Buttery Hamantaschen

Earlier today I posted my Dairy Free Hamantaschen recipe. I also wanted to offer a butter-based dairy hamantaschen dough for those who prefer a more buttery flavored cookie. This dough produces a tender, sweet hamantaschen. While many who keep kosher prefer dairy-free cookies (so they can be served with a meat meal), others don’t mind adding butter to the mix. This dough provides a dairy hamantaschen option for your Purim menu.

I like this dough because it produces a rich, buttery, orange-scented cookie that is full of flavor. The dough will work with any hamantaschen filling, and it won’t open up/expand in the oven during baking, as long as you don’t overfill your cookies and your filling has the proper texture. There are a few drawbacks–it needs to be thoroughly chilled before rolling out (it’s too sticky to roll at room temperature), and it is not as flexible to work with as my dairy free dough. That is the nature of butter doughs; when cold, butter becomes stiff, which in turn makes the dough somewhat stiff and tougher to shape. That said, if you have some experience with baking and working with butter dough, this one should pose no problems for you… in fact, it’s one of the easier butter doughs that I’ve worked with. Note: if this is your first time making hamantaschen and/or butter dough, I recommend starting with my Dairy Free dough. It’s easier to work with than the buttery one, and the flavor is similar.

You can use any hamantaschen filling you like with this dough; I’ve linked to the filling recipes available on my site below. The key to a good filling is to make sure it is thick enough to prevent running, but not so thick that it bakes up dry or tough. All of these filling recipes are tasty, and they all have the proper texture for use in hamantaschen. I will update this list of fillings as I add new ones to the site.

Hamantaschen Fillings

Caramel Apple Filling

Poppyseed (Mohn) Filling

Prune (Lekvar) Filling

Apricot Filling

Nutella Filling

Rabbi Olitzky’s Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Filling

For my Dairy Free Hamantaschen dough, click here. To learn more about the holiday of Purim, click here.

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Buttery Hamantaschen

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-5 tsp water (if needed)

You will also need

  • Large mixing bowl, electric mixer, sifter, pastry scraper, rolling pin, 3-inch cookie cutter or drinking glass with 3-inch diameter rim
Servings: About 35 hamantaschen
Kosher Key: Dairy
  • Slice room temperature butter into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar to the bowl. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together for a few minutes till light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest to the bowl. Beat again till creamy and well mixed.
  • Sift flour and salt into the bowl.
  • Mix with the electric mixer on low speed till a crumbly dough forms.
  • Begin to knead dough with hands till a smooth dough ball forms. Try not to overwork the dough, only knead till the dough is the right consistency. If the crumbles are too dry to form a smooth dough, add water slowly, 1 teaspoon at a time, using your hands to knead the liquid into the dough. Knead and add liquid until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky to the touch (not sticky), with a consistency that is right for rolling out. It can easily go from the right consistency to too wet/sticky, so add water very slowly. If the dough seems too wet, knead in a little flour till it reaches the right texture.
  • Form the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 3 hours to overnight.
  • Before you begin to assemble the hamantaschen, choose and make your filling and have it on hand to work with. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly flour a smooth, clean surface. Unwrap the dough disk and place it on the floured surface. The dough will be very firm after chilling.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. At the beginning, it will be tough to roll out-- you may need to pound it a bit. A heavy rolling pin works best. As you roll, cracks may form on the edges of the dough. Repair any large cracks with your fingers and continue rolling.
  • When the dough reaches 1/4 inch thickness, scrape the dough up with a pastry scraper, lightly reflour the surface, and flip the dough over. Continue rolling the dough out very thin (less than 1/8 of an inch thick). The thinner you roll the dough, the more delicate and crisp the cookies will turn out-- just make sure that the dough is still thick enough to hold the filling and its shape! If you prefer a thicker, more doughy texture to your cookies (less delicate), keep the dough closer to 1/4 inch thick. Lightly flour the rolling pin occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Use a 3-inch cookie cutter (not smaller) or the 3-inch rim of a glass to cut circles out of the dough, cutting as many as you can from the dough.
  • Gather the scraps and roll them out again. Cut circles. Repeat process again if needed until you've cut as many circles as you can from the dough. You should end up with around 35 circles (unless you've kept your dough on the thicker side, which will result in less cookies).
  • Place a teaspoon of filling (whichever filling you choose) into the center of each circle. Do not use more than a teaspoon of filling, or you run the risk of your hamantaschen opening and filling spilling out during baking. Cover unused circles with a lightly damp towel to prevent them from drying out while you are filling.
  • Assemble the hamantaschen in three steps. First, grasp the left side of the circle and fold it towards the center to make a flap that covers the left third of the circle.
  • Grasp the right side of the circle and fold it towards the center, overlapping the upper part of the left side flap to create a triangular tip at the top of the circle. A small triangle of filling should still be visible in the center.
  • Grasp the bottom part of the circle and fold it upward to create a third flap and complete the triangle. When you fold this flap up, be sure to tuck the left side of this new flap underneath the left side of the triangle, while letting the right side of this new flap overlap the right side of the triangle. This way, each side of your triangle has a corner that folds over and a corner that folds under-- it creates a "pinwheel" effect. This method if folding is not only pretty-- it will help to keep the cookies from opening while they bake.
  • Pinch each corner of the triangle gently but firmly to secure the shape. If any cracks have formed at the places where the dough is creased, use the warmth of your fingers to smooth them out.
  • Repeat this process for the remaining circles.
  • When all of your hamantaschen have been filled, place them on a lightly greased baking sheet, evenly spaced.
  • Place them in the oven and let them bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, till the cookies are cooked through and lightly golden.
  • Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Store them in a tightly sealed plastic bag or Tupperware.

