The Best Hamantaschen Recipes from Food Network Chefs

Just in time for Purim, we've got creative fillings galore.

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Although some bakeries sell hamantaschen year-round, the cookies are traditionally enjoyed on the Jewish holiday Purim. The name translates to “Haman’s pockets,” and the shape represents the ears in the three-corned hat of Haman, the villain in the Purim story.

Initially, hamantaschen were made from a yeasted, soft dough. Nowadays, many dough recipes call for baking powder and resemble cookie dough instead. Apricot, poppy seed or prune are common fillings, although part of the fun of making hamantaschen is customizing the fillings and decorations to your liking. Indeed, playful iterations on the classic cookie are part of the spirit of baking hamantaschen. To spark your imagination, we’ve rounded up our favorite recipes from Food Network stars. Each recipe has an extra-special twist.

Poppyseed Hamantaschen (pictured above)

Molly Yeh’s version includes classic sweet, sticky, nutty filling made with poppyseeds. You’ll dress up the cookies with her signature flourish: colorful sprinkles galore. Reviewers note that the dough comes together quickly and is easy to work with, which means there is little risk that you’ll overwork it and end up with tough cookies.

Duff Goldman uses chestnut meal in the cookie dough, which contributes subtle nuttiness and earthiness. The filling — full of warm spices, butter and brown sugar — tastes like apple-walnut pie.

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

When chef Michael Solomonov of the famous Philly restaurants Zahav, Abe Fisher and K’Far reveals any one of his recipes, we tend to listen. That’s because they work really darn well and tend to contain small, smart tricks that make for wonderful results. This hamantaschen recipe is no exception. Based on a recipe from his business partner’s mother, the dough is classic with a few tweaks: added brown sugar and maple extract. You’ll end up with chewy, tender perfectly sweet cookies.

Food Network contributor Amy Kritzer Becker, author of the cookbook Sweet Noshings: New Twists on Traditional Jewish Desserts and the blog What Jew Wanna Eat brings us hamantaschen with the buttery cookie dough, rich caramel and chocolate glaze of millionare’s shortbread. If you really want to up the ante and impress? Stick on a few pieces of edible gold leaf.

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