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The Easiest Hamantaschen Hack Ever

Falling Traditional Jewish cookies Hamantaschen or hamans ears for Purim holiday. Hand drawn watercolor illustration isolated on white background

While some of us have spent the first year of this global pandemic at home, perfecting challah or sourdough recipes, others have had… well, other things on their minds.

With Purim coming up on February 25, a lot of us still want to make the quintessential cookie of the season: hamantaschen. But a lot of us are also exhausted from pandemic parenting, and surviving, and all of that fun stuff.

In a “regular” year (remember those?), maybe this would be the one occasion we’d get our hands dirty and make our own dough. But this year, we’re all about time-saving tips — including any family-friendly hacks that will allow us to make and enjoy the delicious triangle-shaped cookies without much of a fuss.

Yes, we already have a wonderful hack for how to make super-easy, two-ingredient hamantaschen using pie crusts. But this hack — which calls for store-bought cookie dough — is even more more family-friendly!  Unlike made-from-scratch hamantaschen dough, or pie crust that you may get at the store, most tubes of cookie dough are safe to eat raw. That means this cooking activity is great for kids who love to taste ingredients as they go (i.e., all kids), plus cookie dough has a familiar, nostalgic appeal for many of us. And while pie dough may be a bit harder to find, pre-made cookie dough in some shape or form seems to always be available at grocery stores. A Purim miracle!

These will not be your prettiest hamantaschen — sugar cookies love to spread, which means it’s hard to fully control their shape. But they will be adorable, and you might feel less precious about them because you didn’t spend an afternoon making the dough. Plus, remember: imperfect hamantaschen are still delicious.

Here’s how to make these yummy, super-easy treats:

What you need:
Sugar cookie dough (whatever is available at the supermarket)
Fillings: cookie butter, jam, chocolate chips (minis are great), Nutella, sweetened cream cheese, or whatever else strikes your fancy
Sugar
Egg for egg wash (OPTIONAL)
Parchment paper (and wax paper, if you have it)
Baking sheet

Recipe:
1.
Cover your counter with parchment paper and wax paper, since this dough is STICKY!
2. Put some sugar down to keep the cookies from sticking.
3. Depending on the type of dough you bought, roll the cookie dough in the sugar, then roll it into a ball and press down. If the cookie is already circle-shaped, you can just cover it in sugar on both sides and press down.
4. Fill your cookies (about 1/2 teaspoon of filling) with whatever your heart desires.
5. Take your fingers in a triangle shape, put them outside of the circle, and pull them all together to fold the hamantaschen into a triangle. Pinch down the corners well and make it very pointy because the dough will spread. (You can watch Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder do this in the video, below.)
6. Put your hamantaschen on a tray with parchment paper, placing them fairly far apart. (You’ll really only want about 5 to 6 per small tray).
7. OPTIONAL: Glaze your cookies with an egg wash to help them stick together and give them a shine. You can sprinkle some sprinkles on top at this stage; the egg wash will help them stick.
8. Put them in the freezer for about an hour to help them retain their shape.
9. Bake in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes until they get golden.

Voila! Imperfect yet delicious hamantaschen that are super easy to make with your kids!

Watch Rabbi Ruth make them below:

Image via Daria Ustiugova / Getty Images

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