What are hamantaschen?
Hamantaschen are triangular cookies meant to look like the evil Haman’s hat (read more about Purim here). I’ve made a lot of sweet hamantaschen over the years. From my classic hamantaschen dough recipe, perfect whether you are team prune or team poppyseed, to more fun flavors like tropical Papaya Coconut Hamantaschen, decadent Red Velvet Hamantaschen, tahini-filled Halva Hamantaschen or colorful Strawberry Champagne Rainbow Hamantaschen.
Even though they are traditionally sweet, I, much like our Queen Esther, do what I want! And I want savory hamantaschen too. Pita and Hummus Hamantaschen, even Shakshuka Hamantaschen. And now Bialy Hamantaschen are here! I thought these were a fun nod to traditional poppyseed filling as well, without being traditional AT ALL!
A simple yeasted bialy dough, filled with cream cheese and the perfect bialy topping- caramelized onions and poppy seeds.
These are best right out of the oven or warmed up a bit, so the bread is soft and slightly chewy, and cream cheese is warm and gooey. Purim breakfast anyone?? Here is the before…
And the after! They are so cute!
How do you prevent Hamantaschen from opening up?
My tips for these staying triangular shaped- don’t over-stuff, use an egg wash inside and outside (I explain in the full recipe below) and chill them for 10 minutes or so before baking. These tips prevent your Bialy Hamantaschen from spreading or opening so they are perfectly triangular and Purim-worthy!
These tips work on any hamantaschen, actually. Egg wash and chilling are your friends. Haman is not.
The fun thing is that you can make these round too and make mini normal bialys!
Store the leftovers (if you have any) in the fridge and pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds or a 200 degree oven for a minute to warm back up to perfection.
Haman wishes his hat looked this good.
The perfect bite.
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour, plus up to 1-2 tablespoons more)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup room temperature water
- 1 teaspoon oil, I used grapeseed oil
- 1½ cups diced white onions, (1 large onion)
- 1 tablespoon oil, I used grapeseed oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1 egg
- 4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 block)
- First make your bialy dough. Whisk together the yeast, sugar and flour in a large bowl. The add salt and whisk to combine. Then gradually add the water and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until combined. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. It should be a little tacky, but if it's very sticky add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook here.
- Coat dough in a tiny bit of oil and place in the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1.5 hours.
- While your dough is rising, make the filling! Spoon 14 1-teaspoon balls of cream cheese onto a plate and place in the freezer. The cream cheese is easier to handle frozen, which is why we do this.
- Then, caramelize your onions. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add diced onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and lower heat to medium-low. Sauté for 15 minutes or until the onions and cooked through and golden in color, careful not to let the onions burn.
- Remove the onions into a bowl and let cool. Mix with poppy seeds and set aside.
- When your dough is ready, punch it down and roll out between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. If your dough is bouncing back a lot, let it rest a few moments and roll again.
- Use a 3-inch (or 3.5 inch if that's what you have) cookie cutter to cut 12-14 circles in the dough, re-rolling out the scraps. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a towel and let dough rest 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Make an egg wash by whisking the egg together with 1 tablespoon water.
- Take one circle at a time and roll or press it down so it's 1/8 thick. Brush the circle with egg wash and top with one cream cheese ball and 1/2 teaspoon onion mixture. Fold up three sides and pinch together very well so they are secure. Repeat with the other circles.
- Place hamantaschen on the parchment-lined baking sheet 1-inch apart and freeze for 10 minutes to prevent spreading. Brush again with egg wash, focusing on where the edges meet.
- Bake for 7 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.
- Cool slightly on a cooling rack, though these are really good warm from the oven or popped in the microwave for 10 seconds or a warm oven for a minute.