Hamantaschen

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These triangle-shaped hamantaschen cookies are perfectly soft and filled with delicious jams and a homemade poppyseed filling. Step up your game and impress your guests with this unique and flavorful dessert!

I love making fun and unique desserts that I can use at holidays or special gatherings. Try out my easy creme brûlée, these Neiman Marcus bars, or this delicious pound cake.

Hamantaschen on a baking rack cooked and ready to eat.

What IS Hamantaschen?

Before diving into any baking, you should know a little about what exactly the recipe is. And knowing how to say it is the first step! You pronounce Hamantaschen “haa-muhn-taa-shn.” These are traditional Jewish cookies that are soft and absolutely delicious! They hold their triangle shape while being cooked, and the middle is filled with jam. The poppy seed filling is traditional, as are raisin and jam fillings. But, these cookies can be filled with any variety of fillings! You can fill them with anything from jam to Nutella to savory fillings like smoked salmon!

The story behind Hamantaschen cookies is that they are traditionally served at the Jewish holiday Purim. It is largely considered the Jewish Halloween, where the people gather and wear costumes and eat treats. Purim is the celebration of Esther telling the King she was Jewish. The triangle shape of the cookie represents Haman’s hat, and eating it represents Esther’s defiance of Haman and his evil plan to exterminate the Jews. Not only is the story inspiring, but the cookies are mouthwatering and delicious to eat!

Ingredients to Make Hamantaschen

Even though the name is a mouthful, this hamantaschen recipe really isn’t hard to make. The ingredients are simple and common enough that you probably already have a lot of them in your pantry! See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.

  • Butter: I used unsalted butter that was softened to room temperature. This helps reduce any lumps in the dough.
  • Sugar: The granulated usgar will sweeten up the dough so they are a sweet treat.
  • Egg: Set out your eggs out before baking so that they can come down to room temperature. They will mix in better to the dough!
  • Lemon Zest: This gives the dough a slight tang which tastes so good with the jam and filling!
  • Vanilla Extract: This will enhance all of the sweet flavors in the recipes.
  • Flour: I used all purpose flour for this recipe.
  • Salt: You don’t need a lot of salt to make a difference in this recipe.
  • Water: You can use a little bit of water at a time to help the dough come together but don’t use too much!
  • Assorted Jams: You can use different types of jam as additional fillings if you want!

Easy Poppy Seed Filling

  • Poppyseeds: This creates a great look and texture for the filling.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: Acting as a base for the poppyseed filling, the sweetened condensed milk also adds in a delicious taste!

How to Make Homemade Hamantaschen

This recipe is simple and easy! It’s a really unique dessert that will impress any family or friends. Plus, it tastes AMAZING which make these a great dessert to add to any meal!

Prepping the Dough

  1. Beat butter and sugar: In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add wet ingredients: Add the egg, lemon zest and vanilla and mix until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and mix again for 10-20 seconds.
  3. Combine with flour and salt and form the dough: Add the flour and salt and mix until just barely combined int a crumbly dough. Use your hands to press the dough together. If the dough is too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time to help it come together. Be careful not to add too much water, it should only be enough to bring the dough together, not enough to make it sticky. Form the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours. While the dough is chilling prepare the poppy seed filling for the hamantaschen.
6 pictures showing how to make dough, cut the dough and fill the dough.

Making the Poppy Seed Filling

  • Combine and chill: Use a spice or coffee grinder to grind the poppyseeds into a powder. Transfer poppy seed powder to a medium bowl and add the sweetened condensed milk. Stir until fully combined. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Fill the Dough and Bake

  1. Preheat oven and roll dough: Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ⅛ inch thick. You may need to let the dough sit for a few minutes so it is a little easier to roll out without it cracking or crumbling. If it does crack or crumble, use your fingers to pinch the dough back together.
  2. Cut dough into circles and fill: Use a 3-inch round cooking cutter to cut out rounds of dough. Carefully transfer the rounds to parchment lined baking sheets leaving 1 inch between them. Place 1 teaspoon of poppy seed filling or jam in the center of the dough. Fold up the side of the dough to form a triangle around the filling, pinching the corners together to prevent leaking while baking. You can rub a little water or beaten egg on the corners before pinching it together to help act as a glue to keep it from opening. Gather the remaining dough and repeat. Make sure not to roll the dough too much because the more the dough is rolled then the tougher the hamantaschen cookies will be.
  3. Bake and cool: Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to turn golden brown around the corners. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Hamantaschen baked and ready to eat.

Tips for the BEST Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen is delicious and delightful, and there are a few tips and tricks to helping these turn out just right! Here are a few tips that I make sure to follow when I make these.

  • Types of Filling: Fruit filling, cream-cheese fillings and this poppyseed filling work the best after you chill them in the fridge before using them. It allows them to set up and not spread or weep in the dough. Nutella is best if you put it in at room temperature!
  • Don’t Overfill: The recipe says to put in 1 teaspoon of filling and you don’t want to do more than that. If your hamantaschen is too full then it will spread out and leak in the oven.
  • Let Them Cool: The filling of the hamantaschen is very hot when you remove it from the oven. Allow these to cook for about 1015 minutes on a cooling rack before eating.
Hamantaschen on a cooling rack.

How to Store Leftover Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen is best when eaten the same day that they are made but if you do have leftovers, here is how you can store (or freeze!) them.

  • In the Refrigerator: You can store your cookies in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days.
  • In the Freezer: If you want to freeze your baked cookies then you can! Once they are baked and placed into an airtight conteiner, label the container with the date. They will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw them in your fridge before you serve them!

Hamantaschen

5 from 1 vote
These triangle-shaped hamantaschen cookies are perfectly soft and filled with delicious jams and a homemade poppyseed filling. Step up your game and impress your guests with this unique and flavorful dessert! 
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 30 Cookies

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water if needed
  • Assorted Jams if desired

Easy Poppy Seed Filling

  • 1/2 cup poppyseeds
  • 4 ounces sweetened condensed milk

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and mix again for 10-20 seconds.
  • Add the flour and salt and mix until just barely combined in a crumbly dough. Use your hands to press the dough together. If the dough is too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time to help it come together. Be careful not to add too much water, it should only be enough to bring the dough together, not enough to make it sticky. Form the dough into a disk and wrap it with plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours. While the dough is chilling prepare the poppy seed filling.
  • Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ⅛ inch thick. You may need to let the dough sit for a few minutes so it is a little easier to roll out without it cracking or crumbling. If it does crack or crumble, use your fingers to pinch the dough back together.
  • Use a 3-inch round cooking cutter to cut out rounds of dough. Carefully transfer the rounds to parchment-lined baking sheets leaving 1 inch between them. Place 1 teaspoon of poppy seed filling or jam in the center of the dough. Fold up the side of the dough to form a triangle around the filling, pinching the corners together to prevent leaking while baking. You can rub a little water or beaten egg on the corners before pinching it together to help act as glue to keep it from opening. Gather the remaining dough and repeat, though the more the dough is rolled the tougher the cookies will be.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to turn golden brown around the corners. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Poppy Seed Filling

  • Use a spice or coffee grinder to grind the poppy seeds into a powder. Transfer poppy seed powder to a medium bowl and add the sweetened condensed milk. Stir until fully combined. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Nutrition

Serves: 30

Calories116kcal (6%)Carbohydrates14g (5%)Protein2g (4%)Fat6g (9%)Saturated Fat3g (15%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat1gTrans Fat1gCholesterol20mg (7%)Sodium28mg (1%)Potassium40mg (1%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar7g (8%)Vitamin A161IU (3%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium39mg (4%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Europe
Keyword hamantaschen
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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