Hamantaschen, Purim’s traditional triangular cookies, are relatively new to the Jewish gastronomic scene. They most likely originated in Bohemia, in what is now the Czech Republic, just two or three centuries ago. The earliest American recipe I could find for mohn maultaschen (poppy seed tartlets, which we would recognize as hamantaschen) was in 1889’s “Aunt Babette’s” Cookbook: Foreign and Domestic Receipts for the Household—published by Edward Bloch, who was from the Bohemian village of Grafenried. There aren’t that many ingredients, but that doesn’t stop bakers from having intense preferences; you’ll hear about mine in the video. However you make them, though, there’s one rule to follow: Save a few for yourself.
Editor’s note: The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking powder, not 1 tablespoon as indicated in the text of the video.
Joan Nathan is Tablet Magazine’s food columnist and the author of 10 cookbooks including King Solomon’s Table: a Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World.