Sunday, March 1, 2015

Rose's Alpha Bakers: Hamantaschen

This week's bake with the Rose's Alpha Bakers is Hamantaschen, small cookies eaten during the Jewish holiday Purim (learn more about Purim). Hamantaschen are traditionally made with a poppyseed filling, however I like to save my poppyseed-eating for cakes and muffins so I improvised and did more of a rugelach-type filling. In all seriousness, I like poppyseeds - but not that much - so I thought a cookie filled with poppyseed paste would be too overpowering.

My poor little Hamantaschen - which were supposed to bake up in a cute little triangle shape - were a complete fail. They all opened during baking so I ended up with more of an open-faced mini mince pie cookie. I followed the directions exactly in terms of the chilling of the dough, the rolling of the dough (thickness and size of the cookie), and I don't think I overfilled them, so I'm at a loss of what went wrong. Maybe I should have used a folded over corner instead of pinching them closed.

I also wish I had mixed up the apricot lekvar with the nuts, raisins and cinnamon-sugar so it all melted together better, but...oh well. Even if they don't look the way they should, they were tasty.

you can see the flaky pâte sucrée crust...

...but they are all flat flat hoo!

mise en place for the cookie crust

I prefer to make my pie crusts by hand rather than in the food processor as instructed in the recipe (seems easier to get a real feel for the dough, you don't over-work the crust, and you don't have to wash the food processor bowl and blade afterward). It's easy to do by hand - just go fast and keep your hands well covered in flour (so their heat doesn't melt the butter). This cookie dough was actually a pâte sucrée crust, which has sugar and an egg yolk, so it's a sweeter and more sturdy dough than regular pie crust.

In these first four photos I'm incorporating the butter into the flour-sugar mixture. In the next four, I've added the cream and egg yolk and am forming the dough. The dough is then divided and given a rest in the fridge before rolling it out.

incorporating the butter

finishing the dough

filling for the cookies

Rose raves about muscovado sugar - and uses it in many recipes - so I bought a 2-pack of huge(!) tubs of light muscovado sugar from It was a bit expensive - for sugar - but much, much cheaper than buying the small packs available at the grocery store.

smells delicious!

cutting out my cookie rounds

I wish I knew what went wrong. Maybe I left the openings too large? Maybe I should have sealed the edges with water instead of an egg wash? Too much filling? All of the above?

They are a bit more open than the pictures in the cookbook, but I pinched those edges pretty good! Oh well. I'll just pretend I did it on open-faced mince pies ;)

cookies assembled, given an eggwash, and chilled

a close-up

every single one opened back up...

mini open-faced mince pies

still delicious!

Bye for now...


  1. Did you chill the shaped cookies before baking? I like your rugelach filling. I'm not a fan of the poppy seed filling - they taste too strong. I'll try the rugelach filling next time.

    1. Hi Jenn, yep, chilled before baking and they still popped open. Definitely try the rugelach filling - it was good.

  2. That's what happened to mine the last time I made them. This time I folded the cookie dough over tightly so there was just a little space in the middle before I baked them. Then they opened up a little when I baked them.

    1. Thanks Marie - I'll definitely try to fold them tightly next time. I thought the pinched corners would be nicer, but folded it better than open-faced!

  3. Round or triangle they sound delicious with your filling!

  4. Rugelach filling is a great idea! Even though they opened up, they still looked good. It looked like you did that intentionally! I like how the fillings sit on top of a round pastry.

    1. Thanks! It is funny how the topping didn't spread (because it sure did when I made rugelach!).

  5. well I bet they still tasted great. My first batch I shaped them as I used to do it with my mom and they came out great, but than I decided to follow rose instruction and i had many of them opened up, and when i tried to re- shape them they seemed to break down. yet your cookies looks great.

  6. Forget about how they look, they sound wonderful. I would have loved your filling much more than the options given in the book. If you get a chance, I hope you'll stop by and see my post.

    Patricia @ ButterYum

  7. Hi Alice: Well, the mystery of the opening Hamantaschen...but I'm sure they were delicious anyway! Great step by step photos.