Comments (100)Post a Comment

  1. These look very cute – the shape and filling colours make this a fun sweet for sure :D
    Nice one!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Peanut Butter M&Ms Peanut Butter Giant Cookie

  2. Hamantaschen are absolutely my favorite cookies but I’ve never been able to make them properly. There are two types of dough. One is softer and is most typically found in pre-packaged cookies. The ones from a bakery tend to be crunchier, firmer and more crumbly and that’s the one I like. Any idea if either of your recipes resembles the bakery style?

    1. Hi Anita, the Buttery Hamantaschen is a bit more tender/soft than the Dairy Free, so you should use the Dairy Free recipe. One of the most important things in achieving your desired texture is the thickness of the dough. Roll it out to 1/8 inch or less (the thinner they are, the crunchier they become), and be sure to bake it till the edges and tips of the cookie brown. This will give you the texture you’re looking for. Let me know if any questions come up while you’re baking!

  3. SO excited to have these recipes! My 4 yr old will be home from school for spring break, so we are going to try making BOTH types of dough, so we can decide which one will be our favorite :-) She LOVES to help me cook! Can’t wait to try them!

  4. These look absolutely amazing! I would prefer the butter version – I love the flavor of REAL butter in cookies…thank you, Tori and I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Shira! No, the butter recipe does not require baking powder. When experimenting with these doughs, I found that adding baking powder to the butter dough made it more prone to spreading/opening during baking. It doesn’t need the baking powder for texture– the cookie is soft and tender without it.

  5. I love hamantaschen. When I had them the first time, I realized that in taste and concept, they sort of resemble Polish Kolacky. My grandma, who is Italian but grew up in a multiethnic neighborhood with a lot of Polish and Czech people, makes open-faced Kolacky with the jam in the middle. But hers are round and obviously don’t have the shape of a hamantash. LOL. Also, she uses cream cheese for her dough, not butter. But I’m fascinated by the similarities and differences.

  6. I think this is my favorite recipe on your website. I have never made these cookies before, but I love them and I love that you give a variety of options for filling them.
    I am glad I found your blog and your Facebook page and of course I am following you on Pinterest. Congratulations on the future publication of your first cookbook. I think this recipe is a winner and should be included. Best wishes!

  7. I made these for a Holiday cookie exchange. I sampled a couple of them and they’re wonderful! I made the buttery recipe with the apricot filling. To die for. Thanks for publishing this.

  8. My husband spoke so fondly about the hamantaschen his grandmother would make I decided to give this receipe a try. I was a little nervous because who can make cookies as good as ones grandmother. Glad to report they were not only awesome tasting they wère soooo easy to make. Simple ingredients, fantastic results! Thank You for sharing this recipe!

  9. Hi I just have one question, when you use the cup measurements, are you using US cups or metric cups? I’m trying to convert your recipe to grams, so it’s easier for me to measure. Thanks a bunch!

