Tri-Cornered Hamentaschen

by Emily Kemme

When my mother left a delectable delivery of Hamentaschen on our doorstep last week, I bemoaned the fact that she prepares these treats only once a year. Although the Jewish holiday of Purim, celebrating freedom from oppression, has passed, these triangle-shaped, jelly filled pastries are tasty any time of year. Traditionally, the pastry is named after the holiday’s arch villain, Hamen, hence “Hamen’s Pockets,” or taschen. It made me start thinking about other reasons to bake triangle-shaped goodies. Rather than “pockets,” the triangles remind me of tricornered hats, and since the late 18th century saw an abundance of them, possibly this is a new way to celebrate independence from oppression. Certainly the Fourth of July would be appropriate, commemorating our independence. Bastille Day, on July 14th, the beginning of the French Revolution, might be good, too.
The bottom line is, these pastries are so yummy, you’ll want to find a reason to make them all year long.

Tri-Cornered Hamentaschen Recipe

1/2 c. unsalted butter

1 c. sugar

1 egg

2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 T milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 15 oz can prune filling

1 15 oz can apricot filling

Note: you can substitute poppyseed or chocolate filling (similar to Nutella) for this, too. The filling can be found in the baking aisle at your grocery store.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg. Mix together flour and baking powder. Add milk to butter and sugar mixture and combine. Add flour mixture and vanilla and mix together. Roll out dough and cut into rounds about 3 1/2 inches across. Place on a nonstick cookie sheet, or one lined with wax paper. Put a spoonful of filling in the middle of the dough circle and fold into a triangle, pinching ends to hold contents. Bake at 375°F for 15-25 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Adapted with permission from More Than Chicken Soup: Recipes from the Little Synagogue on the Prairie, Morris Press Cookbooks (2006).


Although Hamentaschen are traditionally associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim, they’re so tasty, I’ve been trying to come up with reasons to bake them all year ’round. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Grossfeld.

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