Hamantaschen with Chocolate Ganache and Poppy Seeds

Excerpted from the “The Jewish Holiday Table” by Naama Shefi and the Jewish Food Society (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2024.

Many Purim sweets, like hamantaschen, are shaped to represent the hat, ears, or another part of Haman, the villain of the holiday story. “By eating them, we symbolically erase Haman’s name,” according to Jewish culinary scholar Gil Marks. This recipe for hamantaschen from Yonit offers two different fillings: a traditional poppy seed one and a more modern chocolate ganache. To save time, you could fill the cookies with store-bought jam or chocolate spread. To ensure the best “three-cornered hat” shape, chill the filled and shaped cookies for about 20 minutes in the freezer before baking.

MAKES about 30 cookies


3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (400 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

10 tablespoons (150 g) butter, at room temperature

¾ cup (150 g) sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 large egg white, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon


½ cup (70 g) ground poppy seeds

6 tablespoons (90 ml) whole milk

⅛ cup (25 g) sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg white, lightly beaten


4 ounces (115 g) dark chocolate, chopped (about ¾ cup)

½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream

MAKE THE DOUGH: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until lighter in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add the egg, egg white, vanilla, and lemon zest, and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture and continue mixing on low speed just until the dough comes together into a ball, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides and to the bottom of the bowl to be sure all the flour gets incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to 1 day.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE POPPY SEED FILLING: Combine the ground poppy seeds, milk, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick and spreadable, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and set the filling aside to cool for about 10 minutes (if the filling is too warm, the egg white will set when you add it).

Add the egg white and stir until well blended. Set aside to cool completely.

MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING: Put the chopped chocolate into a small metal bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Immediately remove the cream from the heat, pour it over the chocolate, and let sit for 30 seconds.

Stir the chocolate mixture with a heatproof spatula until it becomes a smooth, silky, and homogenous ganache. Set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to speed the cooling.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

SHAPE AND FILL THE HAMANTASCHEN: Divide the dough in half and keep one half wrapped in plastic while you roll out the other piece. 1. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough portion out into a round that’s just less than ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. The exact shape of the dough round isn’t important, but it’s important to get an even thickness. Using a 3-inch (7.5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as possible. Remove the scraps of dough, cover, and set aside. Set a small bowl of cool water next to the worksurface. 2. Drop 2 teaspoons of the poppy seed filling onto the center of each circle of dough (you should have some filling left over, which you’ll use when you roll the dough scraps to make a few more cookies). 3. Working with one circle at a time, dip your finger into the water and lightly moisten the edge of a circle of dough. 4. Gently pinch the edges of the dough together at three evenly spaced spots, creating three distinct points. Pinch the corners tightly, and shape the sides up so they are neat and even and enclose but do not fully cover the filling, leaving some of it visible in the center. The cookies should look like three-cornered hats. Repeat with the rest of the dough circles, arranging the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets as you work.

Repeat the process with the second piece of dough and the chocolate filling, reserving the dough scraps. Then press the dough scraps together, reroll, and repeat the shaping and filling process, making an even number of poppy seed and chocolate cookies.

Chill the cookies in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Bake the cookies until the edges and undersides are light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a wire rack.