  10. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am in the process of writing a book about PURIM and would like to include the recipe in my book. I can put a link to your site in the book or a brief bio of you and a link to the site. Please let me know asap if you are interested.
    Blessings,
    Deborah H. Bateman-Author

  11. I use to get the most delicious apricot hamantaschen from a bakery by me. When they closed, I was so sad thinking I would never have awesome apricot hamantaschen again. Well, I was wrong! I made them with the dairy dough and they came out amazing! The orange zest in the dough and the orange juice in the filling compliment each other perfectly and add such a refreshing touch. Thanks so much…you are amazing Tori :)

  12. I tried my hand at this butter dough recipe.It was very delicious and the dough seemed to work well until the end. When I did the folding, the dough continued to crack so although they tasted great, they looked terrible. The homemade lekvar ones seemed to work best as the filling was rather thick but still looked all pinched together. Any suggestions on what went wrong.. Also I still have some dough left. Rather than fooling around with Hamantasen, any suggestions for another cookie to make with this dough. thanks

    1. Hi Jo, if the dough was cracking it likely means you didn’t add enough water to it. You could try kneading in a few drops to see if that helps, but you’ll need to chill it again for a few minutes before shaping. As I noted in the blog above, if you’re not used to working with butter doughs, they can be challenging… I really recommend using my dairy free hamantaschen recipe if you’re having trouble with this one, it’s a lot easier to work with. As for another use for this dough, you might try making thumbprint cookies. Good luck!

  13. Hi,
    I’m really interested in making these beautiful cookies. I’d like to have a variety, but I’m afraid if I make 2 or 3 filling recipes, I’ll have way too much filling. Is each filling recipe meant for one recipe of cookie dough?
    Thanks very much.
    Amy

    1. Hi Amy, each filling batch will make enough for between 2 and 3 batches of hamantaschen (except for Rabbi Olitzky’s cream cheese filling, which makes considerably more, and the caramel apple which makes slightly less). This is because when Purim rolls around, most people are making a large quantity of cookies to put in baskets, bring to parties, and give away to family/friends. Think about it this way– you need about 1 teaspoon of filling per cookie. Each filling recipe lets you know the estimated quantity it will make (2 cups, 1 1/2 cups, etc). If there are 2 cups of filling, you can make close to 3 batches.

      The good news is, if you seal the apricot or plum (prune) filling in a tupperware, those fillings will last for a couple of weeks (at least). They are similar to jam and make great “spreadables” for crackers or toast. If you decide to go this route, make sure to separate an amount of the filling (about 1 cup) before you begin filling cookies, so you’re not dipping a spoon into the leftover filling and touching the raw cookie dough with it– this can contaminate the filling.

  14. Did you leave out leavening for the buttery Hamentashen? There is salt, but no baking soda. I think it was omitted in error. Please let me know.

    1. Nope! There is no leavening in this dough recipe because leavening tends to make the cookies burst open during baking; they keep their shape better without the leavening. The salt is there for flavor.

  15. I was thinking of using browned butter in the buttery dough, which, obviously be melted. Any thoughts on how creaming the sugar with melted butter will impact texture?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Gail– sounds lovely, but I haven’t tried it myself. I’m not sure it will work with this dough. The dough is intentionally chilled to keep the butter cold, so that it will begin melting when the cookie starts to bake. Melting the butter prior to baking may totally change the texture of the cookie. It’s worth a try, but I would test a small batch first to see how it goes before fully committing to a larger batch.

  16. Hi there, I’m a newlywed, and new to baking (just something I NEVER did until now). Anyways, this is my first try at hamantaschen, and I had a really hard time achieving thin dough and keeping it together at the same time. It would get more crumbly each time I would roll it [the scraps] out, even after adding a little water. So, I had to keep it thick and couldn’t achieve the desired thin-ness. Any tricks/suggestions? Very much appreciated :) Blessings! -Lauren

    1. Hi Lauren! If you are new to baking, I suggest starting with my non-dairy dough (link in the blog above). It is much easier to work with. Butter doughs are a bit of an art form, and can be tricky if you’ve never baked before. With something like hamantaschen, which is a bit advanced in terms of rolling and folding correctly, you’ll have much more luck with the non-dairy dough (it tastes very similar). If you want to try the butter dough again, try adding even more water (ice water works best) and make sure the dough is very chilled as you work with it. You may have “overhandled” the dough a bit– this often happens when you’re not used to working with butter dough, which can easily be ruined by over-kneading.

