Who doesn’t love to play with Model Magic? Squidgy, lightweight, irresistible. Expensive, too, but I find it on sale and buy the big packs of white. It’s ever so much fun to color blobs of it as needed, just by poking at it with a washable marker and kneading until the new color is smooth.
Model Magic comes to the rescue of my art classes, with whom I will not have time to bake the really-real hamantaschen, even my slacker version. This is a bummer for me, and I suspect for the kids, too, as most do not get the chance to bake at home. But, one 25-minute class is time enough to go through the right motions and still end up with cute fridge / locker magnets destined to mystify non-Jewish friends.
Model Magic Hamantaschen:
Give each kid a white chunk the size of a golf ball, and let them poke blobs of brown marker all over it. Show them how to knead the color until blended. Kneading this stuff is sensorial heaven: foamy, smooth, never sticky. Keep adding color until a convincing, hamantasch-dough beige shade is achieved.
Roll this into a sphere on the table or in the palms, and smoosh it flat with the bottom of a drinking glass. The kids love to do this step, and to look at the clay through the glass as it gets smooshed, so pick a clear glass with a big, flat bottom.
The “filling” can be a marble, a checker (especially the kind with a crown in bas-relief), a colored cardboard circle, a painted wooden token, etc., or a blob of Model Magic in a different color from the dough. Note well, though: Model Magic sticks to itself. So, if you fold the “dough” over a soft blob of fresh, colored filling and then wish to reposition, you are doomed. The perfectionist streak in certain children will result in the new color comprised of dough and filling smooshed together in frustration: the proverbial “preschool gray” feared by teachers.
The urge to reposition is powerful and must be honored. To make a triangle cookie out of a circle can be a fine-motor, spatial-awareness workout. Even older kids forget how to do it after a whole year of not making hamantaschen.
To avoid this inevitable outcome, I provide marble-size blobs of already dry Model Magic in colors that match traditional fillings: black (mohn / poppyseed), brown (lekvar / prune butter), orange (apricot), and red (cherry). The fresh dough clay can be peeled off of the dried filling clay without eliciting tears of frustration. Crisis averted.
When the hamantasch is filled and folded, you can ever-so-gently press a magnet to the back, just enough to create an indentation, and then remove it. This indentation will make it easier for the magnet to stay glued to the finished, dry product about 24 hours later. So, let it dry without the magnet, then glue the magnet in its allotted place. Or, forget the whole magnet impression step and trust in the adhesion of a fabulous glue. Either way works.
BibleBeltBalabusta hamantaschen links:
- Nearly Instant Hamantaschen for Dorm, Class or Slacker Home
- Let the Hamantaschen Begin (baking w/ kids, different categories of hamantaschen)