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Hamentashen

  • j
  • Jason Perlow Mar 8, 2001 01:09 PM
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Yes, those crazy triangle shaped cookies are back.

Who's got the best ones?

PS: NEVER take a drug test after eating poppy seed (mun) hamentashen. Apparently, they have enough poppy seeds equivalent to 100 poppy seed bagels, with significant trace opiates that you will come up positive on a GC/MS drug test for heroin...

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  1. j
    Jeremy Osner

    No question in my mind, the best hamentaschen are at Yonah Schimmel's on Houston and Forsyth. They rock. Most hamentaschen in New York can be described as huge, flavorless, doughy,... you run out of negative adjectives before you run out of venom. Schimmel's are none of these -- they are small (2-bite size), tasty and perfect cookie consistency. They have the mark of a baker who cares about what he is doing. Also the guy behind the counter at Schimmel's is a gas.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jeremy Osner
      j
      Jason "The Bard" Perlow

      Instead of a play,
      with its humor create,
      I've prepared for your pleasure
      a Purim debate.

      A long argued conflict,
      a serious fight,
      over which food we Jews
      doth derive most delight.

      It's long been an argument,
      contended at length,
      that the great food of Purim
      has true merits and strength.

      I am speaking no doubt
      of hamentaschen -- a great treat;
      on Purim, we Jews
      by the dozen do eat.

      Those triangular cookies,
      with filling galore;
      we make them and munch them
      and still we want more.

      Of all Jewish foods
      for eatin' and noshin'
      none is as great as a
      big hamentaschen.

      "Now hold on one minute,"
      perhaps you might say,
      "I beg to differ
      and contend right away...

      . that there is one other food
      that Jews love and do savor
      for its wonderful taste
      and its delicate flavor.

      Observe here the latke,
      what a joy to behold,
      with its glorious flavor
      all crispy and gold.

      The latke is famous
      for its outstanding taste;
      by the plateful we cook them
      and none go to waste.

      It's possible to argue
      one might just contend
      that among Jewish foods
      from beginning to end...

      . it's the latke,
      we Jews do in truth most adore
      for no number can sate us
      we always want more!"

      The hamentaschen replies:
      "Hold on just a moment;
      to respond if I might;
      that greasy latke
      (if I'm not impolite)

      .that greasy latke,
      'though it may taste just grand
      if you hold it too long
      leaves a stain in your hand.

      In these days,
      when we really
      should think of our health,
      latkes are lacking
      in nutritional wealth.

      I'll grant that the latke
      is a treat for the lips;
      but as soon as one eats it,
      it goes to ones hips.

      Now me, on the other hand,
      if I might just recall,
      at least I am not bloated
      with cholesterol!!"

      Of course, to be fair,
      so we won't undercut,
      the poor maligned latke
      deserves a chance to rebut.

      The latke replies:
      "Think of the chutzpah
      I cannot trust my ear
      don't be alarmist
      a little fat, never fear.

      Mr. Hamentaschen,
      is not only rude;
      I believe he's pretending
      he's some kind of health food.

      The truth, on my honor,
      I now must reveal,
      that only a fool
      hamentaschen
      would one eat as a meal."

      Those three cornered cookies
      it's true, they taste good.
      One would think,
      with good reason
      they certainly should!!

      They're so laden with sugar
      both on top and beneath.
      There's enough gooey stuff there
      to rot all your teeth.

      I may be fattening,
      I'll admit that's not great,
      but he's no caloric lightweight
      in this here debate!"

      Now hold on one moment,
      my fine tasting friend,
      I think we've arrived at this argument's end.

      You each have presented
      your case loud and clear.
      And now our conclusion
      I'll indulge you to hear.

      Just for the record,
      please let me state,
      that both of these foods,
      well I think they are great.

      I won't choose
      I won't pick
      and I won't referee
      hamentaschen versus latke
      to whom victory?

      Hamentaschen or latkes
      the question is why
      we cannot declare
      the debate is a tie.

      Each food is delicious,
      a fabulous treat
      and each food, we agree,
      we Jews love to eat.

