Once upon a time, hamantaschen—the 3-cornered pastries traditionally enjoyed on Purim—were decidedly sweet, and pretty much always made with a few select fillings, namely mohn (poppy seed), lekvar (prune), apricot or berry jam, or maybe chocolate chips or lemon curd if you wanted to get a little wild. Now, it's practically a kosher blogger/foodie/cookbook author rite of passage to devise imaginative new takes on hamantaschen, and you'll find a few of the best right here. Be sure to check... back, as this list will continue to evolve!
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Because the Purim story takes place in Shushan, or ancient Persia, rose water and pistachios -- important ingredients from Persian Jewish cuisine -- are featured as flavor touchpoints in these hamantaschen. The sugar cookie-style dough is scented with rosewater, and the homemade pistachio marzipan filling is flavored with a touch of cardamom.
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If you love the idea of chocolatey hamantaschen but are underwhelmed by the non-meltiness of a chocolate chip filling, why not shake things up a little and put the chocolate in the dough? Cocoa powder gives this unique hamantaschen dough a delicious chocolate flavor and cookie-like crunch that complements a wide range of fillings. It's also easy to work with, so it's a good choice if you've got little helpers in the kitchen.
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The Spruce's very own Middle Eastern Food writer, Anita Schecter, owns up to a serious obsession with hamantaschen, so you can bet that these honey date hamantaschen are absolutely delish. Schecter spoons a simple homemade honey date filling into a buttery dough flavored with orange juice and zest in her current favorite iteration of the Purim treats.
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Poppy seeds are a traditional hamantaschen ingredient, but there's no reason they have to be confined to a dense, sticky filling. Take inspiration from poppy seed cookies, and mix a tablespoon or two into the dough instead. Fill the seed-speckled hamantaschen with homemade or storebought lemon curd for a classic flavor pairing that feels very fresh. (By the way, if the pucker of lemon curd isn't your thing, poppy dough pairs nicely with jams or marmalade, too).