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February 23, 2018 by

So You Want To Bake Some Hamantaschen…


My mother, Zora Weidman, made superb hamantaschen. Divine hamantaschen. Excellent at any hour of the day or night. Full disclosure: especially tasty when eaten while reading in bed.

The dough is cookie-ish, not soft, not brittle, and described in the recipe card’s title as “(or roly-poly) dough”—roly-poly being a kind of, umm, rolled-up Winnipeg pastry.

IMHO, my mum’s hamantaschen’s special power was its filling, a mixture of prune, walnuts and citrus peel (likely a combo of orange and lemon) put through one of those large, menacing-looking cast aluminum grinders one cranked by hand. Modern update: I use a Cuisinart, but the mixture comes out a tadgooier than I remember; in Mum’s there were still little distinguishable morsels of nuts, prunes and peel.

Ok, the Sacred, Secret Hamantasch Recipe, transcribed directly from the handwriting of my dear late mother’s recipe card.

The Sacred Recipe Box

The Sacred Recipe Box


4 eggs

¾ C. sugar (or less)

1 C. oil

Juice + Rind ½ lemon, ½ orange

Pinch salt

3-3 ½ C. flour

2+ Teaspoons bak[ing] powder

Form convenient balls for rolling out (fairly thin).

This dough freezes well.

Also in wax paper it will keep in fridge proper for several days. 

Here is what’s missing, as any hamantasch-maker can tell you:

Cut out circles with cookie cutter or the top of a glass. Hold circle in palm of one hand, and put a spoonful of filling into the center of the circle. (The filling described above gets my vote.)

Then pinch up 3 sides to form the characteristic triangular shape.

I can’t recall what the baking time is, nor does the antique recipe card specify, but try 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, checking to see if hamantaschen are lightly browned. If not, bake 10 minutes more. 

And do remember, if you insist on using poppyseed stuffing, that hamantaschen are in reality ancient fertility pastries. Just saying that you might want to read—or re-read—Susan Schnur’s brilliant analysis here.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Lilith Magazine.