Sure, we’re a couple days late on these this year, but I couldn’t let Purim weekend (see how I added two days to the holiday there? Brilliant) pass without one more chapter in my annual attempt to make hamantaschen that suit my fancy. Was I more successful this year than last? Only slightly. But this has in no way made them less enjoyable.

hamantaschen, unbaked

Living in New York City, I sometimes forget that the rest of the world isn’t aware of Jewish holidays and foods the way they are here, where babka and challah are bakery staples and admirable efforts at hamantaschen are available year round at diners and coffee shops. So for a quick review, hamantaschen are three-cornered cookies typically filled with jams or a poppy seed paste and eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim. Their shape is modeled after the three-corner hat purported to be worn by the holiday’s villain, Haman. I always think of the holiday as kind of a Jewish Mardi Gras, replete with carnivals, costumes and a good amount of libations–a fun reprieve from the fall’s more somber High Holidays.

jam gems

To keep them Kosher, most hamantaschen recipes call for oil or margarine instead of butter, but seeing as we are not, I’ve been on what seems a never-ending hunt for a buttery, richer version–. It is important that the walls do no slump in the oven, so a dough more firm than your average shortbread is required, but one that hopefully does not veer into the bland or crunchy-hard zone. The bit that fells my efforts each time, however, is trying to keep the corners together in the oven. For some reason, every time my efforts hit the heat, they just sigh and sprawl out like a cat taking a nap in the sunniest spot of the living room rug. This year was no different, leading me to concur that it is time for me to either begin twisting-and-pinching the corners or adhering them with some egg wash.


Fortunately, I was able to salvage a few, not that there were any complaints from the smittenkitchen tasters. But all of those notes will have to be tucked away for next year, as just twelve hours after taking these mostly-pancaked hamantaschen out of the oven I was baking for the next delicious holiday, Easter.

hamantaschenhamantaschen, macro


I love using a little cream cheese in the dough to give it a little more flavor and tenderness. Be sure to seal the corners well–hamantaschen pancakes are much harder to pack in a tin!

Yield: About 22 2-inch cookies

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/3 cups plus 4 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Various jams (we used raspberry, blackberry and apricot, but my favorite is this stuff) or prepared fillings (such as poppy seed or prune pastry filing)

Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add sugar and mix for one minute longer, then egg, vanilla extract, orange zest and salt, mixing until combined. Finally, add the flour. The mixture should come together and be a tad sticky. If it feels too wet, add an additional tablespoon of flour.

Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To form the hamantaschen, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter (3 inches is traditional, but very large; I used one that was 2 1/2 inches), cut the dough into circles. Spoon a teaspoon of you filling of choice in the center. Fold the dough in from three sides and firmly crimp the corners and give them a little twist to ensure they stay closed. Leave the filling mostly open in the center. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Cool on racks. Resist the urge to try a still-hot one unless a jam-burnt tongue is as much of your Purim tradition as are these cookies.

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171 comments on hamantaschen

  1. They look sooooo delicious! Maybe making them is like photography. You take 100 photos hoping to get a handful of decent ones, and you make 100 hamantaschen with the same hope.

    And those places that sell seemingly perfect ones? They’re eating all the rejects themselves.

  2. sophie

    it looks like you’re not rolling the dough out thin enough. i’ve been baking hamantaschen since i was 5, so i’m somewhat of an expert. also, your folding technique leaves a bit to be desired (sorry but it’s true). you can lay the dough flat across the jam, and let the corners overlap, rather than just standing the edges upright. also, be careful of over-filling. it’s tempting, but results in the cookies falling apart. better luck next year!

  3. Salena

    The jam looks like the best part. I’d choose a slightly overfilled, imperfect one over a perfect looking one any day.

    On a side note, I made your Russian black bread for Easter and it was my first completely successful breadmaking attempt! I’m so pleased.

  4. deb

    Hooray for the Russian black bread! I have intended to make it everyday for the last three weeks–we totally miss it when we’re out.

    Hil — I have an Easter dinner to go to! I’m so excited. Friend from high school, reconnected through the awesome that is Facebook.

  5. Perhaps it is a geographic difference, but all the hamentashen I have ever consumed at all the various synogogues I have attended have been much more covered — there is barely any filling visible through the tops of the dough. Much easier to pack and eat that way, and I do believe it retains the triangular shape much better. I tried my hand for the first time at making hamentashen this year, and they came out fabulous! I couldn’t have been more pleased. But mine were significantly more covered than yours — fold the dough actually OVER the filling. Like I said, however, the exact folding a hamentash may be divided by regional Jewish populations.
    I followed the following recipe, but used apricot jam in lieu of cherries.

  6. i’ve never made them
    but as a kid – we loved them so
    the purim carnival at our jewish center was so much fun…
    (forest hills, queens)
    this is about 40 years ago now – and that is totally freakin’ scary

    deb – i am waiting patiently for your black & white recipe…

    1. Tal

      I know there are already a large number of reviews but wanted to add mine because I used an egg replacer (Ener-G) for the 1 egg in this recipe. I am happy to report success in case this is of use to anyone looking to bake without egg. The dough was really easy to work with the cookies were tasty! I used chocolate chunks as a filling. Thanks for the great recipe.

  7. G

    Thanks so much for posting the recipe and pictures- I’m without my cookbooks here in Berlin and haven’t googled a recipe for poppyseed filling yet that I like (and can make without a food processor)- do you or any other reader have one to share?
    I also agree with the above posters that you need to fold the sides over much more to hold the shape (and to make tranport easier), remember that Hamantashen means Haman’s pockets and should be thought of as a form of beggar’s purse.

  8. i remember making these last year(your recipe) and my corners also flattened out. i bet it won’t be long before williams-sonoma comes out with a hamantaschen pan for perfect triangles!

