Alison Lewis

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Hamentashen Cookies: A Purim Tradition

March 15, 2011

Hamentashen are triangle fruit cookies served and eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim which falls this year on March 20th for two days. They are recognizable for their three-cornered shape, a symbol of “Hamen”, a villain in the Purim story (who always wore a three cornered hat). The story of Hamen and Purim appears in the Biblical book of Esther. Purim is often celebrated by attending children’s carnival celebrations as well as the giving of food gifts to friends (including Hamentashen) and gifts to charity. The Hamentaschen shape is achieved by folding the sides of a circular piece of dough with a filling of apricot, prune, poppyseed strawberry, blackberry and even chocolate filled in the center. This recipe is wonderful, and kids love making and eating them.

Note: This recipe was given to me from a friend which she found on Allrecipes.


Prep: 2 hours
Cook: 15 minutes
Yield: 3 dozen
11/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
41/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Various jams such as apricot, blackberry, strawberry or prune or chocolate filling
1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange juice and vanilla. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Lightly grease cookie sheets and set aside.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place circles on the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each circle. Pinch the sides of each circle to form a triangle, covering as much of the filling as possible.

Note: The cookies may be frozen on the cookie sheets if desired to help retain their shape while cooking.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light golden brown. These are best undercooked slightly. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.


17 Responses to “Hamentashen Cookies: A Purim Tradition”
Ethan says:
March, 16 2011at 02:15 pm
Alison, your hamenstashen look perfect! you achieved exactly how they should be:)
March, 17 2011at 11:08 pm
This is what I love about blogging. You get to learn so much about different cultures and traditions apart form just food. Great recipe! a Must try!
March, 16 2011at 02:00 pm
You beat me to the punch. I'll post 2 chocolate Hamentaschen recipes later today or tomorrow.
Tracy says:
March, 16 2011at 01:54 pm
I've never heard of these cookies before but they look awesome. I love any dessert that includes jam!!
Robyn :) says:
March, 15 2011at 09:02 pm
These sound very much like European Kolacky cookies :)
Kari says:
March, 16 2011at 09:49 pm
These look amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!
March, 17 2011at 08:04 pm
Alison, these were my all time favorite cookie as a kid! Thanks for the great recipe :)
March, 15 2011at 08:09 am
Alison, I like the look of the dough and can imagine the taste. Ooh orange juice in the dough!! Trying to think if I can squeeze in Hamantaschens baking today. S is home from college and I bet he does not even remember it's Purim. Happy Purim!!
Amy says:
March, 15 2011at 08:12 am
I can't wait to try these. My kids love them! Happy Purim!
Joy says:
March, 15 2011at 08:12 am
I have to admit. I never heard of these, but they sound great. I love learning about new cookies
Marianne says:
March, 15 2011at 08:19 am
These look wonderful! Yum! Love the idea of putting chocolate in the center
March, 15 2011at 09:41 am
These are my favorite Jewish holiday cookies - and I love the tradition of giving food gifts! Yours look just perfect.
Angel says:
March, 15 2011at 11:45 am
Looks so tasty :)
March, 15 2011at 03:59 pm
I've definitely had these, but somehow never realized they were specifically for Purim!
March, 18 2011at 09:15 am
I love these cookies, but I've never made my own before. I like the jam-filled ones the best, although a chocolate filling sounds nice too.
March, 02 2012at 01:19 pm
[...] 2 teaspoons baking powder 41/2 cups all-purpose flour Various jams such as apricot, blackberry, strawberry or prune or chocolate [...]
Rabbi Arnold says:
February, 15 2013at 06:08 pm
Purim is a one day holiday. All Jewish holidays begin at sundown and continue to the following evening, therefore ONE day. There are two day and eight day holidays, this is just one day. (corrected note: in ancient walled cities, the holiday is celebrated a day earlier, eg Jerusalem).

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