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Traditional Poppy Seed Mohn Hamantaschen

Traditional Poppy Seed Mohn Hamantaschen


It's that time of year again...Purim is a-comin' with great fanfare and, of course, the ever-popular hamantaschen.

When I shared my chocolate-dipped cream cheese hamantaschen recipe two years ago, I mentioned that I had never actually tasted the traditional poppy seed filled ones. Scandalous, I know! But I'm happy to report that I've mended my ways and hereby present you with the ultimate traditional hamantasch recipe.

You'll need to make the filling and let it cool before using it in the hamantaschen. The filling recipe may seem intimidating when you first read it, but read it carefully a second time and you'll find it's not as difficult as it sounds. While it's cooling, you can make the dough.

This dough is quick to make and easy to work with. If you don't like poppy seed filling, or if you'd like some variety, you can use other fillings as well. Strawberry and apricot jam have become very traditional. Prune lekvar is also traditional. Some people also like to fill them with chocolate or peanut butter. Get creative and have fun—there's a whole world of Hamantaschen out there!

One of the most common questions I get asked this time of year, is how to make sure the hamantaschend don't open up while baking. So, some tips:

  • Keep the dough on the thinner side.
  • Do not overfill the hamantaschen.
  • Work patiently and consistently. Don't rush through. Take the extra 15 seconds to make sure the edges are tightly pinched.
  • Close the hamantaschen up more than you think you need to. See mine—I left a pretty small opening.
  • Be careful not to add too much flour to do the dough, because that will make the dough drier and harder to seal.

Dough Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Dough Directions

  1. Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour and the baking powder. Mix.
  3. Add the second cup of flour until the dough forms a soft, but not sticky ball. You may need 2-3 more tablespoons of flour if your dough is sticky.
  4. Roll out the dough and cut out circles.
  5. Put a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle.
  6. Gently fold the sides and pinch shut tightly.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes on 350°F.

Yields: 20 Hamantaschen

Filling Ingredients

Note: Very closely based on Tori Avey's recipe

  • ¾ cup poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp. butter (coconut oil or margarine, for pareve)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg

Filling Directions

  1. Beat the egg in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter/margarine in a small saucepan. Whisk in the coconut milk, sugar, and honey, and simmer over a low flame until the sugar is melted.
  3. Pour half the mixture into a cup or small bowl.
  4. Very slowly drizzle the hot mixture from the cup/bowl into the beaten egg, whisking constantly.
  5. Now slowly pour the egg mixture back into remaining hot mixture in the saucepan, whisking constantly.
  6. Simmer the mixture for 3-4 minutes until it thickens. Remove from fire.
  7. Whisk in the poppy seeds and refrigerate until fully cooled before using.

Wondering why Hamantaschen are traditional Purim fare? The reasons and symbolism are abundant. On the surface level, Haman, the evil villain from the Purim story, was said to wear a triangular hat. Alternatively, he is said to have had triangular ears (hence, the Hebrew name for hamantaschen, "Oznei Haman" - Haman's ears.

For a deeper look at the message behind the Hamantasch, read The Secret of the Hamantasch, Holy Hamantaschen, and Mystic Purim Pastries.

What's your favorite hamantasch filling? Let us know in the comments.

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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Kathy Jackson Portland May 20, 2017

I am using a recipe from the San Francisco chronicle in March of 1971 when I lived there . It's similar to many others using apricots and prunes also yeast dough I have never made them but will have them at a tea this Friday. I admire the tradition of out in and am very Damian with the story although I am not jewish. Reply

Vickie Mi March 12, 2017

I'm back...btw, it's if you use yeast dough and egg wash the results are breathtakingly delicious. They take more time but it's worth it. Reply

Vickie Michigan March 12, 2017

My grandfather owned a bakery for many years and we loved his hamantaschen. My favorite filling was prune which had lemon added so they were quite piquant. Reply

dean johnston la mesa March 11, 2017

Shalom. If you are wanting to use whole wheat flour, use whole wheat pastry flour. You will not need to make any adjustments if you do. The use of all Regular whole wheat flour will not work. You can substitute 1/3 white flour for regular whole wheat without making any other changes. XbakerDean Reply

Miriam Szokovski March 2, 2017

ground Hi Ruth,

I do not ground them, but I know that many recipes do ask for that. I would imagine the quantities would be the same, the end texture would just be smoother, so it's up to you. Let me know how it comes out. Reply

Ruth Betty ST Kilda East March 2, 2017

I have always had the poppy seeds ground. Do you use them unground? Reply

Miriam Szokovski November 1, 2016

whole wheat Hi Alicia,

I haven't tried it with whole wheat flour, but in general you need more liquid when you're baking with whole wheat. not sure how I'd adjust this, but if you tried it, let me know how it worked out.

