There is a fun Jewish holiday that falls around February or March each year. During the holiday of Purim it is customary to give cute packages of food to family and friends. It becomes a bit of a challenge to come up with creative ideas each year. I like to keep my packages small which in itself is a challenge. The past few years I have been pretty proud of my creativity! I made these cute popcorn cupcakes, fun ice cream scoop cookies, and gumball machine cupcakes that take a bit more planning. This year I made some cute mustache and lip sugar cookie straws to go with a cookies and milk concept.
Here is what I did. I baked my perfect sugar cookies and used mustache and lips cookie cutters to cut out cute shapes. After the cookies were baked, I iced them with white royal icing. Then for the lips, I mixed up some hot pink icing and using a small piping tip, I made some tiny dots to form the lips shape. Then I connected those lines to create a scribble scrabble look. While the icing was still wet, I dipped them in pink sparking sugar and let them dry. The mustaches were a similar concept. I used black royal icing and outlined the mustaches. Then I filled each side in with 2 lines of icing and dipped them in black sparkling sugar. Once the icing was dry I flipped the cookies over and attached them to these fun paper straws I found at the craft store. I piped a big dab of stiff royal icing on the center back of each cookie and pressed a straw into the icing. I wanted to be able to use the straws with the cookies attached so I attached them a few inches down the straw but if you wanted these for photo booth props, you could just as easily attach them to the highest point of the straw. Once the cookies were dry I placed them in these fun milk jars I found at the craft store and filled them with white chocolate candies. To gift these, I placed them in large cellophane gift bags and tied them up with metallic silver twist ties. Easy and cute!
My son and I had fun modeling these cookies, but he couldn’t wait to bite into one!
I can’t believe it took me this long to come up with this hamantaschen flavor! I love pumpkin and I love chai, but I guess since this isn’t pumpkin season, this idea hasn’t hit me-until now. And I’m so happy I thought of it! I always have Oregon Chai tea concentrate on hand because I love making my own chai tea lattes during the winter. I use the chai tea concentrate as the liquid in the dough, and to further bring out that flavor I make my own chai spice blend. The spice blend has a lot of ingredients, but they are all so amazing, once you own them, you will find yourself using them in sweet and savory dishes! I love pumpkin but don’t really like pumpkin pie. But this hamantaschen recipe needed a pumpkin pie filling, so I was on the hunt for a filling even I would love. I remembered seeing a recipe I thought I would like by Bakerella (one of my idols and the inventor of the cake pop). She uses cream cheese along side the pumpkin in her pie bites recipe; so I did the same thing but used dairy-free tofutti cream cheese and spiced it with my chai spice blend. Holy deliciousness! My dough is soft, tender, and so easy to work with. The dough needs no refrigeration and doesn’t lose it’s shape. These cookies are packed with flavor and freeze so well. The dough and filling can even be prepared the day before, just wrap and chill in the fridge. The next day, just shape and bake. I’m not sure which hamantaschen are my favorite anymore. These are definitely on par with my cookies n’ cream recipe, but a bit more sophisticated than my funfetti hamantaschen. Just try them all!
Stir the spices together and set aside to use in the dough and the pumpkin filling.
Prepare the dough
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening with the sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix until combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and spice mix and slowly mix on low speed. Pour in the chai tea concentrate and mix until a dough is formed. You can use the dough right away, but if the dough is too sticky, wrap and chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Prepare the filling
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth and no longer lumpy.
Mix in the pumpkin, egg, and spices.
Form the hamantaschen
On a lightly floured surface, or on a floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out a piece of the dough until thin. Use a round cutter (2½ to 3 inch in diameter) and cut out circles of dough. Fill each round with 1 tsp. of filling and pinch the seams together to form a triangle. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool before drizzling the icing.
Mix the confectioners sugar with a little bit of water and mix until combined. Keep adding water until the desired consistency. I like a thick and opaque icing. Drizzle the icing on the cooled hamantaschen and allow to dry.
