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Hamantaschen Recipe – Tips to Make the Perfect Purim Cookie

Hamantaschen are a classic dessert for the Jewish holiday of Purim. They are triangular cookies designed to look like the triangular hat that the villain of the Purim story, Haman, wore.

The dough is really easy to make and requires no refrigeration time! The filling options for Hamantaschen are endless and I share lots of unique ideas in this post as well as tips and tricks for how to get the cookies to hold their shape.

hamantaschen

There is a bit of a rift in the Jewish community as to what the perfect hamantaschen texture should be.

Some like their hamantaschen cakey, while others, like myself, prefer the crisp cookie variety. My recipe is crispy and crunchy.

As all good Jewish recipes should be, this recipe for hamantaschen was passed down from my mom. She got the recipe from the 1955 Peekskill Cookbook (I presume that it was a fundraising cookbook for some organization in her town). The hamantaschen recipe was submitted to the cookbook by Dora Levin. Dora, I don’t know who you are or if you are still alive, but your recipe is now famous!

How to Make Hamantaschen

Mix the dough and roll it out to 1/4″ thick. I like to roll between two silicone mats. This helps keep the dough from sticking.

Cut the dough into circles any size that you like. You can use cookie cutters or the rim of a glass. I make mine with a 3 1/2 inch diameter circle because that is the perfect size to sit on top of my hamatashen cupcakes or to use on my hamantaschen pie.

Hamantaschen dough rolled out and cut into circles

Next, put a dollop of your filling in the middle of each circle.

DO NOT put too much filling or it will overflow.

Hamantaschen dough with filling in the center

Now, the trick is to turn the circle into a triangle.

What many people do is pinch the circle to create to the triangle.

We Jews seem to have a thing for pinching. [Insert mental image of a Jewish grandma squeezing a baby’s cheeks and saying, “Such a shayna punim (pretty face).”] When I first attacked the task of turning the circles into triangles, my instinct was simply to pinch in the corners.

Hamantaschen cookies that opened up during baking

The problem, as you can see, was that they all opened up during baking. Moral (and this should apply in all areas of life): Do not pinch!

So… how do you shape hamantaschen?

The trick to keeping hamantaschen closed is to fold! Fold down one third of the circle covering a portion of the filling. Then, fold the next third down, overlapping the first third. Finally, fold down the last third to create your triangle. Gently push the overlapping areas to seal in the goodness.

four steps for making hamantaschen

Bake the dough and you’ll get beautiful hamantaschen for Purim!

close up of a big plate of hamantaschen

Hamantaschen Filling Ideas

Jar of Orange Curd

Traditionally, hamantaschen are filled with jam, poppy seed filling (I have directions for making this filling in my lemon poppy seed sandwich cookie post).  Prune hamantashen filling is also very common. It’s made by blending half a pound of prunes in a food processor with the juice and zest of one lemon and a half cup of honey.

However, the sky is the limit when it comes to fillings. Some unique hamantashen fillings include:

Best Tips for Making Hamantaschen

  • Moistening the edge of the circle with a little water before folding can help the hamantaschen stick closed. This is especially helpful if it is dry where you are.
  • If you like a shinier look to your cookies, brush the top of the triangle with egg before baking.
  • Always fold to shape the cookies, never pinch.
  • Have fun experimenting with different fillings. You can use many different fillings in the same batch of cookies.
  • Store the cookies in a sealed container for up to one week or package them to give to friends in Purim baskets (mishloach manot).
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hamantaschen cookie
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Hamantashen Recipe – Tips to Make the Perfect Purim Cookies

An easy recipe for perfect Hamataschen cookies for Purim!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Jewish
Keyword hamantashen, hamantashen recipe, purim cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 88kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • your choice of filling jam, jelly, preserves, chocolate chips, nuts, prune filling, etc.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • Mix in butter and eggs.
  • Lightly flour work surface and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Use a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass to cut hamantaschen dough into circles.  You can make them any size that you like.
  • Use your finger or a pastry brush to moisten the edge of each circle with a tiny bit of water. This will help the cookies stay closed during baking.
  • Fold down one third of the circle, covering a portion of the filling. Then, fold the next third down, overlapping the first third. Finally, fold down the last third to create your triangle. Press the overlapping areas gently to seal in the goodness.
  • Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are just starting to brown.

Notes

  • If you like a shinier look to your cookies, brush the top of the triangle with egg before baking.
  • Always fold to shape the cookies, never pinch.
  • Have fun experimenting with different fillings. You can use many different fillings in the same batch of cookies.
  • Store the cookies in a sealed container for up to one week or package them to give to friends in Purim baskets (mishloach manot).

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Hamantashen Recipe – Tips to Make the Perfect Purim Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 88 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 51mg1%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 140IU3%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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If you are celebrating Purim, a Jewish holiday, this Hamantaschen Cookie is a treat for the Purim holiday! If you\'re looking for an easy hamantaschen recipe that will get you perfect results, I\'m sharing you my tips and tricks!
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