PS. there is a "pin it" button at the top of the page, in the header above the recipe! Reply

Alicia Dishmam South Charleston October 27, 2016

Do you know? Do you know or does anyone reading know I'd I can use while what flour? Will it work or do I need to make adjustments to baking powder or any other ingredients, thanks so much (we want a Pinterest pin option) Reply

Josie florida March 23, 2016

I love the poppy seed because it's not as sweet as the other fillimgs Reply

Marina Dobbs Ferry, NY March 18, 2016

for Alan from Quebec Dough
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter or coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 1/2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 lemon, quartered and seeded
1/2 orange, quartered and seeded
1 tablespoon Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueur
2 dried figs, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1. To make the dough, cream the butter or margarine with the sugar in a food processor or standing mixer. Add the
egg, vanilla, and orange juice and continue to cream until smooth.
2. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until the dough comes together, adding flour until the
dough is pliable. It will be slightly sticky. Roll into a ball, using the remaining flour if needed, flatten, and wrap in
plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
3. To make the filling, place all of the filling ingredients in a food processor and process until chopped but not pureed.
You should have approximately 2 cups. Set aside until the dough is chilled.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. Fill a small bowl with water.
5. Roll the dough out on a slightly floured board until it is 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles. Place 1 teaspoon of
filling in the center of each circle. To shape the hamantaschen, first brush water around the rim of the circle with your
finger. Pull the edges of the dough up to form a triangle around the filling and pinch the 3 corners together, leaving a
small opening in the center. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tops are golden.
Yield: Makes about 30 cookies Reply

Miriam Szokovski November 30, 2015

to allan I will keep it in mind and let you know if I come across anything which sounds right. Reply

Allan Prévost, Quebec, Canada November 25, 2015

re: "Prune filling" naThank you, Miriam,
I checked the information that you sent me, and no doubt the mixture must be pretty good. However, this is still not quite what I'm trying to find. In the case of my Mother's filling, she ran the prunes through an old hand-driven meat grinder, then mixed the other ingredients together and used that as the filling. I suppose that she placed a tablespoon-full of the mixture on each dough round, then formed the triangles. I recall that I always asked her to make small ones, with the dough about 1/8th of an inch thick, and I always preferred them to be left in the oven perhaps 3 or 4 minutes longer than prescribed, which made them a bit crunchier to bite into (my personal preference). Anyway, if you happen to come across the ingredients, I'd love to know exactly what they should be. Maybe if you know someone still living in Montreal, Quebec you might have some luck, as I realize that different regions can have an effect on how a food item is prepared. Thanks again.
A Reply

Miriam Szokovski November 24, 2015

Prune filling Hi Allan, it sounds like you are looking for a Lekvar filling. I haven't made that myself, but I wonder if this will help you: Reply

Allan Prévost, Quebec, Canada November 23, 2015

Filling ... Can you help? I read your way of preparing the filling and it sounds great. However, I am trying to recreate my mother's filling (different) without much success. I am wondering if you have seen a recipe which is based on minced prunes, orange juice and rind (a bit), along with crushed walnuts, etc. Unfortunately I have lost the original recipe, but would love to revive what Mom used to do. Can you help? Reply

Edite Brisbane, Australia via March 6, 2015

Traditional Hamantaschen First time for me and they were a huge success. There's nothing like poppy seeds! Many thanks. Reply

Miriam Szokovski February 28, 2015

choc cream cheese Sure Marie - you can see the cream cheese hamantaschen here: Reply

Vinny February 27, 2015

I prefer the hamantaschen filling me, rather than me filling the hamantaschen. Reply

Marie A February 26, 2015

fillings my granddaughter and other children in the family love chocolate filling. This can be chocolate chips or Nutella . Reply

Eleanor Mountain Brook, AL via February 25, 2015

Chocolate cream cheese... Sad to say, I never saw this recipe. 😢 What are the chances you can post it again, please? 😍 Reply

Anonymous February 25, 2015

Our traditional Hammentashen Until I met friends from NY I had never heard of cookie dough or jam filled hammentashen. Our local kosher bakery made delicious yeast dough ones filled with mohn, prune or a red danish type filling (I don't remember the flavor - probably cherry as that was their red danish filling. They were about 3" on each side and1" high! No one that I knew of baked them as giving Shaloch manos was not popular in post WWII southern life. Purim then was a Sunday School play or production and megillah reading on Purim. Reply

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