It wouldn’t be Purim without hamantashen, the three-corner pastries shaped like the evil Haman’s hat. They are an expression of our wish to completely “consume” our enemies – and fun for the kids to boot. We are always searching for the best hamantashen recipes (Let us know which one you prefer or sent in yet another!) We have listed a variety here – some of our favorites and some contest entries – for you to try. Rolling out the dough is a bit of an effort so it’s wise to try to make them in advance – but be sure to save some for Purim!!
These cookies are traditionally filled with prune, poppy or fruit fillings (see recipes below) but can be filled with any preserve or filling of your liking. Be creative; try peanut butter and marshmallow fluff for your kids, or homemade applesauce with cinnamon for the apple pie lover)
3 cups flour
½ cup finely ground almonds
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
½ pound unsalted margarine or butter
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Hamantashen Fillings: (recipes follow)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, almonds, baking powder, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Blend or cut in the butter until the mixture resembles very fine crumbs.
In a small bow, beat the egg, water and lemon juice until well blended. Add to the flour mixture and beat until completely blended and the mixture begin to form a dough. Do not over mix.
Transfer to a floured board and knead the dough into a ball. Divide the ball into 6 equal portions for easier handling. Flatten each portion with the palms of your hands and roll it out to ¼ inch thick. With a scalloped cookie cutter or the top of a water glass, cut into 3 ½ inch rounds. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each round. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center to form a triangle, leaving a bit of the filling visible in the center. Pinch the edges to seal them.
Place the hamantashen on a lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet and brush with egg white. Bake fro 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and eat.
2 cups apricot preserves
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup chopped nuts like walnuts, toasted
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
1 ¼ cups pitted prunes
½ cup raisins
Sweet wine or water
½ cup sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
½ cup walnuts, toasted
In a large bowl, soak the prunes and raisins in enough wine to cover for 3 hours or overnight. Drain well. Chop or mince the prunes and raisins. Add the sugar, lemon juice and zests, and walnuts and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Poppy Seed Filling
4 ounces poppy seed
½ cup pareve milk
1 tablespoon unsalted margarine or butter
¼ cup seedless raisins
¼ cup walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine the poppy seeds, pareve milk, margarine, raisins, walnuts, and honey. Bring to a boil and stir over medium heat until the pareve milk is absorbed and the mixture thickens. Cool. Stir in the vanilla.
½ cup cocoa
½ cup sugar
¼ cup pareve milk, pareve cream or coffee
1 cup nuts, toasted
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly.
The next recipe was submitted by Sarah Faygie Berkowitz. I think I’m going to try it this year.
Easy Hamentashen w/ Gourmet Fillings
1 Duncan Hines Cake Mix (lemon, chocolate, butter golden, yellow strawberry,etc…)
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or regular)
2 tablespoons water
(Note the absence of oil, margarine or butter!)
Gourmet Filling Options:
Apple Pie: chopped apples and walnuts, cinnamon and sugar
Cappucino: Nestle’s Iced Jave syrup and a few chocolate chunks or chips Strawberry Daiquiri: Strawberry Preserves (or cut up fresh strawberries) and a shot of Strawberry Daiquiri Syrup Peanut butter and Jelly: A 1/2 spoonful of each side by side Lemon Zest: a small spoonful of lemon pie filling and grated lemon zest Cranberry Pecan: A scoop of whole cranberry sauce (chopped fresh or frozen cranberries optional) and chopped pecans
Mix all ingredients well with an electric mixer. Roll out dough to desired thickness. Cut out circles using a yartzheit glass or other round shape.
Place spoonfuls of filling, pinch corners together, place on parchment paper or greased cookie sheet and bake 12 – 15 minutes, depending on desired firmness and oven accuracy.
This dough really needs to be mixed in a kitchen aid. I tried by hand and only got crumbs and thought it was yet another defective recipe. The mixer made a perfect dough of my crumbs in about 4 seconds. The trick is to try to roll it out evenly on a floured surface (thick or thin – however you like it). One of the beauties of this dough is that you don’t have to pinch it to death to keep the filling contained. It doesn’t open up and ooze out like some other recipes I’ve tried.
I’ve waited my whole life for this recipe. I’ve made dozens over the years and none of them were what I wanted. I got the fillings down pat (anything but prune) but the great dough eluded me. Back in Atlanta, I suddenly remembered tasting a hamentash a neighbor had made years ago. I called her, and here it is in all its simple glory (if you’ve seen it before and everyone and her sister knows this one, don’t burst my bubble. Just be happy for me.)
This one is from Shoshana Ohriner
Recipe : Cranberry White Chocolate Hamentashen
1/2 cup margarine, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup shortening, cut into 8 pieces
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 beaten eggs
2-4 tablespoons orange juice
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten
Cranberry White Chocolate Filling
1 12 oz bag cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup orange juice
6 tablespoons sugar
4 oz white chocolate chips
Pulse the dry ingredients in the food processor until well combined. Add the margarine and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Add beaten eggs and pulse until combined.
Remove the from the food processor and pour into a large bowl. Sprinkle with two tablespoons of orange juice and mix until it comes together into a ball.
If the dough seems dry add the remaining orange juice.
Divide the dough into two disks, wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
While the dough is chilling make the filling. Place the cranberries, orange juice and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until all the cranberries have popped.
Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until they are melted. Let filling cool to room temperature.
Roll out dough and using a round cutter, cut into circles. Fill each circle with a small amount of filling. (For 2 inch circles use about a teaspoon of filling). Brush each circle with the egg wash and fold two sides together, pinching tight to make a corner. Fold up the remaining side to make a triangle with the filling showing in the middle and pinch the other two corners well. It is important that they are well pinched, so that they do not come open in the oven.
Bake at 350 until they are slightly firm to the touch, about 11 minutes.
And here is Rochel Lieberman’s submission:
Recipe : American Embassy Hamentashen
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups flour, sifted
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons Orange Juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
(either prepared or home-made)
Sift together sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Work the shortening in by hand (you can also do this in a food processor). Add the egg and orange juice, mixing until a dough is formed. Chill overnight, if possible, or at least 2 hours. Prepare Filling.
Roll out dough ~ 1/8th inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 3″ circles, and place 1 heaping teaspoonful of the filling on each. Pinch 3 edges together, leaving a small opening in the center. Place on a greased and floured cookie sheet, cover with a towel and let rest for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 20 minutes, until delicately browned on top. Transfer to cooling rack until completely cool. Can be frozen, but don’t expect to find too many left for Purim!
When we lived in Mexico in the 1980′s we became close friends with a giyores tzedek who was on diplomatic post in the American Embassy, She often brought us “treats” from the commissary, including her own baked goods that used “American” (i.e. unavailable to us) ingredients. This is her recipe, which we have enjoyed making for years afterwards, now that we are back in the US and have access to kosher ingredients. Enjoy!