Hamentashen. A triangle shaped pastry/cookie filled with goodness. Or chocolate, or strawberry Jelly. Poppy seed is the classic though. Yes, you were probably sneaking these from your Jewish Grandmother’s cookie jar as a kid. Or maybe you still are now. No judgement. They’re that good.
Around March (in the Hebrew calendar Adar) is when you start smelling these incredible Hamantashen in Jewish neighbourhoods. Whether it be from Kosher heimishe bakeries or wifting from a Balabusta’s chimney. Whatever the case, make sure to just breathe it in and just enjoy the scrumptious air.
Hamentashen are one of the symbolic foods eaten on the Jewish Holiday of Purim. You know, the Jewish holiday that everyone’s dressing up in unrecognizable and hilarious costumes, and giving candy bags. Yes that one, Purim. So that’s the day when Jews celebrate and eat Hamentashen.
How do you get the triangle shape? Roll out dough. Using a circle cookie shape (or a cup turned over) make circles, then in the center fill with jelly or whatever filling you’re doing- and then fold in the sides to pinch together in the middle.
The reason given for the shape of the cookie is to represent Haman’s (the villain from the Purim story) three-pointed hat. To toast his downfall we enjoy three-cornered cookies.
Hamentashen literally means Mohn, poppy-seed, tash, pockets. So, poppy-seed pockets, which is what Hamentashen are.
Tash, also means ‘weaken’ in Hebrew to commemorate how God saved us by weakening our enemy. and how we would love for Him to continue to do so. Weaken our enemy, that is.
Hamentashen is actually the plural for ‘Hamentash’, which is just one triangle cookie. However, it is quite uncommon to hear people refer to it as just a Hamentash, and funnily enough, even when referring to just one you’d hear it described as Hamentashen.
For example, “I had a Hamentashen, and boy do I want another!” or, “The little girl dropped her last Hamentashen and was inconsolable. The whole bakery heard her loud cries.”
You see how it is just one Hamentash they are speaking about- nonetheless the full word, Hamentashen, is said. And yes, aren’t those both very relateable examples? Well, you’d know after you have tasted a certain Purim treat.
So as we said earlier, the classic Hamantashen is filled with poppy seeds, but generally speaking you can put whatever you like inside your Hamentash. Other popular ideas include jelly, chocolate, custard, mint, raspberry, coconut, and peanut butter and jelly.
Recently however, people have started a new trend to make savory Hamentashen. You can find recipes for Pizza Hamentashen, caramelized onion Hamentashen, and would you believe it, there are even steak and mushroom Hamentashen.
Making Your Own
If you’re up to making your own Hamentash they’re fairly easy and there are some fantastic recipes out there.
Here we list our favorites.
How To Make Perfect Hamentashen
Tori Avey has a guide on how to make a guide on how to make the perfect Hamentashen.
Not only does she share her recipes, she also shares all her great tips. If this is your first time making Hamentashen it’d be best to read up on her blog and go with her delicious recipes as well.
Poppy Seed Lovers, These Are the Purim Hamantaschen for You
This recipe is by Vered Guttman on Haaretz.com. It is pretty much the classic Hamentashen, super delicious and quite easy.
By Bon Apetit
A basic Hamentashen recipe with interesting and delicious options to fill with either Date-Orange Filling, or Honey-Nut Filling, or Poppy Seed Filling.
Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Making Hamantashen
We can totally relate. Feeling too pressured for time? Or just plain old lazy? Making a Purim party and urgently need good Hamatashen? Well then, head on over to your local Jewish Bakery and buy some.
Or, better yet- stay exactly where you are and do what we love most; order from Amazon.
Here’s our Amazon Top Picks for Hamentashen:
Yummy’s Cookies Fresh Baked Homestyle Fruit Tarts – 10 oz. Crescent Filled Pastries (Assorted – Apricot – Raspberry)
These are so delicious, fresh and quite light too.
To buy them click here.
Greens Hamentashen Mix Flavor, 12 oz
We all know Greens from the famous Babka they make that Trader Joes sells out rather quickly. So why not give these a try, pretty safe bet to say they’d be wonderful.
To buy them click here.
Katz Gluten Free Raspberry Hamantaschen (6 Oz) 1 Pack
Yes, you read right. Gluten free.
To buy them click here.
Anyway as you can see, on the market there are some darn good Hamentashen waiting for you to bite right into. So make sure you get out of your comfort zone and give them a try.
Happy eating, and Happy Purim!
3 thoughts on “What Are Hamentashen”
Yummy! I can’t wait until they come into Kosher bakeries already. Hamataschen are my favorite!
I would love to try this Jewish food I have heard of this before.
Thank you for givi ng the links.
Thanks i never knew this about hamantashen, can;t wait to make these with my little kids!!