      1. re: Jason "The Bard" Perlow

        Us non-jews
        like 'em too.

        1. re: Jason "The Bard" Perlow

          At the University of Chicago, every year, they have the Hamantashen/Latke Debate. You haven't lived until you've seen Nobel winners actually follow the rules of debate (in very high academic style, with lots and lots of hoity-toity academic references) to present proof of superiority of one or the other within the context of their academic expertise. It fills the hall every year with Jewish and non-Jewish students alike. And then they serve...yup...ya gotta do the research yourself, no?

        2. re: Jeremy Osner
          b
          Barrie Covington

          Along those same lines, I like the ones at Gertel's on Hester Street. When I used to work at Hadassah, these were ordered in bulk to distribute to the staff. They are also small and tasty. I haven't had my fix yet, so I may try some from Schimmel's to compare!

        3. To the contrary, that is the RIGHT time to take a drug test, and blame it on the Hamentashen. But I prefer apricot anyway.... I had the BEST, and I mean the best, homemade HT the other day, if you are interested in the recipe, I'll post it here. For less work, I can quasi-recommend those at the Hungarian Pastry Shop (110th and Amsterdam), they're not really great, but will satisfy a craving.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Elaine
            j
            Jason Perlow

            Actually I do have to take a drug test on Friday... I've been holding out on mun for that reason...

            Too bad they dont have hemp hamentashen... :)

            1. re: Elaine
              p
              Pat Goldberg

              For me, the question is: what kind of dough do you use? This year, for the first time, I tried a yeast dough to make prune (oops, dried plum) hamantaschen. I think they were superior the first day, but did not keep as well as non-yeast doughs. I have regularly used a ccokie-type dough made with flour, eggs, and butter. This seems to have good "staying" power.

              1. re: Pat Goldberg
                m
                Martha Gehan

                Not that I'm about to bake them when I now know I can walk 15 minutes to Yonah Schimmel and buy my fave poppy seed ones--but a Jewish friend tells me she likes the "traditional frozen dough" version that her late grandmother made (she, sadly, does not bake). Would this be the cookie-type dough you refer to, similar to that for ice box cookies? I don't think I've ever had them made with a yeast dough.

                1. re: Martha Gehan
                  p
                  Pat Goldberg

                  The recipes for cookie dough usually say to chill it thoroughly. Putting it in the freezer would certainly do that.

                  All the yeast recipes I have seen resemble a babka dough -- lots of eggs and butter. The version I made, from Mimi Sheraton, was about the greasiest dough I have ever had to knead!

                  1. re: Pat Goldberg
                    m
                    Martha Gehan

                    How did you think it stacked up against the cookie-dough kind? It sounds a LOT richer, though heaven knows I love babka. If I can find some hamentashen commercially baked with yeast dough, I might just have to conduct a tasting!

                    1. re: Martha Gehan

                      Hamentashen is a nice treat, particularly the poppy seed version, once a year. But good babka is something I never tire of. I prefer mine without raisins, if you don't mind. And make sure you're not skimpy with the chocolate, especially drizzled on top over the tasty crumb topping!!!

                      Yum, yum. Now where can you get the best?

                      1. re: TBOO

                        I don't know about hamantaschen, but 2nd Ave Deli has *excellent* chocolate babka. Moist, and very, very chocolatey.

                        1. re: Christy

                          Ahh, yes, the 2nd Ave. deli would have excellent babka. I wonder if they make their own.

              2. re: Elaine

                What's your recipe??

                1. re: kachka

                  Just tried this recipe from Epicurious.com on a bunch of actors (and a prop person who was on a no-carbs-up-till-now diet). They loved it--used the Solo prepared apricot filling. These are best eaten on the same day of prep, or refrigerated if you're in Florida :).

                  Link: http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/...

              3. If you've never tried them, Peter's Ice Cream actually makes pretty good ones. They are in the case above the cakes and next to the pies. A little too big for my taste, but the buttery quality is definitely there.

                Alas, only for 3 more weeks, tho, when the doors close forever....