Hamantaschen Recipe – Tips to Make the Perfect Purim Cookie

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

Hamantaschen dough is really easy to make and requires no refrigeration time! The filling options for Hamantaschen are endless – from poppy seed filling to all kinds of jams, chocolate, and more. I share lots of unique ideas in this post as well as tips and tricks for how to get the triangular cookies to hold their shape.

Looking down on a grouping of Hamantaschen with a variety of fillings

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 1/8″ thick. I like to roll between two silicone mats. This helps keep the dough from sticking.

Tip: You can use the same dough to make more cakey hamantaschen by rolling to 1/4″ thick instead of 1/8″ thick.

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.

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.

Top-down view of the three folds required to make Hamantaschen

Once you’ve folded your hamantaschen, place them on a cookie tray and freeze for 15 minutes. Freezing the dough helps it to keep its shape in the oven.

If you prefer a shiny look to your hamantaschen, brush with egg just before baking.

Brushing a trash of hamantaschen with egg

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

Hamantaschen Filling Ideas

Traditionally, hamantaschen are filled with jam or poppy seed filling. 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, like thumbprint cookies, the sky is the limit when it comes to fillings.

Tip: Choose a thick filling as thin and runny fillings can leak out and cause the cookie to open up during baking.

Some unique hamantashen fillings include:

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close up of a big plate of hamantaschen
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4.31 from 26 votes

Hamantashen Recipe – Tips to Make the Perfect Purim Cookies

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


  • 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.


  • 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 1/8 inch thick. (If you prefer a cakier hamantashen, roll to 1/4".)
  • 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. I like to use a 3 1/2" cookie cutter.
  • Add about 1 teaspoon of filling to the center of each piece of dough for a 3 1/2" cookie. Use more or less if you make a different size.
  • 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.
  • Transfer to a try lined with parchment paper. Put the tray in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will help the cookies to hold their shape.
  • Remove from the freezer and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies just start to brown.


  • 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. Thicker fillings work better than thin runny fillings. If you want to use a thin filling, use just a little of it to keep it from overflowing out of the cookie.
  • Store the cookies in a sealed container for up to one week or package them to give to friends in Purim baskets (mishloach manot).


Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 51mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.6mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Annasays:

    5 stars
    Toda raba. This is very helpful. I will try to fold and not to pinch
    Next time.

  2. Miriamsays:

    Happy Purim dear Stef, I love your recipe, Ishall bahe it this weekend, Love.

  3. Miriamsays:

    Happy Purim, love your recipe, I will bake it this weekend

  4. Regina Coopersays:

    So if you don’t pinch how does it stay together?

  5. adinasays:

    5 stars
    thank you so much – we have been using this recipe for years – any advice on freezing them? please and thank you for considering

    • Stefani Pollacksays:

      I’ve never had to freeze them, but I would think they would freeze really well. I’d make sure they were in an airtight container.

  6. Bakelightsays:

    5 stars
    I downloaded this recipe years ago now, and it is hands down the best I have ever made. Thanks too for the step by step instructions–my hamantashen often failed before:-).

  7. Adelesays:

    Thanks for the tip about folding. I could never understand why my hamantashen always looked like sloppy uteruses!

  8. Bonnie Vothsays:

    Very interesting since my Bible reading is now in Ester. When I looked up the celebration of Purim they mention a poppyseed filling. Do you know of a recipe for this filling?

  9. faysays:

    Would you have a Hamantashen recipe using oil instead of margerine or butter?

  10. Arlenesays:

    Aproximately how many hamentashen can be made with this recipe?
    Thank you!

  11. Arlenesays:

    Aproximately how many hamentashen will you get out of this recipe?

  12. Jennifersays:

    I make your recipe every year for Purim. They always go over so well!! Thank you for posting!

  13. Anonsays:

    Came out terrible. I don’t like too sweet but this didn’t have enough sugar. Also most of them got burnt

  14. Derek Stanleysays:

    How many does this recipe make for medium-ish sized cookies? I’m making these for a religion project so that knowledge would be helpful… besides that, looks great!

  15. Miriamsays:

    For the first time I made oznei aman. after studyind several récipes.but the dough was stiky, difícil to work or shape., can you help me to make a better one. and how can I prepare poppy sedes.

    thank you

  16. Michelesays:

    That’s a good shaping method if your filling is jam (or worse, jelly), which melts and leads to flattening and opening, but if you are using a traditional thick filling like lekvar or mohn (or the less-traditional Nutella) it’s not necessary. Feel free to pinch away (unless you prefer the fold-over design to the pointy-cornered look). If you do use jam, try an all-fruit spread rather than a sugary/corn-syrupy product, and it won’t melt as much.