  9. I’ve never heard of these before although they look familiar. I have a feeling I’ve seen these in pastry shops. I’m not much of a fan of apricot jam when it’s on a sandwich or something, but it is the best flavored jam for pastries, muffins and cookies as far as I’m concerned. I would want to try a brown sugar, maple and walnut filling. Thanks for sharing!

    The Peanut Butter Boy

  10. Yay! My great aunt had her own recipe for hamantaschen with a cream cheese dough; I think she learned it from her Philadelphian/New Yorker mother. It’s much whiter and softer than yours, I think, but it’s all a matter of taste. I like to make a prune filling from jarred prunes and sugar, mmm. Takes a lot of cooking, but it’s perfect with that dough.

  11. Kelsey

    deb – i think you are fantastic! as is your gorgeous website… i’ve spent the last two-ish hours putting off a paper i should be writing, by reading each and every one of your old posts. i think an accurate summation of my response to each entry would simply be the sound of drool hitting my keyboard (unfortunately apple doesn’t cover ‘destruction by saliva’ in their protection plan).

    i would like to thank you for indulging my senses, not only for gastronomy, but visually as well, while providing a much needed answer to my frequent question of, “what shall i do to procrastinate today?”

    – grateful college student in OR.

  12. WOW those look yummy. I love apricot jam! My mouth is WATERING! Yeah, maybe chilling the dough would help retain the shape of the hamantaschen. It’s worth a try next Purim. Peace!

  13. Hamantaschen are my favorite cookies/pastries. I eat them all year round. I don’t walk out of a deli without having one with my coffee. But I do notice that some establishments are chintzy with the jam… that’s why I will now carry the photo of your hamantaschen wherever I go as a prototype.

  14. Chana

    actually it is sort of a purim weekend bc today is shushan purim, the day that cities that have been walled since the time of the story of purim celebrate the holiday (jerusalem is one of those cities). when purim falls on friday they push shushan purim off to sunday so as not to take away from shabbos.

  15. mccxxiii

    I woke up this morning and got dressed for church, thinking all the while that I would use my Easter afternoon to make hamantaschen (because I love me some Jewish food, even if I am Episco).

    I googled around a bit and couldn’t settle on a recipe and OMG so many fillings to pick from, so I gave up and made your Blue Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies instead — two of which are sitting on a napkin right here next to my keyboard, still warm!! (Two more of which are now sitting on my thighs…)

    Now I think I’m baked out for the week, but I might do the hamantaschen next week, because YUM they look good and what do I care that Purim’s over, since it’s not even my holiday. I go to the Church of Cookies Whenever You Want Them!

  16. I made the greatest hamentaschen ever about 10 years ago and never saved the recipe and have been searching ever since. I recall it had powdered sugar instead of regular sugar which gave it that “shortbread” taste – they were amazing! I too attempted them again this year and they were just “ok”. Still searching for the older one in vain I suppose.
    However a jewish cook/mom that I rely on for all my jewish recipes suggested that the filling is really the part that matters most. She uses Lekvars Prune Butter and mixes that with some sugar, some ground walnuts, some orange juice and orange zest and WOW incredible..
    As always, your pictures are delicious!

  17. After years of experimentation, I found the perfect hamentaschen dough recipe in California Kosher (the one without the orange juice). It makes a fine dough, very flavorful, and it does not fall apart or collapse. I can even make lemon curd filled ones, which are notorious for falling apart. My favorite? The almond stuff from Solo in the can, with chocolate chips. To die for. I’m a fan of mun (poppy seed) too, but I do not like raspberry unless it is seedless.

  18. After years of struggling with crumbly hamantaschen dough from all different sources, I have finally perfected a sugar cookie dough that rolls out and seals beautifully! :) But I aaaaalways fill mine with homemade poppy seed filling. Or apricot jam. Yum!

  19. deb

    I actually forgot to mention that I froze one tray of these for an hour before baking them, to see if they’d better hold their shape. Sadly, they didn’t. Just wanted to mention in case someone was going to try that–don’t want you to waste your time!

  20. Allie

    So glad to know that I am not the only one whose hamentaschen fall apart– one tip: if you chill them for 15 min after forming and before baking, it helps. I also tend to think that if you use less filling they stay the right shape, but, then again, are less tasty… I have made a poppy seed dough (add poppy seeds to your std dough) with homemade lemon curd filling – really wonderful.

  21. Kate

    I made these the same way Julie described — folding the dough onto itself instead of making “walls”… we had one leaker in the whole bunch. [It hardly counts cause we knew we had overfilled it] The egg wash definitely helps – if you do choose to fold over, try tucking the last edge under the first edge.

    BTW these graced my easter table after I saw them in Washington Post, serious eats and one other place in the space of two days… it was a sign that they needed to be made!

  22. stacy

    We made them with the second-grade religious school class I teach and they came out great–I’ll have to ask my co-teacher (who was in charge of the folding part of the project) exactly how he did it.

    My favorite hamentashen innovation: NUTELLA FILLING.

  23. I am so glad you explained what these things were…for a minute there, I thought I was the only person who had no clue what you were talking about. And now I still have no clue how to say it! Ahh well…but they are beautiful!

  24. Ho, those look so pretty! I love jam-filled cookies. I’ll have to give these a try. I’ve never used cream cheese in a crust before, so it’ll be a fun experiment for me!

  25. These look beautiful – I love the colors! But just a small clarification – adding butter has no affect on the “Kosher-ness” of the recipe, assuming the butter is already Kosher. Butter simply makes the hamantashen dairy rather than pareve, so you can’t serve them with a meat meal.

  26. They look great. Growing up I always made some with chocolate filling, while non-traditional really good as well with the basic dough. Have you started thinking about passover deserts yet? I always find it so hard to make anything good for desert, I have a few good recipes, but I am always looking for more to change it up every year.

  27. RA

    Ooh, so pretty! Is it awful that I could identify these in the Flickr thumbnail from reading “All of a Kind Family” books in my childhood?

