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It is important with any culture to teach the younger generations the value and importance of their family heritage. In the Jewish culture, recognizing the value and important of Hanukkah is monumental in building a strong religious foundation.
One way to help children establish a concrete understanding of concepts is to explain meaning through the physical exploration of their surroundings. In this particular teaching opportunity, a child can learn to make Hanukkah cookies while the child's parent explains the religious meaning and value Hanukkah has in their family lives. Extend the learning by purchasing Hanukkah shaped cookie cutters, a menorah, oil lamp, Judah Maccabee and any others that you wish to include in your collection. As you make the cookies, teach your child the values and characteristics that you want them to remember for their lifetime.
This recipe requires the following ingredients:
1-cup butter or pareve margarine at room temperature
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Using a large mixing bowl, combine the margarine and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, juice and vanilla to the bowl and continue to mix.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, continue to stir until just blended.
Wrap the dough in wax paper and then re-wrap in plastic wrap. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees before you remove the dough from the refrigerator.
Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper; this non-stick paper is ideal for baking cookies.
Flour the workspace and rolling pin; remove the cookie dough from the plastic wrap and wax paper. Roll the dough until it is ½ to ¼ inch think. Use the Hanukkah cookie cutters to cut the cookie dough, carefully place the cookies on the parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake at 425 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.