Hamantaschen are Jewish cookies with a triangular shape usually filled with jam, cheese, chocolate or other spreads. These cookies are associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim. Here is a recipe to make hamantaschen with pistachio butter.
Unless your family is Jewish or you live in a city or neighbourhood with a large Jewish community, you might have never heard of these cookies. I only discovered them through Instagram after several people shared photos of them (as they celebrated Purim last week). I had never tasted hamantaschen until I made them, so I cannot claim that this recipe is the best. Though I can tell you that these cookies turned out really well and
are were certainly very tasty!
At first when I saw photos of these cookies I assumed that you’d have to cut the thinly rolled dough in triangles. Actually, to shape hamantaschen, you need to make circles of which three sides are folded in. Before doing that, you need to add your filling of choice. Then, carefully fold the dough and pinch the three corners to create triangular pockets.
The cookie dough in this recipe is made with vegetable oil and as a result the cookies are quite crumbly. Using butter instead of oil would make the cookies softer. For the hamantaschen recipe I searched the blog My Name is Yeh. The dough recipe Molly uses is from a cookbook: Leah Koenig’s Modern Jewish Cooking. This recipe works perfectly and so I have shared it here.
The filling can be anything you like: sweet or savoury. On Molly Yeh’s blog you will find a great variety of hamantaschen filling ideas ranging from jam, marzipan and cream cheese to sweet potato and spinach + gruyere.
I have a sweet tooth but I don’t love jam cookies, so my choice was going to be either some kind of chocolate paste or nut butters. I decided to try both: dark chocolate & tahini; pistachio butter. In this post, I am sharing photos of the latter.
I used a 100% pure and smooth pistachio butter by Borna Foods, a British food company selling premium pistachios and butters, which are sourced from certified pistachios farms around the globe. I received a sample jar of this butter as a gift from the brand; I was under no obligation to promote this product but I loved it and so I’m happy to recommend it here.
One lesson I learnt from making these hamantaschen cookies with two different fillings is that finding the proper consistency is very important. The pistachio butter was the right thickness and texture and remained in place inside the dough pockets perfectly. On the other hand, the chocolate spread (homemade by melting dark chocolate and tahini) was too runny and light and slightly leaked from cookies during baking. These cookies were tasty but not as pretty. Here is a useful article full of tips on how to make the perfect hamantaschen.
Makes about 36 cookies
- 315g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbs fresh orange juice
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 130g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- around 100-150g pistachio butter
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest until combined. slowly stir in the flour mixture until the dough begins to come together. turn the dough out onto a flat surface and knead a few times with your hands until it is smooth, but not sticky. If the dough seems dry, knead in more orange juice (1 teaspoon at a time). If it looks wet, knead in up to 30g more flour (1 tablespoon at a time) until you reach the right consistency.
Divide into two flat discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 4 mm thickness. Use a 7.5 cm round cookie cutter or wine glass to cut out circles. Transfer them to the baking sheet, 1 cm apart. Continue until all the dough is used.
Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of pistachio butter in the centre of each circle. Fold the left side over on an angle, followed by the ride side and then the bottom, forming a triangle-shaped pocket. Pinch the seams firmly to seal. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
Transfer the baking sheet to the fridge for around 10 minutes until the cookies are firm and cool.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.