tiny poppy seed ‘taschen

My track record with hamantaschen — those three-cornered filled cookies traditionally limited to Purim, but shouldn’t be, because did I mention that they’re cookies? And you can fill them with whatever you want? — is abysmal. I can’t seem to find a recipe that allows them to be as fragrant, buttery, delicate and delicious as I believe they were meant to be that does not completely fall apart once baked. I suspect my insistence on finding my hamantaschen nirvana in a cream cheese-based dough — cream cheese, although tangy and delicious, seems to just flop down and laze about like a kitten in the sun once it hits the oven — plays a part although, given, my sealing technique also “leaves a lot to be desired”. The first year I attempted a recipe on this site, they puffed and pancaked open in the oven. The second year was no better. The third and fourth year, I didn’t even bother.

poppy seeds
zest an orange

But this year, I spied a recipe in Wednesday’s New York Times that although cream cheese-free, gave me hope. Plus, I’ve head so much about traditional poppy seed fillings, but confess that I have no experience with them. The fact that this called for one from scratch (as in, not “open a can of poppy seed filling”) delighted me and the cookie, with its egg yolks and butter, seemed to carry all the marks of a great sweet tart crust-ish/sable-like cookie dough.

poppy seed filling


And yet, 5 p.m. yesterday found me cursing and throwing a tiny hissy (no room for larger ones in my shoebox kitchen) over the bleepin’ dough! Which did not bend over the filling, but broke. It crumbled! It cracked! Oh, I had some words with that dough as I swore its eventual placement in the Salon of Recipe Shame. I threw the tray in the fridge, chased a toddler around the East Village for a while and this morning, sighed deeply as I baked them even though I knew they’d be a disaster.


I suspect you know where this is going. That they puffed slightly and bronzed nicely but never opened. That they’re buttery and perfect, crisp and lightweight. That (as happens often in the kitchen, but never ever when bickering with my husband, thank you very much) I was wrong. And everyone else wins.

irritating but eventually triumphant dough

One year ago: Spinach and Chickpeas
Two years ago: Penne with Potatoes and Rocket
Three years ago: Whole Wheat Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts and Feta
Four years ago: Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad (still a favorite!)

Tiny Poppy Seed ‘Taschen
Adapted, mostly clarified a bit, from “Schmaltz” by Shmil Holland via the NYT 3/15/11

That doesn’t make this an easy dough to mess around with. It will seem impossible that this will work out in the oven but sure enough, 10 minutes later you’ll have the lightest, gently crisp hamanataschen you’ve ever tried in front of you, making all of the dough aggravation worth it. I’ve added notes on the forming of the cookies which will hopefully help.

I ended up with almost double the poppy seed filling I needed, but I also had to use a lot less than suggested to keep my cookies from being over-stuffed. If you’re not into poppy seed fillings, your favorite jam would work.

Most confusingly: I just realized that recipe I printed from the NYTimes yesterday is very different from the one on the site today. First, it tells you to grind your poppy seeds but doesn’t say in a spice grinder so I tried and failed to grind mine in the food processor. This is why my seeds are whole. The one on the site doesn’t suggest an extra chilling time once the cookies are formed and brushed with egg wash. I think this was helpful and encourage you to do this, below. The recipe on the site suggests you use 3-inch cookie cutters (a traditional size), the one that I printed says 2 1/2-inch. I listened to neither and used a 2 1/4-inch cutter; I like tiny ‘taschen.

Yield: 44-ish from a 2 1/4-inch circle cutter (as I did); the original recipe suggests a yield of 30 with a 3-inch round cookie cutter or a yield of 36 with a 2 1/2-inch cutter

Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 large egg yolks
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, in small pieces

Poppy Seed Filling
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1/2 orange
1 cup poppy seeds
1/3 cup raisins
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tablespoon brandy
1/2 tablespoon orange liqueur
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, beaten

Make the dough: Place the lemon zest, powdered sugar, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the butter and egg yolks and process until the mixture forms a ball. Scrape onto a sheet of plastic and wrap it tightly. Chill the dough for an hour or overnight.

Prepare the filling: Grind seeds in a coffee grinder. Heat milk, sugar, orange zest, ground poppy seeds and raisins in a small saucepan over medium heat. On a low simmer, cook until the seeds absorb the milk, thickening the mixture, about 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice, brandy, orange liqueur and butter and cook for 2 minutes more. Finally, add the vanilla and stir to combine. Remove from heat to let cool completely. I sped this up in the fridge.

Form the cookies: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to just under 1/4-inch thickness (1/4 was suggested; I found it a little thick for smaller cookies) and use a cookie cutter or glass to cut 2 1/4-inch circles (see Note up top for other sizes). Put a heaping half-teaspoon of the filling in the center of each and press up the sides to form triangles. If your dough comes out like mine did, this will be kind of annoying as the dough will crack when you want it to bend. Don’t be deterred, just smoosh the sides back on and mold it, if needed, into the proper shape. Arrange on prepared trays (transfer cookies with a spatula, as they are fragile before they are baked) and brush the tops with beaten egg for glaze. Return tray to the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes; chilling them again will help them hold their shape while they are baked. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F

Bake: Until cookies are golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. If trays are on different racks, switch them after about 5 minutes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

263 comments on tiny poppy seed ‘taschen

  1. This is the first year I’ve started seeing hamentashen dough made with butter. I’m definitely intrigued. My cookies’ fillings this year include pistachio, honey and cardamom and pine nuts, honey and thyme. Mine were lemon zest rather than orange zest. Definitely bookmarking this for next year.

  2. So, I really like the taste and texture of the cream cheese based dough you’ve published previously. If I roll them thinly and don’t overfill, the overwhelming majority (70ish%) stay closed and my husband is happy to eat the rest, which are unpresentable but delicious. But I was so frustrated working with ANOTHER recipe where the dough came out like you described – I’d go to fold, and it would crack. Oy! But those almost all stayed closed, in the 90% area. I don’t know. I might continue to make both.

  3. Katharine

    I’ve never tried hamantaschen, but I am a BIG-time fan of poppy seeds you can actually taste. I’ll have to remember to buy them on my next shopping trip, now!

  4. Erica

    Yikes those are gorgeous. As someone that struggles with pie and tart doughs on the best of days, though, I am a little bit intimidated by this. But I suppose the only way to improve is to challenge yourself (myself) a little!

  5. I’m not Jewish and one of my first real introductions to Jewish culture was when my friend Nathan made hamentashen. I am always looking for them now, because I find them super delicious! (and they don’t even have chocolate in them!)

  6. emgee

    These looks delicious, as do all of your recipes, and I think they will be a fun weekend project with my almost 3-year-old daughter. Would you mind sharing the source for that adorable pie plate showcased in the first picture? I think I’ve seen it in your pictures before, and just love it. Thanks!

  7. megan

    @Kartik – lots of Israeli bakeries make savory hamataschen, and I encourage you to plop in any variety of meats and/or cheeses.

    Also, I have found that hamantaschen stay together infinitely better if you fold the edges over the filling, rather than try to pinch the corners together. Just my two cents.

    Deb, first time poster, long time reader – I genuinely thank you and your blog daily for making the workday so much better with the “surprise me” button!

  8. Pam

    Thanks for publishing this. I have tried to make these cookies before but the dough (and that from Jewish bakeries in my city – suburban Detroit) taste like cardboard. I thought to make some from sugar cookie dough this year (I know, an abomination but I wanted something to work out) but now fear they will just fall apart in the oven and not hold their shape so I will not make them at all but use the dough differently and make ‘thumbprint’ cookies with coconut and pecans on the outside. (A version of Ina Garten’s recipe.)

    Now I will try to do this NEXT YEAR because I do not have time to do this before I leave for my Purim event tomorrow. THANK YOU!!!!!

  9. miriam

    My family recipe is not savory but it a not-sweet savory dough wihch has vinegar and is flaky. Then you put nuts & jam and you get the sweetness from that–& then you can sprinkle it with confectioner’s sugar. That dough holds together pretty well as long as you pinch hard.
    But this looks good. I am glad you didn’t try the cream and choclate one from the Times–that was too nontraditional!

  10. I love poppy seed hamantaschen. There was an amazing bakery near my old office that sold them and I can only rarely find them other places. These look JUST like the ones I used to buy. It’s going to be great to have a recipe. Now, hopefully I can pull them off as well as you have.

  11. What adorable cookies! I’ve never thought about using poppy seeds as a filling before – great idea (@Laura B. – I totally though of the Seinfeld failed drug test episode when I read this post as well! :) )

  12. Love that photo of pouring the poppy seeds! I am thinking this dough could be the vehicle that holds all my extra jelly and jam that I don’t know what to do with. Hope I don’t have “words” in the process.


  13. Samantha

    My fiancé LOVES poppy hamentashen filling (or “mun” as he calls it) and I couldn’t find the can anywhere. Maybe this year he’ll actually get it! I also emailed the smitten kitchen with a no-fail hamentashen recipe as well as “shaping tips”. My sure fire way to make sure my hamentashen don’t fall apart is to pinch the corners and then fold them down making a little envelope on each corner. They look just as pretty and are sure to stay together!

