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Feb 14, 2007 03:26 PM

Poppy seed hamentashen recipes?

Purim is coming, and I am looking for a great poppy seed filling recipe for hamentashen. I prefer it to be dairy, with no jam or jelly added. None of the recipes I have tried over the years match up to my childhood memories.

My favorite recipe for the yeast dough comes from the cookbook, "My Mother's Kitchen" by Mimi Sheraton, and it is a rich schnecken dough.

Can you help?

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  1. I gave up on finding a recipe to make own - I use the canned stuff - in fact just made some this past weekend and they came out great - I do not recall what the brand name but check the kosher food section in grocery

    1. One advantage to homemade over the canned stuff (solo is the usual brand) is that you can make it less sweet. (Even if I had no other objections, I find the canned one to be kind of cloying)
      That said, I've tried numerous recipes from the web and various cookbooks and never been all that thrilled with the results. They always stay too "separate", and not a smooth combination like the ones I grew up with. I tend to make mine a bit on the big side (I get impatient, plus they always rise more than I expect after shaping them), so having the filling too separate and dry is not that thrilling.

      The key is to grind the poppy seeds after soaking--the cuisinart or blender don't seem to do it, though. (You need a kitchenaid grinder attachment, or work in small batches with a mortar and pestle. I've seen some people suggest a coffee/spice grinder, that might be more on the right track) It's kind of a messy, labor-intensive process. :(
      Some recipes use egg to bind it--I would avoid these (haven't worked for me, at least). Honey seems like a better bet!

      1. Canned filling won't work for me either. I am serious about my poppy seed filling. I have a Hungarian poppy seed grinder, but have never been truly happy with my home-made results. I like Mimi Sheraton's recipe the best of the many I have tried, but the filling is for a coffee cake and the mixture doesn't congeal well enough for hamentashen.

        1. This is the filling I've been using for years, from of all places the Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery (in the Jewish Cookery section), and I love it: Combine 1 cup finely ground poppyseeds, 1 egg yolk, 2 tablespoons honey or sugar (I like honey), 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons finely chopped nuts (walnuts are best, I think). I jigger the amounts slightly each time to get the right consistency. Grind the poppyseeds really finely in a coffee grinder—you have to just keep grinding and grinding until it's almost a paste and the motor threatens to give out. I've never tried soaking the seeds, but haven't had any reason to.

          The accompanying dough recipe is also excellent. It's not too sweet, and more biscuity than cookie-y. Light and fluffy, not at all like those monsters you see in shop windows.

          1. I tried making the filling once, but I much prefer the canned. I get the Solo. I think it's delicious, and I like it extra-sweet.

            I'd probably love the Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery's dough recipe. I like it to be more biscuity.

            If anyone has a dough recipe like that, will you please post it?

            1 Reply
            1. re: puppymomma

              Here's the Women's Day dough recipe I love so much:

              2 1/2 c. sifted a-p flour
              1 T. baking powder
              1 t. salt
              1/4 c. sugar
              1 egg, beaten
              3/4 c. milk
              1/3 c. melted butter

              Sift flour with baking powder, salt, and sugar. Beat egg with milk, then mix with melted butter and pour into center of dry ingredients. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Knead a few times on a lightly floured work surface. Roll or pat to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles, fill, etc. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 min. Makes 15 to 18.