We asked you for your most creative mishloach manot, (edible Purim gifts), recipes and you responded well. (To learn more about this tradition, see this morning’s post We received several hamantashen recipes including ones filled with cheesecake and even brownie bits. There was also the double chocolate hamantashen with chocolate dough and nutella filling — yum!. But our favorite was a recipe that has it’s root in the 1930’s and combines prune and apricot butters, raisins, walnuts and citrus zest. We also like the surprisingly simple recipe for candied ginger we received. Finally, I also share with you my personal recipe for blood orange maple nut granola, which I will be sending to my friends this Purim. Happy cooking and happy Purim.
Forgot to send us your mishloach manot ideas? Tell us about them in the comments.
Hamantaschen from Amy Mates
Amy writes: This recipe was given to me by my mother, taught to her by a kindly neighbor, Mrs. Bailen, on Norfolk Street on the Lower East Side in the 1930’s after her own mother had died and she became the one in charge of all the cooking. We all loved these as kids, and for many years my mom would send delicately wrapped ‘hummies’ to her children across the country, and even to her ‘machatunim’ after I was married. (The original recipe called for cooked pitted prunes, and it took my Great Aunt Bea to tell my mother in the l950’s that in America you can buy a ready made jar of Lekvar and save yourself a lot of work.)
1 jar Simon Fisher Prune Lekvar
1 jar Apricot butter
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
zest of one orange and one lemon rind
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1) Combine all filling ingredients and set aside
2) Cream sugar, honey, oil, eggs and lemon juice
3) Combine dry ingredients, add to above and blend
4) Sprinkle extra flour to remove dough from bowl
5) Roll onto floured board to about 1/4 inch think
6) cut with 4” diameter glass
7) fill, shape 8) bake 350 degrees for about 18-10 minutes.
Candied Ginger from Jacob Baskin
Jacob writes: Candied ginger goes great in trail mix, or with dried fruit. It is also a great way to add ginger flavor to baked goods without overwhelming with spice. I also like it on its own. Here’s how I make it.
1) Peel a large ginger root, and cut it across the grain in about quarter-inch slices. You want to cut across the grain so the ginger pieces, instead of being fibrous and hard to bite into, will flake apart easily. You should have about a cup of ginger when you’re done.
2) Immerse the ginger in water and simmer in a heavy pot until it is fork-tender, about 30-45 minutes. Strain it, reserving the water (which should now be golden yellow and translucent).
3) Take about 1/4 cup of the ginger water and return it to the pot with 1 cup of sugar, and place over medium-high heat. When the sugar is fully dissolved and starts to boil, add the ginger. Simmer until the sugar syrup starts to re-crystallize, about 20 minutes. Remove the ginger slices immediately and place on a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
4) Mix the remaining sugar syrup and ginger water to create a tasty ginger syrup that you can mix into tea or pour over pancakes
(Full disclosure, I have cooked with Jacob Baskin numerous times, so I can attest to the quality of his recipes.)
Blood Orange Maple Nut Granola
I make granola weekly and this is my favorite recipe, perfect for this time of year when blood oranges are readily available. It has become my standard house gift so some friends may have to endure getting a second batch for Purim. I don’t think they’ll mind much.
3 cups rolled old fashion oats
1/3 a cup real maple syrup
1/3-1/2 stick butter
Juice from one quarter small-medium blood orange
¼ teaspoon salt
½ or more teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pitted dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 large handful thinly-sliced almonds
Optional: 1/3 cup unsalted pepitas
1) Toast the oats in a pan on medium heat until they become fragrant and slightly darker in color, about 4 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. When done, place into a casserole or baking dish.
2) In a saucepot melt butter. Add maple syrup and juice until they are well combined.
3) Add cinnamon and salt.
4) Pour mixture over oats and stir until evenly covered.
5) Bake at 325 for 25 minutes
6) Mix through, then sprinkle nuts (and pepitas if you like) across top, return to oven for another 20 minutes or until brown. The granola will not be hard, but should be the right color.
7) Let cool on the stove (where the oats will become crisp and hard) and mix in the chopped cherries. Place into old jam jars.