It’s no secret that I love baking hamantaschen. I have made some fun combinations like cookies n’ cream, peanut butter and jelly, and pina colada, but nothing beats my classic recipe. With the funfetti trend going around I thought it would be fun to jump on board. I’ve seen a ton of funfetti deserts going around, but I hadn’t been in Purim mode so I never put the two together until I saw Chanie’s (Busy In Brooklyn) Funfetti Cake. I immediately grabbed my recipe and raided my sprinkle cabinet and I’m so happy with these-they are like a party! I highly recommend trying my recipe for hamantaschen dough because it’s so easy to work with; and the cookies come out tender, soft, with just the right amount of sweetness to balance with the jam center. But…you could always just use your personal favorite recipe and add in some sprinkles!
Sometimes I get a dessert idea that is too good to be true. After seeing Melinda’s (Kitchen-Tested) Black and White Cookie Hamantachen I immediately got inspired. Melinda used black and white bakery cookies to make a cookie butter filling. Then all at once I thought-cookie butter filling is genius…chocolate sandwich cookies…cookie crumbs in the dough…cookies n’ cream hamantaschen! This idea went from my mind to my oven in less than 24 hours. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I really really wanted this cookie to work-and it did! I made my own cookie filling that comes together so fast, it’s only 2 ingredients! I clearly love baking hamantaschen; and I love coming up with fun combinations such as Peanut Buttter and Jelly, and Pina Colada, but I think this is my best idea yet!
¼ cup liquid non-dairy whip topping, defrosted (such as rich's whip)
Prepare the dough
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening with the sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix until combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt and slowly mix on low speed. Pour in the soy milk and mix until a dough is formed. Sprinkle in the cookie crumbs and mix until evenly distributed. You can use the dough right away. If the dough is too sticky, wrap and chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Prepare the filling
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, crush the 12 sandwich cookies until finely ground. Pour in the ¼ cup of defrosted whip topping and process until smooth. Refrigerate if it is too runny-it will firm up. Filling can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.
Form the hamantaschen:
On a lightly floured surface, or on a floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out a piece of the dough until thin. Use a round cutter (2½ to 3 inch in diameter) and cut out circles of dough. Fill each round with a ¾ tsp. of filling and pinch the seams together to form a triangle. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool and enjoy!
* The filling puffs in the oven so if you overfill, you will lose your perfect shape, but they will taste even more amazing! The filling settles in once the cookies are cooled.
If you need help forming the hamantaschen, check out my handy video!
I thought of this idea for a gumball machine cupcake a while ago. I have seen similar ideas around, but nothing exactly like this. Let me explain with lots of pictures how I made these cute edible favors.
I started by baking vanilla cupcakes in these cute individual paper liners. I love these cupcake cups by Paper Eskimo. These paper cups can be baked right on a baking sheet, no need for a special cupcake pan.
Once the cupcakes were cooled I covered the tops in royal icing and turned them directly onto these silver cardboard disks. They are like tiny little cake boards. I found them at my local craft store. I allowed the icing to dry for a few hours to make sure the cupcakes were good and stuck.
I used a craft knife to slice holes into the bottom of the cupcake cups. Then I poked a dowel through the slits to make the holes a little larger. The final step is to fill a Christmas ornament with gumballs and fit it upside down into the hole of the cupcake. I ordered my ornaments from Oriental Trading and didn’t realize they were very small. The opening in the ornament was super tiny, and I couldn’t find gumballs small enough so I used candy coated chocolate Sixlets.
They looked super cute all wrapped up! Wilton sells these treat bags with the silver board and a ribbon (I used silver twist ties instead) in a great little pack. Everyone loved these cute little party favors and I can’t wait to make them again. They can be made with any color cupcake cup and filled with any colors of candy to match every party color scheme!
I have always loved shaping hamantaschen for the holiday of Purim. There is something so calming about trying to create perfect little triangles. I have to say, I think I got my method down to a science. In this video you can see how I fold the circles and pinch just the seams. If you want my no-fail recipe, you should try my recipe for classic hamantaschen. If you are more adventurous, I have a great recipe for peanut butter and jelly hamantaschen and pina colada hamantaschen as well.
Here are some tips I can offer on forming good looking hamantaschen.
I like to roll my dough out directly onto a floured piece of parchment paper so I can transfer the whole sheet onto a baking sheet as soon as the hamantaschen are formed. It’s a lot less handling of the dough.
Make sure to use enough flour when rolling out your dough, or the dough will stick and the cookies will lose their shape when you try to work them into cute triangles.
I don’t use water or egg wash to keep the hamantaschen together, I just keep pinching the seams until they are sealed. Try not to pinch the corners, just the top seams.