  28. Hi Deb,

    First of all, let me tell you that I love your blog! Your writing, photography, and recipes are so inspiring (and appetizing!)
    It is interesting that you mention that Hamentaschen are shaped like Haman’s hat; in Israel we learn that they are mentioned like Haman’s ears. Moreover, when I was searching for Hamentaschen recipes to make this year, I found out that the name probably stemmed from a German word, Mohntaschen, which means Poppy-seed pockets.
    I also made Hamentaschen this year; you can find the recipe that I’ve used in my blog, here:
    This is a really good recipe, and I found that they don’t open (just squeeze them well, and use a chilled dough). I wish you better success with the shaping next time!

  29. Yum! Purim is like Halloween in my neighborhood, all the Hasids (who’e outfits are already pretty spectacular to begin with) wear costumes. I bet they don’t get free candy by going door to door though. But those cookies look like a pretty good trade off.

  30. I agree that I think you’re over-filling the hamantaschen, which is part of the reason they’re busting open. I generally find a flatter shape more conducive to the cookies staying together properly–instead of pinching the corners together upright, try folding one side over another and pinching them together in a layered way.

    I made hamantaschen on Saturday with your last year’s NPR recipe–they were a big hit! Thanks!

  31. I’m another one who’s never heard of/ had hamantaschen (I have to keep scrolling upwards to check how to spell it) but these look gorgeous (if you need someone to, er, dispose of your irregular ones, by the way, I think I can find them a good home)…

  32. Heey! those are lovely. I mean, really lovely; and you say they can be made with poppy seeds or your “this stuff” (I’m pretty sure you wanted a link there)? Mmm
    I do, I’m afraid, agree with Sophie that you might be overfilling them slightly… but you know what? it’s the imperfect ones that are the most fun to eat.

    For Easter, will you make Kulichi? (your DH or his mum might know what I’m talking about)
    they have candied cirus peel in them… *bats eyelashes*

  33. Amy

    This year I did something while making my hamantashen that yeilded unusually well shaped cookies. I put the shaped cookies back in the fridge to chill out before putting them in the oven to bake. The only batch that didn’t fall apart was the one that didn’t go into the fridge. of course this was discovered because I just couldn’t get them all done with my twins crying and wanting to eat. so I put them in the fridge so I could come back to them later. It worked so well I’ll do it again next year on purpose.

    I use this recipe though I find it works better with 2 egg yolks instead of one. My filling is a mix of prunes, apricots and a whole lemon ground to a paste in the food processor

  34. Julia

    I’ve made hamantashen for years and mine only spread out when I use jam instead of homemade filling. I usually stew apricots and/or prunes and mash them up with a little sugar or lemon juice as needed. The filling is nice and thick (and delicious) and they hold their shape perfectly.

  35. Celeste

    You should invent a baking grid of triangles to set on a cookie sheet so you can have perfect triangles with whatever dough is most delicious. Ideally it would come apart for easy cleaning and close down for easy storage but be able to be locked open for baking. I don’t ask much, do I? LOL

    These look delicious. Could you try forming and filling them, then chilling them on cookie sheets before baking? I wonder if that would help control the spread.

  36. Clee

    Oh so nice to see that I’m not the only fool whose hamentaschen fall apart in the over. I was so devastated when the first batch came out, especially since I wanted to give them away as gifts but I was too embarassed by their ugliness. I agree with the other posters that making them flatter and folding over the dough instead of pinching works best.

    Beautiful photos!

  37. Mmm. I made some too, though without cream cheese in the dough – and a fair number opened up in the oven too.

    But, after I posted the recipe, someone commented that true hamantashen are made with a yeast dough, and only with a poppy seed filling. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a yeast dough recipe. You?

  38. deb

    I have seen both yeast and non-yeast version, but this (well, minus the cream cheese) were always what I had growing up, so I think I like them more.

  39. Will I come under fire for suggesting that your hamantaschen, viewed aerially, look rather like stylized illustrations of the female reproductive system seen in science textbooks? They’re no less beautiful for it, though.

  40. Wow!

    I have been in the south too long. I remember these as a kid in Philadelphia. The holidays too. Not the same in Georgia.

    Thanlks for the memories.

  41. chavi

    Try using cherry pie or blueberry pie filling in the center instead of jam – if you pinch the sides hard enough, the filling won’t run out. I made a batch using a recipe from a friend that – after almost a decade of searching for THE recipe – has got to be the BEST hamentaschen recipe I have ever tried – almost foolproof. But I like to mix things up a bit – in the blueberry batch, I made the dough with orange zest and almond extract; in the cherry batch (personally my favorite) I used lemon zest and homemade vanilla. I froze my first batch because I needed them for my Purim party and when I went into my freezer a day later, almost all of them were gone! #@$! So I had to make another batch – hence the blueberry hamentaschen. They were incredible! (PS – for those interested, I used whole wheat pastry flour for the dough and no one was the wiser :)

  42. I love your blog. So many great things to make and eat. I’m only 12, but I’m always showing my Mom all the great posts and recipes you have listed. I’ll be checking back!! Cambria

  43. coco

    I’m with Boaz… I thought they were meant to be Haman’s ears, as the Hebrew name (Oznei Haman) indicates. Still delicious… but it’s fun to tell kids that they are eating Haman’s ears… gives the jam a different connotation!

  44. elarael

    I thought the way you pinched them made them -the ones that held together- look super modern and stylish and I was feeling impressed. A totally updated presentation to the flap style. I love the way they look.

    I grew up with these made by a genuine old school Polish granny who always used prune, poppyseed – my all-time favorite filling – and apricot preserves. The prune with orange zest and ground walnuts sounds amazing!

