Friday, March 18, 2011

Hamantashen Cookies

Friends of mine who really know me, are familiar with how I love to celebrate all cultures. And on Sunday, it is the Jewish Festival of Purim.  This means, it begins at sunset, Saturday night, March 19th. The holiday celebrates the saving of the Jewish people from King Haman by *his* Queen Esther (masquerading as a non-Jew) & Mordecai. On Purim, Jewish children also get to dress in costume as one of the customs.

A popular treat eaten during Purim are Hamantashen, cookies in a triangular shape of "Haman's pockets" (where he kept the silver coins given to him as payment to kill the Jews).

I've been making these for so long that when I read my recipe, I realized I had better tweak it for people unfamiliar with the cookies because my notes were so cryptic!


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup canola  oil
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 cups flour

Fillings of choice: fruit preserves- apricot & orange
Egg wash: another egg + 1 TBSp water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the eggs, butter, oil, sugar, & vanilla- beat until smooth & creamy. 

In a separate, large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the mixer & blend together until the it all becomes a slightly doughie ball. Wrap the dough in plastic & refrigerate for at least an hour. This allows the dough to set & makes it easier to roll out, cut & reshape.

*Lishie tip- When dough is ready, cut in half & re-refrigerate half. This will keep it cold while working on the first set of cookies. The colder the dough, the more pliable it rolls & cuts! 

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4" thickness. Cut out 3" diameter circles (I use a drinking glass). Place the circles onto a parchment lined cookie sheet or Silpat. The cookies do not need to be too far apart- they will not spread. In the center of each circle, place a "heaping" 1/4 teaspoon of the preserves filling.

Now comes the "fold into triangles" part... Pull up one side, then the next side, pinching together the corners smoothly so as NO line remains. Finish, doing the same with the third side, leaving a very small opening at the top.

Brush the unbaked hamentashen with the egg wash & bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies just begin to turn golden brown.

Makes 3 & 1/2 dozen.

Orange preserve filling
Apricot Preserve filling
yummy apricot & orange-y goodness

*Lishie extras- For more on Purim, visit:
& A children's book- When It's Purim (Board Book)
& A great historical fiction novel I'd recommend (on Goodreads):
The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen EstherThe Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther by Rebecca Kohn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

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