Poppy Seed Hamantaschen

The buttery, triangle-shaped, filled pastries are the perfect traditional Purim cookie recipe.  The name, ‘Hamantaschen’, is roughly translated to mean “Haman’s ears”. I like the classic poppyseed filling, but get creative and fill them with any number of your favorite fillings.

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Purim is a Jewish festival that celebrates the defeat of Haman’s, minister to the Persian king,  plot to kill all the Jews. It is honored by sharing or gifting foods in a triangular shape, making donations to the poor, and celebrating with a special meal.

A traditional Purim cookie recipe: These poppy seed hamantaschen are delicious triangles of pastry filled with a poppy seed and date filling.


  • Use powdered sugar to roll out the dough.  This will help keep the dough tender.
  • Keeping the dough thin (about a ⅛-inch) will help keep the shape of the cookies.  A thicker dough will spread and separate more.
  • Pinch those corners of the cookies tightly.  You don’t want the dough to separate in the oven.
  • Make sure that whatever filling you decide on, it isn’t too moist or your fillings will leak out of the pastry.  You want to use thick jams or nut butter rather than a thin jelly. And don’t overfill the cookie. 1 teaspoon of filling is enough.
  • Take the time to brush the cookies with the egg wash to get a beautiful, shiny, golden color on the outside.
  • Chill the cookies until the dough is firm before baking.  They will keep their shape better and will be flakier.


Get fun and creative with the fillings.  Just remember to keep the fillings thick or reduce them on your stovetop so that they don’t run out of the cookie and all over the baking sheet.

  • Peanut butter or Nutella make great filings.  Sweeten them a bit with some powdered sugar, if desired.
  • Apricot, peach, strawberry, or cherry jam makes a great fruity filling.  Reduce them a bit by cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly until very thick.
  • Add a couple of mini marshmallows and chocolate chips to each cookie.  Then dust the filling with just a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs. Boom!  S’mores hamantaschen!

A traditional Purim cookie recipe: These poppy seed hamantaschen are delicious triangles of pastry filled with a poppy seed and date filling.


Need a few more dessert ideas for your Purim holiday table?  Here are a few suggestions:

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  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: about 36 cookies 1x


This traditional Purim cookie recipe is a delightful triangle of flaky pastry and a sweet filing of poppy seeds and dates.



For the dough:

1 cup powdered sugar, more for rolling out the dough

2 large egg yolks, room temperature

8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tiny pieces

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

Dash of salt

1 large egg, beaten for the glaze

For the poppy seed filling:

1 cup whole milk

½ cup sugar

Finely grated zest of ½ orange

1 cup poppy seeds

½ cup pitted, chopped dates

Juice of ½ lemon

½ tablespoon brandy

½ tablespoon orange liqueur

½ tablespoon butter

½ tablespoons vanilla


Start by making the dough.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the powdered sugar and egg yolks.  Pulse to blend slightly.

Add the butter and lemon zest and pulse to mix completely.

Spoon in the flour, a quarter of it at a time, and pulse.  Sprinkle in the salt with the last bit of flour and pulse the mixture until a dough forms and it pulls away from the sides and forms a ball.

If the dough seems to moist to form a ball, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process after each addition until it forms a ball.

Form the dough into two equal-sized balls.  Flatten each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm – at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

While the dough chills, make the filling.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, sugar, and orange zest.

Using a coffee or spice grinder, or blender, grind the poppy seeds to a fine powder.  Don’t process into a paste.

When the milk begins to steam, but not boil, reduce the heat to low.

Spoon in the poppyseed powder and dates.  Simmer, stirring often, until the seeds begin to absorb the milk and thickens, about 20 minutes.  

Stir in the lemon juice, brandy, orange liqueur, and butter.  Cook, stirring constantly, for two additional minutes.  

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Jewish

Keywords: Purim cookie recipe, holiday cookies, filled cookies, poppy seed filled cookies, Jewish food, Jewish cookie recipes

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