  45. Linda

    I seem have much better luck with a Marcy Goldman recipe that has butter and shortening in it from” A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking” than the cream cheese versions I have tried…I use jam and not her fillings. They stay together a lot better than the cream cheese version , well mostly…I may have lost one or two but those were the cooks treat. I find that chilling them after forming them for about 15 minutes before baking helps them stay together….I also make the dough the day before I plan to bake them and keeping it in the fridge for a few hours at least helps a great deal. It is a very soft dough and bakes up with a wonderful texture. I made about 6 batches this year to give away…They were wonderful! I use milk and not the orange juice…the taste of the cookie brings back a wonderful childhood taste memory….just like they came from an old fashioned neighborhood Jewish bakery!

  46. These look simply divine! I only just last week received some raspberry jam from a local farm – sugary sweet but still tart, and the best raspberry jam I’ve ever tasted (though I do take a particular liking to anything raspberry-ish). I’m very tempted to make a dessert with jam now! Thank you for the inspiration!

  47. Emily

    Tried making these last night, really easy to prepare. Not alot came out perfectly, but even the flat mistakes were absolutely delicious!

  48. I agree with Linda upthread. I used Marcy’s recipe last year and it was a huge sucess( although I did make the fillings). I just came back from Ft. Laud, FL where there is a huge Jewish population. I was in heaven( I think I’m the only jew in my small town in Ontario, Canada). I had black and whites, challah buns, babka, linzer tarts, corn muffins, rye bread and bagels to my hearts content!! It was hard coming back, but better for the waistline!!

  49. rona

    hi deb,
    i had exactly the same experience re:jam this weekend – the few that didn’t spread were those with less filling. however! those filled with poppy seed filling stayed lovely and triangular. a question of moisture content in the filling? anyway, i’m sure they were still delicious!

  50. I’ve been meaning to make Hamantaschen every year since I got my own kitchen, but somehow Purim always sneaks up on me. Maybe I’ll bake up a batch just ’cause sometime in the next couple weeks…

  51. Deb

    Hi, I make hamantashen with my Sunday School kids. Ages 12,12,12 and 7. We use the nontraditional fillings like choc chips, peanut butter, cherry filling and white choc chips. I used a recipe that resembes cookie dough.

    Every year they get better and better.


  52. Long time lurker, first time poster :-)

    I attempted these last night! I was impressed with how easy it all was. The ingredients, the mixing, the forming… they were so cute! Then I baked them. They are quite dissatisfying to the eyes, but so fabulous in the belly.

    I’m considering Hamantaschen Round 2 tonight.


  53. Jessica

    I used a recipe I found on the blog Not Derby Pie. I usually use your recipes, but I made them before your post this year, and since you noted in your post last year that they didn’t come out the way you hoped, I looked elsewhere. Also, I was hesitant about the cream cheese and was looking for a recipe without that add on. In any case, they came out really well (and stayed triangular!) although the jam bubbled over a bit in some.

    I read your blog all the time, and never comment….but I want to add that I love your food and your photos. I gave your guinness ganached goodness a shout out on another site today. That was my first from scratch cake ever and I’ve made it several times since. Huge hit!

  54. I’m sure you don’t need yet ANOTHER person trying to help you with your Hamantaschen, BUT. I tried an old Hamantaschen recipe that worked out really well — very easy, in fact foolproof if you keep the dough chilled. It also uses butter, but no cream cheese, and so ends up with a more flaky, thin shortbready type cookie. Having had no problems with collapsing cookies, I can really recommend it for next year!

  55. Eva

    Hi Deb,

    Obviously, with 71 previous comments, you don’t need another opinion. However, I agree with the previous advice about the folding technique — though I don’t think “yours leaves something to be desired”! More like, your technique is not as effective if you’re going for corners staying together. That sounds less harsh, anyway.

    The hamantaschen that my we always made when I was younger rarely showed much of their filling, which was always hilarious because we’d make two or three flavors and then have to guess at what was inside. My dad’s favorite were the prune ones, which were *not* the family favorite… (my favorite flavor is poppyseed)

    Anyhow, I don’t think you have to roll them thinner — ours were usually quite heavy on the dough. Yum. I’ve never tried freezing or refrigerating, but I think that might work well, this being essentially a shortbread dough.

  56. I’ve had so many store-bought, dry hamantaschen, but have never appreciated how difficult they would be to make. The cream cheese in your dough might just be genius, though.

  57. Your hamantaschen look great! I’ve always thought living in New York would make it much easier to be a (half) Jew, frankly – the last two Passovers I spent in Cork, Ireland and Raleigh, North Carolina and this year I’m in Iowa City, Iowa. At least year I can afford fresh vegetables so it won’t be eight nights of eating nothing but carefully-checked-over white rice, hehe. Oh, what I’d give for a kosher deli…

  58. Kat

    My mom used to make these all the time growing up. Living in Oklahoma, we would definitely be in the “rest of the world” catagory. My great grandparents owned the first jewish bakery in Oklahoma for about 40 years called “Irenes Bakery”. I still have all the original recipes that my mother passed down to me including this one. I never thought to put cream cheese in the dough. I will have to make these here soon and play around with it a bit. Your site is wonderfully addicting. Thank you! : )

  59. Lenore

    As we once again approach hamentaschen season I thought I’d check out your recipe. Although I’m game for jam-filled cookies, I definitely prefer poppyseed. Prepared poppyseed filling has never failed to disappoint, so I make my own filling, which involves simmering the poppyseeds with milk and adding some honey. Also, the hamentaschen of my youth were much more closed up, with an opening of maybe 3/4 of an inch across, and I sealed them by brushing with water; that way, if they ‘relaxed’ a little they’d still be at least partly closed.

  60. Alison

    Thanks, everyone! Followed the folding/pinching tips tonight and for the first time ever my h’n kept their shape. Whoo-hoo!

  61. Ilene

    I have just discovered your blog and love it. As an avid cook the recipes are wonderful and the photography is to die for. This year was the first that I attempted Hamantashen. Mostly with results like yours. Misshapen and ugly but delicious Hamantashen. My errors were rolling the dough too thin; using a watery thinner jelly and definitely folding them wrong. Not to worry, I will certainly try again next year. Can’t wait to see what you are up to for Passover! Chag Sameach.

