Haman’s “Ears”

This recipe is a variation of fried Italian dough that an association with Carnivale probably before it was adopted for haman's earsPurim.  It is a perfect example of custom infiltrating society.  Italians would often use anisette for some of the brandy in this recipe.  And finely grated zest of 1 small lemon may be added as well for a more “Jewish” variation.


2 cups all purpose flour plus additional for rolling

2 Tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Tablespoons Brandy

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Vegetable oil for frying

Confectioner’s sugar

  1. Combine the first four ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until well combined.  Proceed immediately to add this mixture to the flour and stir by hand or machine until soft, slightly sticky dough is formed.
  3. Turn out dough onto a generously floured board and gently knead the dough for 15 strokes to form a soft ball of dough.  Cover with the inverted used mixing bowl and let the dough rest for ½ hour.
  4. Divide the dough in half and roll one half on a moderately floured board until it is very thin 1/16th of an inch and almost transparent.
  5. Pour three inches of oil into a deep pot or fryer and heat to 375’ F.
  6. Cut strips of dough that are about 4 inches in length by 1 inch.  As you lift up each strip the dough will stretch a little; this is o.k.  Bring the two ends of dough together and lightly press them to form a sagging O.
  7. Fry dough 3 or 4 pieces at a time until golden. Drain on crumpled paper towels.
  8. When all the dough is fried, place on a serving tray and sprinkle liberally with Confectioner’s sugar while still warm.  Serve.


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