I never loved hamantaschen growing up and felt that there were just so many tastier Jewish desserts such as babka and black and white cookies, so why waste your time on a dry cookie with a boring filling?
One jet-lagged night in London I came up with an inspired idea — echoing the French macaroon craze, why now change hamantaschen dough as well as the filling with colors and textures. So was born the Purim chapter of my Holiday Kosher Baker cookbook. I included pink raspberry, red velvet and matcha green tea hamentaschen.
Instagram has literally fed the hamantaschen-starved Jewish world with colorful and sometimes strange hamantaschen flavors. Here’s how to sexy up your own cookies this Purim:
Start with a basic dough recipe such as mine below. Try to match the dough flavor with a filling. I am sticking with sweet cookies rather than savory ones.
- 4-5 drops of any color food coloring, or a teaspoon or two of natural colors such as green tea, beet or raspberry powder
- 1 teaspoon orange, lemon or lime zest
- 1 teaspoon extract, such as vanilla, mint, coffee, raspberry or whiskey, bourbon, amaretto, orange blossom or rose water
- 1 teaspoon orange, lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon seeds or spices such as poppy or sesame seeds, everything bagel spice, lavender
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 2 teaspoons ground coffee
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon strong spices such as cardamom, ginger, cloves, turmeric or even combine them
- 2 teaspoons green tea powder
- Substitute gluten-free flour mix for the flour
- Substitute ½ cup whole-wheat or spelt flour for white flour in the recipe to make them healthier
Fillings – you will need about 1 teaspoon filling per cookie
- 1 cup jam any flavor – try interesting ones such as peach, passion fruit, mixed berry, even the spicy ones
- 1 cup any favorite dessert filling – pastry cream, pie filling, lemon curd, cranberry curd, peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, and you can even add some spice to those as well to make them your own (pastry cream with orange blossom water, peanut butter with instant coffee)
- Pieces of fruit, blueberries, raspberries, poached pear
- Additions: chocolate chips or chunks, nuts, dried fruit, candy
Decoration for Baked Hamentaschen
- Crushed candies, sprinkles, non pariells, crushed cookies
- Melted dark or white chocolate drizzled
- Caramel sauce
- Toasted coconut or nuts
Everyone cuts hamentaschen dough into 2 to 3-inch circles. Why not cut large circles and make huge ones like those giant chocolate chip cookies? Last year I made hamentaschen bites by cutting the dough into small, 1½-inch circles – they are a lot of work, but you can gift them in jars and other cute packages, see in photo. Always bake any hamentaschen just until the bottoms start to color.