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Hamantaschen (Jam-Filled Butter Cookies)

Celebrating the Purim holiday with fun, frivolity, and food. Hamantaschen, a triangular jam-filled butter cookie, is traditional and oh, so yummy!
Adapted from Tori Avery
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Chilling Time3 hrs 20 mins
Total Time4 hrs 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: Butter Cookies, Cookies, Jam Tarts, Jams & Jellies, Purim
Servings: 35 cookies
Calories: 90kcal
Author: Tammy Spencer, Scotch & Scones

Special Equipment

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3/4 cup butter (6oz, 170g), unsalted, room temperature, cut into small cubes
  • 2/3 cup sugar (120g)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest, finely grated
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (10 oz, 280g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-5 tsp water, if needed

Fillings

  • apricot or raspberry jam
  • chopped chocolate, poppy seed filling,, or whatever else you’d like to use

Procedure

Making the dough

  • Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or if using a hand mixer, just a large bowl), and cream them together for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest to the bowl. Beat again until creamy and well mixed.
  • Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until the dough comes together (it will be crumbly).
  • Knead the dough in the bowl with your hands until you get a smooth dough (try not to overwork the dough). See the Recipe Notes for tips on consistency.
  • Form the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 3 hours to overnight.

Making the hamantaschen

  • Before you begin to assemble the hamantaschen, choose your filling and have it on hand. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Lightly flour a smooth, clean surface. Unwrap the dough disk and place it on the floured surface. The dough will be very firm after chilling.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thick. At the beginning, it will be tough to roll out (you may need to pound it a bit). 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 1/4-inch thickness, scrape the dough up with a bench scraper, lightly flour the surface, and flip the dough over. Continue rolling the dough out very thin (about 1/8-inch thick (see Recipe Notes for tips about dough thickness). Lightly flour the rolling pin occasionally to prevent sticking. Chill the dough in the refrigerator 5 minutes to firm up before cutting your circles (this step is where I start getting impatient).
  • Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter (not smaller) or the 3-inch rim of a glass to cut circles out of the dough, cutting as many as you can from the dough. Gather the scraps, roll and cut them out again. Chill the circles in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes (again…impatient).
  • Working with a few circles at a time, place a teaspoon of filling into the center of each circle. Do not use more than a teaspoon of filling, or you run the risk of your hamantaschen opening and filling spilling out during baking.

Shape the hamantaschen

  • Grasp the left side of the circle and fold it towards the center to make a flap that covers the left third of the circle. Grasp the right side of the circle and fold it towards the center, overlapping the upper part of the left side flap to create a triangular tip at the top of the circle. A small triangle of filling should still be visible in the center.
  • Grasp the bottom part of the circle and fold it upward to create a third flap and complete the triangle. When you fold this flap up, be sure to tuck the left side of this new flap underneath the left side of the triangle, while letting the right side of this new flap overlap the right side of the triangle. This way, each side of your triangle has a corner that folds over and a corner that folds under (it creates a "pinwheel" effect). This method if folding is not only pretty, it will help to keep the cookies from opening while they bake.
    Hamantaschen Jam Cookies, Hamantaschen, Butter Cookies, Jam Tarts, Purim
  • Pinch each corner of the triangle gently but firmly to secure the shape. If any cracks have formed at the places where the dough is creased, use the warmth of your fingers to smooth them out.

Continuing…

  • When all of your hamantaschen have been filled, chill them for about 5-10 minutes before baking (need I say it? And yet, it really helps keeping the hamantaschen in shape as they bake).
  • Place the hamantaschen on a half sheet baking pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, evenly spaced, and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and lightly golden.
  • Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Store them in a tightly sealed plastic bag or container.

Recipe Notes

If the dough seems too wet, knead in a little flour till it reaches the right texture. If the dough is too dry, add water slowly, 1 teaspoonat a time, using your hands to knead the liquid into the dough. You want the dough to be smooth and slightly tacky to the touch (not sticky). Be warned...it can easily go from the right consistency to too wet/sticky, so add water very slowly.
The thinner you roll the dough, the more delicate and crisp the cookies will turn out…just make sure that the dough is still thick enough to hold the filling and its shape. If you prefer a thicker, more doughy texture to your cookies (less delicate), keep the dough closer to 1/4-inch thick.
Nutrition Facts
Hamantaschen (Jam-Filled Butter Cookies)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 90
* Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 cal per day diet.
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