Hamantaschen are the beloved cookies that Jews enjoy during the holiday of Purim. The tasty treats were born out of Austria, where they were originally filled with poppy seed (or Mohn in German), which kind of sounded like Haman (the bad guy in the Purim story for whom the cookies are named).
Over the years since Jews adopted these sweet treats as one of the iconic foods of the holiday, fillings for the cookies have expanded to include much more than just poppy seed: prune filling (also known as lekvar), apricot, raspberry and cherry all became popular. And more currently, you can find almost everything from Nutella to cannoli filling to savory fillings like smoked salmon, spinach and cheese.
But we know that our readers have some serious feelings about hamantaschen fillings. We all do. So we polled you guys and our staff and when push comes to shove: everyone prefers the more classic, simple flavors to, say, unicorn hamnataschen.
Sweet and classic, raspberry is hands-down one of the most popular flavors. We like to take it one step further of course and dip raspberry hamantaschen in chocolate and top it all off with a healthy dose of sprinkles.
Poppy seed filling be considered old fashioned or traditional, but it’s still one of the most popular flavors by a landslide. Poppy seed filling is delicious, but we think this flavor ranks so high because people associate poppy seed hamantsachen with their families, especially their Jewish grandmothers and aunts, who carried on the old-world tradition of making these treats. You can find poppy seed filling at most major supermarkets in the baking aisle, or check with your local kosher market. You can also unlock the over-achieving badge and make your own.
Nutella or Chocolate
Especially popular with the kiddies, nutella or other chocolate spread is easy and delicious. Try drizzling the top with white chocolate for an extra special chocolaty treat. By the way, you don’t have to stop at a chocolate filling: try adding cocoa powder right into your dough with these triple chocolate hamataschen.
Classic, classic classic: apricot jam hamantaschen are simple and sweet, though not quite as beloved as chocolate or raspberry. Sure, if you’re
crazy amazing you can make your own homemade jam like this. But otherwise just look for an all-natural jam in your supermarket free from high-fructose corn syrup.
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Ok, fine – PB&J isn’t exactly classic from the old country. But it’s an easy, crowd-pleasing filling that ranks high on our list for both taste and ease. Worried about nut allergies? Try using Sunbutter instead. Want to get fancier than just smushing PB&J inside your regular hamantaschen dough? Try Sheri Silver’s schmancier version that adds peanut butter and jelly into both the dough AND filling. We bow down, Sheri.
Chocolate and marshmallow inside hamantaschen is basically heaven, even if its far from traditional. Try dipping your fluff-filled hamantaschen into some melted dark chocolate and topping with a sprinkle of crushed graham cracker crumbs to really take this flavor over the top.
Prune, or lekvar, filled hamamantaschen might make some people cringe. But for others, this is 100 percent pure comfort food tradition. You can make your own prune hamantaschen with this recipe from The Washington Post.