Hamantaschen are the iconic triangle biscuits enjoyed by Jews on Purim, representing Haman’s ear. I have made many hamantaschen variations in my time, but this year, with baby in tow, there wasn’t much time for anything fancy. In fact, there wasn’t really time for homemade hamantaschen at all, but this was our first Purim with Abigail and if that isn’t cause for celebration then I don’t know what is. Of course, she is too little to have any, but as I prepared them I imagined her helping me in a few years’ time and I *may* have become a little emotional… Having a child makes you want to celebrate everything. I want her childhood to be filled with baking and festivals and traditions.
Since I was making life easy for myself this year, I used a poppy seed mix, but you can use any filling you like, from homemade jam to nutella. My favourite way to make hamantaschen is with a Sefardic twist – my using orange flower water and grated orange zest in the flour mix and a Middle Eastern Charoset filled with nuts, dates and aromatic spices as the filling. Perhaps I will post that recipe one day.
These hamantaschen are so easy to make and totally scrumptious. Hamantaschen can sometimes be soul-less and brittle, but these are lovely and cakey, with a fine crumb. This recipe makes approximately 30 hamantaschen.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of orange juice (or orange flour water if you are making the charoset version).
- zest of one orange (optional, if making the charoset version)
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups of filling (poppy seed, charoset, jam etc).
- Preheat the oven to 175c (350f). Use non stick cookie sheets or line regular sheets with baking paper.
- Mix 3 eggs, sugar, oil, juice (or orange flour water, and zest if making the charoset version), then add the dry ingredients and mix until you have a workable dough, adding more flour if necessary.
- Divide the dough in half, sprinkle dough on your work surface, then roll out your dough until it is 0.5 cm thick.
- Using a round cookie cutter that is about 8cm in diameter, cut rounds from the rolled out dough and repeat until you have used up all your dough.
- Place a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the centre of each disc, then fold in three sides to form a triangle. Make sure you pinch the ends tightly to ensure the hamantaschen retain their shape in the oven.
- Bake for 12 minutes, until cooked but pale.
- Remove from oven, coat in an eggwash made with the remaining egg by using a pastry brush, then scatter with coloured sprinkles.
- Return to oven for a further 2 minutes, until the hamantaschen are golden.