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A helping hand for hamantaschen - improving

Inspired by the rainbow colours of French macarons, Paula Shoyer breathed new life into the Purim cookie


Hamantaschen have an interesting shape, and come in a variety of flavours — but let’s face it, they can be just a little bit dull. “In the world of Jewish desserts they’re the worst. They’re just not as tasty as everything else, so they don’t have wider appeal” says US-based, kosher baking expert Paula Shoyer. “
She set about saving the humble hamantashen’s reputation by inventing new filling and dough flavours for her Purim bakes. Inspiration came during a jetlagged night on a trip to London. “Back then, hamantaschen were very dull — one flavour of dough and a handful of fillings. I was lying there trying to think of something boring to get back to sleep. I was working out hamantaschen recipes and started thinking of French macaroons and their beautiful colours. Why couldn’t hamantaschen also be in different  colours and flavours?”
This was seven years ago.  At the time, Israeli bakers were being creative with hamantaschen doughs and fillings, but the rest of the Jewish world lagged behind. “Instagram changed everything, with people trying to outdo others visually.” 
Vanilla seed flecked dough; salted caramel; crunchy granola and feta-filled spanakopita are just some of the flavours she now bakes for Purim, giving the traditional triangles a new lease of life. “It shows that you can take something old-fashioned and celebrate it in a whole new way.”

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