  62. suz

    All I have to say is WOW! I made these tonight with my two yr old son and they came out sooooo good! What a treat! I used a scalloped-edged cookie cutter and they came out so pretty. I probably made them too big because I only got 16 cookies out of the recipe. Next year, I will double (or maybe triple) the recipe. Ooh, and I used a wonderful apricot marmalade that I picked up at Whole Foods. Soooo good. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  63. I made these today and they turned out pretty good! Well they tasted so good we didn’t care that the first batch spread. The second didn’t – I pinched them harder and had the heat a tiny bit lower. Since they are named after a three cornered hat and since the first ones flattened out I called them Jammy Tammys. I liked making them the day before Easter. Then my step-dot and I ate them while we dyed eggs Ukranian style. All good for this Buddhist!

  64. Leila

    Looking at this post made me very excited to make some hamentaschen this week……yay purim!
    I’ve found that if you put the cookies in the freezer (once you have filled them and pinched the corners) for about 30 min before putting them in the oven, the don’t spread nearly as much!

  65. I came to your blog for inspiration to try, yet another, Hamantasched recipe this year to find one that doesn’t come open in the oven. Anyhow, your part about “…see how I added two days…” is actually spot on. In 2008, with Purim falling on a Friday night, it ws actually a Purim HaMeshulash which means it IS celebrated across three days! (Can’t give money to the poor on Shabbat, and not fair to make them wait another days, so the holiday stretches from Friday to Sunday!) Apparently, this won’t happen again until 2021.

    I’ve got your dough recipe chillin in the fridge, waiting for kids to get come from school so they can ‘help.’

  66. Heidi

    I just made amazing hamentashen for the first time and discovered the key to keeping those little edges attached. Make an egg wash and using your finger, lightly brush around the edge of the circle. When you squeeze together, it sticks beautifully and stays stuck together throughout the baking. Of course, it falls apart in your mouth while you are lovingly biting it! Yum.

  67. Sarah

    My mom says they hold together when you use a firm, substantial filling like lekvar or mun, and fall flat when you use a thin filling like jam. The heavy filling holds the sides up.

  68. First of all, I love your site, Deb! Beautiful and delicious. This was my VERY FIRST SK recipe to try, though. I made them twice–one batch yesterday and a double recipe tonight. Yesterday’s all opened, and I was a little sad that they weren’t pretty, but they were the most delicious hamantaschen I’d ever had. The cream cheese in the dough is amazing. Tonight I rolled the dough much thinner than I did last night, and I made a chocolate chip/cream cheese/brown sugar filling (because the jams tend to be runnier and more prone to opening). I also tried the pocket strategy for folding, the regular pinching, and also rolling up the sides to make sturdier “walls.” I think after all of that, the most successful strategy was just rolling the dough thinner. While last night almost all of them opened, tonight almost all of them stayed closed. Like earlier comments said, rolling it thinner kept them from falling open while naturally puffing up during the baking process.

    I also like that your recipe doesn’t have shortening in it–that’s just not something I have on hand or want to have left over.

  69. Lyn

    Happy Purim! Just spent the afternoon making a batch of these. Love the orange peel in the pastry! I made ’em with a poppy seed filling, and found that if I edged the pastry circles with egg wash and watched that I didn’t overfill, NONE of these babies burst open. I got lovely looking—and dreamy tasting!— three cornered hats! Amazing, Deb! Again!

  70. callie

    i made a batch of these the other night, and (1) they were the best-tasting hamentaschen i’ve ever had, but (2) you’re right — they pop open. i used the same folding method i’ve used with great success for years, but the dough puffs up more, and almost all of them fell open. ugly but delicious.

  71. erin

    hey! Easter’s coming up again so i was looking through your recipes for a suitable recipe – you are now the first person/website/cookbook i come to for pretty much anything! there’s a link missing in your recipe though, i’m really interested in what your favourite filling is!
    thank you for being the source behind many happy cooking recipes!

  72. Lorraine

    I love making hamentaschen and usually make 24 dozen or more, using 5 or 6 different fillings. This way, there are enough to share with my married chilkdren and their children, as well as sharing a half dozen at a time with about 24 of my neighboring condos I have found Marcy Goldman’s suggestion of brushing each round of dough with an egg wash before filling and pinching closed really helps the hamentaschen hold their shape. The egg wash I use is: 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 1 Tbsp. water, and a pinch of sugar.

  73. Debbie

    Finally, after shamed too admit how many tries, figured out the mystery of hamentashen spreading. Fold the sides over and lay back down on the triangle do not pinch them up. They cannot hold the weight and fall. Have your brownie roll out cookie shaped in Hamentashen with caramel filling in the oven as we speak. Your blog has inspired me to try cooking many new things. You are awesome!!!

  74. sarah

    i didnt have cream cheese so i used an extra 6 tbsp butter, and it worked out fine. i had to add an extra egg white for everything to come together. they were delicious though! and they stay together fine if you put the sides flatter instead of straight up and down.

  75. Dana

    Deb – Did you (or do you plan to) try to find the perfect Hamentaschen recipe this year? I have been scouring the web trying to find an amazing one using butter, but just haven’t seen IT yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  76. Yael

    Maybe someone already wrote that but in order to keep the tachens from opening I would put them in the fridge for 30 minutes before they go to the oven. Try it this year. Otherwise I love your blog and have used your recipes before. Yael

  77. Did you ever figure out why they flatten out like pancakes in the oven? I just made a batch, and I’m disappointed (although they still taste good). I’d like to try again. Any tips for how to keep the shape?

