2/26/21 UPDATE: Please check out my NEW and improved, Easy Yeasted Hamantaschen (cheese/nutella/poppy/apple) >>
Growing up in South Africa, we had amazing yeasted sweet cheese Hamantaschen to celebrate Purim, which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from the evil Haman.
The ones I remember were more like a triangular bun, but I kind of like how these have opened up and you can see the filling; think three-cornered Cheese Danish. (How could that be bad?!)
I was inspired by a call from family friend, Manfred Freinkel—owner of the popular Grandma Moses Bakery in Sydney, Australia—to create my own version using my delicious Bulka (traditional cinnamon bun) dough. (If you haven’t make my Bulkas they’re seriously to-die-for and super-easy if you follow my Quick Bulkas YouTube video)
These Hamantashen couldn’t be easier to make!
Simply whip up a batch of Bulka dough (using my easy Quick Bulkas recipe or more detailed original Bulkas recipe)
Roll it out into a rectangle about 1/8 – 1/4-inch (1/2-cm) thick (don’t make them too thick like I did)
Cut out 4 1/2-inch (11-cm) rounds (I use this Ateco Cookie Cutter for Bulkas and Hamantaschen)
Place a small #60 cookie scoop (2 teaspoons) of cold cream cheese filling (recipe below) or Poppy Seed filling (my fave!) or Nutella in the middle.
Poppy Seed (“Mohn” or “Mun”) Filling is a bit of a pain to make from scratch so I sometimes use Solo Poppy Seed Filling—you can get it on Amazon >> https://amzn.to/2ZgcpoK
If you’re up for the task, Rose Levy Beranbaum (my favorite cookbook author) makes a wonderful Poppy Seed Filling: https://app.ckbk.com/recipe/baki38612c03s001ss008r014/poppy-seed-filling
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for a little extra sweetness
Lift up the side closest to you and bring in the other sides to join it in the middle and form a triangle.
Make sure to pinch the seams really well to seal. Use three fingers to pinch the middle together.
Cover loosely with plastic and set aside to double in size for 30 – 45 minutes or refrigerate overnight. (Next time I’m going to bake straight from the refrigerator to see if this helps them retain their shape better. And/or brush around the circle with egg wash before sealing them so they don’t open. Or try turning them seam-side-down so they don’t open up but then they won’t be as pretty)
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
I tried brushing these Nutella offcuts with egg wash instead, but we prefer the texture and appearance with the butter/cinnamon sugar.
Original Bulkas YouTube video (detailed description of how to make/roll out the dough and cut out rounds): https://youtu.be/Pzhu7noo31o
Original Bulkas Recipe: https://ornabakes.com/2020/05/best-bulkas-south-african-cinnamon-buns-rolls-aka-boolkes/
2-minute Quick Bulkas YouTube video: https://youtu.be/2l8_ueMw4ZA
Quick Bulkas Recipe: https://ornabakes.com/2020/09/quick-bulkas-traditional-south-african-cinnamon-rolls/
Let me know if you have any questions!
Happy Baking and Happy Purim!
Sweet Cheese, Poppy Seed, or Nutella Danish Hamantaschen (Yeasted)
- 4 1/2-inch (11-cm) cookie cutter
- Rolling pin
- 1 recipe Quick Bulkas dough https://ornabakes.com/2020/09/quick-bulkas-traditional-south-african-cinnamon-rolls/
- Cheese Filling (cold) or Poppy Seed Filling or Nutella
- Cinnamon Sugar (1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon)
- ¼ cup (56g) melted butter (salted or unsalted)
- Cinnamon Sugar
Cream Cheese Filling (adapted from Myrna Rosen):
- 250g (8oz) cream cheese room temperature
- 1 egg room temperature
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 tablespoons cream
- Cream Cheese: Beat all ingredients on medium speed with the paddle attachment or with a stand mixer until completely smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate (up to 24 hours) until firm.
- Make the dough as directed.
- Using a rolling pin, roll from the middle toward the corners into a rough rectangle about 1/4-inch (1/2-cm) thick.
- Use a 4 1/2-inch (11-cm) round cookie cutter dipped in flour to cut as many rounds as possible. Combine the scraps and cover with plastic.
- Place 2 teaspoons (#60 small cookie scoop) of filling in the center of each round. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- With your thumbs, push up the side facing you and then bring in the other two sides to meet it to form a triangle. Push the dough together/crimp very well to seal it. Use your thumb, index, and middle fingers to pinch the middle together.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until puffy and almost doubled in size (30 - 60 minutes) or refrigerate overnight and then bring to room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven. (I suspect that they will retain their shape better if risen overnight and then baked directly from the refrigerator but I haven't tested that yet. Let me know if you try it before me!)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C CONVECTION/FAN or 350°F/180°C REGULAR.
- Re-seal any parts that have opened up. Brush gently with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 13 - 18 minutes until golden brown; rotate the baking sheet after about 10 minutes and place on a second baking sheet if the bottoms are getting too brown.
- Carefully remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.