Hamantashen Ready!

Adar is in the air! I love this month! It is so cute to see my little children come home from school singing “Mishe nichnas Adar, marvin b’shimcha,” which translates to “when the month of Adar arrives, our happiness increases.” Adar is also the month when we celebrate the holiday of Purim! YIPEE!! I love Purim!

Yes, you are right, I love Purim because we are encouraged to drink and get pretty intoxicated (I am a Mojito lover.)However, I am a mother of 5 boys (and a husband) and I am really careful not to go overboard. Nonetheless, you have to admit it is still kind of cool to belong to a faith where drinking a little here and there is not the end of the world! Wait a minute, let’s be honest here, the real reason I love Purim is because of the incredible, delicious and impossible-to-resist Hamantashen!

Hamantashen are an incredible European invention and were not consumed at all in Iran. However, I would not feel it is Purim without them, so I provide you with the recipe in the cookbook and now I am sharing it here in my Blog for all of you to get working on those yummy cookies! Please send me pics!!

Purim Cookies


This is a great recipe to make with kids. I love getting my kids all excited about the holidays, and getting messy over a batch of hamantashen is part of the fun! Hamantashen are cookies that are traditionally consumed during the holiday of Purim. Hamantashen cookies mimic the three-cornered hat that the villain, Haman (boo!) wore. Hamantashen actually means “Haman’s pocket” in Yiddish…wait a minute! Yiddish? Yes, in fact, back in Iran there were no hamantashen! Very funny, considering that all the events that lead to Purim happened in Iran. Traditionally, Persian Jewish families in Iran made halvah for Purim. I love halvah, but I can’t give up my hamantashen on Purim!

Another beautiful explanation for eating cookies with hidden fillings is because Queen Esther was a hidden Jew.

My friend Shifra Schwartz taught me this recipe.

Tricks of the trade

When I first made these cookies they looked more like a Mexican sombrero than the famous three-cornered hat. To keep the corners together, it is helpful to brush egg onto the edges of each dough circle. It is imperative you do not overfill these cookies; if you do, they will pop open—at which point they are totally useless and have to be tragically eaten by the chef (ahem, me!) before anyone dares to see them. Another great tip is to show as little of the filling as possible. Also, pinch them very well (getting all your aggression out) with moist fingertips and, to prevent the dough from drying out, keep the remaining dough inside a zipper-top plastic bag while you work on each batch.

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

¾ cup canola oil

1/3 cup apple juice or sweet wine

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon baking powder

5 cups flour

Fillings (your choice)

strawberry or apricot preserves

chocolate chips or brownie mix, prepared according to package directions

prune butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Add oil and combine. Add juice or wine and extracts. Add baking powder. Gradually add the flour until a dough with smooth consistency is achieved.
  3. Flatten a portion of the dough 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 3-inch diameter circles and spoon ½ teaspoon preserves or any other filling onto the middle. Pinch at the corners with wet fingers, sealing very well. Place raw cookies about 1 inch apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the bottom is golden. Cool on racks.

Yield: 50 cookies

Be sure to pinch, pinch, pinch!!

Don’t forget to send me pics of your Hamantashen…even if they end up looking like Mexican sombreros!

Have a wonderful Adar!



9 Responses to “Hamantashen Ready!”

  1. megi says:

    Reyna, these look amazing! I love the way you fold the corners, they look so neat! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Tracy says:

    Hi Reyna,

    Do you have a substitute for the almond extract? Is there another flavoring I could use instead? Thanks!

  3. Reyna Simnegar says:

    Absolutely! You can use vanilla essence, rum anything that your heart desires! You can even use orange zest…being creative is the best part of cooking! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  4. Dina says:

    I am looking forward in making Hamantashen!
    Thanks for sharing all your culinary tips with us!
    May Hashem give you continued Kochot!

  5. Gabriella Israel says:

    Looks delicious! Purim is one of my favorite holidays, specifically for the Hamentashens. I will definitely try your recipe :) Miss you and love all that you are doing. Keep up the amazing work!

  6. Reyna Simnegar says:

    Thank you so much!! AMEN!

  7. Reyna Simnegar says:

    Miss you and love you too! Go Brazil!

  8. Etti martel says:

    Reyna!!! like always you are amazing!! i miss u so much!!
    I’m going to try this on friday!!
    fresh haman tushen for shabbat!!!
    Love ya

  9. elissa slomnicki says:

    Thank you soo much for sharing your expert tips!! Looking foward to making these with my 4 daughters tonight-yay! (we live in great neck and i find it so funny that my persian friends dont typically eat them- i cant imagine a purim without them!!) Have a freilichin Purim!