  78. Jessica

    I just made two batches and think I may have stumbled upon a hamantaschen pancake solution! The first batch fell (same thing happened last year), even with the egg wash edging, but for the second batch I was running out of filling so I put much less (about 1 teaspoon for about a 4inch cookie) in each cookie and voila! They stayed together! Lucky for me (we’re keeping the pancake batch instead of gifting), either way they still taste delicious:)

  79. Linda

    I just baked and tried these. Oddly enough, I’ve never had a real hamantaschen. The cookie part was on the drier side. Is that normal?

  80. Dante

    Hey there. Part of the reason that they are failing to hold their shape is that you are trying to make them stay by pinching them. If you want them to come out properly you have to fold the edges over one another instead (imagine closing a three-sided box), as others on here have mentioned.

  81. Layla

    I just made these! I didn’t use cream cheese, just used extra butter. I was going to use the apricot marmalade at my boyfriend’s house, but I made these at home so I used strawberry instead. I was bored and made candied lemon peel, then reduced the lemon syrup with some pulp inside and used that to fill half of the hamantaschen. I’ve never had a hamantaschen, but like these so far.

  82. Shelly

    Made this for Purim today. The dough is wonderful (love the orange peel) but I’m afraid I still ended up with a lot of misshapen, slightly pancake-y cookies, even with a lot of folding over and pinching, and even some egg wash! As several people mentioned, I grew up eating hamantaschen that were completely closed (no filling showing), and figured this was a good way to go anyway if these were susceptible to opening. Still didn’t do the trick though. I got a few decent triangles… Most were kinda ugly but still really good :)

  83. Shelly

    p.s. I’d love it if you could keep experimenting and figure out a way to keep this, or another recipe, closed in the oven! Thanks!

  84. Katy

    Just made them! They were delicious. Only problem is they didn’t close, per the other comments. But I enjoyed them so much I will keep trying! Thank you for the lovely recipes!

  85. Jeff Axelrod

    Please add oz of flour to your future recipes. My all-purpose flour is 6 oz per cup and using that information, your recipe calls for 8.5 oz of all-purpose flour.

    1. deb

      I weigh 1 cup of all-purpose flour as about 4 1/3 to 4 1/2 ounces or 125 grams. I usually use King Arthur Unbleached, but find that most brands clock in at the same weight.

  86. Wow, you guys did it again! I have never like Hamantaschen, so when my congregation asked me to make 200 of these cookies, I immediately went to Smitten Kitchen and you know what? You guys seem to not like Hamantaschen for the same reasons I do! The cream cheese is genius. My boyfriend tasted them and realized that he never really tasted good Hamantaschen until he ate the ones I made from your recipe. Thanks again!

  87. Heather M

    I have found my new favorite hamantaschen recipe, and it’s this. I doubled it (to add some to shalach manot baskets) and will likely make another double batch tomorrow – they’re too good to give all away!

    Small tip for anyone reading the comments this far down: I found that the ones that held together best at the corners were the ones I rolled thinnest – the thicker the dough circle, the more likely it was to return to a circle when baking. But even the ugly ones taste delish!

    You haven’t let me down with a recipe yet. Thanks, Deb.

  88. Jen

    I am making these for this weekend we are having Purim tonite at services. I was wondering how they rise without any soda…maybe I am not used to butter cookies? I will also really fold them like was suggested.

    1. deb

      SixKiller — They’re beautiful! But my quibble with the folding technique is that although it’s obviously more effective, the cookies are supposed to resemble a traditional three cornered hat! And for that, they’d be pinched. However, if you want hamantaschen that work 100% of a time (a noble goal, of course) the folded corners are the way to go.

  89. Cynthia

    I made hamantaschen for the first time today for my bible study class. The first two batchest spread open and my husband re-read the directions and it said to pinch them together so you only see a small bit of the filling peeking out. Those turned out great! I didn’t freeze or even regrigerate the dough before baking them. Hope this helps. the only problem is you can only use a small bit of filling. otherwise it squishes out when pinching it together.

  90. Jenn

    Deb, it’s been a few years since you made these (for blog purposes anyway) and I was wondering if you have any refinements to add. I’m in the process of converting to Judaism and am excited to try these. I made your challah bread last month. It was a bit dry (I over baked it) but a GORGEOUS six-braid loaf. It was too pretty to eat anyway!

    You’re coming to Denver soon and I can’t wait to meet you. I describe you to friends and family as “my food blogger friend from NYC who doesn’t know we’re best friends yet.” ;) Safe travels!

  91. Diana

    Awesome recipe! Just made them for the first time, can’t go wrong here :) I did use my grandma’s advice about folding them. She’s always folded over the other fold – overlaping them and then pinching. NONE of mine opened. The dough recipe is just yummy, I make my rugalah the same way, THANKS for a wonderuful reminder and a recipe!

  92. Sandra Mort

    I was going to go with my standard 2 sticks butter, 8 oz cc & 2 cups of flour recipe but the egg and lower ratio of cc might be good. If I have time, maybe I’ll do the side by side and see how they compare! I would leave out the sugar, though, since the filling usually is sweet enough to carry it, and the citrus just because I don’t like it. I’m sorry for the harsh criticism about your folding techniques — it may not be traditional but yours are awfully pretty!!

  93. miri

    I sometimes like to use different extracts in mine. Almond or orange is always good, and you can pair them with the fillings you like – like, raspberry with almond, or chocolate with orange, or whatever.

    I concur with others that yours would stay together if you folded each edge over the next, instead of just pinching the edges. Basically when you fold it, you should be able only a tiny little window of filling, instead of a whole cookie’s worth.

  94. miri

    oops, just saw that you addressed this above. Well….yeah, I guess the folded ones are slightly less hat-like. But at least they stay triangular, right? :)

  95. Marla Satinsky

    Hi! I’m not sure if this is the correct place for this question, but I’ll ask anyway. I am planning to make the rhubarb hamentashen from your cookbook. I froze some rhubarb last fall (I am a rhubarb nut, I love the stuff!) and I’d like to use it. Do you think it will be too watery when I defrost it to use as filling? Thanks!

