Hamantaschen: Delicious No Matter How You Spell It

Hamantaschen are delectable, triangular filled cookies eaten on the holiday of Purim.

While some think that these tasty folded treats resemble little hats, they are referred to as Oznei Haman in Hebrew and Orecchie d’Aman in Italian, in both cases meaning Haman’s EARS, not hats!

A little reminder of the story:  The Book of Esther or the Megillah is part of the Old Testament. It tells the story of a Jewish beauty named Esther who became queen of Persia and was able to thwart the king’s plan to kill the Jewish population. Her cousin, Mordechai, helped and encouraged her to devise the plan. The story took place during the rule of Ahasuerus (Xerxes), the Persian king who reined from 486-465.

The story is told through two identical readings of the Megillah on the eve of March 7 and the morning of March 8, this year.

Esther and Mordechai are celebrated as heroes while Haman’s (the one who devised the evil plan) name is drowned out with boo’s and deafening noise makers of all kinds, so that his name can barely be heard in the narrative. The kids, especially, love the craziness and noisy celebration along with the costumes and many sweet treats.

So, why are these addictive and scrumptious cookies triangular?


There was a practise of chopping of criminals’ ears before they were hung. As the plot twisted and reversed itself on the evil Haman, he was executed.  Gruesome, I know.

Traditionally, hamantaschen are filled with poppy-seed,  but there are plenty of variations on the dough and the filling.  Most doughs use oil or non-dairy margarine in order to keep this recipe parave (non-dairy).

Options for fillings may include prune, nuts, dates, apple, apricot, fruit preserve, cherry, chocolate and dulce de leche.

I turned to my friend, Melissa Roberts, for her recipe and advice on how to make these treats.

A recent Westport transplant from New York City, Melissa was a food editor at Gourmet developing and testing recipes in the magazine’s test kitchen. She was also a cook and stylist in the Food Network’s kitchen. Melissa now freelances as a recipe tester and writer for various magazines and websites including Bon Appetit, Health, Real Simple, gourmet.com, and ctbites.

Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe and teaching me your tricks while baking these delicious treats together!




30 cookies


Notes: Dough can be made and kept chilled up to 2 days ahead. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Prep time: 40 min Total time: 5 hr (includes chilling dough)


  • 2 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 10 Tbsp (5 oz) unsalted butter or parve substitute (preferably Earth Balance), softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup any flavor fruit preserves


  1. Special equipment: a 3 to 3 ½ inch round cookie cutter (the top of a wine or drinking glass also works well)
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, until incorporated, then beat in vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl and add flour. Mix on low speed until a dough just comes together. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375F.
  5. Halve dough and keep remaining half chilled. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough with a floured rolling pin to ¼ inch thickness (about 10 inch round), dusting surface with flour as necessary. Cut out as many rounds as possible and transfer to baking sheet, arranging them ½ inch apart. Reroll scraps and cut out more rounds. Put 1 tsp filling in center of each round and fold up edges to form a triangular shape, pinching corners together tightly but leaving filling exposed.
  6. Bake until pale golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to rack to cool completely. Make more hamantaschen in same manner on cooled baking sheet lined with fresh parchment.



  1. Chocolate chip hamantaschen are my absolute fave – never heard of dulce de leche but that sounds absolutely delish too. Looks like yours came out beautifully!

  2. LOL Liz! Maybe in Israel! In the West Bronx it was always about the hat. :)

    Well, whatever! They are delicious delicious delicious and my grand daughter Lila and I made some the other day. She’s 5 and actually figured out how to do the triangle. Didn’t have my camera though :( Chag Purim Sameach

  3. A friend of mine made some with NUTELLA…..they were amazing!!! Also check out a facebook page for

    the5humantashen…..a group of men that do a Purim spiel at a local Chabad function!!!!!! fabulous
    My husband is one of the HUMANTASHEN!!! watch the videos!!

  4. These look so good and are very do-able! I actually am going to make these for my friends when I’m in Florida over spring break!. Another great recipe I would love to see on your website is for Babka!

    • Glad you like this recipe for hamantaschen. They are indeed, easy and delicious. I have a great recipe for individual babkes from the Kosher Baker, Paula Shoyer. Will ask her if I may post it. She demo’ed it in an event in Westport, CT. recently and everyone loved it!

  5. Liz, what a great write up on Hamantashen and photos of Melissa and her handiwork! It is a treat to read this blog each week…and I made those Babke cupcakes this week, they are worth the effort…

  6. It’s such a treat to read your weekly blog! From one “foodie” to another…love your originality and your creativity! Keep writing and I’ll keep reading!

  7. Pingback: Hamantaschen High and Low (For You and the Kiddos) | Kosher Like Me

  8. I tried filling them with apricot jam, however almost all the jam ran out of the dough during baking. I only put a teaspoon, why is that happening?

    • Hi Lily, Sorry your jam is oozing. Be sure to pinch those corners tight and place the jam smack in the middle of the round (not too close to the edges). If you have to use a bit less than a teaspoon, of course, that’s fine, too. LMK if any of this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>