  14. tj

    …”seems to just flop down and laze about like a kitten in the sun” – oh my. *sigh*love* ;o)

    …You know, I’ve never even ever heard of these before. Yeah, I live in a closet…*giggle* But these sound oh so intriguing! I love poppy seeds and the thought of them being enveloped in a light, crusty dough is enough to wanna try this recipe! Thanks Mrs. Smitten! :o)

    …Enjoy your weekend Smitten Family and blessings too…

  15. AAAAH I’ve never had success with these cookies. I guess with the dough. Never knew to throw it in the fridge overnight…maybe some day I’ll try try again!

  16. corinne

    My friend gave me a recipe for them that has orange juice in the dough and chocolate filling, and I’ve not made any others since!

  17. Mari

    I read a recipe where instead of pinching them closed, you fold the dough. It even included a diagram. I am going to try these tonight, but fold it. Also, with nutella in the center, what could be more delicious?

  18. Ahh! This brings back Purim carnival memories for me. My old Cantor would sing (in the tune of Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones – “I can’t get no Homentaschen, but I try and I try and I try!”

    Love a good homentaschen! Thanks!

  19. I love hamantaschen. And I’ve given up making them. I’ve tried every trick I can think of to make them into happy little triangles, includong shoring up the sides with chess pieces in the oven, and they crack, or fall over, or ooze out the sides. These little cookies are incredibly frustrating. I’ll let you know if I ever find a reliable recipe.

  20. alyssa

    thank you, thank you, thank you. i’m not a hamantaschen fan (blasphemy, i know) but i love poppyseed rugoleh and have never been able to make a decent poppyseed filling. the filling from cans is terrible and my own attempts have been dismal failures. can’t wait to try your filling recipe.

  21. I’ve never heard of this but they look so cute and I can imagine they would be awesome with all sorts of fillings. A savory version would be fabulous. They do look quite tricky though so I will save them for a time I’m feeling brave…

  22. Patsy

    Gah! I really wanted the cream-cheese dough to work out. Thanks for test-driving and trouble-shooting so many taschen recipes, so the rest of us can reap the benefits!Although, I’m more tempted now to just make rugelach with this filling.

  23. kathy in st. louis

    These are now on my must-try list, since I’ve never made poppyseed filling, and have eaten it only a couple times. However, I can’t comment without also reminding fellow readers about the nutty, buttery, tangy work of art that is your poppy seed lemon cake. That cake is the stuff of dreams.

  24. Rebecca

    @DessertForTwo: I immediately thought of kolaches when I saw the photos, too. I think it is the poppy seed filling or the pre-pinch photo.

    I don’t know the correct consistency for hamantaschen, but the cream cheese based dough we use for kolaches gives a cookie with a delicate pastry like quality and puff… It is super simple: 1C Butter (I use salted), 6 Oz. Cream Cheese, and 2C Flour. The secret is to keep your dough as cold as possible. These look delicious!

  25. I also saw that article in the Times and thought the photos and recipes were delicious! I live in a small Wisconsin town, so I doubt I’d find these for sale anywhere. Perhaps, I’ll whip up a batch (in my head). :) You recommend using a favorite jelly instead of the poppy seed filling. Is there a traditional flavor?

  26. Judith

    Add me to the list of must-try; of midwestern never heard of these. Question: do they keep for a day or so? can you make them one day, serve them the next afternoon?

  27. JB

    Your killing me woman! I literally mixed your cream cheese version last night before bed, so they could chill while I was at work & I could make them this evening. Us working girls need advance notice to prepare for holidays!
    I’m still hoping an egg wash will keep the cream cheese ones from being a flat mess.

  28. Heh, I was just explaining to a friend of mine why I gave up on hamantaschen a few years back. After trying a new recipe every year for five years with frustratingly so-so results, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve been baking other cookies and bars for Purim ever since. But now… a recipe that’s earned your seal of approval. I’m intrigued. And hopeful! I’ve already finished my Purim baking for this year, but as you say, there’s no reason why hamantaschen should be reserved for only one day a year. I am totally on this. Thanks, Deb!

  29. RB

    my mom’s full proof recipe which gets rave reviews every year: 2/3 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar (these are barely sweet which i like), 1 egg, 3tbls orange juice, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder. cream butter and sugar, add remaining ingredients. refigerate…and follow as you instruct above. …nutella filling makes me happy.

  30. I’ll give you my (not-so) secret tip if you promise never again to call them ‘taschen ;-) (for some reason just typing the term hurts my ears *ow*):

    Pinch up the corners almost to the center; just leave a very small opening. Since the pastry puffs up and expands, the opening will widen a bit to where you originally wanted.

  31. Drew

    I’ve had great success with the “almost like bakery hamentashen” recipe from “A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking” (

    Give it a try. The dough needs to chill overnight to be workable, but it tastes like the hamentashen I remember from growing up on Long Island. The sour cherry filling recipe is fantastic, although I usually make the apricot and prune only. I need to find a good source for either ground poppy seeds or a good grinder. Maybe next year. I also keep meaning to tweak the recipes to make a fig filling, combining the goodness of Fig Newtons with hamentashen.

  32. Here’s my hamataschen saga: my mom used to make ones with a honey dough. This required dumping honey and egg yolks into the dough and mixing it all with your hands. It was, needless to say, very messy. My dad, who always spoke with reverence of his mother’s YEAST-based hamantaschen, proclaimed they were the next-closest thing. They were not very sweet. My dad is a prune hamantaschen kind of guy, so while my mom and I did battle with the dough, he took on the prunes. A few years ago, I decided enough was enough and tried a recipe in Marcy Goldman’s Jewish Baking cookbook (not sure of the exact title). THey are the “Almost Like a Bakery” recipe and they are nothing at all like bakery hamantaschen – they are much better! I use all butter, not 1/2 butter, 1/2 shortening.

    I have also finally got the hang of not overfilling them. Jam, especially, will explode, if you put too much in.

    I do want to try cream-cheese ones, but I might just do rugelach instead. I also want to try the chocolate pastry cream filling mentioned in the NYTimes but that will have to wait for another year, seeing as how I have over 100 hamantaschen taking up room in my freezer and my husband’s none too pleased about that.

  33. Leah

    To keep hamantashan from falling apart in the oven, don’t pinch the ends closed. Instead, fold the edges of the dough over the filling. It makes a big difference.

  34. Dan

    Hamantaschen are my arch nemeses! I have tried making them year after year and each year they find a new way to confound me! The weirdest thing is that I can remember doing this as a kid like it was a piece of cake. I hope that this recipe comes to my rescue!

  35. Talia

    this is so funny
    we were stirring a pot of poppy seed filling for hamentaschen just as i checked your blog and saw this recipe
    it is hilarous

  36. terri

    these look amazing! i don’t know if i can justify buying a bottle of orange liqueur to make the filling, though. how intense is the orange flavor? would orange juice (or maybe orange extract) give enough orange flavor?

  37. Thanks for the recipe! They really do look delicious!
    I’m with you, humantachen should be a airy-flaky-filled-cookies which they are more than often not.
    I’m really tempted to make this recipe but also a little skeptic since I will have to convert it to be gluten free- that could make a challenging dough even more so… I’ll see how adventuress I feel tomorrow…
    And yes, most poppy filled tachen recipes would tell you to grind the poppies, that’s how I actually ended buying my first spice grinder years ago, now I use it almost on a daily basis for a million other things.

  38. Despite all of your problems the cookies are cute! I love that they are filled with a poppy seed filling – there just aren’t enough good recipes for poppy seeds! I always shy away from fragile dough and fillings, but you might have inspired me to give it a try!

  39. Meghan

    @Judith: My mother says apricot, at least in her Jewish neighborhood that was the big thing. I’m making these for her right now with apricot, she gets very frequent random drug tests at work.

  40. I’ve used the second recipe in California Kosher for many years. The dough is always easy to shape and is crumbly and sweet. Totally delicious. My specialty is to make some plain dough and then a chocolate sable dough, roll each out into snakes and then twist together into a braid. Roll the braid out and you get a beautifully marbelized dough. I fill them with cherry, almond, and orange filling for a modern take on an old standby.

    I have to say that one of the things I love about your blog is reading the comments from the non-Jewish posters that have never even heard of the common Jewish delicacies you post about. I’m always dying to know where they come from and how they could live without challah and hamentaschen.

  41. In college every year, we had a latke v. hamentaschen debate. Three professors would fight for each side and would make presentations based on “scientific principles” as to why their Jewish delicacy was the best. And then at the end, everyone got to eat latke and hamentaschen. It was awesome. Since then, I’ve always had a soft spot for these three-cornered cookies. I’m so glad you found your version.

  42. What Happens After Five

    What an interesting recipe…I’ve never seen anything filled with poppy seeds before. Something I’ll have to try for sure.

