Growing up in Israel, Purim was more than a mere holiday; it was a vibrant two-day festival. The exchange of mishloach manot (gift baskets) held a central role in the celebrations. The thrill of both preparing and receiving these gifts added an extra layer of anticipation to the holiday. But, in my opinion, the highlight of Purim was undoubtedly the delectable hamantaschen. Raspberry hamantaschen has a sweet and tart flavor, combined with a touch of lemon, creating a flavor explosion.
What is Hamantaschen ?
Hamantaschen (known as Oznei Haman in Hebrew) are sweet triangle-shaped cookies that Jews enjoy during the holiday of Purim. The recipe for the dough has been with me for years, and this year I’ve decided to elevate the cookies to the next level by making raspberry hamantaschen.
**Before you start baking, measure and prepare your ingredients so the baking process will go smoothly and easily. I highly recommend using a food scale to weigh your ingredients.
All-purpose flour: Regular all-purpose flour forms the base of these Hamantaschen cookies. Be sure to measure your flour carefully for the best texture.
Powdered Sugar (Confectioners’ Sugar): For sweetness, for a pretty garnish (optional), and it helps absorb moisture from other ingredients, giving the cookies an extra tender and chewy texture.
Butter: Cold unsalted butter, cubed. I like to pop it into the freezer for 5-10 minutes before using it.
Egg whites: The egg white has lots of protein, which helps form the cookie’s structure, and lots of water, which interacts with the flour’s proteins.
Raspberry jam: Store-bought or make your own. I prefer using jam over jelly. It has a thicker, more textured consistency than jelly due to the fruit pieces.
Cookie crumbs of cake crumbs: The filling should be thick enough to prevent the cookies from collapsing and losing their shape during baking. Therefore, I highly recommend mixing the jam with 1/3 cup of cookie or cake crumbs (lemon or vanilla are my favorites). This way, the cookies will hold their shape. You can also mix the jam with chopped nuts.
Lemon zest: The lemon enhances the flavor of the raspberries.
How to Make Raspberry Hamantaschen?
Step 1: Make the dough: Begin by placing the butter, powdered sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg whites and process just until a uniform dough is obtained. If the dough is not coming together, add a little cold water (a teaspoon at a time).
Step 2: Chill the dough: Shape the dough into a disk about 1 inch thick. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours (up to overnight). Chilled cookie dough tends to spread less during baking.
Step 3: Shape the dough: Roll the dough on a floured surface to a ¼ -inch (½ cm) thickness and cut circles using a cookie cutter.
Place a flat teaspoon of the filling in the center of each circle, pinch the edges together in three places so that they meet in the middle to form a triangular cookie shape. Pinch the three corners of the triangle together firmly to seal the edges. Make sure the filling is well-enclosed.
Arrange the Hamantaschen on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step 4: Chill the Hamantaschen: Place the Hamantaschen in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour before baking.
Step 5: Bake: Bake at 350°F/180°C for 15-20 minutes until the dough is slightly golden. Let it cool.
- Work as quickly as possible to prevent the dough from becoming warm.
- Don’t skip the chilling time. Chilling prevents the cookies from spreading out too quickly once they’re in the oven.
- The filling should be thick enough to prevent the cookies from collapsing and losing their shape during baking.
- If your filling is thin, you can make it a little thicker by mixing with cookie crumbs (like graham crackers), cake crumbs (from a stale leftover cake), or chopped pistachios/nuts. It will prevent them from spilling out during baking.
- Don’t put in too much filling, or you won’t be able to close the Hamantaschen. One teaspoon is enough.
- The cookies should remain relatively white and not brown.
- The cookies will start changing color on the bottom when ready to take out of the oven. If you want them extra crunchy go ahead and give them a few more minutes.
How many cookies are in a batch?
- With a 3.5 inch diameter cookie cutter or a glass about 14-16.
- With a 3 inch diameter cookie cutter or a glass about 16-22.
Hamantaschen can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. To freeze Hamantaschen, place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Frozen Hamantaschen will last up to 3 months.
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- Round cookie cutter or a glass
For the dough:
- 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (100g) powdered sugar
- 1 stick+ 6 tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- A pinch of salt
- 2 egg whites from large eggs
For the filling:
- About 1 cup 7.05/200g (a small jar) raspberry jam *read my ingredients overview paragraph
- 1/2 cup cookie or cake crumbs (lemon/vanilla/chocolate) *read my ingredients overview paragraph
For topping (optional 1):
- 3.5oz (100g) white chocolate
- 1 Teaspoon oil like canola/coconut
For topping (optional 2):
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Place flour, powdered sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt, in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add the egg whites and process just until a uniform dough is obtained. If the dough is not coming together, add a little water (1-2 teaspoons).
- Shape the dough into a disk about 1 inch thick before chilling. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours (up to overnight).
- Mix the raspberry jam with the cookie/cake crumbs. Place a flat teaspoon of the spread in the center of each circle.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the Hamantaschen are slightly golden. Let them cool.
Optional topping 1:
- Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds intervals, mixing in between, until completely melted and smooth. Stir in the oil.
- Drizzle each Hamantaschen with the chocolate. Place on parchment paper and let the chocolate set.
Optional topping 2:
- Dust the cookies with powdered sugar.