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.
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.
- Add 1 cup of flour and the baking powder. Mix.
- 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.
- Roll out the dough and cut out circles.
- Put a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle.
- Gently fold the sides and pinch shut tightly.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes on 350°F.
Yields: 20 Hamantaschen
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
- Beat the egg in a bowl and set aside.
- 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.
- Pour half the mixture into a cup or small bowl.
- Very slowly drizzle the hot mixture from the cup/bowl into the beaten egg, whisking constantly.
- Now slowly pour the egg mixture back into remaining hot mixture in the saucepan, whisking constantly.
- Simmer the mixture for 3-4 minutes until it thickens. Remove from fire.
- 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.