Hamantaschen are a traditional cookie made for the Jewish holiday of Purim, which happens in late winter. This is a fun, celebratory holiday where people dress up and eat yummy cookies! (Watch the video to learn more about the history.) The dough is really simple, and you can fill the cookies with just about anything – we use jams and chocolate spread or whatever’s handy, but there are lots of recipes on the internet for different fillings including poppyseed, prune and nut mixtures. Susan Horowitz from Beth Israel Congregation told us more about the history of Purim and how to make these versatile, delicious, and sometimes very colorful (!) cookies.
For the Cookie Dough:
3 C Flour
1½ teasp Baking Powder
¾ C Sugar
¼ teaspoon Salt
1½ stick COLD Butter, cut into ¼” slices or cubes
3 ea Eggs
1½ Tbsp Citrus Zest (lemon, orange or lime – OPTIONAL)
This recipe can be mixed by hand, in a stand mixer or even in a food processor! The following directions are for mixing by hand.
This recipe makes about 40 cookies.
Sift the flour, baking powder into a large bowl and add the sugar and salt. Whisk together.
Add the cold butter and work into the dough using your fingers or a pastry blender.
Whisk the eggs slightly, then add in stirring with a spoon or using your pastry blender.
If you’re using it, add in the citrus zest.
You want your dough to be smooth, but don’t over mix.
Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap then place in the fridge for an hour or so.
When you’re ready to make the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350F
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone liner
Roll out the dough to about ? – ¼” thick. Cut rounds about 3” in diameter.
Place about 1½ teaspoons of filling in the middle, and fold 3 sides of the circle inward to form a triangle, pinching the corners together so the filling doesn’t leak out.
Place about an inch or two apart on the cookie sheet, as they will spread a bit, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool on the pan, for a few minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if you’d like, and consume!
Any jams or jellies you have in the fridge
Nutella or Cadbury chocolate spread
Dates chopped together with nuts
Poppyseed filling (canned is fine, if you can find it)
Chopped nuts with honey or maple syrup