• Jeremy Scheck

Great-Grandma Jennie's Hamantaschen

Updated: Feb 27, 2019


Named after Haman, the antagonist of the Purim story, these triangular cookies are shaped like his infamous hat. If you've tried a hamantasch at a deli, it was probably dry, crumbly, and not worth the calories. This recipe comes all the way from my Great--Grandma Jennie, the mother of my Grandma Karen, who sparked my interest in baking. This cookie is crisp on the outside and tender in the middle. You can fill them with jam, nutella, apple filling, or the traditional prune filling (bleh!). This recipe is fairly large and makes enough for family and friends.

The recipe in a slideshow:

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Ingredients for the cookie:

  • 1 cup/2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter at room temperature (I suppose you could use margarine to make these parve, but is it really worth it?)

  • 1–1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 5–1/2 cups (685g) all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp coarse salt (such as kosher)

  • 2–1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) orange juice

Filling Ideas:

  • Good quality jam (I like apricot or raspberry)

  • Homemade Apple Pie Filling (make it in 5 minutes by sautéeing a diced apple with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 stick of butter, and 1 tsp cinnamon)

  • Nutella

  • Prune Levkar (Mix 1 jar with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp honey)

Ingredients for the egg wash:

  • 1 egg white whisked lightly with 2 tsp granulated sugar

Method:

Make the dough:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer on medium high speed until it is light and fluffy.

  2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping after each incorporation.

  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate, large bowl.

  4. Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, and mix on low speed to combine.

  5. Add in the orange juice and vanilla on low speed.

  6. Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed to combine.

  7. Divide the dough in two and wrap in plastic wrap.

  8. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for several hours.

Shaping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.

  2. Roll out a quarter of the dough between two sheets of wax paper to between 1/8" and 1/4" (this method works by far the best).

  3. Use an upside-down cup to cut circles out of the dough.

  4. If any point the dough becomes too soft to easily work with, return to the freezer for 5 minutes.

  5. Lift the circles carefully onto a silpat or baking paper–lined cookie sheet.

  6. Depending on the size of your circles, spoon between 1/2 tsp and 1 tsp of filling in the center of each circle.

  7. Fold three sides of the circle in to make a triangle shape, and pinch the edges.

  8. Freeze the shaped hamentaschen 10 minutes before baking (this helps them keep their shape).

  9. Re-roll scraps and repeat to make more.

  10. Any left over dough can be frozen for several months.

Baking:

  1. Bake one tray at a time for 15 minutes at 375° F.

  2. After 15 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and brush each cookie with the egg wash.

  3. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden-brown.

  4. Let cool on a wire rack.


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