Tonight is a celebration of Purim. Purim is a celebration of Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai and how they triumphed over Hamman and his oppression of the Jews. One way to celebrate is to send food baskets to friends and family. (The Blog Appetit household will be sending a check to our local food bank instead.)
These Purim baskets often contain cookies named after Hamman, an ambitious king's advisor who wanted to punish the Jews. Middle Eastern Jews often make a puff pastry cookie shaped somewhat like a palm cookie. Eastern European Jews make hammantaschen, a yeast or cookie dough triangle filled with poppy seeds or prune, apricot or other jam or spread. The cookie is said to look like Hamman's hat.
Because of my schedule this year, I didn't bake any, but I received plenty from friends and neighbors. Here's a plateful from my friend Stacy.