It’s that time of the year again; the Jewish holiday of Purim is upon us…time for hamentaschen! I have been making these jam filled triangle cookies since I was a little girl. I always used to look forward to making these with my mom. I loved pinching the corners, trying my best to make them look pretty. I can’t say they used to come out so perfectly but I think I’ve improved over the years.
The dough is simple to make, shortening and honey go into the mixer. Then the eggs are added. Finally the dry ingredients are added with the mixer on low-salt, baking powder and flour. Once the dough is made, it needs to be chilled for at least an hour, then it is rolled out.
Time to cut out the cookies. This year I tried to be all professional and cut the cookies out with a round cookie cutter, but it didn’t work out well. The cookies were just not coming out right. I made 2 separate batches this way. I was blaming everything from the baking powder being to strong to my flour being too dry. The truth is, these cookies need to be cut out with a drinking glass. I know it sounds funny, but it works!
When I was younger we used to fill the cookies with a spoon. Although it was fun, it was also pretty messy. Now I like to use a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.
Here is the tricky part-pinching the corners. First I lift up the bottom of the round cookie with my thumb. Then with my pointer, I lift one side and pinch that corner together. Then the third side gets lifted and the 2 other corners are pinched together. Here is how it looks.
The classic fillings are apricot, prune, and poppy seed, but a lot of people get creative with the fillings; chocolate chips, chocolate spread, peanut butter and jelly…the sky is the limit! I just stick with the classics minus the poppy seed (we aren’t big fans in my family).
I like them lightly baked, I think they stay fresher for longer.
They look like little edible jewels! I always have a hard time waiting for them to cool before I can gobble them up. It’s not officially the Jewish holiday of Purim if I haven’t burned my mouth on the piping hot jam filling in these hamentaschen.
The recipe my mom always used is from the Jennie Grossinger Cookbook, The Art of Jewish Cooking. This recipe is different than any other hamentaschen recipe I’ve come across. Most recipes are similar to a sugar cookie, crispy and crumbly. This recipe yields a more cake-like cookie, fluffy and tender. I usually like to change every recipe I use to make it better, make it my own, but this recipe is so simple and perfect as is. Plus, it’s non-dairy!
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Apricot and Prune Butter*
- *It is labeled as fruit butter. It is just jam that doesn’t spread and melt in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the honey and shortening until smooth.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time.
- Then with the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. Do not mix too much or the cookies will be tough.
- Wrap the dough and chill for at least an hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll the dough out thin.
- Using a round drinking glass, or round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies.
- Using a spoon or pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, fill the cookies with the jam filling.
- Pinch 3 corners together and bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown.
- Allow to cool-the filling will be extremely hot! Enjoy!