  43. Sally

    I LOVE hamantaschen. LOVE them. Have you ever had the ones from Zingerman’s? They’re worth mail ordering – just for the cream cheese ones… Seriously, to die for. I ordered them two years ago, at about $8 per cookie, and last year absolutely begged them for the recipe (they declined, but told me the ingredients!).

  44. irene

    Deb, if you like poppy seed fillings and want to try more with fresh seeds, go to a bakery or the bakery dept in the grocery store and ask if you can buy ground poppy seeds from them. I cannot get them in California except in overpriced little jars in the spice aisle; I either have my Mom send me some or bring some back when I visit family in Ohio – they sell them at all the grocery stores in pint-size & quart-size containers! They freeze well if sealed properly, and are excellent in a honey-poppy seed dressing for fruit salads or on top of fresh baked rolls, bread….

  45. Uri

    A few minor alterations would make the dough much easier to handle… I hope it’s okay I’m posting this, but it’s Purim, and I just finished making these, and didn’t struggle at all with the dough, maybe try this:

    3 cups flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, 2 tbs lemon juice, 2 tbs double cream, 200g butter (sorry, I’m metric), 2 yolks, tbs baking powder… that’s it. very easy to work with, you don’t need to cool the dough, but I suggest you work in a few batches so it won’t dry and crumble… And make sure you pinch it well so it won’t flatten in the oven…

    Good Luck

  46. samarahuel

    This isn’t related to this recipe at all, but I had a request, or you could consider it a challenge: I’d love to see more gluten-free recipes and a section devoted to dairy-free as well. I’m pregnant with my second child now and seemed to have developed some…lower digestive troubles that aren’t normal for pregnancy. I’m currently on a two-week dairy- and gluten-free diet to purge them from my system, then I can add them back in one at a time and see how I do, in an attempt to narrow down the true culprit. Anyway, so far this week we’ve had spaghetti squash with a quick eggplant tomato sauce, split pea soup, black bean salsa with sweet potato tortilla chips, pork chops with roasted potatoes and green beans, and tomorrow it’s Thai red curry and brown rice. However, I was craving a cheeseburger today, or nachos, or a big deli sandwich…long story short, I am going to need more good recipes if I’m going to have to do this for more than two weeks, and I’m looking to you for help!

  47. Karen

    My humble suggestion for cream cheese dough: 2 cups flour, 8oz cream cheese room temp), 2 sticks (8 oz) butter (also room temp), 1/4 tsp salt. That’s it. No sugar. The fillings are sweet enough. Fold closed (rather than pinch, as suggested by someone else) so that just the smallest bit of filling is showing. It will work. Same dough as for Rugelach….but that said, I’ll be giving your recipe a try tomorrow!

  48. You just broke my heart a little bit. My grandma Doris, source of hamantaschen for more years than I can count, passed away this last October. Seeing your recipe reminded me of her in so many ways. I’ll be baking these tomorrow in her memory.

  49. Carolyn

    I made hamantaschen for my daughter’s birthday a couple years ago when she was entranced by heroic Queen Esther, but I don’t know how to pronounce it! Could somebody help me out?

  50. If it’s any consolation to your previous run-ins with ornery hamentaschen dough, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a truly excellent hamentaschen cookie from a batch that didn’t have at least half of its constituents falling apart. I always just kind of assumed they just weren’t cut out to win any beauty contests, but maybe you’ve just proven that notion wrong with this recipe.

    By the way, until this post, Purim has managed to completely slip my mind this year! It’s making me wonder if my mom, who usually batch bakes hamentaschen for weeks on end leading up to The Big Event and then doles them out to everyone on the planet, is holding out on me this year…

  51. ej

    i am gluten-free and make these with a gf flour mix (make your own, or buy a pre-bought all-purpose mix). well, i haven’t used this exact recipe but it seems to work out fine for other hamantaschen recipes, which are similar. the trick with the gf flour is to make the dough a day in advance, put it in the fridge, and the next day to roll it in saran wrap and then freeze it for at least one day. much easier to work with and holds its shape better!!! i have yet to make my own poppy seed filling, we use jams and sometimes chocolate, can’t wait to try it in my free time. mmmmm…

  52. Purim always excites me, because it is one of the only Jewish Holidays when you are allowed to be happy. I never miss a Purim without Hamantaschen, even if my children have children of their own. I had a great Israeli recipe that I lost while moving long distance; but I am not giving up on it and if I ever find it I will share it with you.

    In the interim Deb, I just want to tell you with respect to the opening of the triangles while baking is, that if you do not pinch the dough together, only fold it it will hold much better. You do need to moisten the outer edge of the dough, either with egg wash (which is what I do, because I can also use the egg wash for outside the cookies), water or just egg whites. Fold them the same way you would for the pinched triangles, without pinching. They may look closed to you before baking, but they will open just enough to show the filling.

    With respect to the poppy seed filling (which is my tradition), I use honey instead of sugar, no butter, and Meyer lemon zest instead of orange zest. I also believe that orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier) alone is enough; no need for brandy.

  53. dana

    I am currently living in Australia, and all of the South African Jews here make hamantaschen with YEAST! They also only make ‘mon’. I showed them how we make it at home in the U.S., using no yeast and using jam as the filling. It is so interestesting to know that Jews around the world make varying types of hamantaschen! And, I agree that hamantaschen are such tricky cookies-always a very very messy kitchen!

  54. I haven’t seen these before but anything with poppy seeds in reminds me of when I lived in Poland 10 years ago where there were loads of poppy seed cakes and sweets in the bakeries. I now feel inspired to research and recreate some of the cakes I’ve almost forgotten about.

  55. Becca

    I. Can’t. Wait!!! My daughter and I will have so much fun making these! I’ve tried other Hamentaschen recipes before, but this one looks so yummy!

  56. I just baked a bunch of hamantaschen with my mom yesterday, my filling of choice was chocolate (neutella) and halva (sweet sesame paste), we also made some with poppy for the heck of it (it’s the traditional filling).And let me tell you, I think there was even more butter in our recipe than yours XD

    One thing though – traditionally, you do not use eggwash, instead you get very pale looking and crumbly hamantaschens :) but yours look wonderful too!

  57. This is a really cool recipe. I’ve never heard of these before, and am really intrigued. I had a chuckle reading this post, I’m glad the dough turned out in the end!

  58. Amy

    Brushing the edge of the dough with a little water (or egg wash, as others have suggested) before pinching goes a long way towards keeping them closed while baking. I see that a lot of other people say to fold instead of pinch; I just trace the edge with a finger dipped in water and pinch away. Works great; none of mine opened this year.

  59. Debbie

    Your pics inspired me to make yet another batch of Hamantaschen; we started a few weeks early this year when my daughter’s 3rd grade class wanted food for Heritage Week, and we made Cherry and Raspberry Hamantaschen. I make them every year at Purim time, and love the Sour Cream Dough recipe from Faye Levy’s International Jewish Cookbook. They come out near to perfection (stay closed and smooth) and taste fantastic. I make some savory by adding thyme and pepper to the dough and filling it with a mushroom-onion-wine mixture, inspired by a recipe from The Jew and the Carrot (of the Forward), and the rest I make sweet, usually with poppy and raspberry fillings, and sometimes lightly glaze them with a mix of lemon juice and powdered sugar. AWESOME!

    Have a Happy Purim, and enjoy your Shalachmanas.

  60. Barbara

    I’m disappointed that hamantaschen made with yeast dough has fallen from favor. I’d welcome your thoughts on it next year (or sooner)!

  61. I’ve never tried hamantaschen with powdered sugar before, interesting! I just made my own recipe yesterday, but I may have to make another batch to try this one out :) Also…I’ve seen a lot of people saying you have to moisten the edges or fold your corners over to get your ‘taschen to stay closed…not so! It all depends on your recipe…mine always stay closed without water or egg wash, and I pinch my corners! Happy Purim!

  62. anaheeta

    question: the poppy seed we get in India is offwhitish and smaller grained…what you seem to use is black…any idea if we’re using two varieties or are they the same but processed differently???

    1. deb

      anaheeta — I’d never heard of white poppy seeds, but this site says that their flavors are similar. With that, I give it a green light!

      Yeasted hamantaschen — Are on my to-do list for next year! No seriously, I actually have one…

  63. I have wanted to try to bake with poppy seeds for a while now, but I cant seem to find any large packs of it. Only tiny, expensive ones. Do you know anywhere online you can buy bigger packages?

  64. I just made two batches of Hamantaschen last night. Used a dough very similar to yours but with only one egg. I did half unbleached white flour and half white whole wheat flour. Folding the dough rather than pinching helps them stay together nicely but next time I am going to try your suggestion of chilling them shaped before baking. Our fillings this year were: blackberry, raspberry, strawberry preserves, nutella (a HUGE favorite here) and one or two that were filled with white chocolate chips just to see how they would work. Not so good. The chips didn’t melt right. Need to work on that. Chag Purim!!