  96. evelyne

    Bonjour, j’habite à Paris et je suis intéressée par votre recette de pain noir russe pour Pâques… Ou puis-je la trouver ? Merci

  97. The hamantaschen I am familiar with are the ones my mother made.
    Instead of a cookie dough, she made a slightly sweetened yeast
    dough, and a poppy seed filling made from freshly ground poppy seeds. After the dough was rolled out in squares, a tablespoon
    of filling was added and the the dough was brought up around the filling, almost completely covering it. After baking the hamantaschen. while warm, they were brushed with warm honey.
    I have her recipe and have replicated it for my family.

    1. Rachel

      Hi Beatrice,
      I know it has been a while since your post, but I’d appreciate it if you might be able to share the yeast-dough recipe. It sounds similar to my grandmother’s recipe, which I’m trying to recreate.
      Any help would be very much appreciated!

  98. Leslie Hafter

    My friend Johanna was the first person to turn me on to your website, which I love! She recently posted this recipe for dough:
    I used it this year, and the cookies came out perfectly: flavorful, rollable, foldable, sealable. As she notes, the dough is dairy, and it’s sticky. I rolled mine out between sheets of floured wax paper and floured the edge of my cutter (I used a glass) each time. My new go-to recipe!

  99. pstmom

    Last night I made the rhubarb hamentaschen out of your cookbook. Yes, Purim has come and gone, but the rhubarb has just arrived. They were the best thing I’ve made in a looong time. While this is going to sound random, I felt like a kid eating her first frosted pop-tart. Yeah–that good! But I did have 1 problem with the dough recipe (from the cookbook)–it was too dry and I had a hard time rolling it out (even with wet hands, had to cobble it together a bunch). I was wondering if anyone else had this problem and/or how to remedy for the future. Because I am definitely making these again…and soon!

  100. KN

    Pstmom, I’m having the same problem with the almond dough cookbook recipe you mentioned. The dough is too dry to roll out and just crumbles. My butter was a little warm when I added it but I can’t think of anything else. I came here to see if anyone had suggestions for the cookbook recipe. (The dough is super tasty raw, however, if you’re forced to eat it.)

  101. Lydia

    Hi, Deb.

    I’m a longtime fan of your site (and, now, your cookbooks). It seems the “Surprise me!” feature on the blog only leads to this recipe, and none of the others. Just thought that I’d bring this to your attention.

    Thank you for this wonderful blog, your stories, beautiful photography and recipes!!


  102. Jerry

    I just read about the history and name of Purim, and the man named Haman in that history, interesting. The second part of that name, taschen, is German/Austrian for pocket; which leads me to believe the pastry was developed in either of the two countries. Vienna had the largest Jewish population in Europe early on, so that could be the location. The Austrians even changed one of their national dishes from pork to veal, Schnitzel, to accomidate the Jewish. The three cornered hat she described at the start of the article would be, “Drei-punkten Hut” in German/Austrian. Guten Appetit!

  103. Debby

    I’ve been making hamentaschen for years too, and I have always had a more covered-up version as some others have described. I have used the cookie dough recipe from “Love and Knishes”, and it’s good, but it does bake up hard. I will try your recipe with the cream cheese – sounds great. When making them with the grandchildren, instead of rolling out the dough, we break of pieces and flatten them from hand-to-hand. We have named our version “hamentaschtillas” because we make them like tortillas. What can I say … we are Californians. Keep em coming, Deb.

  104. Hungry for Hamantaschen

    Hi Deb- I’m not sure if you are planning on tackling the tachen again this year, but in case you’re looking for a challenge, I was in Israel a month ago and they were selling HALVAH filled hamantaschen in the bakeries. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’m assuming you can’t just put pieces of store-bought halva in hamantaschen because it’ll get too dried out during baking. Do you think you would need to create a paste form for baking? Any thoughts on the topic??

  105. Malka

    Lovely. Just a point of clarification regarding kosher. Keeping kosher does NOT mean you can’t use butter. The prohibition is mixing meat and dairy products. Therefore those who keep kosher may choose to make hamantaschen, and other desserts, without butter so that they can eat those desserts with meat meals. As a kosher vegetarian I can tell you I ONLY bake with butter and would never have margarine in my home. But just to reiterate, butter is kosher. Mixing butter, or any dairy product, is not.

    Great blog!

  106. Shari

    I just made these, and they did not work at all. Most of them didn’t hold their shape, so I basically have oddly shaped cookies with fillingn in the middle. Which isn’t bad, certainly, but wasn’t what I was going for. My dough was also really elastic (which is likely why it didn’t hold its shape). It was more like bread dough than cookie dough in that respect. Any idea why that may have happened?

  107. Noelle

    I made these last night and they were really disappointing. The cookies came out very hard (maybe adding a baking power or something would make them softer). About half of them bubbled over, even though I used less than 1/2 tbsp of filling. Definitely would not recommend or re make. A deceptively time consuming mess. And such a surprise because normally I love this website for recipes!

  108. deb

    I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work well for you. They were floppy (i.e. flopped open) for me as well, but I thought it was just because I hadn’t pinched them well enough. This site is clearly long over due for a more solid hamantaschen recipe; I’ll make good on it by next time.

  109. Katie

    So, I make these every year and love them! A few things that I’ve found helpful in working with the dough, as it can be pretty soft:
    1) I refrigerate for at least 2 hours instead of one before rolling it out. For me, at least, it gives the dough a bit more structure that helps with the rolling and folding (I’m a folder, just how my family has always done it!)
    2) Don’t roll these out too thin. One batch doesn’t make a ton of cookies, just make multiple batches as opposed to rolling out too thin.
    3) Twist corners and really make sure that they’re sealed. A fold and done won’t work with these, you have to really make sure that they’re closed.
    4) Don’t be afraid to add more flour when rolling out! I probably end up adding a quarter cup of extra flour on the rolling pin, counter, etc. per batch. This hasn’t affected the flavor at all.

