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Haman's Family Tree

Written by Esther Ottensoser on Friday, 02 March 2012. Posted in Food Mood, Table Toppers

We all have vivid memories of special Purim moments even from many years ago – especially if they were a unique family activity or “ritual” that was done year after year.
One of my most favorite would begin already on Rosh Chodesh Adar when my Aunt  Shoshana would string Haman and his 10 sons from the chandelier in her dining room. There, this motley group of gingerbread men would “hang around” until they would meet their ultimate “demise” at the Purim Seudah when my uncle and cousins would be sure to do their share of “Mechias Amalek.”
Taking this concept a bit further, you can “treet” your family and guests to a memorable Purim centerpiece, which can be put together on any level, from simple backyard branches with plain gingerbread man cookies , to curly willow branches with elaborately decorated royal iced gingerbread man cookies – and everything in between. So whether Parshandasa and company are hanging from your light fixture, or “branching” out over your Purim Seudah, you’re bound to create special Purim memories for your family for many years to come. 

Haman’s “Family Tree”



Your favorite sugar cookie dough
Gingerbread man cookie cutter
You may use any of the following supplies to decorate your cookies (if you like you can keep them plain)
Edible markers, colored sugar, colorful chocolate chips, rolled fondant  or royal icing
Hamentash chocolate mold
3 oz baking chocolate
5 oz yellow baking chocolate
4 yds 1/8” ribbon(cut into 12” pieces)


1. Roll out dough.
2. Using you cookie cutter, cut out  11 cookies (if you like you can make “Haman” larger)
3. Using a drinking straw, make a hole towards the top of the gingerbread man head. Bake according to recipe directions.
4. Decorate cookies as desired. See Royal Icing recipe. 
5. Thread ribbon through hole. Join ends of ribbon to form a tight knot.
To form the hamantashen hat:
Melt baking chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Using a toothpick, ”paint”  the chocolate in the center of the hamantash mold. Allow to dry (approx 5 minutes). Next, add the yellow chocolate to the bowl and remelt  till the chocolate is well combined.
Using a small spoon, fill the Hamentash mold with the chocolate. Place chocolate mold in freezer till solid. Remove hamentash from molds. Repeat process till each gingerbread man has a hat. Using the chocolate as your ”glue” attach hamentash to cookie.



Curly Willow branches (available at florists) or you can use backyard branches
Large vase to fit branches
3-4 yards of 5/8-inch wide ribbon, for bows
1 yard of 1-1/2-inch wide ribbon 
11 gingerbread cookies  


1. Arrange branches in vase
2. Hang cookies from branches
3. Cut  5/8” ribbon into 12” pieces-randomly tie bows around branches. Wrap the 1-1/2” ribbon around vase and form bow.

Recipe for Royal icing


1 lb confectioners  sugar
5 Tbs Meringue powder
1/3 cup water
Piping bags
Couplers (plastic ring to keep the tips in place)
Tips # 1, 2 & 101


1. Beat the egg white and confectioners  sugar until peaks form.
2. Divide the icing into separate bowls. Tint each bowl with a few drops of food coloring. Stir to combine until you get an even shade in each bowl.
3. Fill a piping bag with the desired colored icing. Using a size 2 nozzle, draw right around the outline of the cookie, so that when you spread the icing over the cookie it doesn’t run over. Allow to dry.
4. Using the same color icing, add a few drops of water until you get a fairly thin, pourable consistency. Add more water if the icing is too thick or add more confectioners  sugar if it is too thin. With a teaspoon, pour the icing over the cookie until it touches the outline (you may need to use a toothpick to get into the corners).
5. Now using tips #1 and 2 decorate clothing make a face, hair, beard…..
Tip # 101 was used for some hair - it gives a larger, textured ribbon-like look.
Use your imagination and creativity.
Let your cookies dry a minimum of 2-3 hours.  
Print or review the Royal Icing Recipe

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About the Author

Esther Ottensoser

Esther Ottensoser is a food stylist whose work is featured in various publications. Whether it be party planning, marketing a product , party favors, demos or crafts, Esther takes simple, basic, everyday products and transforms them into an extraordinary presentation. Many of her creations are feature on her blog, estherodesign.com. Esther lives in  NJ and can be contacted via email at info@estherodesign.com.

Comments (2)

  • OvertimeCook
    05 March 2012 at 00:08 |

    These are adorable! Must remember to make them next year.

  • SaraT
    24 February 2013 at 03:44 |

    absolutely love this post! Its a minhag that I grew up with and I am now passing along to my kids! I'm going right now to ice my cookie men. 10 smaller ones and 1 larger one for Haman.
    a freilechen purim!

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