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Overwhelmed by Purim guests? Make giant hamantaschen.

Purim always sneaks up on me.

I find myself relaxing in post-Chanukah bliss, drinking cocoa with no holidays on the horizon. Then the snow melts and BAM! Time to get ready for Purim! Time to get organized for Passover! Order costumes! Make mishloach manot! See that tulip? Now bake 600 hamantaschen!

This time of year goes from relaxed to hectic fast — and I somehow always find myself caught unprepared. While I love the taste of hamantaschen, making dozens of them can be tedious and time consuming.

This year I’m giving myself a break by making one giant hamantasch.

My giant hamantaschen are technically like the crostata marmelatta — a lovely Italian freeform jam tart. I shaped it like smaller hamantaschen, added orange juice to the dough for that classic fruity taste, and baked it up into one huge treat. This easy dessert is perfect for seudat mitzvah, Shabbat, or any time you have a lot of Purim company and no desire or time to fold dozens of tiny cookies.

The great thing about this recipe is it doesn’t look or feel like a time saving hack — it feels special, spectacular and silly. Perfect for Purim. When I brought it out at dinner my 5-year old daughter laughed hysterically. IT”S THE BIGGEST COOKIE EVER, she giggled. It’s Purim-tastic!

Giant hamantaschen

Pie Crust
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter/margarine
½ cup cold orange juice
1 egg beaten (set aside for egg wash)

Add flour, sugar, salt and butter to a food procedure. Process until combined. Add orange juice and process again, until the dough holds together and forms a wet ball. Don’t over-process, just combine. Remove dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Apricot Levkar

I don’t recommend store bought jam here — it’s too runny. This recipe from Tori Avey cooks up quickly and easily.

4 cups dried apricots
2 cups water
½ cup orange juice
1 cup sugar

Stir ingredients together in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling turn to low, cover and let simmer for one hour. Once they are cooked and soft, mash apricots with a potato masher or a wooden spoon until a jam-like consistency. Ready to use! If you end up with leftovers, you can use this in couscous or to glaze a chicken breast.

Baking: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the pie dough is cool, roll out some parchment paper. Dust your rolling pin with flour and spread some on the surface of your paper too. Roll your dough out into a circle. Place all of the filling in the center and spread evenly into a triangle shape. Carefully roll up the sides into a hamantaschen shape. You can trim them to be extra neat if you like. Brush the sides with egg. This tart is BIG, so carefully use the parchment paper to lift it onto your cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 -30 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool and enjoy!

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