Use a pastry bag and straight round tip (or ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) to fill the hamantaschen.
Do not overfill the hamantaschen with filling. The filling puffs in the oven and will bust your perfect little triangles open. Use about a teaspooon or two, but it really depends on how large your round cutter is.
For a medium sized hamantaschen, I use a round cutter that is 2 3/4 inches in diameter. Anywhere from a 2 inch to a 3 inch round cutter will yield nice sized hamantaschen.
Be gentle with your dough. Try not to stretch out your circles of dough or your hamantaschen can look misshapen.
If you have any questions or other tips, let me know in the comments! Happy Purim!
Pineapple and coconut is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so for my favorite holiday, I combined the two into the perfect pina colada hamantaschen. My favorite hamantaschen of all time are the prune flavor I make with my classic recipe. Yet, classic hamantaschen are kind of boring lately. So in the past I shared my recipe for peanut butter jelly hamantaschen that were a huge success! I had this cookie idea for Purim last year, but I never got around to testing it out. I’m glad I planned a little early this year, because here it is!
The cookie is crispy, yet tender and soft, and full of coconut flakes. I added coconut extract for double the flavor and intensity. The homemade pineapple filling is so easy and delicious, you won’t believe it! I know a classic pina colada cocktail is supposed to contain rum, but I skipped it to keep it simple and kid friendly. If you are missing it from this recipe, try adding a rum icing over the top of each cookie. Simply mix 1½ cups powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons of rum until smooth. Then drizzle a little bit of icing over each and enjoy!
1 tsp. coconut extract (I like the Lorann Coconut Bakery Emulsion)
1 egg yolk
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, slightly ground
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbs. pineapple juice
1-20. oz can crushed pineapple with juice
½ cup sugar
3 Tbs. corn starch
pinch of salt
Prepare the filling:
In a medium pot, combine the canned pineapple with the juice, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir to make sure the sugar and cornstarch are combined. Heat the mixture on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until thickened and clear; no longer cloudy. Make sure to stir frequently so the pineapple doesn’t burn. Remove from heat, cover directly on the surface with plastic wrap so a skin does not form, and chill in the refrigerator until cool, at least 3 hours. Filling makes 2 ½ cups and can be make a few days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Prepare the dough:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening with the sugar and coconut extract until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix until combined. Add in the flour, ground coconut, baking powder, and salt and slowly mix on low speed. Pour in the pineapple juice and mix until a dough is formed. You can use the dough right away. If the dough is too sticky, wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a half hour.
Form the hamantaschen:
On a lightly floured surface, or on a floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out a piece of the dough until thin. Use a round cutter (2½ to 3 inch in diameter) and cut out circles of dough. Fill each round with a tsp. of filling and pinch the seams together to form a triangle. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool and enjoy!
It is customary on the Jewish holiday of Purim for every family to give a food related gift basket to family and friends. I always try to be innovative and creative and keep my treats small and sweet. Last year I made these popcorn cupcakes. They were so adorable that I didn’t think I would come across a better idea; ever. Until… I came across this gorgeous treat on Cookie Crazie almost a year ago. I knew that I had to make these for my Purim treats (shalach manot). Keeping this idea in my back pocket for so long was a struggle, but I did it! You don’t have to wait, there is still time for you to make them! These would also be fun for a children’s birthday party on a dessert table, or as a fun project to do with the kids!
I arranged flat bottomed ice cream cones in a mini cupcake pan. Then I mixed up my favorite vanilla cake batter. You can also use cake mix. I filled each cone about halfway up the cone and baked them at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. I baked the cones on the bottom rack of my oven so the cones wouldn’t get too dark. Once the cones were baked it was on to the ice cream scoop cookies!
I mixed up my perfect sugar cookie dough. You can use my recipe which is ready to use straight from the mixer, there is no chilling required! Then I used my large cookie scoop (1 1/2 Tbs. size OXO Brand) and filled it with cookie dough. Then I held it scoop side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet and squeezed the scoop until dough popped out.
Next I took my smaller sized cookie scoop (2 tsp. size OXO Brand) and pressed the scoop down into the center of the cookie scoop. Then, holding the scoop down on the dough, I squeezed the scoop to pop the dough out of the small scoop. And voila! A perfectly formed cookie dough ice cream scoop!
My favorite part of this project is coming up with the ice cream “flavors”. You can definitely keep the cookies simple and elegant and go with vanilla. The vanilla cookies are cute as is, but adding some rainbow sprinkles to the top before baking makes the cookies super cute! For some of the scoops, like the mint, I mixed the gel paste in all the way to get a uniform color. For others, like the blueberry or strawberry, I mixed the color in until it looked marbleized like an ice cream swirl.
Bake the frozen cookies at 350 degrees F for 13 minutes. If you want to add chocolate chips to the scoops, press chocolate chips into the scoops as soon as they come out of the oven. This will ensure that the chips keep their shape and don’t melt all over in the oven. Once the cookies are cool, attach them to the cake filled cones using your favorite buttercream frosting or royal icing. Stack them up for a double or triple scoop!
Wrap them up in simple clear treat bags and share them with your sweetest family and friends!
I keep seeing these cupcakes all over Pinterest. If you don’t know what Pinterest is, you are missing out! It’s my favorite new obsession; I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard; a place to keep all your great internet finds indexed and accessible. There is no need to bookmark a crafty project or print out every recipe you want to try. Just pin it to your personalized boards and voila! It’s right there for you when you need it. I can spend hours browsing other pinners pins, it’s really addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. As I was saying, I have seen these popcorn cupcakes all over Pinterest and I obviously had to pin the idea. I knew that I would make them at some point in the near future and then Purim came around. What a perfect opportunity to try these cupcakes!
The “popcorn” is actually made from mini marshmallows that I snipped to give them the fluffy air popped look. The “popcorn” looked good but it was missing something: the butter! So I pulled out my trusty airbrush and hit them with a shot of yellow and gold food coloring. My husband actually thought it was real popcorn and told me I was weird for putting it on a cupcake. Now I wasn’t really going to make these cupcakes until I found the perfect containers at Michael’s Art’s and Craft’s Store.
Once I saw these cardboard bags I knew I could fill them with the cutest popcorn cupcakes. Two regular sized cupcakes stacked on top of one another fit perfectly. Then the whole bag fit nicely inside tall clear bags I always have on hand.
My cute little packages weren’t complete until they had sugar cookie movie ticket tags.
Here is Charlie in his cool biker dude costume. He is a lot bigger than last year, but just as cute! Happy Purim!
Hamantaschen are a traditional Jewish cookie made for the holiday of Purim, or Jewish Halloween. They are basically the perfect cookie in my humble opinion. What is better than a sweet cookie filled with delicious jam? When I was younger, my mom and I had to bake so many batches of hamantaschen because my family and friends would gobble them up so quickly. My mom tried to hide them so we wouldn’t have to keep baking them every night, but that never worked-someone always found them.
While I love classic hamantaschen, (find my recipe and instructions with pictures here), I kind of get bored of the same old thing. I need to mix it up a little, turn a classic recipe on its head. We used to experiment with different fillings a lot when I was younger. We would try filling the hamantasch dough with chocolate chips, marshmallows, chocolate spread and other various creations that didn’t go so well. We also used to try a peanut butter and jelly filling. For some reason, the peanut butter didn’t really bake well. It would dry out and become crumbly. I thought to myself, what if I make a peanut butter dough and fill it with delicious fruit jams! Peanut butter and jelly hamantaschen! This was my mini aha moment. I was so proud of the idea. The only problem was that I hadn’t seen it done anywhere which means there are no recipes available. I was challenged with developing my own recipe and I am so happy with the results. These are a great alternative to the classic and will appeal to the kid in everyone. Chag sameach!
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the honey, brown sugar, shortening, peanut butter, and vanilla until smooth.
Add in the eggs, one at a time until combined.
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 in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour in the fridge.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll the dough out thin.
Using a round cookie cutter (I use a cutter that is 2 ½ to 3 inches in diameter) or a drinking glass, cut out the cookies.
Using a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, fill the cookies with the jam filling. *Make sure the jam is oven proof meaning it won’t melt and ooze out of the cookies. Apricot and prune butter work nicely as well as anything labeled “oven proof”, “bakers filling”, or “cake and pastry filling”.
Pinch 3 corners, forming the classic triangle shape and bake for 8-10 minutes on parchment lined baking sheet until light golden brown.
Allow to cool-the filling will be extremely hot! Enjoy!
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