Faith Kramer's Candied Carrot Hamantaschen (Faith Kramer)
Faith Kramer's Candied Carrot Hamantaschen (Faith Kramer)

Fight evil this Purim with sweet carrot hamantaschen and tortellini with chickpeas

Purim foods often symbolize the virtue of Esther, the downfall of Haman, the surprises of the Megillah and the sweetness of overcoming evil. This Purim (sunset March 9 to nightfall March 10), try two new recipes that draw on these traditions.

Candied Carrot Hamantaschen are shaped like the evil vizier’s hat (or pocket) and celebrate the Jewish victory. The cookies’ filling is orange and cinnamon-flavored candied carrots, a twist on an old-fashioned Ashkenazi sweet.

Chickpeas are eaten in recognition of Esther having kept a vegetarian diet in the palace. Chickpea and Tortellini Sauté combines them with the pasta, which with its “hidden” filling symbolizes the subterfuges of the Purim story.


Candied Carrot Hamantaschen

Makes 12 cookies

  • Hamantaschen Dough (see below)
  • 1¾ cups sliced carrots (cut in ¼-inch rounds)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. orange oil OR ½ tsp. orange extract (see notes)
  • Water as needed
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Flour as needed
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbs. water

Place carrots in saucepan with water just to cover. Stir in sugar, zest, salt and orange oil. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Lower heat. Simmer uncovered 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are very, very soft and most of the liquid is evaporated and what is left is syrupy. Remove from heat. Stir in cinnamon. Coarsely mash carrots.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin. Roll out dough ¼-inch thick. Cut into 3- to 3½-inch-diameter circles with cookie cutter or upside-down glass. Combine scraps into a ball and repeat as necessary. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Lightly brush the outer rim of the top of each circle with egg wash. Place ½ Tbs. of filling in center of each. Push up 3 sides to form triangle, firmly pinching so cookies maintain their shape. Brush egg wash on outside of cookies, making sure to cover all pinched seams. Bake 22-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on rack.

Hamantaschen Dough: Use your favorite recipe or try this one. Stir together 1 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 Tbs. sugar, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Cut 4 Tbs. room-temperature unsalted butter or stick margarine into small pieces. Use two forks to cut butter into flour until the bits of combined butter and flour are each about the size of a lentil. Mix in 1 large egg (beaten). Stir in 2 Tbs. of milk or nondairy milk until a rough dough forms. Hand knead until ball forms.

Notes: Substitute ½ cup orange juice in carrot cooking liquid for orange oil or extract. Recipe doubles well.


Chickpea and Tortellini Sauté

Serves 3-4

  • 8 or 9 oz. package cheese tortellini
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided, plus as needed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 cup sliced carrot (cut in ¼-inch rounds)
  • 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups (packed) chopped kale
  • ¼ tsp. sugar, if needed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • ¼ shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini according to package directions until firm to the bite. (Do not overcook.) Drain, rinse in cold water and drain.

Heat 2 Tbs. oil in 12-inch fry pan over medium high heat. Sauté onions until softened. Add garlic. Sauté until golden. Stir in salt, black pepper and pepper flakes. Add carrots, sauté until they soften and are almost cooked. Stir in chickpeas and kale. Sauté until kale is cooked, drizzling in oil if needed. Taste. Adjust seasonings. Add sugar if too bitter. Gently stir in tortellini until warmed through. Stir in 1-2 Tbs. oil. Serve garnished with tomatoes and cheese.

Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer. She blogs about her food at clickblogappetit.com. Contact Faith at clickblogappetit@gmail.com.