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Tag Archives: purim

Chef Avi Chemal’s

Distinctively Delicious Halva Hamentashen



3 cups flour
½ c. sugar
1 c. margarine or butter
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. orange juice
½ tsp. vanilla extract


Chopped walnuts
Coconut flakes
Crushed halva


Using a mixer, combine sugar and margarine/butter till fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and mix until dough is smooth.
Allow the dough to sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine ingredients for filling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough to a thickness of ¼ to ½ inch. Using the rim of a glass, cut dough into 3” circles.
Place 1 teaspoon of filling into each circle and pinch the dough into a triangle shape.
Place hamentashen around 2” apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 15‐20.

Meatball-filled Mini Pie Hamantaschen


7 ounces of ground beef
1 onion chopped and sautéed till lightly browned
2 onions sliced into half rings
1 egg
Coarse black pepper
Pie dough, or ready-made unbaked pie dough
Optional: Thinly sliced cranberries and/or other dried fruits
foil cupcake/muffin tins


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix ground beef, sautee’d onions, egg, salt, cinnamon and black pepper together and form small meatballs. Place meatballs on an oiled baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
Prepare pie dough.
Pull off pieces of pie dough about 2 tablespoons in size. Roll into balls, and flatten each piece into the tins. Pierce with a fork in several places. Bake for 10 minutes or until they are very slightly browned. Remove and allow to cool.

To Assemble:

Sauté the sliced onions, adding in a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Toss to combine. Add a tablespoon of this mix to every pie. Heat up your meatballs. Add three meatballs to each pie, along with some of the liquid from the baked meatballs.
Top with a bit more sautéed onions and serve.

Colorful Sweet Hamantashen


Challah dough
1/4 cup oil for smearing
1 egg for glazing
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Colorful sprinkles


Cut challah dough into sections that are between 6-7 tablespoons in size. Shape each piece gently into a ball.
Roll out each ball so that it resembles a flat circle.
Fill each with your choice of chips or sprinkles or both, and then close by pinching all three sides.
Allow the challahs to rise for 20 minutes, and then brush them with egg.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the challahs are lightly browned on both sides.

Onion-Filled Hamantaschen Challah

First, prepare a good challah dough. If you need a recipe, check where I’ve posted many challah recipes, as well as my “Incredible Challah Dough Recipe” card that can be downloaded free from the site as well!


Challah dough
1/4 cup oil for smearing
1 egg for glazing
2 onions, sliced and sautéed
3-4 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup challah bread crumbs
2 tablespoons poppy seeds


Filling: Slice 2 onions into half rings. Sauté some onions. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, plus several tablespoons of challah breadcrumbs.


Cut challah dough into sections that are between 6-7 tablespoons in size. Shape each piece gently into a ball.
Roll out each ball so that it resembles a flat circle.
Place a spoonful of the onion breadcrumb mix into the center of each flattened piece. Sprinkle some poppy seeds if desired.
Pick up the first side of the flattened circle and pinch it together; do the same on the second and third side.
Place the filled challah face down on the lined cookie sheets. This keeps their Hamantaschen-shape and prevents the challahs from opening up as they rise and bake.
Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C.
Let the challahs rise for 20 minutes. Brush each challah with a beaten egg.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or lightly browned.

Zebra Hamantaschen

A great new twist on ordinary hamantaschen.

Hamantaschen are not just cookies or pastries; and although they are delicious unto themselves, most of us don’t really make them at any time of year other than Purim. And that’s good – it is what keeps this cookie with its tri-cornered shape special. This year, however, I realized that there is room for some creativity while still keeping the traditional shape. So I’ve concocted a new kind of hamantasch for your enjoyment. A “nahafochu” hamantasch, an eye-catching hamantsch…or maybe we’ll just call them… zebra hamantaschen!


Yield: about 45 hamantaschen

4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 & 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons baking powder
A very tiny pinch of salt
5 cups flour (plus a bit more for later use)
1/3 cup cocoa
Colored sprinkles, chocolate chips, licorice, whatever decorations you fancy
Prune or date or chocolate spread, or jelly, or whatever fillings you fancy


Place the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, baking powder in a mixer bowl and mix with the flat metal mixing piece. Don’t use egg beaters, they will break. Add in the salt and flour. Mix until you have a thick, sticky cookie dough. Divide dough in half and place half in another bowl to make the “white” cookie dough. To the half in the mixer, add in the cocoa and mix it well for the “dark” cookie dough.

If the white cookie dough is too sticky to handle by hand, add in another 1/4 cup of flour and knead it in gently with your fingers. (The dark one won’t be sticky but if for some reason it is, add in flour by 1 tablespoon measurements.)

Line 3 cookie trays with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C.

Tape 2 sheets of baking paper onto your kitchen table. Scatter a small amount of flour on each. Remove about half of the white dough and roll it out on one paper to a thickness of less than 1/2 inch. If it sticks to the rolling pin, rub some flour on the rolling pin too. Roll out half of the chocolate dough on the second sheet of paper. Brush the white dough with a tiny bit of water and place the dark dough on top of it, pressing together lightly.

