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How to make Purim Hamentashen

Hamentaschen, or Hamen's hats, are triangular cookies to celebrate Hamen's defeat at Purim (see the Book of Esther). In Hebrew, they are called Oznei Haman - Hamen's ears. They are eaten at Purim and included in mishloach manot, the Purim mitzvah of giving food to the poor and friends. Traditionally, Ashkenazi hamentashen are triangular (hat shaped) butter cookies stuffed with prune, apricot or poppy fillings, although variants are widespread. In Sephardi traditions, they are sometimes fried circles (ear shaped). Our recipe is a dairy Ashkenazi version; we've also included links to alternatives.

I. Dough

(Jackie's Recipe - makes 36 hats, about a tray and a half, using 2.5" glass)

WARNING: this dough is extremely difficult to work with. I always put the dough in the freezer for at least forty-five minutes because it is extremely buttery - and roll it out a little at a time. DO NOT mix dough with flour to make it easier to work with, as it will taste less good. Good luck!


  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Mix and sift flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Cream together butter and sugar, add egg.
  • Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Chill dough in freezer about 45 minutes.
  • Roll out to ¼ inch thickness on a very lightly floured surface, or better yet, between two unfloured sheets of parchment paper. Stone surfaces are easier to work with.
  • Cut into rounds using a Yahrzeit tea glass as a cookie cutter, place a dollop of filling in the center, and draw up sides into a triangle or tricorner hat shape. Don't overfill - about a teaspoonful.
  • Bake at 375° on a buttered cookie sheet until light brown - about 15 minutes.

II. Fillings

Jackie's Prune Filling (for about 40 hats)


  • ½ pound dried pitted prunes (or 24 oz. box)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice and grated rind of one lemon (for a 24 oz box of prunes, about 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice and rind of a little less than one lemon)


  • Soak prunes overnight.
  • Cook until soft, drain.
  • Chop until smooth (or run through food processor).
  • Add lemon and rind.

Simple Prune Filling

  • Mix prunes with a small amount of orange juice and blend in food processor to make a thick paste.

Poppy Seed (Mohn) Filling (for about 20 hats)


  • 2.5 oz poppy seed (l jar)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbs honey or 1 Tbs honey, 1 Tbs sugar
  • ¾ Tbs unsalted butter
  • ½ Tbs lemon juice
  • lemon zest (optional)


  • Simmer poppy seeds and milk gently about 15 minutes until thick, stirring to keep it from sticking.
  • Add honey, sugar and butter and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring.
  • Remove from heat and mix in lemon juice and zest.

Dried Apricot Filling (for about 25 hats)


  • ½ pound dried apricots
  • water to cover
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice


  • Simmer apricots in mostly covered pot for several hours, stirring every now and then, until they form a thick paste.
  • Cool and stir in lemon juice.

Fresh Plum or Apricot Preserve Filling

Use Mitchel's Jam Recipe

Other Fillings

III. More recipes

Happy Purim!

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