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12 Days of Cookies Day 11: Hamantaschen Cookies

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We’re revisiting a popular (and award winning) program at AVRL: The 12 Days of Cookies! From 2011 to 2017, AVRL staff baked and shared cookies with library visitors across the Annapolis Valley for 12 delicious days over the holiday season. Each recipe was a family favourite or a recipe from a cookbook found in the AVRL catalogue. While we are not able to share cookies the same way this year, we can still share the classic recipes for you to try at home!

Originally published December 6, 2016.

“At our home we celebrate and give recognition to many traditions and holidays.  It is a wonderful way to learn about and appreciate other cultures.  A hamantash is a filled-pocket cookie or pastry recognizable for its triangular shape, usually associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim.  There are also recipes for these cookies using oil instead of butter, which would make them appropriate for Hanukah.”

Hamantaschen Cookies: made by Marian Fulton. The recipe is from: Chatelaine Easy Holiday Treats magazine.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon or orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup apricot or raspberry jam
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  1. Whirl flour, poppy seeds, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a food processor.  Add butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form.  Whisk yolks, egg and vanilla in a small bowl and pour through feed tube, pulsing until dough starts to come together.  Gently knead into a ball and divide in half.  Wrap in plastic wrap and press into discs.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 days (bring to room temperature before rolling).
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.  Roll dough on lightly floured surface to scant ¼ inch thickness.  Use a 3 inch round crinkle cookie cutter to cut out the dough, rerolling scraps.  Scoop a scant 1 teaspoon jam into centre of each round.  Lightly brush edges of rounds with milk.  Pinch in 3 corners to seal, forming a triangle, leaving jam centre open.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Bake in top and bottom thirds of oven, rotating and switching sheets halfway, until pastry is golden, 17 to 18 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Transfer to rack to cool completely.  Cookies will keep well in a covered container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Notes from Marian:

These cookies could be made with date filling, fig filling, or your favourite jam.

A food processor is not necessary, just use a hand or stand mixer.

A 3 inch cutter makes for a fairly large cookie; I used a much smaller cutter.

When baking when during cold weather, I chill my baking sheets outside before placing the cookie dough on them and therefore skipped the 15 minutes of chilling time.  I also disregarded the instructions for doing two sheets of cookies at once and just placed one cookie sheet on the middle rack for baking.

Hamantaschen Cookies by Marian Fulton

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