The signature triangle-shaped fun Purim cookie. It is shrouded in legend, myth, old-wives tales and folklore: Is it ear-shaped? Is it purse-shaped? Read on!) It is shaped with three points pinched around a jam or other filling. It matters not at all if you don’t celebrate Purim—you will love Hammentaschen! Throw them in your Purim Baskets!
Attention Gluten-Free Diners: This is for you too!
No problem whatsoever making them with your favorite gluten-free flour mix!
Scroll down for all Hammentaschen variations, sweet and savory!
Excerpted from my latest cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple
My dear mother in law ZL made them year-round; this may be the reason why I perfected my act. She kept the fillings simple, and stuck to the classics. Like me, she only used oil for the dough, rolled them out thin, and baked them until golden and crisp.
Keep it simple!
I confess I get somewhat impatient when I see Hammentaschen turn to a whole Shmorg! Do not let the excitement get out of control, and use some restraint.
- 4 cups flour: all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or spelt (gluten-free: any GF flour mix you like)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup orange juice
- Zest of 1 orange
Make the dough:
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat the eggs, sugar and oil in a food processor or with an electric mixer (or even by hand) until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, juice and zest, and the flour mixture, mixing at low speed (in a food processor, use the pulse button and pulse only until combined) or by hand until well combined. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to one day.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut out a portion of dough and roll out evenly on a very lightly floured board, 1∕8 inch thin.
Cut out 3-inch circles with a scalloped cookie cutter.
Place a heaping teaspoon of your favorite filling (suggestions below) in the center of each circle. Bring up the sides at 3 equidistant points, pinching firmly and leaving the centers exposed. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling, using the scraps of the previous portion of cut-out dough with the next piece of dough you cut out, taking care to flour the board very lightly so the dough will not get too heavy.
Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, 1 inch apart. Bake about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Store in tins, do not refrigerate. Makes 3 dozen.
- Prune butter (lekvar), poppy seed (mohn) filling, apricot, or strawberry preserves; try your best for all-fruit, available at health foods stores.
- Make the following mixture: ½ cup brown sugar or Sucanat, 1 cup raisins, ½ cup walnuts, 1 tablespoon cinnamon; pulse in a food processor just long enough to get a fine but not mushy grind.
- Savory Hammentaschen: The day you get really adventurous, and decide to make them savory, skip the sugar in the dough. Replace the OJ with soy or rice milk, add salt, pepper, herbs and spices of your choice directly in your dough. Make savory fillings, using the exact same recipe and directions: Fill it with cheese, or meat, or minced vegetables, or anything you would fill, say, a boreka with. Make the filling nice and colorful so you have a pretty dot peaking out of the opening.