Roll up the layered dough jelly-roll style forming one roll of swirled black and white dough.

You do this more than once so you have lots and lots of hamantaschen…

Cut the rolled dough into half-inch slices.

For hamantaschen, manipulate the circles of dough slightly between your fingers to ‘swirl’ the colors even more, then place them on baking paper on your work surface, flattening the circles even more with the heel of your hand. If you want filled hamantaschen, place the filling of your choice in the center of the circle before pinching it closed in the traditional triangular shape. Tip: don’t overhandle the cookie dough, it will start to get too soft and then it will stick to your fingers. Keep moving and shaping at a good pace. If your kids want to help, show them how to roll balls out of it gently. Squishing this dough will only result in a mess all over the hands.

My kids had a good time dreaming up fun fillings and colorful toppings. (Note: DON’T try small chocolate lentils inside your hamantaschen as they will melt and disappear.) If you like candies such as cut up licorice pieces or chocolate lentils, put some jam inside the hamantaschen when you bake them. After they are baked and you are just about ready to serve them, stick some of those candy pieces into the jam center; they will stick on that way and be nice and colorful to the eye…

Trans-Fat Free Hamantaschen

That means no marg at all!

I must admit that although hamantaschen are relatively simple, it took me quite a few recipes until I finally found one that I really like a lot and that always works. These are just great; watch out if you make them in advance (as I do)… even freezing them doesn’t ensure they won’t be gobbled down. You may have to label the packages as spinach patties or something of the sort so that they don’t all get eaten beforehand…


4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 & 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons baking powder
Small pinch salt
5 & 1/2 cups flour


Mix all ingredients except for the flour. I can’t stress that enough – DO NOT add the flour until the last step. Otherwise, the dough will not work.

Add the flour gradually until it is all mixed in and the batter resembles a smooth dough. If the dough sticks to your palm, then add a bit more flour until it is workable. It should be smooth and soft and very easy to work with.

Now you can gather everyone around and put them to work… The key to perfect looking hamantaschen, as you see in the pictures here, is to cut out circles with a cookie cutter for each one. This makes your edges symmetrical and perfect looking so that each cookie comes out smooth and uniform in appearance. However, even if you don’t have a cutter, they still come out nicely by just pulling off pieces of dough, rolling them into balls, and flattening them down on your working surface before filling them. To keep the balls of dough from sticking to the table, I line my work surface with a plastic bag that I cut open to form a large square and I tape down the edges to my table. I do the same for each child “helping” me and this way, nothing sticks to the table. Saves a lot on frustration levels…

Now comes creativity time. Traditionally, hamantaschen are filled with poppy seeds…however, you can also fill them with all sorts of fun and colorful ideas. There is strawberry jam, apricot jam, blueberry pie filling, pareve caramel filling, a mixture of white and black chocolate chips…you can even top some of your jam filled ones with colored sprinkles, which will really give them a joyful appearance! Fill them in their centers with the fillings of your choice and simply pinch then together on one side, and then the other.

Perfect every time!

Veggie Roll Up Hamantaschen

Great and Tasty Side dish to your Purim meal!


You’ll need a package of puff pastry dough (also known as ‘batzek alim merudad’)
In a large frying pan with about 3 Tablespoons of canola oil, sautee all or a combo of the following veggies, sliced:

2 onions
A few cloves of garlic
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 yellow or orange pepper
1-2 cups of white bean sprouts
2 carrots, shredded


Sautee until they are softened; toss with 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper. Let it cool down and drain it. If you think the veggies are too wet, you can always toss them with one tablespoon of flour to coat them. You can also add in a bit of salt and pepper and a dash of soy sauce to the veggie mix. Toss together.

Cut off slices from the puff pastry, fill the top and center with the cooked veggies and roll it up like a jelly roll. Cut marks in the top of the pastry roll for when you will slice it later on.

Suggestions From Our Readers

Cut out squares of the dough and fill the center with the veggie mix. Then close it over to resemble a triangle, seal it by pressing down on the edges with the tines of a fork and you hereby here a sort of hamantaschen look to your veggie bourekas!

Batsheva wrote me that she does this by cutting out circles ( a cookie cutter or glass will do the trick) and then shaping them like hamantaschen. I tried this and it didn’t stick so well, but it could have just been that I used too much filling.

Rochel from Bat Yam wrote me her ideas too:

Thanks so much for sending this to me. I was amazed at your recipe here because it is one (of the few) I already invented for my own family!!!

Nu, with a few differences…
1) I cut the dough into squares and fold them into triangles with the vegetables as a filling
2) I “paint” it with egg and sprinkle on lots of sesame (d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s)
3) I do different sizes so the kiddies get “eggrolls” and the adults get “borekas”
4) I add grated squash (kishuim) for sweetness to the stir fried vegetables (the kids don’t notice the taste but it’s healthy for them)
5) I find using malawach (cut into half or quarters or eighths!) is also very good with this

This is a very favorite Shabbos treat in our house. Try my variations and enjoy!

Either freeze it like this until the day you use it, or proceed to baking it in a 350F oven until it is totally golden browned and crunchy.

Slice and enjoy!

For added fun make a mushroom sauce to go over it.

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