      If you really want to master butter dough, my suggestion is to start with something like a butter pie crust, which will help you learn the basics. Try my tutorial here, it will help get you started: link to thehistorykitchen.com Good luck! And don’t worry, like anything else it will take practice to get it right. :)

  17. I just made this recipe today and felt I had to write a review immediately. These are by FAR the best hamantaschen I’ve ever had (homemade or store bought)! I normally find that the dough is flavourless and dry. These, however, were buttery and delicious. Admittedly, I made one substitution: neither I nor my fiance like orange in cookies so I used a tsp of almond extract instead. I also really appreciated your folding 101, it was the first time all my cookies held their shape. Thanks so much for this delicious recipe, I will be using it for years to come!

    Ps, Rabbi Olitzky’s Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Filling is wonderful :)

  18. Just made this recipe! It’s so easy and makes A LOT of cookies. I tried to use jelly for the fillings and they completely spilled out and over. Now I know better for next time!

  19. I made these tonight with my 2 1/2 yr old. I thought the dough was easy to make and work with, thank you! My husband suggested cherry pie filling and it worked really well. Do you do anything to the Nutella or just spoon it in plain? Yummy, too!

  20. Got the dough chillin in the fridge for tomorrow’s prep. Nutella and raspberry (separate) are the filling de jour. But I just read that this dough is “hard to handle” for us neophyte bakers. Gulp. Suggestions? Tips? Hand holding?!?

  21. Love your recipe, your directions and the pictures. Since I am gluten-free I used my cookie dough as the base and followed your direction to make them. Wow, they were delicious – barely made it out of the oven before they were eaten by everyone! I had to hide the rest. Thanks!

  22. I made this receipe, but when it was time to make the triangles it started to crack, I saw a previous comment who had the same issue and your response was you didn’t add enough water, but in the recipe it says add water if only needed… I didnt need the water cause my dough formed perfectly … So how would I have known to add the water? Please help :)

    1. Hi Nelly, butter doughs naturally do crack a little; the dough isn’t as “flexible” as oil and shortening doughs. You can easily smooth any small cracks over once the cookie has formed by smoothing and repairing the cracks with your fingers. If the cracks were large and the dough was falling apart, that’s a different story, and means that there wasn’t enough water in the dough. Small cracks are easily addressed by repairing during shaping.

    1. Vicky, you did nothing wrong! It is supposed to be hard because the fat (butter) has solidified. Just begin rolling it out, pounding and rolling patiently. It will take a few minutes to soften up at room temperature, but just keep at it– it will soften up soon.

  23. Best hamantaschen we’ve ever made, and the dough was very easy to work with. We used your poppyseed filling recipe too, which was also great. Thank you so much.

  24. Hi, me again, I wrote yesterday asking about the baking pans (ungreased vs lightly greased) went with lightly. I wanted to let you know, they were a hit at the Purim carnival yesterday & I had requests for the recipe. Rabbi Olitzky’s Cream Cheese was popular too. My son who has requested chocolate hamantashan in the past, I use hot fudge topping. I like Nutella but it’s a little pricey and some people have nut allergies. Thank you for a great recipe! I’m looking forward to trying others.

  25. I made the cookies…my dad, Mordecai, said they were the best he’s ever had! That really made my day, so thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  26. These were delicious! Since some commenters said the dough was crumbly, I poured a small amont of vodka in as I was making the dough. Since the alcohol cooks off, it doesn’t alter the texture or taste of the final product as water would, but the dough was super easy to work with.

  27. I used to make these from an egg-free recipe when my daughter was allergic to eggs. Now that she can eat eggs I tried your recipe and it was way better! I LOVE the Nutella filling and your strategy for folding the circles. My old recipe just kind of said to pinch the sides into a triangle shape, but they’d sometimes open. Not one opened with your technique, thanks!

  28. I used to make Hamantaschens at my elementary school whenever Purim rolled around and I had totally forgotten the recipe! I can’t wait to try this! :)

  29. Thank you for this Buttery dough recipe, I have always used my Christmas Shortbread with varying results. I make “zesty sugar” whenever I have Citrus fruit around…simply grate washed/dried Lemons, Oranges, Mandarines, Limes or Kumquats into Berry Sugar and store in airtight containers. (It might get a bit hard, but it breaks up easily). That way it is ready for use all the time, great for Whipped Cream, Meringues, & Macaron recipes. I am also using more Almond flour for my friends who are diabetic or trying to use less Wheat flour. Almond and Apricot are so perfect together.

