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Easy Hamantaschen Cookies

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Hamantaschen is a delicious, traditional sweet treat often served for Purim. Easy to make, these buttery, triangular-shaped cookies, with a variety of fillings, are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

Side view of Hamantaschen cookies on a white plate with a cup of tea.

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And I mentioned simple, right? If you can make sugar cookies, or butter cookies, you can make these festive, deliciously filled treats.

While my family is not Jewish, my mother loved to celebrate the occasion with a plate of Hamantaschen cookies. And the mosaic colored fillings were always a treat we looked forward to!

What is Purim?

Purim is a day set aside to celebrate the biblical story of the Jews’ deliverance from a plot to kill them. The plot was instigated by Haman, a minister to the Persian king in about 473 BC.

Purim is a joyful celebration commemorated in part by exchanging shalah manot, gift baskets filled with delicious treats, including fruit, cookies, and yes, Hamantaschen! It’s celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (late winter/early spring).

If you want to read more about the Jewish story of deliverance from Haman, it’s recorded in the biblical book of Esther.

Top view of hamantaschen Cookies on a white scalloped plate.

What is Hamantaschen?

Hamantaschen is a three-cornered triangular cookie with a variety of fillings often served to celebrate the Jewish holiday Purim. As to their unique shape, there are a couple of theories in case you’re interested!

One idea is the shape represents Haman’s ears. In the Jewish-American Kitchen, Raymond Sokolov writes:

“Haman’s ears being shaped like the donkeys– three cornered and slightly elongated, thus the Haman-cakes are three-cornered, and slightly elongated.”

Jewish-American Kitchen Cookbook

Another believes the shape represents Haman’s pockets. Hamantaschen is derived from two German words: mohn (poppy seed) and taschen (pockets). In the late 1500s, German Jews dubbed them Hamantaschen, or ‘Haman’s pockets.’ Likely referencing a “rumor that the evil Haman’s pockets were filled with bribe money.” 

Hamantaschen Fillings

Hamantaschen is traditionally made with a variety of fillings ranging from poppy seed to Nutella, fruit preserves and spreads of all kinds!

Kosher.com recently conducted a poll of favorite fillings and ranked them. This is a great list to spark ideas for filling your own.

  1. Apricot Jam
  2. Chocolate filling or spread like Nutella
  3. Strawberry filling
  4. Poppy seed filling
  5. Date and prune filling
  6. Apple
  7. Peanut butter
  8. Halva (an Israeli sesame spread that’s delicious)
  9. Cherry
Top view of unbaked hamantaschen dough with 3 fillings on a wood board

In this recipe I’ve chosen to fill these cookies with ready-made store-bought spreads to keep them as simple as possible. Here’s what I’m using:

  • Marmalade: I’m using a fruit spread Marmalade with chunks of fruit and zest for color and texture.
  • Fig Spread: I love the color and texture and is my favorite filling! I’m using Dalmatia Fig Spread Original that I can find in the preserves section of my market.
  • Nutella— which pleases the chocolate lovers in my house!

This dough is a simple dough, much like a sugar cookie dough, or butter cookie. The ingredients are simple and if you bake cookies, often, are likely on hand in your pantry.

Ingredient measurements are in the recipe card below.

  • Salted or unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • Sugar: I’m using granulated sugar but you can also use confectioners’ sugar.
  • Large egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Orange zest: an optional addition but incredibly yummy and I hope you try it!
  • All-purpose flour and salt (adjust if you’re using salted butter)

How to Make Hamantaschen

These cookies are simple to make and step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card below.

Top view of unbaked cookie dough circles on a parchment lined baking sheet with fillings in blue and white bowls.
Top view of cookie dough circles topped with 1 teaspoon of filling on a parchment lined baking sheet.

How to Fold Hamantaschen

1. Fold the right side of the circle toward the center.

2. Then fold the left side toward the center, overlapping the top right hand corner.

3. Finally, fold the bottom of the circle upwards to create a triangle shape.

4. Pinch the corners securely.

top view of unbaked filled hamantaschen formed into a triangle shape.

Here’s a quick overview of how to make hamantaschen:

  1. Make the dough using a stand mixer or handheld mixer. Shape into a flat disc and chill.
  2. Roll chilled dough thinly, about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thickness.
  3. Cut circles from the dough with a 3-inch cutter or a glass rim.
  4. Place 1 teaspoon filling into the center of each circle.
  5. Fold the right side of the circle toward the center. Then fold the left side toward the center, overlapping the top right hand corner. Then fold the bottom of the circle upwards to create a triangle shape.
  6. Place on parchment lined rimmed sheet and bake for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough.

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Side view of Hamantaschen cookies on a white plate with a cup of tea.

Easy Hamantaschen Cookies

Hamantaschen, a delicious, triangular-shaped cookie often served for Purim, is easy to make and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 22 minutes
Servings: 35 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons butter at room temperature (3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 orange zested (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg, vanilla and orange zest to the butter mixture and beat together until fully combined and creamy.
  • Mix in the flour and salt until the dough just comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat disc, wrap and chill; for about 2 hours.
  • While the dough is chilling assemble your fillings. I like to use preserves, spreads, and Nutella for beautiful colors and a range of flavors. You can make your own or buy ready made at the market.

Rolling and shaping dough

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Once the dough is chilled, it will be stiff. I like to let it sit out for a few minutes which helps with the rolling process. Transfer to a lightly floured surface.
  • Using a heavy rolling pin, roll the dough until it's quite thin; about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thickness. The thinner you roll the dough the more delicate the cookies will be. The guys in my house love the cookie so much, I make a few thicker ones for them :).
  • Using a 3-inch cookie cutter or the rim of a 3-inch diameter glass, cut circles from the rolled dough and transfer to the baking sheet. Gather scraps and re-roll the dough. If you're using a thin dough, you should be able to make about 35 circles. A thicker dough will yield less cookies.
  • Place 1 teaspoon of filling into the center of each circle. Be careful not to overfill as the it will seep out during baking.

Assembling the cookies

  • Fold the left side of the circle toward the center. Then fold the right side of the circle toward the center and overlap the upper part of the left side.
  • Finally, fold up the bottom part of the circle to form a triangle. Tuck the left side of the bottom flap underneath the left side corner of the triangle, and the right side of the bottom flap over the right side corner of the triangle. This folding technique helps keep the filling inside the cookie during baking.
  • Pinch each corner to secure the triangular shape. If any cracks have formed in the cookie dough, smooth them with your fingers until they disappear. Repeat for all cookies.

Baking the cookies

  • Bake for 10 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown on the corners and the filling is bubbling. The time difference will depend on your oven and the thickness of your cookies. I begin checking them at 10 minutes and usually bake for about 12 minutes, using a thinner dough.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 136IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: hamantaschen recipe, hamantaschen cookies recipe

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these this morning for Purim tomorrow. Love the texture and the e cookie is perfect. I filled mine with apricot jam.

  2. I love these cookies, often in the grocery store’s bakery. I buy them when I see them but have never baked them. They look easy enough and will have to try them. Thank you for posting.

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