Poppy seed filling is sweet and smooth – like a jam made with poppy seeds. Once you have it on hand, you can use as filling for poppy seed hamantashen, kolache, or thumbprint cookies, or a spread on toast or crackers.
What Do You Need to Make Poppy Seed Filling?
You want to make sure that the filling is smooth, like a paste, and not gritty or crunchy. To get it to that consistency, you’ll need a powerful blender or ground poppy seeds.
You can buy ground poppy seeds online, but it’s very hard to find in stores.
Your best bet will probably be to buy regular poppy seeds and to grind them yourself.
How to Make Ground Poppy Seeds
Ground poppy seeds should have a fine texture. They shouldn’t feel gritty when you run your hands through them.
There are several ways to grind your own poppy seeds:
- Use a poppy seed grinder – The upside is that there is no better tool for the job. The downside is that it is an expensive purchase which doesn’t have much application unless you are always making desserts with poppy seeds or other small seeds.
- Use a coffee/spice grinder – I’ve heard people swear by this method, but when I tried it, I couldn’t get the poppy seeds to be fine enough. If you have a very powerful coffee grinder, this may work for you.
- Blender – If you have a powerful blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec, this will be your best choice. You can grind poppy seeds in a just a few seconds in the blender. In this particular recipe, you can use whole poppy seeds and put everything into the blender at the end.
How to Make Poppy Seed Filling
Bring milk to a simmer and add whole poppy seeds, sugar, and honey.
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the poppy seeds absorb the milk. As they absorb the milk, they will turn into a thick paste.
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
Place the whole mixture into a powerful blender and blend until smooth.
Refrigerate for about 20 minutes before using to let the filling firm up.
The filling lasts in the refrigerator for up three weeks. You can also freeze it for several months.
Other Filling Ideas
Usually when I am using poppy seed filling in hamantashen or in other cookies, I like to also use other fillings to make a nice assortment. Some other filling ideas are:
- Chocolate ganache
- Dulce de leche
- Cranberry jam
- Bacon jam (Make sure you don’t use this in hamantashen or other cookies going to a kosher home!)
- Banana curd
- Cookie butter
Poppy Seed Filling
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium-sized pot on low heat, bring milk to a simmer and add poppy seeds, sugar, and honey.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the poppy seeds absorb the milk and you have a thick paste.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
- Place the whole mixture in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Refrigerate for about 20 minutes to let the filling firm up.