  65. Poppy-seed hamentaschen are totally my favorite, and these look gorgeous. I bet they made the house smell wonderful, but I always have to eat treats like this on the buddy system: “Do I have poppy seeds in my teeth?”

    (I’m also a sucker for poppy-seed kolache, which are similar but with much softer pastry.)

  66. Jodie

    I still have my 4th grade teacher’s hamenaschen recipe which is amazing and calls for mixing 1 box of yellow cake mix with an egg and some water (or milk). I’m a pastry cook in a restaurant and while cake mix frightens and disgusts me, these are still the best hamentaschen I’ve ever tasted and they stay together quite well (must be all those chemicals!). I also like the technique of folding the little corners over each other to seal, but you just have to make sure you roll the dough a little thicker so that the wall near the seal doesn’t rip. As for the poppy seed filling, I’m partial to apricot. But at least it’s not prune! That brings me back to my Hebrew school days…

  67. Johanna

    I have been challenged to a hamentaschen “throwdown” this year. My dough has sour cream in it. It’s beautiful. However, I might need to use some of your poppy seed filling. Mine is similar, but without all the flavorings. I’m intrigued.

  68. It’s a challenge to find a tasty dough that can be manipulated. We’ve had good luck with a gingerbread variety, and this year finally realized that small in the way to go when cutting the circles. They hold up better. Chag Purim.

  69. Emily

    I made these last night, swapping a local mixed berry jam for the poppyseed filling and only baking off about 1/3 of the dough. I’ve never made (or heard of) Hamantaschen before, but these looked so buttery and delicious I couldn’t resist! Probably rolled my dough a bit thinner(1/8th inch), but found it quite easy to work with…skipped the egg wash and they were light, tender, crisp and perfect! My husband ate 8 of them after dinner, and he is usually a hard sell on new cookies ;) Plan on baking the rest today and changing up the filling to make some with jam, some with homemade chunky spiced applesauce, and some with a lemon cream cheese filling…can’t wait!!!

  70. Elkie

    I have a great hamentashen dough that uses oil instead of butter or margarine. It needs no chilling time and no egg wash… And I fill them with my favorite filling- brownies! (you put in raw batter and bake them together..)

  71. Susan

    Ah…this is what I was waiting to see! I remember your frustration with the dough flattening in your first recipe. I’ve never been fond of the flavor of the cream cheese dough in any recipe that uses it; the pastry always seems too soft and bland with little typical pastry crispness or even some tangyness from the cream cheese. I experimented with a sour cream butter pastry when I made rugelach(sp?) and liked the flavor as well as the way it handled and baked so much more than the cream cheese pastry. Now I’ll try this recipe. I also like that you are featuring the poppy seed filling. It’s got such a nice slightly nutty flavor and a little crunch too. I’ve been adding some generous tablespoons of poppy seed to your thick and chewy granola bar recipe and I think it really adds a nice flavor to them.

  72. Colleen

    These look delicious. Have you tried Alice Medrich’s recipe for chocolate hamantaschen in Chocolate Holidays? I always find her recipes infallible.

  73. I’m not Jewish, but I’ve loved hamantaschen since a friend brought some in to school for me. He told me he’d made them at temple and could not give me a recipe, so I’m so glad that you’ve finally found one that works for you, and hopefully will for me!
    Also I’ve been reading your blog for more than a year now, but this is the first time I’ve ever commented and I have no idea why. I just wanted to say that I’m in love with your photos, voice, and recipes.
    Thanks again Deb!

  74. I made these wonderful hamantaschen last year, but I did the prune filling as well as fig preserves.
    Wish I would’ve done the “mon” filling (poppy seeds in Yiddish), that was always my favorite as a kid.
    Stacey Snacks

  75. Deborah

    Oy vey, hamantaschen always give me a headache, so I was happy to see a new recipe to try! A couple of comments on this one: I don’t have a food processor, and I could not get the dough to hold together just with egg yolk, so I added an egg white, which didn’t seem to have any adverse affects. The dough WAS very frustrating to handle at first (it cracked a lot like you said) but I found the second batch was easier, probably because it had warmed up a bit. So it might help others to leave the dough out of the fridge for 10 mins or so before rolling it out. In the end, the dough worked great! Almost none of my hamentaschen broke apart. This time, however, it was the filling that ruined me. I’m not a fan of poppyseed, so I went my usual route and filled them with strawberry jam. Delicious, but they all boiled over. What a mess! I tried lowering the oven temp partway through the second batch to see if that would help, but they still ended up boiling over into a jammy mess before I could get them to brown properly. Any suggestions?

  76. laurie

    Hey Deb, I made 5 dozen on Wednesday using one of Marcy Goldman’s recipes, but now I want to try yours! My favorite fillings are jams mixed with chopped nuts which keeps them from oozing and leaking. This year I made apricot/walnut and plum/almond. Thanks for the inspiration as always!

  77. Charlen

    This year I used pure coconut oil(WF’s) instead of the shortening (which I don’t use anyway usually substituting all butter) and they turned out delicious and delicate and sturdy enough to mail to my daughter in DC!

  78. These look delicious! I made them several years ago and they are so pretty I saved one, covered it with shellac, and it is now a refrigerator magnet!

  79. Bobbie

    This year’s hamentashen flavors: poppyseed, apricot and cinnamon-chocolate yum! A clean tunafish can is the perfect size to cut the dough. We love yeast dough hamentashen, but a great recipe is hard to find.

  80. Rache

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe – they were terrific with chocolate, prune and apricot fillings too. A counter to some comments: Pinch, pinch, pinch? … Hamentaschen don’t liked to be pinched any more than Angela Merkel likes to be massaged at a G8 conference. Fold your circles into triangles right over left, bottom up and then left over right. Only a little filling should be seen in the middle. Folds keep the goodies in best but only if you make sure to overlap the corners. And not for nothing – don’t they look better? More like hamentaschen and less like mini star destroyers (forgive me, I have young boys).

  81. JB

    Just made a batch of the cream cheese dough from your last version, and did a side by side comparison of folding methods. The pinching cookie came apart (though not terribly) and the folded one – as described by Rache – stayed perfect and neat! Now I just have to do this 42 more times…

  82. Shev

    Wow. Anyone who can make mohn (poppy seed filling) look yummy deserves a prize! I hate hamantaschen – dry crumbling cookies, yuck – but this year was “persuaded” to bake some (held at emotional gun-point by a 12-year-old). I used a yeasted dough recipe from Gil Marks and filled them with jam. Bingo!
    But “buttery and lightweight”? I’m gonna have to give your recipe a spin now. Happy Purim to you and yours and thanks for the recipe!

  83. irene

    I make hammentashen every year, this is the best dough receipe i have tried for them. and from now on i make my own lekvar too. How about a prune recipe for next year? Thanks from up WEA

  84. BethB

    First year making these, decided to take the plunge and was going to use the very same recipe Deb did – she beat me to the punch and I very much appreciate the tips, particularly chilling the cookies once formed. The dough did crack, but I just let it warm up a bit more and then it was sticky but not nearly as sticky as some others and YES DELICIOUSNESS incredibly worth it.Mine had apricot and cherry preserves and I got 27 hamantaschen from using a juice glass that was 3″ in diameter.

  85. Lisa

    Deb, I’m so glad you posted this… I saw the same recipe you did and made them earlier this weekend. The dough was near impossible to work with, and, oh yes, there were words. There were quite a few of them, and not all of them were nice. But as you said, once they were baked, it was almost a miraculous change. This one’s a keeper.

  86. Lisa

    PS I’m a staunch supporter of the poppyseed hamantasch, but I had a jar of lemon curd in the fridge… during an inspired moment, I filled a few with the lemon curd. Though untraditional, they were delish!

  87. SarahTheEntwife

    These are amazing! I found that there was a perfect temperature point after they’d warmed up for maybe 10 minutes where it wasn’t crumbly but hadn’t yet dissolved into buttery goo. Fillings used: chocolate, raspberry/apricot, Korean sweet red bean paste, walnut. The store was out of poppyseed filling and I haven’t found a good source of poppyseeds in bulk to make my own.

  88. NS

    I’ve been making hamantaschen since I was 3 and have never had such difficulty with dough. I should have known that if Deb found it frustrating, us mere mortals would have a rough time. Mine cracked when I tried to roll it, crumbled and fell apart when I tried to fold, and some of the jam ones still exploded in the oven. Yes, the dough was tastier than other recipes, but I’m not sure any cookie (particularly one that doesn’t involve chocolate!) is worth the kind of aggravation and unsightly, lumpy results I got. I’m kind of embarrassed to bring them to my office in the morning! May have to just go back to my great-grandmother’s recipe, which is undoubtedly less tasty than these, but much easier to work with and the cookies don’t crumble when you try to bite into them.

  89. Sara Rund

    I also rushed to make these when I saw the recipe in The New York Times, and thought they were nice. But the ones I prefer use a cottage cheese dough much like Deb’s Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies from not too long ago. More interesting taste and texture, to my mind.

  90. Melissa

    I’ve been making hamentaschen since I was 7, and I use my mom’s recipe that she has been using for the past 40 years, and it has yet to fail me. It calls for margarine instead of butter and orange juice instead of the lemon zest, but they still come out chewy and soooo moist. For all the questions about filling – anything you want! Most people use strawberry, apricot, plum, cherry, raspberry, blueberry, prune and of course, the traditional poppy-seed – but there’s no wrong flavor! This year some of my friends made fluffernutter hamentaschen (peanut butter and a small marshmellow). My only problem? I have yet to make a decent chocolate filling that isn’t A) melted chocolate chips or B) chocolate spread. My next attempt is a frosting, but I would appreciate suggestions!

    Traditionally hamentaschen represent the hat that Haman (the bad guy in the Purim story) wore – a 3-pointed hat – and the poppy-seed filling represents the only food that Esther (the heroine in the story) ate before her audience with the king to ask to spare the lives of the Jewish people.

  91. Eva

    Glad you were able to get those taschens figured out. Just goes to show that persistence pays off, sometimes in the form of delicate little cookies :-)

  92. Happy Purim all! I actually decided to tackle this dough recipe. In my experience, when a dough crumbles, it usually just needs a bit more liquid. I actually ended up making two batches. In the first batch, I added the juice of half a lemon to the dough. This helped it stay together remarkably well. No crumbling, and no separating in the oven. However, the extra lemon, while tasty, completely overpowered the apricot filling I was using.

    Which brings me to batch number two…for this batch, I added 3 tablespoons of apricot brandy to the dough. I also only used the zest from half of the lemon. Again, this dough stayed together while I worked with it and in the oven. The flavor profile is MUCH more subtle. It lets the filling shine through on its own. As it should.

    Other moisture options that I’ve used in past hamentaschen doughs are milk, water, or orange juice.

  93. Shelly

    Ack! How did I miss this?? I didn’t see this latest post and made your 2008 version (despite the warnings) last night, and yes, they pancaked open and pissed me off… Even funnier that I checked out the NYT recipe a couple of days and decided against it because I have faith in SK and not so much in some unknown recipe in the paper… :) Oh well! There’s always next year.

  94. Nikki

    These are delicious! I’ve never quite liked hamanataschen. The store bought ones always tasted like someone had gone and replaced all the flavor with crisco. But these, mmm, these I tell you, are divine… no doubt because of the butter and brandy. I had trouble rolling out the dough; it cracked up like lake ice in May. So I rolled little balls and squished them with the back of my wine glass, which proved, once again, that baking and drinking always mix.

  95. Well I must say, this was devil dough! A friend and I tackled them last night after making the dough in the morning and giving it a long rest in the fridge. We made them after dinner, including the poppy seed (mohn) filling. I also used lekvar(prune butter), homemade fig-lemon jam, and rosehip jam. Yes they were delicious, but that dough was a royal pain in the arse! Well mighty tasty and frustrating. Think I will go back to my cream cheese dough next round. Love the poppy seed filling. Going to use the leftovers in a small strudel.

  96. Rasha

    Deb, Have you ever encountered a good recipe for hamantaschen dough that incorporates almond meal? I’m intrigued by the idea.

  97. Diana

    FYI, to grind poppyseeds, you need a specific poppyseed grinder. My SO’s mom just gave me hers, so I will have to try out a ground-poppyseed filling sometime. BTW, there’s an amazing dessert called a “mohnstreizel”, which is a yeasted dough filled with a poppyseed filling (made with custard powder and eggs and milk… but it’s not custardy at ALL… it’s just a binder for the poppyseeds), rolled, and topped with apricot jam and then a sugar glaze… pretty delicious, and you don’t have to grind the poppyseeds. :-)

  98. hmsuzy

    Good day, you never cease to amaze me. this is a receipe that allows for exploration and to create new family favorites. I am thinking seseame seeds, honey and nuts. Just like a candy treat when I visited my family’s homeland. Happy cooking!

  99. I was looking around for recipes and comparing the one I usually use and I was totally taken with the use of powdered sugar. It was a great dough! My favorite hamantaschen filling is lemon curd. For some reason I don’t understand no one uses it and they should b/c it makes the most delicious hamataschen ever.

    Also in my searched I came across these folding tips which made my hamantaschen stick together better than ever before. Next year I highly recommend that you try folding instead of pinching.

  100. Tamara

    Hi Deb! I made my own this year and used a random recipe I googled online and they came out GREAT. I doubled the recipe and ended up with about EIGHTY (insanity). There’s no cream cheese in the dough, sadly (kept them dairy-free so I used margarine instead of butter) but thought they were excellent – figured I’d share the link even though these are probably a bit pedestrian:

    I hope you had a happy Purim!!

    Tamara (Upper West Side, NY)

  101. I made these from the NYTimes article too, but while you made yours smaller, I made mine bigger, with a 5-inch cutter. They were deeeelicious, but they spread in the oven into vaguely triangular-shaped blobs (see my post). I didn’t refrigerate or freeze them before baking but assume that would’ve helped this problem?? I just wish the Times recipe had suggested that, grrrr. Or that I had known, but I’m not the most experienced baker.

  102. Gabriela

    One more reason we’re coming back! Although the Brooklyn Heights Bakery I bought Hamantaschen from at Purim, no longer exists. Will live on the Upper West side or SOHA. Any bakeries that sell Hamantaschen there? Will try the recipe in my big Williamsburg (VA) kitchen since I know my “new” kitchen will be a postage stamp. Can’t wait!

  103. BP

    I used your recipe this weekend with great success (after various dough failures in years past). The dough was impossible straight out of the fridge, so I let it warm up past room temperature, which made it much more workable; I didn’t have problems with cracking when folding/pinching. I gambled that the pre-bake chilling would make up for the softening, and it seemed to be the case–I had basically no smooshing or spreading. Maybe the initial chilling isn’t even necessary?

  104. Wow this looks great. I wouldn’t have thought of doing a poppy seed filling with this. I would have definitely been much less creative. I can’t wait to try this, they look so light and flaky.

  105. Heather

    I had a hamantaschen epiphany this year – homemade fillings keep the cookie from opening and spreading! I did half with a homemade apple butter/raisin/walnut mixture from Joan Nathan on Epicurious, and half with my usual jam. ALL of the jam ones pancaked while ALL of the fruit mixture ones stayed together in perfect triangles. I’ll definitely try the poppy seed filling recipe next year!

  106. elyse

    i use my mom’s recipe (that she got from my preschool teacher way back when) that uses oil instead of butter or cream cheese and it has never failed me. what did fail me this year was getting stuck coming home from vacation and missing purim completely, but that homemade poppy seed recipe? definitely bookmarked for next year! unless i can find another use for it beforehand. . .

  107. you don’t understand that i am the worlds worst everything in the kitchen. this is one of the first things ive ever made (im 29, i know that sounds nuts but its totally true) and they were AMAZING. the dough didn’t crack at all. everything was perfect., i googled a prune filling cuz i prefer it and its what my bubby used to make but wow. i am so proud of myself and i am so thankful for ur site. i go on all the time but never had the guts. now i do :)

  108. Vidya

    I love poppy seeds so, so much. I got into a poppy seed kick a few years back and made great poppy seed hamantaschen, and a mediocre poppy seed babka…now that you’ve got even better hamataschen covered, any chance you could help out with the babka?

  109. Sharon B

    We just made these, and were so pleasantly surprised! I tried making “ozney haman” last year from some other buttery recipe, and they were horrible to work with and came out meh. But yours came out beautifully! Also, unlike last year, we had no problems with crumbly dough. Either we worked the dough too much this time, and they were supposed to come out even better, or perhaps it has something to do with us leaving the dough in the fridge overnight?

  110. BigZ

    My mom made hamentaschen every year, and ever since I left home I have received a box of little triangular box of cookies right on time. This year, sadly, my mom is winding down a long cancer fight and couldn’t make the cookies. Instead she told me exactly where to look in her recipe box–under T, of course, for Tanta Sadie’s Hamentaschen. I wanted to do her proud, but I’ve also been harboring a guilty secret: I love my mom’s love, but I’ve never really liked her dry, crumbly, flavorless hamentaschen. (Let’s blame Tanta Sadie for the bad recipe, shall we?) So I made these instead. It was a nice feeling to bring my mom a Tupperware full of cookies instead of the other way around. She took one bite of the crust and she gave me a look like I’d betrayed her, the same look she gave me when I turned down a scholarship to medical school. She ate a little further. And then she turned to me and said, “Sweetie, this crust is a thousand time better than anything I’ve ever baked. But the Torah says that poppyseed feeling comes from a can. There is no higher law than this.” And then she ate three more and went to sleep. Thanks, mom. And thanks to you too, Deb.

