Time for Hamentashen!

Yessiree, it’s that time again. Purim is here!

Purim is a fun, almost carnival-like holiday, celebrating the Jews narrow escape from extermination in long ago Persia. (What can I say? It’s been thousands of years of persecution; at least we make a holiday of it.) Jews celebrate with costumes, food, parties and, yes, spirits.

One of the traditions involves baking tri-cornered tasty little cookies called hamentashen. You may see them in the supermarket or bakery, although those are usually kind of dry and yeasty, suitable for a commercial bakery.

Mine, however, are based on a cookie dough recipe and are the best (according to my family and friends – I’m not boasting. Uh-uh.)

The fillings can vary — prune butter is traditional, as is poppy seed. From there, you can use anything. I buy pastry filling at the supermarket in as many flavors as I can find — apricot, raspberry, cherry.

Here’s my recipe, along with photos of the process. Enjoy!

Hamentashen

Makes approximately 20 cookies

INGREDIENTS

½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ cup sugar
½ cup melted margarine or butter (1 stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour, plus 1 cup more for adjusting the dough and rolling out
2 -3 tbsp. milk
3 jars pastry fruit filling (your choice)

HOW TO

  1. Mix salt, baking powder, and sugar, then mix in melted margarine and vanilla.
  2. Mix in egg, flour and milk. Test consistency of dough. If it isn’t dry enough to roll, add a little more flour but be careful to not make it too dry.
  3. Roll out a piece of dough on a well-floured surface to approximately ¼ inch thickness [photo #1 below]. Use a round cookie cutter or wide glass mouth approximately 3 inches wide to “cut” cookies [photos #2].
  4. Put approximately 1 tsp. filling in each circle [photo #3].
  5. Pick up carefully, using a metal spatula, getting ready for the “fold” which is a little tricky [photo#4].
  6. Pinch each edge and partly cover the filling [photos #5, 6]. Put hamentashen on cookie sheets greased with shortening spray [photo #7], making last adjustments to shape of cookie.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 14 – 15 minutes. Cool on wax paper.
  8. Recipe makes 20 cookies per batch. You can easily double the ingredients to make two batches at once.
Hamentashen-rolling; photo by L. Goldman
Photo #1: Rolling out dough
Photo #2: Cutting cookies
Photo #2: Cutting cookies
Photo #3: Filling
Photo #3: Filling
Photo #4: Pick-up
Photo #4: Pick-up
Photo #4: Folding 1
Photo #5: Folding 1
Photo #5: Folding 2
Photo #6: Folding 2
Photo #6: Last touches
Photo #7: Last touches
Yum! Time to eat!
Yum! Time to eat!

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent recipe! The pictures reveal the secret of hamantashen folding to the masses. Thanks for giving it up.

  2. We have delicious Hamentashen here for those of you not wanting to make them your self. Our recipe was passed down to us from an old Jewish Baker and I must say ~YUMMO
    We make Apricot, Cherry, Prune, Lemon and Raspberry Daily (poppyseed are made to order)
    We carry two sizes ~
    Minature are $995lb ~ approx.16 per pound
    Regular $1.20@, $6.85 for 6 and $12.95 a dozen

  3. I made your Hamantaschen recipe tonight with the kids–very easy to make and they turned out amazing! Thank you!

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