    I know that this sounds complicated, but it’s really easy to get in a groove and you get close to perfect hamantaschen (almost) every time!

  110. Lisa

    @Malka – Thanks! I was just about to post the same thing. Making them with oil or non-dairy margarine makes them “pareve,” they are kosher with or without butter.

  111. laura

    I just made these this weekend and they came out great. i didn’t chill the whole time cause i was in a rush, rolled them out pretty thin, and used a mason jar lid as a cookie cutter, and they still came out fantastic. i double folded the points, and baked them closer to 30 minutes and two days later i am on my last two cookies…if that’s any indication of their success…

  112. Coming here to see what feedback I can gain from people who may have made the cookies in the cookbook… as others have commented the dough was seriously crumbly – I did refridge it for an hour, but that didn’t seem to help rolling out much – still crumbly, so I made the discs a little thicker – more like 1/4″ thick and that helped a lot. But I was still suspicious of some of the notes in the cookbook. The ingredient list names 1 egg, but the instructions refer to “eggs” which had me thinking maybe the crumbly dough was missing an egg and there was a typo in the cookbook? I didn’t add another egg, just manhandled the dough into ugly, tripod-esk looking forms. Delicious in the end, but seriously mis-shapen, ugly and not one cookie resembled the other – not presentable to company, but just fine for my belly!

  113. Camille DesLauriers

    OMG, let’s just say there wasn’t many left after I baked these little babies! I read alot of the comments and yes some on mine did unfold, but the majority did hold their shape. I recommend putting less jam since most of mine boiled over and I did use a teaspoon to dole out the jam ( I’m usually never so picky). Anyway, loved the texture of the dough, like silk and I did chill it and prior to baking I put the trays in the freezer for 2-3min. Someone else made that suggestion. Also try an egg washto seal the cookie ends rather than cold water. They should stick better or just pinch the haman out of ’em! LoL

  114. Marnie

    Hi Deb,
    Made these yesterday…so delicious (but yes they flattened a lot). Made another batch of the dough…do you know how long it can stay in the fridge before you need to use it? Is a day or two too much? Love your site and cookbook-refer you to everyone!!! Thanks!

  115. Valentine

    So I just completed this recipe this evening and I was super careful at every step in order to prevent opening (and, let’s be honest, disapointment):
    – once my dough came together I split it in 4 disks, placed the first one in the freezer and the others in the fridge. That allowed me to wait only 15min to start working with it.
    – I must have rolled the dough a lot more thinner because I managed to get 40 cookies with a 2 5/8inch cookie cutter.
    – after forming the cookies, I placed them an extra 10min in the fridge before putting them in the oven.
    – as far as the folding technic goes, I went for the flat overlapping one.
    End result was that only 6 cookies in the entire batch were kinda sorta open, but nothing flat out round. And they are delicious, and crispy, and tender.
    So I hope this help, don’t be scared, the cookies are worth it!!

  116. Emily

    Hi Deb, I have a question, seeing as this is an old recipe–and one that looks imperfect–Is this a hamantaschen recipe that you still use? I guess I’m asking if you recommend your own recipe, or if in the years since you usually end up using someone else’s… Would love to know what you recommend : ) hope that doesn’t sound rude!

    1. deb

      Hamantaschen are still a bane for me. I’ve made several over the years. Ultimately we have to choose between sturdy cookies that always stay closed when pinched and ones with lovelier textures that are less reliable. (very reliable!) (fairly reliable!)

      I also have rhubarb-almond hamantaschen in my first cookbook, which are actually my favorite kind — ones that are like tiny sweet or savory galette/tarts.

      I’d be remiss not to mention that I discovered you can turn these fig newtons into fig newton-taschen. ;)

  117. Jennifer Colyer

    Hi Deb, I very much like this recipe and wanted to share a tip. If you refrigerate the formed cookies for 15 minutes or so before baking, they are much less likely to unfold. This is in addition to folding over the pointed ends as you suggest. Thank you and belated happy Purim!

  118. Elizabeth S

    A little egg wash works like glue and keeps every one closed. This dough is one of my favorites; I’ve made it a bunch of times and just opened to make this year’s batch. I prefer to refrigerate overnight. Happy Purim!

  119. erica

    I made these into 10 large hamentaschen and 4 regular size ones. No issues with them losing the shape. I refrigerated for 2 hours first. They never got brown and ended up dry and not great tasting. Any idea what I did wrong?

  120. Lauren

    This looks like a great recipe – do you think it can be easily adapted to gluten free if I use something like Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-1 gf flour? My sister has celiac and hasn’t been able to have hamantaschen in years, so I was hoping to find a recipe that I could adapt.

  121. Sylvia

    Worked great. Made as written, just folded the three sides partially over the filling, sealing at the corners, rather than folding them up like walls. Stayed intact!

  122. Linda

    I had 2 fillings. One was def thicker than the other. I think I overfilled the thinner jam ones because now most of them look like open face discs with jam topping. Grrrrrrr.

  123. wendy mazursky

    Wow, thank you so much for this recipe. My daughter really wanted to make Hamantaschen this year to celebrate Purim, and I warned her that they Hamantaschen are nothing to get excited about. They are bland and meh (cause that’s how they were growing up from our local Jewish deli in LA in the 70’s) and taste like Crisco and industrial size vats of apricot jam. I was super delighted with these! They are easy to make, delicious and only one turned into the dreaded pancake. Will be making these again every year and this dough is a keeper! My whole family says yum.

  124. Dani

    This recipe is SO good, deb. We absolutely love it. Have you thought about updating it with weight measurements? It took us forever to get the flour right.

  125. JLH

    1 1/3 cups plus 4 teaspoons flour

    Could we have gram weights please? Figuring out how much flour is intended by 1 and a third cup (??) and 4 teaspoons seems not ideal. I see that this is an older recipe, perhaps it’s time to revisit it?

    Thank you.