SOFT, SUGAR-COATED HAMENTASHEN
Hamentashen are a traditional three-cornered cookie we (Jews) make on Purim! I grew up in St. Louis, MO. There was this great Jewish bakery called Pratzels, and I would look forward to their hamentashen every year. Most other recipes I’ve tried are crunchy, crumbly, dry, or tasteless. But this bakery made them soft, filled them with a delicious pie filling situation, and covered them in sugar. Sadly it closed, but I think I made a pretty good sub recipe which also doubles as a great sugar cookie recipe! Because this dough is so soft, I like to fold the corners over like you see in the photos rather than pinching the corners like you’ll see in traditional hamentashen. *update: if the dough is just the right temp when you’re folding them, they’ll stay shaped as traditional triangles- just the luck of the draw! Either way, they’re going to taste the same*
- You really really need to chill the dough. Try and make the dough the night before or at least chill for a couple hours in the freezer. Divide the dough in quarters and wrap each in saran wrap. No need to make them into disks. The dough is super soft but keeps it’s shape. Stack them together and wrap in foil to avoid any odor contamination in your fridge.
- Keep the dough chilled for the whole process. So that means roll the dough out and cut the circles. If the dough gets gooey at this point, chill them in the freezer. Add the filling, shape, coat with sugar, then you MUST chill them again until they’re cold to the touch, and THEN you can bake. They will keep their shape so much better. Do it one tray at a time for the most efficient baking schedule: cut the circles and place on one tray, freeze, while that tray is freezing cut circles and place on the next tray, etc.
- Don’t overfill the cookies or have the topping be runny. I used about 7 chocolate chips / 3 cherries from the pie filling WITHOUT the juice.
- If you’re using a bigger circle cookie cutter, you can add more filling and bake for about 12 minutes.
1 c. margarine (I know, right? Just trust me), room temp
1 c. granulated sugar
1 egg, room temp
2 tbsp whole milk, room temp (you can use half and half)
2 tsp real vanilla extract
3 c. flour (I always bake with bread flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Filling: cherry pie filling is my favorite, really good jams like American Spoon, nutella, chocolate chips, sprinkles
A little extra granulated sugar for the outside
4″ round cutter- really any size is fine. You’ll just adjust your baking time. 4″ is about 10 minutes, 5″ about 12 minutes, etc.
- Sift all dry ingredients and set aside.
- Mix butter and sugar til fluffy 2-3 min.
- Add egg and mix well.
- Add vanilla.
- Slowly mix in dry ingredients alternating with milk.
- Mix until just combined.
- Divide the dough into four parts, plop each down on Saran Wrap and wrap each tightly. Stack them up and wrap them all in foil. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least stick them in your freezer for a couple hours.
- Take one disc out of the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured board, 1/4″ thick.
- Cut 4″ circles and place on a parchment paper-lined tray.
- Chill in the freezer while you work on the next tray.
- Fill each circle with a SMALL amount of filling. I used about 7 chocolate chips OR 4-5 cherries (try to keep the runny parts to a minimum). The larger you make the circles, the more filling you can use and vice versa.
- Form triangles and pinch the corners together slightly to make sure they don’t fall apart and spill all the filling! This dough is really soft so I like to fold them over rather than pinch sharp corners like traditional hamentashen, but it depends on the exact consistency you have going on. I promise they’ll taste just as good whatever they look like.
- Chill in the freezer completely while you work on the next tray.
- Once chilled, wet the dough a little with your fingers or a brush and sprinkle the triangles generously with granulated sugar.
- Chill again in the freezer again for 20 minutes or so. The longer they’re chilled, the more they will keep their shape. If you’re making way in advance, just keep them covered in the fridge.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until very very very slightly golden. The whole point is to keep these SOFT so please don’t over-bake them. Cool on the tray for a minute or two only, then slip the cookies still on the parchment paper off the tray to cool completely.
Mazel tov, you’ve made delicious hamentashen!!