    This is assuming your dough is the correct consistency and temperature (chilled!) and is not coated with flour. For the people with crumbly dough problems, or heavy, dry cookies, the #1 culprit is usually mis-measured flour. Never scoop, shake, or pack your cup. Spoon the flour in and level it with a straight edge, or measure it by weight.

  17. Abbysays:

    traditional hamantaschen have pinched corners. Maybe you just need a better dough. I made the ones from this recipe last year and they came out exactly like the picture (pinched). http://www.chabad.org/blogs/blog_cdo/aid/2129750/jewish/Chocolate-Dipped-Cream-Cheese-Hamantashen.htm

  18. Debbysays:

    Ummmm, I’m not Jewish, but according to a Bible Study I did where the recipe was provided, I think they are supposed to be ‘ears’ and not ‘hats’…? hence the name translated at ‘Haman’s ears’ ?

  19. Anonymoussays:

    This recipe appears to be missing a key ingredient: some kind of liquid to hold the dough together. Mine came out too crumbly to work with until I added 1/2 cup of milk. I think there should be more liquid in this, or else specify that the butter should be melted, not just room temperature. In any case, butter is not liquid at room temperature, so perhaps a different shortening is called for–or as I did, add milk. The fold-over technique didn’t work quite so well as the pinch technique, but the cookies were well received and disappeared pretty quickly. :) Certainly this is an easier recipe than some I have found, once the texture problem is solved.

  20. Tristyn Duffysays:

    I baked these last night, and yes, I pinched. Turned out great! This is a very buttery dough which is nice as it lends pliability, but like most cookie doughs, the fat needs to cool down before going in the oven. I popped each sheet in the freezer for 5-7 minutes before baking.

  21. Tristyn Duffysays:

    “Hamantaschen” is Yiddish for “Haman’s pockets” (this is an easy thing to figure out if you think about tashlich). Like many aspects of Judaism, there are different ways to look at and think about things.

  22. Anonymoussays:

    Thanks, this recipe sounds lovely. I have always used orange juice in mine to make a tart, flavorful dough. And, also place already shaped hamantasen in freezer before baking, which helps prevent them from opeining up. Have also decorated with sprinkles on the tops before baking; especially iwhen making chocolate chip dough with chocolate genache…always a big hit. .
    This recipe was fast and easy, and I especially enjoyed using your baking tips.

  23. Anonymoussays:

    looks fantastic i’m going to try them for the first time i’m a great baker to begin with, they will come out perfect.
    God be with you

  24. Anonymoussays:

    Why do other recipes use orange juice?

    • Stefsays:

      I don’t know.

      • Michelesays:

        Because they want the cookies to be pareve (those recipes would also use oil or margarine, not butter), and/or because the acid in the OJ has a tenderizing effect on the dough, and also adds some flavor.

  25. Beautifuljuliesays:

    Thank you so much for the tip about folding not pinching! That’s were I went wrong last year! Just made a batch and they smell amazing! Happy Purim!

  26. Anonymoussays:

    Hey Hamantashen are not to symbolize the hat that haman wore but to symbolize his ear…yes you read correctly! Hence, in Hebrew they are called OZNI HAMAN -Hamans Ears.

    Happy Purim

  27. Anonymoussays:

    Thanks for this recipe-I made them with my 4 year old daughter, and they turned out great! My mother (a former caterer) says pinching corners with water or eggwhite will keep the corners together. I stuck mine in the freezer for a few minutes before baking, and they turned out gorgeous. Thanks!

  28. Anonymoussays:

    (I mean baking powder)

  29. Anonymoussays:

    Thanks so much! I made these cookies gluten free AND sugar free! I used gluten free baking flour instead of regular flour. I used 1/2 a cup of clear agave syrup and a touch of maple syrup in exchange for the sugar. I added that to the egg/butter mixture and then put it into the flour/baking soda, salt mix. It came out perfect!!!

  30. Anonymoussays:

    A better song to hear-


    happy Purim

  31. LaurenBEsays:

    Hey guys! Great recipe. We made some filled with smoked salmon cream cheese. oy vey they were delicious!

  32. Stefsays:

    Aly – It could be the temperature of your butter? Was it colder the first time than the second time? Also, sometimes the dough can get dryer from over-mixing.

