Published February 23, 2010 - Last Updated January 22, 2021
This poppy seed filling can be used for cookies like hamantaschen, kolaches, strudel, coffee cakes and more. The natural bitterness of the poppy seeds mellows when ground and cooked with butter, milk, sugar, and honey. Tempered egg and cooking over gentle heat slowly thickens the filling. The result is a rich, delightful filling that won’t run out of baked goods as they cook.
During the Jewish holiday of Purim, poppy seed hamantaschen are a popular treat. The most traditional filling for hamantaschen cookies is poppy seed (known in Yiddish as mohn). Some people believe this tradition finds its roots in a pun. In Yiddish, Hamantaschen literally translates to “Haman’s pockets.” A slight variation of the word, ha-mohn-taschen, literally translates to “the poppy seed pockets.”
Whatever the reason, poppy seed is the most popular of all hamantachen fillings. This is my favorite recipe for poppy seed filling. I have also used it to make kolaches and coffee cakes with great results.
Some people purchase Solo canned filling to make their poppy seed baked goods. This homemade filling is comparable in terms of texture, with all the goodness of homemade.
To make this filling parve (dairy free), I’ve recommended some specific substitutes below. I really like this filling better using dairy, but you can get a descent parve result using the recommended substitutions.
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Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...