  111. Kathryn

    I chose this dough for this year’s hamantaschen mainly because I was in a hurry and the food processor method looked fast. It was. Fast and easy. The dough was not difficult to handle. I cut the circles large, filled with apricot and walnut fillings, and used the fold-over method instead of pinching them shut. They came out perfectly, even though I did not bother to chill them before baking.

    However, my husband has rejected them as “too buttery”, “too much like a sugar cookie” and “not hamantascheny enough”. I know what he means. This is a nice and tasty recipe but really is more sugar-cookie-like then hamantaschen I have made in the past.

  112. Karen

    Is there an easier recipe for poppy seed filling since I do not have brandy or orange liqueur. I love poppy seed and can never find the Solo cans. Your dough recipe looks great, but will use my mom’s from the kibbutz recipe. Love your blog!

    1. deb

      Karen — Skip the booze if you don’t have or don’t wish to use it. I don’t think it makes or breaks the filling.

      Rachel — I bought my poppy seeds from Penzeys. One bottle is about 1/2 cup.

      Daley — Well, personally, I wish that the Times would test their recipes before publishing them (maybe they can throw that in when I start paying for the online paper at the end of the month?). Fortunately, these all worked out in the end!

  113. I have an enormous bottle of poppyseeds in my cupboard dying to be used! I don’t think we get the exposure to Jewish cooking here in Australia like you have in the US, so I’m really excited about these cookies! They look delicious! Thanks!

  114. Sheila in MD

    Love your blog! I grew up in the Chicago area and the ONLY kind of hamentaschen we had were the yeast ones! Rather like a sweet roll with an encased filling…poppy, prune, apricot and cheese IIRC. LOVED them! Only when Iwas an adult (and particularly noticed this after I moved East) did I discover that to much of the nation they are a cookie! I much prefer the yeast ones and have been searching for a recipe but yet to find one…anyone have one? A bakery in Wheaton, MD used to make them at Purim but they were sold and no longer do it… Thanks!

  115. I made this yesterday because since my Bat Mitzvah 11 years ago, food is pretty much the only way I relate to Judaism. Who needs temple when you have your Bubbi’s knish recipe? Anyway, they were fantastic with the muhn filling and only ok with strawberry jam. I’m used to hamantaschen as a dense, tasteless dough and these were really great as a cookie, not just as a symbolic placeholder of the Haman hat. Thanks for sharing!

  116. Lauren

    Thanks for the great recipe! Last week I attempted your cream cheese dough hamantaschen. They tasted yummy, but fell apart in the oven, though I’m not sure if it’s due to the chocolate filling I used, which puffed up a lot more than I expected. Then I saw your new recipe and tried it out over the weekend. They were quick and easy to make, stayed together in the oven, and I had no problems with the dough. Personally, I thought they tasted a lot better than the previous recipe – very buttery. I also skipped the egg wash and the lemon zest. I filled 1/3 of them with strawberry jam, 1/3 with chocolate ganache, and the last 1/3 with a combination of chocolate & strawberry. Those last were the first to go at my dinner party and when I brought a batch in to work.

  117. Aimee

    I *love* poppy hamantaschen!

    Each year the youth group at shul have a hamantaschen bake where they make about 6000 of these babies – their dough recipe is a closely guarded secret, but it’s usually parve, so no cream cheese or butter. I actually prefer the flaky kind made with oil…yum, yum!

  118. Tamara

    My sister in law told me she mixes bread crumbs in the jam and that keeps it from oozing in the oven. Anyone else do this? Mine were kind of oozy, I wish I’d know this before!

  119. Although these look good, I still can’t get into the graininess of poppyseed filling, I know it is traditional, but this year I made mine with Pumpkin Spice filling and between those as my healthier treat and the Nutella filled for my go all out treat, I had a very Happy Purim.

  120. You make it all look so flippin’ easy!! I feel like I have to have “words” with any pastry dough I’ve ever tried, this one sounds tricky… but I’m vowing to try it out all the same! I have a ton of poppy seeds laying to waste in my cupboard (from a failed Sunday School craft I tried on the kids years ago… crap, can poppy seeds go bad?). :P

  121. These look absolutely delicious! What I really wanted to comment on though was the second picture down from the top of your post is incredibly cool. It’s like your kitchen countertop was made just to match those poppy seeds or something. Thought that was kind of neat!

  122. gugs

    I have never really had trouble making hamentaschen but I use a margarine based dough and not cream cheese. I am excited to try a different recipe though (even though Purim has now passed – poppyseed is delicious at any time).

  123. louise cooper

    I love your recipes. Can’t use this until I am off my diet. Was in Germany last year and they love poppy seeds so German recipes might help those interested in more poppy seed pastries. Can’t wait to make these.

  124. t.r. wexler

    When I started reading this article, my first instinct was to send you the NYTimes recipe – I had excellent success with it. Glad it worked okay in the end for you.
    I found the dough had a sweet spot – too cold and it crumbled, too warm and it sagged, but in the “just right” zone it was a dream to work with.
    I also found that my immersion blender worked all right for grinding the seeds.

  125. I had starred these in my “to make” folder – but when my boss saw this recipe she not only emailed me to say “if you were a good person – you’d make these” but also bought me a bag of poppy seeds online so that she could make sure I actually would. We may miss Purim, but we’re still going to enjoy them at work in the near future!

  126. The poppy seed filling is something I never would have thought of – I didn’t even realize you could buy poppy seeds in the store (I figured they got shipped only to the bagel makers, I guess:-) ). Seems like the kind of thing that could have a lot of other applications though if one were ever in need of a savory/sweet filling…

  127. They look perfect, and I agree completely that recipes that ask you to use canned filling are a no-go! I have to call my mom and get her recipe, but in the meantime I think I’ll definitely give this one a try! Thanks for sharing it!!

  128. hels

    I’ve never made (or even heard of, despite being half jewish) these before, but we had a surfeit of poppy seeds so i made them just now and they were lovely! I’m not sure what i did wrong/right, but i halved the dough and quartered the filling and it made the perfect amount, with just one extra cookie which i filled with jam. And i found the dough insanely easy to work with! Lovely, thank you so much.

  129. sk

    my grandmother used a modified version of the recipe in “second helpings” a cookbook that no jewish household in Canada is without. i tried it last purim and it folds really well. more of a pie-like dough, but not flaky, very smooth. i highly recommend it if you can find it!

  130. debby c

    well, i made them. they came out all bloated and lost their shape. also the dough wasn’t particularly tastey. sorry. these were alot of work and the taste was a C-
    i would appreciate help: after the dough was in the fridge overnight it took forever for it to become pliable enough to roll out. how do you roll out dough that’s so ‘hard’?

    1. deb

      If a dough is very hard, I go easy on it. Very gentle rolls that won’t crack it, hundreds of them. Or, you can let it warm up a little when it will soften.

  131. SOOO glad to see this recipe here. My 20 year old daughter and I bravely tried making Hammentaschen last year and our attempt failed miserably, despite the fact that the recipe hailed from our fave Kosher cookbook author. So much for blind trust! Will def be using YOUR recipe next season.
    Passover is coming! Whatcha got??!!

  132. megan

    I have wanted to make hamentaschen for about 6 years since having some amazingly delicious ones in college. Most that I’ve sampled since then have been pretty blahh. But because of this post I finally made some and these were wonderful! So tender and tasty and totally worth the pain of dealing with the dough. :D I will probably make these every year now.

  133. Jeannie

    Not to confuse things (because it seems like you’ve got a good thing goin’ here, and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and all that jazz) buuuuuuuuuuuuut thought I might suggest the following cream-cheese based pastry that gets regular exercise on my annual Christmas-cookie-baking day:,1000011,FOOD_9936_34827_06,00.html

    It works very nicely with the rugalach and might easily transition to the hamentaschen??

    Food, quite literally, for thought!

  134. Keren

    Great website! Just wanted to comment that I made the dough recipe (used a different filling) exactly as it was listed here with zero alterations, pinched it shut without water or fuss, had absolutely no problems with crumbliness or unwieldiness, and have found the results to be the lightest, flakiest, most delicious hamentaschen I’ve ever made. They’re not really traditional, but hot damn, they’re good. Thanks so much for introducing me!

  135. I’ve made these (I was studying esther for a Bible study) and they were a bit of a disaster…Quite ugly, heavy little cookies.
    But you’re actually making me want to try my hand at them again just to see…
    yours turned out lovely.

  136. Emily

    Although you probably get this alot, I wanted to thank you for the jewish family recipes that you share…my future children thank as well seeing as my mom is decidedly incapable of making a tasty hamentaschen let alone a fluffy matzo ball. I have always been thrilled with the recipes I’ve made from smitten. You’re the best surrogate bubbie a girl could ever ask for!

  137. Rebecca

    I made the mistake of substituting orange extract for the orange liquor. Disgusting. It didn’t end up mattering too much though because my filling was too runny to use. I was a little short on poppy seeds, so I reduced the milk some too, but apparently not enough. I ended up using some raspberry-peach jam, which was tasty.

