I’ve tried making Hamantaschen, the famous Purim cookies, many times and failed. This recipe is different. The key to good Hamantaschen is the almond meal, which we got from Trader Joe’s. If you can find it at Trader Joe’s, then stock up, because in our experience, it is seldom on the shelf. It lasts a while, so no worries about buying too much and having it go bad.
Of course, there are a ton of different fillings you can use. In this batch, we did Nutella, raspberry and blackberry. Almond paste, apricot and of course the traditional poppyseed are all terrific.
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup almond meal (can be found at Trader Joe’s in the nuts section, or grind down raw almonds)
1 cup sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) softened butter (use margarine for a pareve version)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
Cooking spray to grease cookie sheet
Filling of your choice (we used Nutella and different jams)
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and almond meal)
- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, softened butter, vanilla, and almond extract
- Thoroughly combine the two mixes, until you have a soft dough formed
- Break the dough into several managable size balls. (Tip: If the dough is too soft to work with, wrap the dough balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 mins.)
- On a well-floured board, using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 1⁄8-inch thickness. Have your filling, cookie cutter, and greased cookie sheet nearby
- Use a cookie cutter (or small glass) to create circles about 4 inches in diameter
- Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the circle (make sure not to use too much, or your hamantaschen will explode)
- Fold in sides, and press dough to seal, creating two sides of a triangle. Then fold the bottom of the circle up to form the third side, leaving a little of the filling visible in the center
- Place on the greased cookie sheet
- Cutting circles leaves a lot of marginal dough, you’ll have to gather scraps in a ball and roll them out again
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden brown
- Let hamantaschen cool before you remove them from the baking pan with a spatula
An important Purim tradition is to give mishloach manot, Purim gift baskets of food, to friends and family. Make sure to add these great treats to your holiday gifts! Happy Purim!