A Hamantashen is a triangular filled-pocket cookie, that is eaten on the Jewish holiday of Purim. The name refers to Haman, the villain in the Purim story.
Hamantaschen are known as "oznei haman" (Hamana's ears) in Israel, and are the most popular cookie sold at bakeries across Israel in the weeks leading up to the celebration of Purim each year, offering many different varieties. Poppyseeds remains the most-popular filling, with chocolate in second, and date filling coming in third in popularity. Jam and prunes which is a filling used in the US is not nearly as common.
Memories of Purim in Israel for me are simply "the most fun of all our holidays". Purim is truly a children's holiday.
In Israel it is celebrated differently than in other countries. Kids dress up in any costume much like Halloween (in other countries kids dress up like the biblical figures of the Purim holiday story). As kids we went from door to door and received candy. In 1950s Israel no one had special bags to collect the candy and we all got a pillowcase from home and filled it up.
I still remember the home made costumes my mother came up with to dress me up for our children's Purim parties in my little village. No shops existed that sold costumes during those years.
It is also customary in Israel to make Purim Baskets with a variety of cookies including Hamentashen and deliver them to friends and neighbors.
I cannot tell you how many different Hamentshen cookies I made until I came up with this one which I think is the best recipe! It is a melt in your mouth pastry and you can use it with any filling you like.
So let's get started making this delicious cookie for Purim or anytime of the year!
You'll need the following:
2 cups of all purpose flour (plain flour)
½ teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
A pinch of salt
200 grams of butter cut to into cubes
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons water
Icing/powdered sugar for dusting
Chocolate spread, Poppyseed paste, Date spread, Apricot jam or Biscoff Cookie Dough Spread
One round 7 centimeter cookie cutter or a wide glass
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Sift flour and baking powder together
In a food processor, add flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Mix lightly.
Add butter and pulse a few times until you get a consistency a little like slightly wet sand.
Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of water. Pulse a few times and if the dough seems too dry add another tablespoon of water. I ended up using 2 tablespoons but it can vary. The dough should start to form after a few pulses.
Take dough out and form a round ball with your hands. Flour the work surface slightly. I also like to lightly dust my rolling pin with flour so the dough does not stick to it. Not too much or it will be hard to roll out.
Roll the dough out to about 4 millimeters thickness. With the cookie cutter, cut circles.
Remove the extra dough around the cut out circles, form a new ball and roll it out again. Repeat the same and use up the extra dough.
Line a baking tin with parchment paper.
Using 3/4 of a teaspoon, place the filling of your choice in the center of the cut out circle.
To make your triangle shape:
Pick up the circle filled with your filing and pinch the top of the dough together.
Fold the bottom part up and pinch the two sides to close together
Pat hamentashen with your finger on top of each one to slightly flatten the dough. Place in oven for 12-13 minutes depending your oven temperature.
They should be slightly golden but not browned. I check mine by lifting up a cookie to see the bottom of it. If it is slightly browned and a little hard on the bottom it's done.
Dust with powdered sugar