Posted by: thedirtybaker | March 6, 2012

Nosh Some Hamantaschen!

Purim starts tomorrow night, so I made hamantaschen last weekend.  On Friday, I made 4 batches of dough.  On Saturday, a friend (Mandy) came over and we made a double batch.  On Sunday, I made the rest of the hamantaschen with my first graders at Hebrew School, with the help of my two fantastic TAs, plus my hamantaschen-crazy friend Rebecca and Amy, one of the fantastic first grade parents.

For those who don’t know, Hamantaschen (which literally means “Haman’s pockets” in Yiddish) are said to represent the hat (weird, right?) worn by Haman, the villain in the biblical book of Esther.  The Hebrew name for these cookies is “Oznei Haman,” or “Haman’s Ears.” Don’t try making sense of the names, though – just enjoy the deliciousness!

They’re triangular-shaped cookies folded around a filling.  The traditional fillings are prune and poppy seed.  Fillings that are almost traditional by this point are apricot, and maybe strawberry or cherry.  When I baked with the first graders I used Nutella, and apricot and strawberry preserves.  When I made them at home, I used chocolate-peanut butter spread, lemon curd, apple butter, and pumpkin butter.  Those last two probably shouldn’t be used together – I can’t tell them apart by looking at them, though both are delicious.

This recipe comes from Ginny, who last I heard, was looking for a new recipe.  I’ve made it with a cream cheese dough, too, which was also fantastic, but prohibitively expensive for fewer results.

Ginny’s Hamantaschen 

Makes 15-25 cookies depending on size of cookie cutter


½ cup unsalted butter (softened)

Hamantaschen Silliness

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup honey

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour


Nutella Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread

Jam of any flavor or brand (I prefer the cheaper brands, but the gourmet stuff will work too as long as it not runny.  Best to open a new jar as jam tends to get a little liquid in the fridge and this extra liquid will make the cookies lose their form)

Using an electric mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, and salt until fluffy.  Add honey and mix until well combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla (the batter may look a little lumpy).  Add in flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Mix until the dough comes together.  Form the dough into a rough disk, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  It may be safely left in the refrigerator for several days.

Preheat Oven to 350°.

Once the dough is chilled, unwrap the dough and roll it out until it is about ¼ inch thick. Using either a round cookie cutter or a drinking glass, cut as many circles as will fit.  Reserve excess dough to be re-rolled.

Using two ordinary teaspoons (one to scoop from the jar, the other to push the filling off the spoon), place about ½ teaspoon of each filling (or 1 teaspoon of one if using only one) in the center of the circle.  Fold three sides of the circle to form an equal-sided triangle.  Pinch each of the three corners together.  Place the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet about ½ inch apart.  You may brush the cookies with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp. water)

Bake for 15 minutes or until a light golden brown.  Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet until the cookies are firm enough to transfer to a wire rack without breaking.  Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.  Once completely cool, place in an airtight container.

Best eaten right away.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: