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Traditional Hamantaschen

Traditional Hamantaschen


Hamantashen, the classic Purim cookies, are eagerly awaited by everyone young and old. They are versatile and can be made from a good sweet yeast dough, flaky dough or from a traditional cookie dough. The fillings can be mixed and matched. Prune butter and poppy seed are traditional but one can use any kind of jam or preserves.


4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
juice of one lemon
rind of 1 lemon, grated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups flour
2 tsps. baking powder

1 pound prepared poppy seed filling
or, 1 pound lekvar (apple or prune butter)
or 1 pound strawberry or apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 350
Grease cookie sheets.

Beat eggs and sugar. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Divide into four parts.

Proceed to assemble and bake according to Hamantashen illustrated.

Illustrated Guide:

1. Prepare dough of your choice. Divide into four portions

2. On a floured board roll out each portion to about 1/8-inch thick. Using a round bicuit or cookie cutter cut 3-inch circles.

3. Place 1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon of desired filling in the center of each circle.

4. To shape into triangle, lift up right and left sides, leaving the bottom down and bring both side to meet at the center above the filling.

5. Bring top flap down to the center to meet the two sides. Pinch edges together.

6. Place on grease cookie sheet 1 inch apart and bake at 350 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes.


Excerpted from Spice and Spirit, The Complete Kosher Jewish Cookbook, published by Lubavitch Women's Cookbook Publications
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
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Rome Calvi Pleasantville January 2, 2018

Louise, the Italian recipe you are looking for is traditional to Southern Italy, specifically, Calabria and Sicily. I can share the recipe with you however your old relative is exactly right when she says, "Louisa, itsa harda much awork" As Italian dialects go, all you need to do is drive 20 miles in any direction in Italy and you'll find that not only do the dialects change but so do the recipes! I am certain the name of the cookie/recipe to which you are in search of is Sanmartina Cookies. Try searching for that. [optional for Editor] I would gladly share my mom's recipe with you if you are interested however the editor will need to either share my email with you or your email with me as it is too long for me to post on this site. Reply

Sue USA March 10, 2017

Hamantaschen As a child we made Hamantaschen. Reply

Louise Cherico White Plains March 7, 2017

My southern Sicilian grandmother made similar cookies, thought with dates, orange marmalade, port wine? A little? chocolate maybe some type of nut.. she passed in 1982.. nobody has the recipe accept her 90+ year old still living sister in law(wife of youngest brother) who whispers "Louisa.. itsa very harda much awork" Same shell. Any clues.. no Italian cookie receipes that I can find. Reply

Matthew Gordon Westport, CT March 1, 2015

A few pointers This is the first time I made hamantaschen and this recipe was great. We made apricot, strawberry, and chocolate. This may be basic to some but for the novice I have included a few things I learned as I went along.
1) I halved the recipe and it yielded about 2 dozen.
2) Make sure the dough is thick enough when you roll it. Follow the directions above closely.
3) Cut a circle and then stuff and pinch it. I found that when I cut a lot of circles at once, the later ones became dry and did not pinch as well.
3) Pinch from the tip to the center after folding so that the filling pushes up just below the top.
4) Bake for 15 minutes. I think 20 was too much, but ovens vary and so do tastes. I like my hamantaschen more cake like.

Purim Sameach to all. Enjoy these delicious hamantaschen. Reply

Mark Troutt Jr. Saint Louis March 13, 2014

Thanks for the recipe for Purim Thanks for the recipe as we celebrate Purim at Beit Tefilah in Saint Louis Reply

Wendy California March 9, 2014

I have a diary yeast dough hamentashen from my aunt through my mother Raised dough Hamentashen

1 ½ packages of yeast
½ cup warm water
¾ cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/1/2 tsp salt
½ cup butter or margarine
2 eggs well beaten
3 ½ cups flour
1 cup sour cream (optional) may need to use 5 cups flour and 2 packets yeast if sour cream is added

Dissolve yeast into warm water and set aside. In a large pain scald milk. Add sugar, salt, shortening, and sour cream. Cool to lukewarm, stir in yeasat and eggs. Add flour cup by cup beating well after each cup until dough is stiff enough to handle (usually 5 cups if recipe is increased by sour cream)
Brush the top with melted shortening and cover, let rise in a warm place until double. Toss on a lightly floured board and kneed until smooth and satiny adding a little more flour if necessary. When done butter tops again and let rise until double again. Can be used for coffee cake as well as Hamentashen, if making coffee cake remember to roll on surface coated with cinnamon sugar Reply

renee VA February 22, 2013

Sweet Yeast dough for Hamantashen I cannot find a recipe for Yeast dough for Hamantashen.
I have eaten the cookie dough, but I miss the delicious yeast dough for the Hamantashen. Reply

Lisa Tuchmann Hillsboro, OR January 28, 2013

Personal Filling I personally use a mixture of good figs and dates (usually Mission and Medjool). I chop them up remove date pits and then cook in water till they soften. At this point, push them through a sieve to get tough seeds and skins out. Take the syrupy mix and simmer it down with a splash of Magen David wine and some cinnamon until you have a nice paste. You could put in walnuts also. You will end up with approx. the same amount as the fruits you started with. They taste like they come from the time of Ester instead of a jar of jam. (Not that traditional fillings aren't yummy.) Reply

Sus van Niekerk Kempton Park Gauteng, South Africa March 6, 2012

Hamantashen recipe Try it. Reply

Anonymous charlotte, nc February 20, 2012

hamentaschen How many dozen does the average recipe make for the Hamentaschen I make them for my temple and can't remember how many dozen come out of a receipe with 2 cups of flour and the rest of the items--- Reply

Susan Kline Parkville, MD April 21, 2011

Hamantashen pastry For Charles: I have found the food processor method of making pastry dough to be the best. It is very fast and as soon as it holds together, turn the processor off. Put the dough in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour before rolling out. The other place where things can go wrong is in overhandling once you have the dough ready to roll. Good luck! Reply

Charles Goines Lanham, Maryland/USA March 30, 2011

Making Pastry Crust Maybe I need to go back to basics and learn more about making basic pastry crust. Anybody have an suggestions about making pastry crust? No, I don't want to purchase it ready made, I know that works. I want to make it and recapture the love that went into making homeade pies and pastries. No suggestion is beneath me or too simple to consider. Reply

Esther Roe Tayors, SC March 29, 2011

Not Grandma's Hamentashen and how to mail them. So I sent 3 bags full of toys and food to my grandbabies, last week. When they opened them the toys and the food were all over. The chocolate hamantashen were eaten first. I did not make them and they were not good, so it was decided that Grandma did not make those, but the fruit and the poppy were excellent. So I guess that I am still in there good graces. I did make cooke ones this year, but will try the pastry for next year.

To Mail the packages, I found it was good to freeze the cookies and then send priority mail in plastic and paper. They were received the next day and were very good.

Thanks for all of our help. Reply

Anonymous Dresher, Pa March 27, 2011

mailing hamantashen How do you pack the hamantashen and where do you get the correct box to mailthem in. Thanks Phila Pa Reply

Anonymous Hot Springs, AR March 21, 2011

A couple of ideas to consider While searching for new recipes I found this online recipe that is very close to the one I have used for 30 years. I have a couple of small changes that make a hamentashen that will elicit raves. While I've used many fillings over the years, the two favorites of most family and friends remain the poppyseed and the blueberry hamentashen. The blueberry hamentashen uses either a very thick blueberry preserves or for an even better outcome, a thick canned blueberry pie and pastry filling.
To the lady in Maryland, add a little more flour to the dough, and make sure to keep the waxed paper you roll and cut the dough upon, floured well, and that will help. You want only enough stickness left so that the corners stay together and do not open during baking. A filling too thin will also open them.
I use orange rather than lemon for my recipe. I also take one egg and use the egg white with one tablespoon of water, whisked until foamy, and take a brush to LIGHTLYglaze each hamentashen Reply

Anonymous jhb, south africa March 20, 2011

hammantashen i would like a cream cheese hammantashen recipe - made with yeast, so that it tastes a bit like challah and not a cookie. also, the poppy seed filling that is quite sweet. Reply

Charles Goines Lanham, Maryland/USA March 17, 2011

Traditional Hamantashen So I got up this morning, started slow and deliberate, and made a batch of traditional Hamantashen. The results were excellent. I was afraid all the way until they were cooled on the rack. I read and reread the recipe, measured and remeasured the ingredients, refrigerated and rerefrigerated the dough. I chopped walnuts and heated them with honey. You would have thought I was performing open heart surgery the way I worked. In the end I put several dozen in a heavy plastic freezer bag and then put the bag in a special box and mailed them to a Jewish friend. Those cookies I can stand behind! I feel so much better!! This may sound stupid, but I am now going to have a happy Purim. Reply

Anonymous Brunswick, ME March 17, 2011

Adding More Recipe Instructions Love This Recipe! Add these steps:
Handle the dough as little as possible and don't blend to evenness.
Lumps make dough light and flaky.
Form pastry into a ball and wrap in plastic and place in fridge 1 hr or more. This is very, very important. Otherwise it's sticky to work with and turns out tough,
Sometimes air pressure makes a dough more damp and sticky so you might need 1/2 -2/3 cup more flour. Reply

Charles Goines Lanham, Maryland/USA March 16, 2011

Yeast Dough Hamantashen This was the worst baking experience of my life. I followed the instructions perfectly, let the dough rise over night in the refrigerator, but when it came to folding the cookies, the dough was sticking to my fingers, it pulled and would not cut. I actually couldn't cut a circle without using a knife. I made a half a batch for baking and they puffed up so bad when I baked them they looked awful, would not hold the filling, didn't even look like Hamantashen. This was a bad idea from the start. Tomorrow I am going to have to do something to regain my confidnece or I will never bake again. Everyone has some big failure. This was mine. I wanted so much to impress my Jewish friends for Purim by making Yeast Dough Hamantashen and it made me so angry I sat in my chair and went to sleep in utter frustration after cleaning up the kitchen. Reply

srl Houston, TX March 16, 2011

making an easy hamentaschen After spending more than five hours making a few dozen hamentaschen, i felt that those with busy schedules, can purchase frozen cookie dough, fill the cookie with chocolate chips, or jam, make the triangle, and enjoy the quick, easy, hamentaschen with your kids. Add chocolate chips to the dought and make the triangle. Reply

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