Hamantaschen are one of the most beloved Jewish cookies to enjoy all year, but especially for Purim, when it is most traditional to enjoy them as part of the holiday festivities. The triangle-shaped stuffed cookies have an interesting history: Originally they were a medieval German cookie stuffed with poppy seeds that Jews adopted for Purim. These cookies were called mohntasche, from the German words for poppy seed (mohn) and pocket (tasche). By coincidence, mohn sounds like Haman (Hamohn in Hebrew), the supervillain of the Purim story who plotted to annihilate the Jews of Persia. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today you will find hamantaschen in every flavor and variety, from sweet to savory, traditional flavors like poppy and prune to more modern flavors like tahini or chocolate chip cookie.
The most difficult part of hamantaschen is the time-consuming task of making the treats: making the dough, chilling the dough, rolling out the dough, cutting into rounds, filling and baking. Sometimes you just don’t have the time or desire to make them from scratch.
But don’t fret, because I have personally tried many fantastic hamantaschen hacks using ingredients like pie crust, cookie dough and even a box of cake mix that will make this baking project so much easier, but equally delicious. And if all else fails, you can always buy them at the store! Purim is all about telling the story of Queen Esther and merriment, so if baking your own hamantaschen just isn’t fun, try these hacks or visit your local bakery
Sugar cookie dough hack
First up is my colleague Lior Zaltzman’s hamantaschen hack using sugar cookie dough. All you will need for this hamantaschen baking is store-bought cookie dough and fillings of your choice.
Trader Joe’s Pie crust hack
Next, another two ingredient hamantaschen hack is using frozen pie crust and fillings of your choice. For this particular recipe I used Trader Joe’s pie crust, but you can use any refigerated or frozen pie crust you prefer.
Box of cake mix hack
Another great Hamantaschen hack, and perhaps the one I think takes the most delicious is a hamantaschen hack writer Rachel Ringler uncovered using a box of cake mix. This one requires just a smidge more effort, adding additional flour, eggs and oil to a box of yellow cake mix, but there’s no chilling so the task.