There is a SECRET to filling hamentaschen. I've heard so many of you complaining about your fillings overflowing and oozing. It's time to share the secret in preventing this from happening… and it's actually quite simple. Once you have filled the hamentaschen, seal them tightly by pinching the dough firmly. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and STRAIGHT IN THE FREEZER for at least 2 HOURS (and up to 3 days). When you're ready to bake, put them straight from the freezer into the oven, while still frozen.THIS WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING!
It's all about the filling. I went crazy with over-the-top fillings and had a lot of fun making them with my kids.
My personal favorite was a take on Ferrero Rocher; chocolate with a whole chocolate covered hazelnut in the center…But my kids went gaga for Rocky Road- Rolo chocolate, mini marshmallows and pretzel bits drizzled with melted marshmallow glaze! And, I can't forget to mention our Cookies & Cream Hamentashen, filled with broken-up chocolate and vanilla Oreos and a Hershey's Kiss, and drizzled with milk chocolate. Look, I know a lot of this sounds intense and time consuming, but here's what I will say to you: Try not to make a big deal out of this. I didn't plan on making any of these flavors. I literally opened my pantry and used whatever it was I had inside to come up with these awesome fillings. I encourage you to use your imagination, be creative. Instead of making a whole batch of hamentashen with the same filling, mix and match, and have fun with it. Look, at the end of the day, I'm an apricot-filling-kind-of-a-girl, but it's a children's holiday after all, isn't it?
P.S. If you are going to fill your hamentashen with store-bought jams or preserves, I highly recommend mixing a tablespoon of chia seeds into the jam before using it as filling. Aside from the chia being super-healthy, it acts as a thickening agent without changing the taste and prevents your hamentashen from leaking jam all over and burning.. To read more about chia, click here to check out my good friend, Alexandra's blog, where she writes all about healthy foods in a normal, realistic and non-frightening fashion that also happens to be really funny.
Basic Hamentashen Dough Recipe
Below is a great go-to hamentashen dough recipe that is dairy free. This is an oil based dough that is versatile, easy to work with, and freezes well. If you want a truly buttery, crisp recipe, click here to see the one I posted last year.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup rice bran or canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat until all is well combined. Switch to a paddle mixer (or use a spatula to fold in), and add the dry ingredients until a nice, soft, non-sticky dough is formed. Divide the dough into 5 balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until ready to roll out and form. You may also freeze the dough until ready to thaw and use.
Use a rolling pin to roll out the ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper. Use a glass or a cookie cutter to cut the dough into 4-inch rounds. Place your filling (see below for filling recipes) into the center of each circle, pinch the edges together to fold into a triangle. Pinch the seams tightly, leaving a tiny opening that reveals the filling in the center. Place the hamentashen on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Repeat, until you've used all the dough or freeze the dough for another time. Hamentashen may also be frozen after baking.
Note: There are no specific measurements for these recipes. Just eyeball it, you really can't screw it up!
Rocky Road Filling
Chocolate pieces of your choice, I used Rolo, Hershey's Kisses and m&m's work very well too
Pretzels, broken up into small pieces
Marshmallow Fluff or melted marshmallows
Mix up all the ingredients in a small bowl and combine. Place a teaspoon-full in the center of each dough round. Fold the dough into a hamantashen. Bake. After baking and cooling, drizzle Marshmallow Fluff over sparingly.
Cookies & Cream
Broken up pieces of your favorite cookies
Chocolate or peanut butter spread (something that will allow the cookie bits to stick to the dough)
Place a small dollop of your spread in the center of each dough round. Top with your broken up cookies. Fold the dough into a hamentashen. After baking and cooling, drizzle with your favorite melted chocolate.
You can use actual Ferrero Rocher chocolates here, just break each one into tiny pieces OR
Whole hazelnuts, peeled and roasted
Good quality chocolate, melted
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Dip the hazelnuts in the melted chocolate and allow them to dry a bit on a plate. Place a teaspoon of Nutella in the center of each dough round. Place a chocolate coated hazelnut in the center of the Nutella. Fold the dough into a hamentashen. After baking and cooling, dust with good quality cocoa powder.