    Also, I was trying to bake these during my son’s nap, right before I had to leave the house and I didn’t take the time to refrigerate them before cooking. Disaster – they spread like crazy. They taste delicious, but they look nothing like they are supposed to.

  138. I admit I was skeptical at first. These are not exactly pretty to look at and all that headache with the dough. But boy, did it pay off! I still have another batch ready to go in the oven and I’m already attacking the first one. Insanely delicious.

  139. After last night’s successful adventure baking these I have to thank you for spelling everything out. It helps so much going prepared into the battle. I didn’t chill the first batch and about a third pancaked. The second (chilled) batch held it shape much better with only about 3 opening up. I had filling left and I put it in the fridge. Any idea how long it can be stored for and what else I can use it for?

  140. Karen

    Thanks so much for posting a recipe for hamantaschen! Given your frustrations with the dough, I didn’t try this one, but I did find one that worked beautifully. It was in Phyllis and Miriam Glazer’s cookbook, Jewish Festival Cooking. I used their dough recipe and improvised my own apricot/craisin/huckleberry jam filling with lovely results. There’s no butter or cream cheese, just oil, but they puffed beautifully and stayed closed even when I overfilled them. I did use some water to “glue” the corners shut but that was it. One note, when I put the dough in the refrigerator I have to say I was concerned. It was still incredibly sticky, despite slightly more than the upper end of the recommended flour amount, and I couldn’t fathom how it would ever roll out successfully. But, about 3 hours later, I couldn’t have asked for anything easier to work with. Highly recommended! Next time I’ll have to think ahead and scrounge up some poppy seeds to try your filling. It looks/sounds delicious! Thanks for posting!

  141. I am glad to see what finally comes out of the oven : looks nice and delicious in the end. What a story for small biscuits! You do deserve congrats after so many efforts to get satisfaction and usual frustration we have when things do not look the way we would them be. Have a nice sunday tough! And thanks for sharing : I discovered what is hamantaschen

  142. Samantha

    But for one cookie on each of my two sheets, my hamentashen opened up on one side turning themselves into little tulips. I am not Jewish. Apparently the cookies saw fit to remind me of this.

  143. Honestly, I had absolutely no problems with this dough, AND it was divinely tasty. Maybe it’s because I don’t mind working with a dough once it’s gotten pretty soft, so cracking is never an issue? Just use floured hands, yo. I made mine in the food processor and it was ridiculously easy.

    Mostly I can’t get over how tender and flavorful the dough is. I plan to use this for all kinds of tarts and pies.

    I made a filling with pistachios, honey, and poudre douce and that was amaaazing.

  144. Christina

    I went to hamentashen baking party this year for Purim. I learned these tricks, a tuna fish can works perfect for the cut out and have a small bowl of water to run around the edge of the circle to help with the seal. We all brought double recipes of this recipe: 1 1/2 sticks real butter, 1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, 4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder. Chill dough at least 24 hours prior to rolling. Next I want to try making them with a yeast dough.

  145. I made these all by myself in celebration of Purim and they turned out beautifully; a little flat but I think chilling the dough would have helped there. Thank you for the brilliant recipe – – the filling is EXACTLY as I remember it from when I was very young, and the dough was positively decadent :)

  146. Rebecca

    These were amazing! I’m about to make batch #2. The cookie part is much lighter than some others I’ve made/had in the past. I think I ate too much dough, though because I used about a 3 in circle and I got 16 cookies. ;)

  147. Made these with my own fillings and had no trouble with the dough after letting it warm up quite a bit from its overnight chill. I left out the zest because I wanted to just taste the butter. :) Filled them with either homemade rhubarb-ginger jam or Nutella topped with a few chunks of diced roasted hazelnut (I’m in Oregon; hazelnuts abound). Not exactly traditional, but Nutella is kosher and they are delicious. About a half-teaspoon of filling was about right, so I probably used a similar-sized cutter to you, Deb.

  148. joann

    Made these this morning after having prepared both the dough and the filling last night.
    I let the dough warm up and had no problem with breakage. I also used two sheets of saran wrap “cover” for rolling out the dough which required no extra flour, and lifting the wrap actually helped in peeling off the circles fairly easily!
    I also used a smaller cutter – 1 7/8″! Made 68 cookies! Talk about bite size! I also put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before baking instead of the fridge for 20 – turned out perfectly! Actually had about 1/3 of the filling left over!(was afraid to over fill). I used a heaping 1/4 tsp to measure for each cookie.
    The point of all this? ONE DELICIOUS LITTLE COOKIE!!!!! Light and crispy dough with a delicious poppy seed fill- Thanks again for another winner!

  149. I’ve been reading your site for a LONNNG time now, but this is my first comment f or some reason. Just wanted to say thank you for keeping it going for so long. You’ve always made it easy (and enjoyable!) to read your stories and recipes, which is rare! I love that you don’t ever pick the run-of-the mill recipes, and I’ve never tried one I didn’t like, so thank you! Can’t wait for the book next year

  150. Magi

    Just made the dough and it didnt not form into a ball was super sticky but i managed to put it in the fridge… HELP!

  151. Celesul

    So, I used this recipe because I always used one that had orange juice when I made them at home. The idea of not using orange juice was preposterous, so when I wanted to make them my freshman year of college, I found this one. It works pretty well and only occasionally flops over when baked. Folding the dough over the filling and then pinching and then (if there is a really prominent protrusion for a corner) folding the corner a bit tends to prevent that entirely, and prevents over done corners. I actually like the taste of this dough a lot and it is well behaved.

    For a filling I generally layer nutella and raspberry jam. It’s really tasty! I find nutella on its own to be overly dry.

  152. Lena

    My family background is German, so I am very familiar with this dessert, never thought of it as Jewish, but I find since my childhood a lot of foods cross over between German and Jewish.
    This recipe didn’t turn out at all. The dough was nice, needed a bit of added ice water to bind it together, and the filling was tasty. I chilled the taschen’s before baking them, but still most fell open. I’d say it was a combination of the filling running and the dough not being the best.

  153. Shelly

    Deb, I made these last year and while they taste great, they still pancaked and looked nothing like the neat triangles I was hoping for. Any chance we’ll see another hamantaschen attempt this year (even though it would be too late for Purim tomorrow)? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Shelly — Alas, no. I took a Hamantaschen vacation this year! However, last fall I created a hamantaschen recipe that will be in my cookbook this fall. I’m ridiculously excited about them, mostly because they’re PINK. :)

  154. Sarah B

    The pastry is exquisite and my second attempt at filling turned out beautifully. All in all, a very successful first go at hamentaschen.


  155. junocalifornia

    Just wanted to thank you for the best ‘Tashen’ I ever tasted and I made them!! thanks to you. The Poppy filling was divine, just like I remembered it from my childhood Hamantashen and Poppy Seed cakes in Israel.
    Everything went absolutely smoothly with this delicious dough. I did not grind the poppy seeds cause I love it when they pop in your mouth, why grind them?
    Also, after I cut the perfect circle at the width you suggested 21/4 (which was the perfect size, you were right !) I went over them with the rolling pin and made them somewhat egg shaped, this made it easier to mold them into a triangle.
    Thanks again.
    Love you

  156. Jane

    This is the WORST recipe ever. Seriously. Please take it down. I usually love this site (although I think I’m done using it for dough-based recipes) but this was ridiculous. 45 minutes into trying to roll out the dough, at the point where I was ready to throw the rolling pin out the window and my daughter was in full-scale meltdown mode, all I had was a pile of crumbs. I managed, somehow, to smash together enough crumbs for exactly seven cookies, and then was actually grateful when my daughter sneezed on the rest of the dough and I had an excuse to throw it out. Why post a recipe you know is very difficult? Or why post it without modifications? It’s a total waste of our time.

    1. deb

      Jane — I am sorry that it didn’t work out for you. I am aware that it’s not the easiest dough but I warn of this more than once, so readers are given a heads-up. In the end, I found that the deliciousness of the results made the difficulty of the dough worthwhile.

  157. I am a little late for Purim this year but I wanted to make them anyway – so they are chilling in the fridge. I can’t wait to taste one! For working with the dough I used a stainless steel bench scraper to lift and position the sides. Very handy!

  158. Erin M

    Finally! I live on the West Coast and its next to impossible to find hamantaschen ANY time of year. My dough was easy to work with – what did I do wrong??? Also is it possible that there’s a traditional date filling? Thank you thank you

  159. I’m wishing my butter was room temperature right this minute so I can make these delicious sounding hamantaschen, after baking some taste-free, gluten & dairy free ones. Tomorrow morning better hamantaschen will be born!

    Also, the post by BigZ in March 2011 really touched my heart.

  160. Verdict after baking (with 2 kinds of fillings – prune & apricot preserves) —

    Perhaps eggs in UK are smaller/flour dryer/confectioner’s sugar dryer/ but needed to add a 3rd yolk AND 2 tablespoons of orange juice – then the dough came together in the food processor. Easy enough to handle between baking paper (much easier than gluten free dough). And tastier too! I do twist my corners but my hamantaschen were a bit on the flat side (especially the preserve ones).

