If you want to try baking something new, then these cookies will have you licking your fingers and humming to yourself as you fancy yourself a cookie shaping professional.
For a first timer, they’re a little tricky to shape so I’ll show you step by step how to form the triangles, so you know what to expect.
My husband and I went to dinner with his 94-year-old grandmother – we call her nunna. One thing lead to another, and before I knew it, I was paging through her entire cookie recipe collection.
About 50 recipes in, she goes, Oh, have you ever made hamantaschen? Those are gooood cookies.
Even though I’m a hamantaschen newby, I simply had to taste them.
They immediately reminded me of shortbread cookies with raspberry jam dot filling – a childhood favorite for sure. Making these little triangle purses is actually fun. I love making different cookies, and these will remind you a bit of making pie.
While some of my shapes are imperfect looking, I don’t mind as much knowing that they taste good. Since the cookie dough is made with butter, the texture is very soft and gets slightly golden brown.
How to Make Hamantaschen Cookies with Raspberry Preserves
Cream the butter and sugar using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or an electric beater. You will need room temperature butter to do this properly, so set the butter on the counter for 1 hour or defrost in the microwave for 20 seconds. Next, add the other wet ingredients and beat until creamy.
Measure the flour: spoon flour into your measuring cup and run the edge of a butter knife to flatten. This is the only way to properly measure flour (other than a scale). Add directly to a sifter or strainer over your creamed butter.
Tap away until all the flour is soft and sifted.
Mix the flour to form a shaggy dough.
You can work the dough a bit by hand. There’s a slight bit of kneading involved (but not a lot). It’s necessary to get a cohesive dough.
Wrap your dough and flatten. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Roll onto a floured surface. These need to be pretty thin (about 1/4 inch).
Use raspberry jam (a level 1 teaspoon) or any flavor jam. Plop it right in the center.
A chill dough will help with this next bit (but there is such a thing as overly cold dough)…After a 3 hour chill, you will easily be able to fold the sides.
Squeeze the dough together – avoid the jam if you can.
Pinch the corners to form a triangle and bake right away or refrigerate. The hamantaschen will keep their shape best if you bake them from a chilled state.
More Cookie Recipes
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Raspberry Hamantaschen Cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup raspberry preserves, or filling of choice
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle.
- While mixing, add the vanilla, salt, orange juice, and egg, mixing well until creamy.
- Sift flour into the bowl and mix on low to form a crumbly dough.
- Gather any dry flour and mix a bit to form a smooth dough. Try not to over-knead the dough, just stop when it comes together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and flatten a bit (this will make life easier when you go to roll it out later). Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough until 1/4" thick and stamp 3" circles. Add a level teaspoon of jam in the center and fold one side, then overlap with another flap, and another to form a triangle where the corners meet and press together.
- Place formed cookies on a plate and refrigerate while you work. Refrigerating helps the cookies keep their shape. Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough is lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack and store in a plastic bag or container with a tight lid.
Chilled DoughThe purpose of the chilled dough is 2-fold. First, it’s easier to roll the dough when chilled. Second, the little triangular shapes will hold their shape better if the dough is chilled. You can keep 1/2 of the dough in the fridge while you work or you can refrigerate the cookies before baking.
Shaping the TrianglesForming hamantaschen triangles is a bit of an art. If the jam gets in-between the dough edges, the seal will likely not form and these cookies will spread open during baking. Make sure to use a small amount of jam (level teaspoon for 3-inch circles) and press the edges together firmly to seal. Practice and chill the dough as you work for best results.
How to Soften ButterYou can soften butter on the counter for 1 hour or put in the microwave on the defrost setting for 20 seconds. Butter is soft when you can press your finger into it easily like play dough (but not liquid).
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