Hamantaschen are the traditional treat of the holiday of Purim. These delicious cookies remind us of our sweet victory over Haman, a villain with a triangular shaped hat who attempted to kill the Jews of Persia. Hamantaschen cookies are traditionally filled with poppy seeds or jam.
Many years, Purim falls on the calendar close to St. Patrick’s Day, which provides a perfect opportunity to combine this Jewish cookie treat with some Irish-American-inspired flavors. I incorporated the flavor of Irish creme liqueur with a crisp chocolate cookie crust that gives way to a rich and creamy spiked center. My take on the traditional Purim cookie is easy to make and pairs wonderfully with a cup of coffee, or any celebratory beverage you choose.
For the dough:
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the filling:
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp Irish crème liqueur
- To make the dough: Beat the butter, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the brown sugar till light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add one of the eggs and the vanilla. Beat again. Scrape down the sides and add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Beat till just combined.
- Divide the dough in half and roll each half to 1/4” thickness between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Stack the doughs on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to 3 days).
- To make the filling: Clean out your mixer bowl and attachment and place the cream cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in the bowl. Beat till light and fluffy. Add one of the eggs and the liqueur and beat again.
- To assemble: Working with one dough at a time, peel off one sheet of parchment paper and use it to line a baking sheet. Cut circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass (we used a 2 1/2” cookie cutter here) and place the circles on the lined baking sheet, gathering and re-rolling the scraps till all the dough has been used.
- Place 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each dough circle, and pinch the edges to form a triangle, making sure that the seams are firmly sealed. Beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the tops and sides of each cookie. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight).
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes, or till no longer shiny. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Pronounced: PUR-im, the Feast of Lots, Origin: Hebrew, a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre during the Persian period.