  161. Aviva

    OK! I just want you to know i spent my ENTIRE DAY on 5 of your recipes and most of the time was spent reading peoples comments, 100’s upon 100’s of comments at one point I had to stop myself, and I so enjoyed them! Thank You for all your time and hard work :) No vacation for you! Although we still have a few weeks before Rosh Hashana I would like to wish you and your family a “Healthy and Sweet New Year” L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu May you be inscribed in the book of life for a good year.

  162. Erin

    Going to make these again this year exactly as written. It definitely helped to use the dough scraper to fold the dough over. The pastry isn’t the easiest but the end result was fantastic. These are the best purim cookies I’ve ever had. The texture of the dough is what makes them so special.

  163. stephanie

    Out of despair I took my second batch of dough and added some of the egg wash to it. Re-chilled it, and it was much easier (still difficult to fold, but not impossible.)

  164. Judy

    I used a nutribullet (high speed blender) to make the dough, because I don’t own a food processor. The “dough” was broken up into several small batches because the blender is small and then put back together by hand in a bowl. After chilling it for a few hours, I found it relatively easy to work with. I’d suggest using something like a blender to turn this dough into something that is similar to marzipan in consistency and then slowly roll it out while it is still cold.

  165. Elina

    I tried to make the poppy seed filling, and it seemed that the milk curdled while being heated with the rest of the filling ingredients. Is this normal?

  166. Maro

    oh, my. i was never temped by the gross-looking poppy seed filling in the grocery stores, and was also (like you) adamant about cream cheese in my ‘taschen. but i love your blog and trusted your judgement, and i am so glad — these hamentaschen are the best i’ve ever eaten! the cookie is light and crisp, delicious and not thick/cakey as many others have been. and the filling — holy amazeballs. i’m a poppy seed filling convert! i didn’t make any jam ones this year, because these were so good.

    thank you for the hamentaschen rehab!

  167. I made these today; they are so delicious!!! They had the perfect balance of sweetness and lovely lemon zest in the dough; then a punch of sweetness plus chewy raisins and slightly crunchy poppy seeds in the middle. I found the butter dough easy to handle and the filling easy to make. I did not make any changes to the recipe and will definitely make these again!!

  168. Cy

    I learned a trick that might be worth sharing here for this “oh-so-difficult” dough. You might want to roll out the dough before chilling it, in order to minimize/avoid cracking when rolling. Rolling out a chilled dough is usually a challenge for me, since most times it cracks, so after I learned this trick I now always roll my doughs before chilling. Hope this helps! :)

  169. Cindy Glaz

    I made these today with “Pamela’s bread mix” (gluten free) and the result is the most awesome cookies imaginable! I found my best shaped cookies came out from the first pan I did not chill and started baking in a cold oven. The ones I chilled then put in a hot oven turned out almost as well.
    I also was able to pick these cookies up and transfer them to the cookie sheet with no spatula, they have the perfect shape.

  170. Betsy Karpenkopf

    Hi, this comment comes years after you published your recipe but I do have a few things to add. First a question: why did you start out with cream cheese dough?? My mother is the only person I have ever met who used cream cheese dough for hamantaschen. Everyone always thinks it’s weird, but quite yummy. In fact, in high school, my (Catholic) Russian teacher punished us when we forgot our books or our homework by having us bring in something homebaked (no storebought “slice and bake” allowed, ever). He knew it was around Purim time and told me that although I was not remiss from a homework persepctive, he’d love it if I would bring hamantaschen to class (he grew up in Brooklyn). I brought a batch, of course made with my mother’s recipe, and his first reaction was: ” this is NOT the traditional dough.” I had no idea about that because this was the way my mother always made them.
    I have carried on the tradition and do have a few tips for better results: after cutting out and filling the hamantaschen, I paint a thin strip of egg wash all around the circumference of the dough. I then shape them and freeze them for about ten minutes. This helps them keep their shape while in the oven. Worth another try perhaps?
    I came to this blog because of the poppyseed filling. I do not like it but my daughter likes it and asked me to try it this year. Shmil’s recipe looks perfect (if you like poppyseed filling, course). Speaking of Shmil, I haven’t yet looked at his cookbook, but when he had his late lamented eponymous restaurant, we ate there on an average of 2-3 times a month and were devasted when it closed. He is a terrific cook!!I occasionally see him around town and always want to ask him when he’s opening a new place but so far haven’t done it. Maybe next time I see him around.
    Good cooking.

  171. Halle

    Deb –
    I want to make these (or the cream cheese version) to send to a friend who is overseas in Afghanistan right now. Do you have any suggestions on how to adapt using vegetable shortening? Or another method/recipe suggestion to make them more stable/last longer in the shipping process?


    1. deb

      Halle — Butter cookies last for weeks, so there’s no need to switch to shortening just for shelf life. But, otherwise, I understand it to work pretty much the same and that you can do a 1:1 swap. You’re a great friend! I hope they’re a hit.

  172. Miriam

    I made this on Sunday. The muhn was the best I ever had, totally redeemed a filling that I used to not like but wanted to like (hence trying this recipe). The hamantashen themselves were delicious too. They are a little delicate though, so I wouldn’t use these for packing with mishloach manot. Perhaps a tad less sugar too in the dough. I think I have found my regular hamantashen recipe after years of searching. Thanks!

  173. Maro

    I have got to remember next year to look at your note about the filling making 2x the amount needed. I had to (tragically) make a second batch of dough last night to use up most of the rest of the filling — still had some leftover! even with overstuffed cookies!

    These have gotten rave reviews at home and work, even though no one knows what hamentashen/purim are. *sigh*…sometimes I miss Cleveland.

  174. Lisa

    This pastry recipe didn’t work out for me at all. Terribly frustrating and a waste of ingredients. As Jane (#232) said above, I ended up with a pile of crumbs. I tried to mash them together and managed about 7 flat cookies, dolloped on a bit of filling, but about half the dough was just too crumbly to use at all, and I had to throw it away. My worst baking experience ever.

  175. Rebecca

    I’m from a Russian Jewish family and to make the poppyseed filling for hamantashen or poppyseed cake, we ground our poppy seeds into a paste using a meat grinder. It takes forever and is a total mess but very worth it! If you have the meat grinder attachment for the kitchen aid stand mixer it works great!

  176. fizzchick

    Tried these despite reservations. I skipped the filling because I have lots of homemade jam that needs using. For those struggling with the dough – I added a few tablespoons of water, because there was no way it was going to hold together otherwise. The post-shaping chill also appeared to be key – the pan that didn’t chill as long had much more pancaking. I imagine the egg wash helps too – I skipped it due to laziness. At any rate, they indeed turned out flaky and delicious. Worth the effort of futzing with the dough in my opinion, if you like crisp hamantaschen.

  177. Suzanne

    Made these this weekend for the third or fourth year in a row! They are so delicious. This year, after making them, I finally remembered to note on my recipe to halve the filling recipe. The remaining half is in the freezer till we can think of something else to make with it. I refrigerated the dough overnight and it was pretty hard to roll out, I did have to wait awhile, but once it was a little softer I had no issues with cracking or crumbling. We made the recipe exactly as specified, but I think next year I might leave the raisins out of the filling – I think they aren’t necessary and distract from the delicious poppyseeds. My husband likes them, though.

  178. Sarah

    I’m working on what I think is my third time making these, this time for Christmas (cookie syncretism FTW!) and they are just about my favorite thing ever. I don’t find the dough too tricky to work with, so long as I keep putting the remnants back in the fridge. The sweet spot seems to be about 15-20 minutes of chill time, both for the dough and the after-filling stage. The filling in the recipe is delicious, though I don’t usually have much booze around so I’ve skipped the brandy and liqueur which works fine. It’s also great with chocolate ganache, standard canned poppyseed filling, jams of all sorts, and Korean sweet red bean paste (Seriously! You can get it in bags or cans at Asian grocery stores and it has a lovely nutty sweet taste.)

    I have found most times that I need to add just a little bit of water to get the dough to stick properly — I’m not sure if my flour is ending up too densely packed in the cup or my egg yolks are small or what. But once I get it sticking, it works beautifully.

  179. Lee-Ronn

    Hi there – do you think the poppyseed filling would work if I substituted a non-dairy milk (like almond, macadamia or oat?)? Or best not to mess with it?

  180. Angela

    Deb, do you think the filling could work with black sesame seeds? Lunar New Year meets Purim: tang yuan-hamantaschen mash-up.

    1. deb

      I love this idea. I bet you could. I know black sesame seed paste exists too, but since it’s more of an oily paste, I’m not as sure how well it would work. But seeds? Almost definitely. Let me know how it goes!

  181. Eloise

    This dough was delicious, but spread terribly with jam inside. Might be the extra liquid/sugar compared to the poppy seed filling? But just a note for anyone curious – if you’re planning on using a jam filling this is not the dough to use!