Adapted from The Artisan Jewish Deli At Home
by Michael C. Zusman and Nick Zukin

Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013


Hamantaschen are triangular cookies, most commonly filled with either a honey-sweetened prune or poppy seed mixture. They are traditionally made during the festival of Purim, the Jewish holiday that celebrates Esther's triumph over Haman. Their shape is modeled after the three-sided hat that Haman wore. Michael admits he's a fan of neither Haman nor his eponymous cookie. But the mainstream popularity of hamantaschen bespeaks a strong contrary sentiment.


½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2⅓ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder

Poppy seed filling
1 cup poppy seeds
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Prune filling
¾ cup dried prunes
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ tablespoons honey
1 egg white, beaten with 1-teaspoon milk


To make the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg, orange juice, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Add 1 cup of the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until it is incorporated. Add the remaining 1⅓ cups of flour mixture and mix just until the dough is moistened and clumpy. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a flat disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate it to chill for at least 1 hour.

To make the poppy seed filling, stir together the poppy seeds, cream, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture thickens and clumps together, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.

To make the prune filling, combine the prunes, ¼ cup water, the orange juice, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the liquid reduces by about two-thirds and the prunes are softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and add the honey. Process it into a smooth puree. Transfer the filling to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If it is too cold and firm to roll, allow it to warm up slightly, about 15 minutes.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a ⅛-inch thickness, dusting the top of the dough and the rolling pin with flour as needed. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough and place them a few inches apart on the prepared sheets. Gather the scraps of dough and form them back into a flat disk, wrap it in the plastic, and refrigerate it to chill. When it is chilled but still pliable, roll out the disk to a ⅛-inch thickness and cut more circles of dough. You should end up with a total of 24 circles.

Fill each circle of dough with about 1 tablespoon of filling. (There should be enough of each type of filling for a dozen circles.) Working with one circle at a time, brush the edge of the circles with the egg wash. Fold up the edges to form a triangle that surrounds the filling and slightly covers it. Pinch together the tips of the triangles. Brush the tops and outside edges of the dough with the egg wash.

Bake the hamantaschen until they are golden brown at the tips, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the pans in the oven halfway through the baking time. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow them to cool before serving.

Store hamantaschen at room temperature in an airtight container, layered between sheets of waxed paper, for up to 5 days.


Makes about 24 cookies.
This recipe is dairy, but can be prepared with parve substitutes for the butter, milk and heavy cream.

Recipe: kosher, dessert, dairy or parve