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These hamantaschen feature poppy seed filling; if you're not a poppy seed fan, feel free to substitute apricot or the filling of your choice.

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter or butter-flavored vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons water (if you're using vegetable shortening)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind (lemon zest)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Easy-Roll Dough Improver, optional
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg white (reserve the yolk)

Filling

  • 1 cup ground poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup shredded apricots or diced raisins
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (lemon zest)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large apple, peeled and grated or finely chopped

Instructions

  1. To make the cookies: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter or shortening, water (if you're using it), sugar, salt, and flavorings until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a cohesive dough forms.
  3. Divide the dough in half, wrap it well, and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
  4. To make the filling: Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. When the mixture thickens, remove it from the heat. Refrigerate until cold.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare several parchment-lined or greased baking sheets.
  6. To assemble the hamantaschen: Working with one half of the dough at a time, flour it thoroughly, and roll it into a 16" x 18" rectangle approximately 1/8" to 1/4" thick.
  7. Cut the dough into circles with a 3 1/2" round cutter. Place the circles on the prepared baking sheets, and place a rounded teaspoonful of filling in the center of each circle.
  8. Brush the edges of the dough with the reserved egg yolk, which you've beaten with 1 tablespoon water.
  9. Now, imagine the circle as a triangle; bring three of the "sides" together to meet in the center, forming what looks like an old-fashioned tricorne hat. Pinch the edges together to seal.
  10. Bake the hamantaschen for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom and edges. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool; they'll firm up and become crisp as they cool.
  11. Store covered at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to a month.