The Best Hamantaschen For Purim

As you very well know, I will not be giving you my whole life story before I tell you the recipe. But. I will give you a tiny paragraph. I’ve made hamantaschen every Purim with my Bubie for as long as I can remember. All my cousins and I go to her house and bake all day long. My cousin, Sarah, and I were always sneaking big spoonfuls of the poppyseed filling when my Bubie wasn’t looking. Whenever people ask me about my favorite holiday I always say Purim and it’s because of moments like this: baking with my Bubie.

Making hamantaschen with my Bubie and cousins – March 4, 2012.
(that’s me in the purple shirt and plaid shorts)

Sidenote: If you would like to learn more about Purim, you can find more its story here.

Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Let’s get right into it. First off, ingredients. This is actually a pretty simple recipe with only eight ingredients:
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 ¼ cup flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
1-5 tsp water, if needed


  1. Slice room temperature butter into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add sugar to the bowl. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest to the bowl. Beat again until creamy and well combined.
  4. Sift flour and salt into the bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on low speed until crumbly dough forms.
  5. Begin to knead the dough with your hands until it forms into a smooth dough ball. Try not to overwork the dough, only knead until the dough is the right consistency. If dough crumbles/is too dry, add water slowly, 1 tsp at a time, using your hands to knead liquid into the dough. Knead and add water until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky to the touch (not sticky), so you can roll it out. If the dough seems too wet, knead in a little flour till it reaches the right texture.
  6. Form the dough into a flat disk and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator overnight, or a minimum of 3 hours, to chill.
  7. Before you begin to assemble your hamantaschen, choose and make your filling and have it on hand to work with. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heavily flour a smooth, clean surface (if you don’t flour your surface enough, the dough will stick). Unwrap the dough disk and place it on a floured surface. The dough will be very firm after chilling.
  8. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness. In the beginning, it will be tough to roll out, you may need to pound it a bit. A heavy rolling pin works best. As you roll, cracks may form on the edges of the dough. Repair any large cracks with your fingers and continue rolling. When the dough reaches ¼ inch thickness, scrape the dough up with ideally a pastry scraper, however, I use a spatula because I don’t have that. Lightly re-flour the surface and flip the dough over. Continue rolling dough out until you reach ⅛ inch thickness (the thinner you roll it, the more crisp and delicate the cookies will turn out; there is also less cooking time when the dough is thinner).
  9. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter (or my personal favorite: a cleaned-out can of tuna) to cut circles out of the dough. Gather up the scraps and reroll the dough out. Cut circles. Repeat this process until there is no dough leftover. You should end up with around 25 circles.
  10. Place a teaspoon of filling into the center of each circle. Do not use more than a teaspoon of filling or your dough will split and spill the filling while in the oven.
  11. Assemble hamantaschen. First, take the left side of the circle and fold it towards the center to make a flap that covers the left third of the cookie. Take the right side of the circle and fold it towards the center, overlapping the upper part of the left flap, to create a triangular tip at the top of the circle. A small triangle of filling should still be visible in the center. Take the bottom of the circle and fold it upwards to create a third flap and complete the triangle. When you fold the flap up be sure to tuck the left side under the left flap. This way each side of the triangle has a corner that folds under and over.
  12. Pinch each corner of the triangle gently but firmly to secure the shape. If any cracks have formed, use the warmth of your fingers to smooth them out. Repeat this process for the rest of your dough.
  13. When all your hamantaschen have been formed, evenly distribute them on your baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure you are happy with the shape and placement of your hamantaschen. Brush with an egg wash (this is just one whisked egg).
  14. Place them in the oven and let them bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-25 minutes. For my oven, it is 19, but this time will vary from oven to oven. Bake until cookies are cooked through and lightly golden. Start checking them at 10 minutes. The thickness of your dough will cause the cookies to cook faster or slower.
  15. Once cookies are out of the oven, cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

I’m so glad you stuck with me until the end. Hamantaschen is a treat that takes a while to perfect, so don’t worry if it doesn’t look good the first time around (remember, I’ve had 17 years of practice). I hope you enjoyed learning about this traditional Purim treat. Happy Purim!