Traditional Hamentashen + Video
Guess what’s in exactly one week! Purim. And guess what I’ve never posted on the blog before! A hamentash cookie recipe. And guess what’s traditionally consumed on the Jewish holiday of Purim! Yep, hamentashen (the “en” at the end creates the plural form of hamentash).
And you know what else I’ve never posted on the blog? A video tutorial on hamentash cookie making. Here ya go:
Or, watch it on YouTube.
So, what are hamentashen?
A hamentash is a triangular shaped cookie that’s filled with, most traditionally, poppy seed filling (that black spread your parents can’t get enough of but you can’t stand - oh, it’s just me then?), but also quite often with fruit preserves (eh), and less often with chocolate spread (yes yes yes), nuts and nut butters, chocolate chips, and pretty much any other filling one might think of stuffing inside a cookie (do abandon tradition and go crazy).
The classic hamentash is made from a vanilla dough that’s soft and doughy and tender. The less classic hamentash consists of a more flaky, shortbread, sugar cookie cut-out typa dough.
Personally, I prefer the latter, the more crumbly, flaky type of dough. This preference comes after testing out lots and lots of hamentash doughs, both the soft types and the flaky types, these past few weeks.
But since not everything is about me dammit, and this is the first time I’m posting any sort of hamentash recipe on the blog, I figured I’d go with the more traditional, well-known, and probably more popular hamentash dough, the soft and tender type of dough.
Now, I did stray from the traditional just a tad by including some freshly zested orange rind in these hamentashen. I found the orange flavor so complementary to the dough and to both the fruit fillings and chocolate fillings I used.
Cuz hello, orange flavor with a vanilla dough? Yum. And with chocolate? Classic. And with fruit preserves? The more fruity the better.
Basically, the orange zest addition worked wonderfully no matter which dough and filling I used.
All this being said, I do understand that not all humans are fans of orange flavor. So you do have the liberty of omitting it if you feel you must. Sigh.
This hamentash dough, like I mentioned, is soft and doughy and tender and melt-in-your-mouth. It’s lightly sweetened, but not as sweet as a regular cookie dough, because the hamentash relies on the filling for a lot of its sweetness.
And it’s sweetened, in our case, with only confectioners sugar. In my recipe testing, I found that the powdered sugar provided the most tender texture to the cookies. And that’s what I was chasing after. So that’s what I used for our hamentash dough here.
Another note: This hamentash dough is one bowl, quick and easy, and dairy-free.
There is the whole rolling and cutting and shaping process required afterwards though, but since 1- there’s no need to chill your dough for any amount of time and 2- this is such a painless and hassle-free dough to work with, it kinda makes up for that whole cookie-shaping step.
And since some of you might have never tried your hand at baking or shaping hamentashen, I figured this would be a good recipe to have a video to go along with it. You know, so you could see how to shape the hamentashen instead of just reading instructions and trying to figure it out all on your own. Too scary, that would be.
Soft and tender. Easy and dairy-free. Hints of vanilla and orange flavor. Filled with any and all fillings your heart and taste buds hunger for. Yes, traditional hamentashen, I’m talking about you.
Yield: about 20
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon oil
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice
Zest of one small orange (optional)
2- 2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
-Thick jam, chocolate spread, kokosh filling, poppy seed filling, chocolate chips, nut butter, nuts etcetera, for filling
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, orange juice, and orange zest until smooth.
3. Add in 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until just combined. Dough will be thick. If too sticky to roll out, add up to 1/4 cup more flour.
4. Flour work surface and roll out dough to 1/6” thickness.
5. Cut out circles with a round cutter or drinking glass. Place a teaspoon of filling into center of each circle. Fold in the three sides over the filling, pinching the sides tightly together, creating a triangle with the filling visible in the center (see video above). Repeat process with the remaining scraps of dough if desired.
6. Space hamentashen out onto baking sheets. Bake for 11-14 minutes, until golden. Let cookies firm up before transferring.