manot.
We started with Hershey bars - and it took everything I had to buy the right number of chocolate bars, and not purchase an extra (several) for me.
We used white cardstock and cut out circles for the heads.
While the girls colored the faces, I printed out some clipart that may or may not have been free - I used superhero masks and a superman logo, all in black and white so the girls could choose what colored markers they wanted to use for each teacher. ALSO, why is colored ink SO EXPENSIVE? It's like Office Depot and Staples have teamed up to take ALL THE MONEY. So we print in black and white and use markers. It's all good.
The girls also cut out blank squares and wrote a message on each one to each teacher.
They glued it all together with a glue stick and used regular white glue to add some yarn for hair. A red construction paper cape was glued onto the back of each chocolate bar.
And then I used my magical cellophane bags (did you see yesterday's post where we discovered a world of premade cellophane bags?) to package the chocolate bars up, folding the cape around the chocolate so it would all fit inside nicely. Some ribbon, a scissor to curl the ribbon and we were done.
Happy Purim dear morahs! We hope you enjoyed these as much as we enjoyed making them for you!
Wanna hear crazy?
Well, first, happy Shushan Purim! My kids came home from school all hopped up on sugar and Yoohoo chocolate milk boxes, covered in glittery tattoos and face paint. No one wants to shower, and they're all laying on the couch in a chocolate and grape juice induced haze, calling for me to bring them the remote that is about three inches away from them. They are too weak to move, these poor children. It's going to be a long night, but it's all good because there is a blizzard coming our way tonight, and school has already cancelled itself for tomorrow. Is it just me, or do you also think that maybe our beloved teachers might be laughing all the way home? Now it's the mommy's job to shuttle the kids through their withdrawal symptoms once the sugar high crashes. It should be fun.
Back to crazy.
We made four different types of mishloach manot this year.
Crazy. It wasn't on purpose, things just seemed to take on a mind of their own.
One kind for the girls to take to school for the classmates.
Another kind was for the girls' teachers.
A third for Josh's work family and the last, our actual themed mishloach manot.
We chose baseball as our theme this year, and I found bags of mini Baby Ruth candy bars for 75% off and these very cute NY Yankees cups in Party City - 50 cups for $8. Wait, let me rephrase that. I found the chocolates and the cups and then I decided that we would be doing a baseball theme this year. An excellent sale always makes picking a theme that much easier.
We made a tag to go with the baseball cup - I don't have a picture of it, but (I hope) it looked like a ticket to a Persian Baseball League game dated 14 Adar 5777 at the Shushan Stadium in Shushan Habirah, Shushan. It took me an entire day to make them, a day that I will never get back again.
Our mishloach manot tagline (courtesy of my friend Jessica): Three strikes and Haman is out!
Initially, I had visions of all of us wearing baseball uniforms, maybe one of us an umpire? A coach? Who knows. But at least we'd all be baseball related. My girls balked, and so in an attempt at a compromise, I ordered them cheerleader costumes - it was only later, after I ordered the non-returnable and very pink dresses and pom poms, did one of my sons point out that there are no cheerleaders in baseball. Huh. Who knew?
Moving along, one son was happy to be a baseball player. No, a hockey player. No, a baseball player. No, a hockey player. I felt dizzy.
Josh didn't want me to spend the money on a baseball shirt (jersey?) for him. He wore his old hockey jersey. The other son dressed as a mad scientist because why not? And I couldn't find my Yankees baseball cap so I wore my superbowl one.
We were not a cohesive group this year, but the mishloach manot was pretty dang cute. Until I ran out of the mini pretzel packs that were the main ingredient that was tying the whole shebang together.
As luck would have it, we were baking hamentaschen at the same time I realized there was no way we'd have enough pretzels. But we did have a lot of hamentaschen dough. A lot of dough. Why? Because when I made the dough, I forgot that the written recipe was already doubled, so I doubled it. I felt vaguely troubled when I cracked eight eggs into the bowl, but who am I to doubt the recipe, so I went along with it. And then all of a sudden, there was a enough dough for a small village to make hamentaschen.
Early on in the hamentaschen making, we ran out of jelly, so that was the end of that. First I was annoyed, but then we regrouped and made baseball shaped cookies (circles really :) to use as filler instead of the pretzels. Done and done.
We also filled the cups with Twizzlers and sour belts because they are long and thin and were my pretend baseball bats. Each cup also got either a cookie or a bag of pretzels, or sometimes both (we made a lot of cookies) and a Baby Ruth chocolate bar. Except the ones that went to school - those got plain old Hershey bars because they are peanut-less.
I had a slight panic attack when I realized that I'd need to wrap cellophane around each one because there is nothing that ruins mishloach manot making like having to play around with cellophane that never does what it's supposed to do. But! But! Did you know cellophane comes pre-made in different sized bags? I knew they came in an x-large size for very big gift baskets but it seems they come in mini too, which were a perfect size, and were available, serendipitously enough, at the exact same Michael's that my friend Goldie happened to be standing in when I called her to cry about the my cellophane problem.
It was obviously a Purim miracle.
Next up: Superhero chocolate bars for our teachers.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)