With Purim just around the corner, it’s Hamantaschen time! Niv co-founders, Orly and Clarrie, decided to each make the iconic cookie for the first time using their respective family’s recipes.
This can act as your guide to make the cookies with the recipes and the method provided below.
Roll up your sleeves, get out your flour, and let’s bake!
Clarrie’s hamantaschen recipe:
- 3/4 cup of room temperature butter
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- Orange or lemon zest
Combine the butter and sugar with a mixer until creamed together.
Add the egg, vanilla, and orange or lemon zest to the butter/sugar mixture.
With a sieve put in 2 1/2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt into the egg mixture bowl. Combine until it comes together.
Put the dough mixture in a some plastic wrap and put in the freeze for at least four hours until it hardens.
When it’s hardened roll out the dough on a flour surface.
Cut out circles with the dough and place a healthy spoonful of jam, or whatever filling you so desire!
Take the left side and fold in.
Then the right side and fold in.
Then the bottom side fold up.
Repeat these steps. It should make around 15 – 20 cookies.
Place on a tray with parchment paper and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Take the cookies out when they have a golden colour. Let cool, and enjoy!
Orly’s hamantaschen recipe:
The dough recipe:
(makes 24 regular sized hamantaschens)
- 2 cups of flour
- 1.5 sticks of Migdal (or any other brand of margarine)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk (don’t throw out the egg white, you can use that for when you have to pinch the different sides of the dough together).
First, sift the flour! Sifting puts me in such a great mood, I can’t explain it, but I always end up dancing when I sift.
Mix the Migdal (margarine), sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, salt, and the yolk together. I don’t add these ingredients with the flour until it looks almost like scrambled eggs. (I took the picture below before I added in the vanilla, once you add the vanilla, it’ll look a little darker)
When you’re done, pour the mixture into the flour.
If you’re using a mixer, use the paddle. If you do not have a mixer, not to worry, you can use your hands! You’ll just have to knead the dough for a longer period of time. Wait till the dough doesn’t look almost like dry stretchy flakey skin, but like it could be a smooth oversized dumpling.
Wrap your dough in saran wrap, and stick it into the fridge for a minimum of thirty minutes.
When you take the dough out of the fridge, I like to let it rest for a little bit, it’s cold! If you don’t like waiting, usually poking and playing with the dough with your hands will get it warmed up faster.
Dust your counter/ table surface with flour before you put down your dough, that way you’re dough won’t stick to your furniture.
The next thing to do is roll it out. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use a bottle. The dough should be less than 0.5 cm thick. Once the dough is rolled out, it’s time to cut out those circles.
Hamantashens are delicious in all sizes, so if you want to make a massive one or a tiny one, go for it! If you don’t have a variety of shapes of round cookie cutters, use your mugs, or drinking glasses.
Once you have your circles done, brush the egg around the circle, it’s how you’ll be able to keep your pinched dough from separating.
I recommend overstuffing your hamantaschens, they’re less attractive, but there’s more of what you’re really after. . .the filling. You just might have to leave yours in the oven longer.
I follow the recipe for the poppy seed filling from Bon Appettit, which you can find here. It’s on the sweeter side, so if that isn’t your thing, I would suggest adjusting the measurements to your preference. I also find it takes a lot longer for the filling to thicken than four minutes (like they suggest) , so if you’re like “ah!!”, just be patient! You’ll get to that paste-like texture soon enough!
Two other filling options I enjoy are lemon filling, or dates. For this batch, I chose to add in lemon filling filled hamantaschens into the mix. I bought the filling from the store. When there are some things you can find at a store that are still tasty and can save you some time, I say, “why not?”
Using a spoon, or your fingers, or a spoon and a spatula, or two spoons, place a dollop, or more than a dollop of filling in the centre of your circle. I find the poppy seed filling especially sticky, so if it isn’t sliding off your fingers easily, put some of the egg whites on our fingers beforehand.
While Clarrie uses the folding technique to get her hamantaschan shape, I use the pinching one. All you have to do is lift the top of your circle up and pinch the two ends together, that should get you your first point. Then lift the remaining part of the circle, which is at the bottom, and pinch the two ends together. If you want to follow a visual guide I suggest following this instructional guide here.
If you haven’t already started to pre-heat your oven then get to it! Put baking paper onto your tray, put those cookies on, and when the oven reaches your desired temperature, slide the tray right in.
I baked my hamantaschen in a toaster oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and it took about 30 minutes. At 15 minutes I suggest turning the tray around so all the cookies bake evenly. When you see that they’re getting on the light brown side they’re ready to come on out!
And all you have left to do now is to eat! (but please wait till they have cooled down).
Happy baking, happy eating, and most of all, Happy Purim!
Header image design by Orly Zebak. Photographs courtesy of Clarrie Feinstein and Orly Zebak.
Brought to you by the Niv team.