  33. Alysays:

    I made these a few weeks ago, but unfortunately (I’m young, don’t judge) I used baking SODA instead of powder and they tasted horrible. So I made these again a few days ago the right way, and they turned out delicious. The only thing is, though, the dough was different this time. I followed the recipe exactly, but the dough was really dry and I had a really hard time folding it without it crumbling. Can anyone explain why this happened? I am not a cook and have virtually no experience, so I would like to know why this happened for future reference.

  34. CarolynTsays:

    Thanks for this recipe…worked great…and the ‘no pinching’ suggestion was spot on…all these years, I’ve been pinching!

  35. Amysays:

    These turned out fantastic! I posted about it at http://alittlenosh.blogspot.com/2011/03/hamentashen.html


  36. Amysays:

    Looking forward to making these this weekend!

  37. Anonymoussays:

    I found the dough to be a bit sticky and they didn’t always stay shut in the oven – although otherwise pretty easy to work with. thanks for sharing!

  38. Anonymoussays:

    LOVE you comment about not pinching. That’s been a life-long problem with my hamentaschen, and this year I’ll be folding instead and we shall see. Thank you! Chag Sameach!

  39. pnotinesays:

    Thanks for the recipe! Love the folding, not pinching technique. Mine always ended up looking like your picture. I’m going to make apricot (my favorite) and Nutella this year to change things up! Hope they turn out :)

  40. melissasays:

    i’m trying these today. i lost my recipe that i had been using for a few years. i like the crunchy hamentashen so i’m excited to try this one!
    love the video! so cute!

  41. Something Differentsays:

    Your way looks nice, but the pinching method is much more traditional looking. I actually succeeded with the pinch method, though I had to pinch really tightly.

    The two things I found that helped them stick together were-
    1) I put very little filling, and,
    2) I put egg whites on the corners.

    Btw, I just found your blog, searching for hamantashen, and it looks great! I am going to look through your old posts now!

  42. Hilary Tuttlesays:

    Great recipe, though when I made it, the dough was far too crumbly–adding the other 1/4 of a cup of butter or margarine makes it a perfect consistency for rolling!

  43. Julesays:

    So I made these last night. The dough was very easy to handle (surprising, since rolling out cookie dough is not one of my many talents) and turned out very nice. I definitely understand what you mean about cakey-ness now. These are my first hamantashen ever (making and eating) so I’, not sure if they turned out properly. They taste good (filled with apricot jam).

  44. Stefsays:

    Honey and nuts, chocolate, apples, raisins. Whatever you can dream up!

  45. Anonymoussays:

    do you know of any alternative fillings for this recipe we are all out of jam and i tried prunes but they dont work too well

  46. Anonymoussays:

    I am in the pinching corner :) I think the difference is the dough. I use Marcy Goldman’s sugar cookie recipe, along with a colder dough, and try to minimize the amount of flour used for rolling. Also, I combine jam with finely chopped walnuts so that it stays thicker. Thin fillings will leak and cause the sides to open more easily. I do think your folded ones look lovely and will try that next year. Thanks for the tutorial.

  47. Stefsays:

    I’m going to have to try the sticking them in the fridge before baking them thing next time. Thanks!

  48. bakingforthecuresays:

    These look delicious! About the pinching- ctually, you could pinch these, but then you have to put them in the fridge for a while. Trust me, once you chill the cookies, they won`t open while baking.

  49. Shari@Whisk: a food blogsays:

    That video is fabulous…made me smile! I’ve never had Hamantashen, so I don’t know if I’d like cakey or crispy. They look delicious! And your drawing is fun too.

  50. Sarasays:

    These look great, and I love your Haman picture. I am going to make some hamantashen in honor of Purim, but I am a fan of the cakey variety. I don’t even think I have had a crispy version.

  51. chelseassays:

    i’m loving your illustration!
    if only more cookies were displayed that way:)

  52. Pinkysays:

    I’ve made these at to different bakeries I’ve worked at. Both used crispier style cookie, and I loved them! But we always pinched them. They just require a very firm pinch.

  53. Elysesays:

    I love Hamantashens!!! I remember the days in preschool when we used to get to dress up for Purim. I’ve never made these because, being the daughter of a very Jewish mother, she was always feeding me. But I haven’t lived hom for quite a while now, so I guess I have no excuse to not make these for myself!

  54. Little Miss Cupcakesays:

    These look great! I am looking forward to the cupcake version. Thanks for the history lesson too!

  55. Stefsays:

    No. They were not.

  56. Sylviasays:

    Were yours brushed with egg?

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