  30. thank you so much for this amazing recipe! this is the first time my hamantaschen have actually tasted good and stayed triangles!! :)

    i used homemade jam for the filling and found that it boiled down during cooking, to the point where the wells of the cookies were crusted with jam but looked empty. do you have any tips for keeping the volume of jam filling? i was afraid to add more for fear the cookies would break open.

    1. Hi Leah, so happy the recipe was a success! I do not recommend using jam for filling, as it’s not thick enough to bake up properly. Try one of the suggested fillings instead (linked in the blog post above), or use a canned pastry filling, which will have the proper consistency to withstand baking.

  31. Hi, I love buttery cookies so I’m going to give your Hamintaschen recipe a try this year. Can I be lazy and use store bought jam as the filling? Are there any ready made fillings out there that would work? Purim sameach!

    1. Hi Amy, I do not recommend using store bought jam, it will leak out of the cookies and isn’t thick enough to hold the proper texture. There are some fillings on the market, Solo makes a canned poppy seed filling and Love ‘N Bake makes several fillings which you can find in the “Assorted Products” section of my market: link to theshiksa.com Or make your own. It’s really quite easy, I have several filling recipes on the site and they’re all quite simple.

  32. hi Tori,
    I grew up having cherry hamantashen! They were my favorite and are now my children’s favorite! (my husband’s too!) I made the prune and apricot last Purim and they were incredible! Do you have a recipe for cherry filling that I could surprise them with? I just bought frozen pitted cherries, but don’t know what to do with them!
    Thanks,
    Lara

    1. Hi Lara, I do have a cherry filling recipe somewhere in my files, but I use dried cherries for it. I will probably post it next year, I won’t have time to put it up this year unfortunately. So happy you’re enjoying the recipes!

  33. Thank you Tori, you make it all look so easy. I will be making mine this week.i made my dough and put it in the fridge, so that when I have time, I will continue with making Hamentashen. Is this a alright? Can the dough sit in the fridge for a couple of days!

  34. Hi Tori,

    Thanks to you I made great hamentashen last year (my first time – took me a few tries but your directions are great).

    Quick question: is the buttery dough recipe here the same as what you posted on your site last year?

    Thanks,

    Jenny

    1. Hi Jenny, both the buttery and dairy free doughs were on my site last year. They are both very similar, but the buttery dough is slightly more tender and… well… buttery! :)

  35. This is the first time EVER my hamentashen have stayed triangular and not burst open! I used the buttery recipe and it was a bit hard to work with it. (oops, didn’t read the comments until after…) I could handle it, but it was really tough for my kids to figure out. I will try the dairy free next year – or later this week, we have tons of filling left. Which leads me to my next comment which is that the apricot filling is out of this world! An absolutely perfect sweet-tartness. Sorry, Solo, I will never buy it canned again!

    1. That’s great Debbie! Definitely try the dairy free dough if you have a chance, I think you’ll find it much easier to work with. Glad you liked the apricot filling, too!

  36. Your step by step photos are a lifesaver!! Thank you for the recipes. Made these buttery hamantaschen today. My husband loved them. I also made a batch with banana pudding in the dough to make a banana split hamantaschen.. they are soooo good hahah. Anyway, thanks a bunch! Pray you have a blessed and delight-filled Purim :)

  37. I used your recipe to make hamantaschen for the first time ever last night and they came out great! To cut down on time I put the dough in the freezer for 45 minutes instead of the fridge for three hours. As a result I got quite the arm workout trying to roll out that dough, but it softened up eventually! My husband brought a few into work and all his colleagues asked why he didn’t bring more, so I’m going to be making another batch tonight. Thanks for this excellent recipe!

  38. Tori, I usually make my Hamentashen with oil and orange juice. I love baking with butter so I am excited about trying these. If I were to substitute orange juice for the orange zest, how much juice would I use ?

    1. Hi Diane, I don’t recommend substituting orange juice for the orange zest. If you end up needing to add liquid to the dough you can use orange juice for that instead of water.

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