Hamantaschen Cookies Recipe

Makes 48 Servings

  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 15-18

You don’t need to observe the Jewish holiday Purim to make these buttery cherry-filled cookies. This Hamantaschen recipe appeals to any sweet tooth.

Purim translates to “lots,” and its cheerful celebrations include everything from doing charity work to wearing costumes to exchanging gifts of food.

Legend has it the Hamantaschen pastry is named for a villain, Haman, whose plan to kill Jewish people of the 4th-century Persian Empire was thwarted by Esther, Queen of Persia. Purim is a centuries-long tradition of revelry in her victory.    

Hamantaschen cookies are said to represent everything from Babylonian-era dice to Haman’s triangular hat to his ears. Regardless of what inspired them, we think you’ll find this recipe’s a winner.



1 cup granulated sugar
1/2  cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2  teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup apricot or cherry preserves


  1. Place granulated sugar, butter and salt in a food processor; pulse until crumbly. Add egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla. Pulse to combine.
  2. Once combined, add wheat germ; pulse once or twice. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, pulsing after each addition, until dough begins to form and pull away from sides. Gather and press dough together; shape into a disc.
  3. After the discs are formed, wrap them in plastic wrap; refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Beat cream cheese and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm slightly.
  5. Place dough between sheets of parchment paper. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove paper. Cut out circles with a 2-3/4-inch round cutter. If the dough is too soft, dip the cutter in flour to make it easier to cut. Gather dough scraps and chill before re-rolling.
  6. Preheat ovenr to 350 degrees F. Place about 1/2 teaspoon cream cheese mixture and 1/2 teaspoon preserves in center of each dough round. Do not use more than 1 teaspoon filling total per cookie, or they will not hold their shape and may leak during baking. Pinch the edge of each cookie to form three corners. Some filling will show in the center. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 to 2 inches apart. Refrigerate 15 minutes before baking.
  7. Bake cookies for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets on wire racks 1 to 2 minutes to firm slightly. Remove to racks; cool completely.


Cook's Tip

Always cool the baking sheets before baking more cookies. A hot baking sheet will melt the dough and cookie edges may burn or cookies can lose their shape.