Have you ever tried making fig hamantaschen? These buttery cookies are a treat we look forward to each spring. If this is your first time to bake them, you will find this to be an easy hamentaschen recipe to hang onto anytime the craving strikes.
Symbolism is Baked in
One of the traditional foods for the Jewish festival of Purim is a triangular cookie known as hamantaschen, said to represent the three-cornered hat worn by the Purim story’s villain, Haman.
Get Your Fill
Typically filled with fruit jam or a poppy seed paste, the popularity of hamantaschen has shown them go savory as well as sweet in recent years. For this easy hamantaschen recipe, cardamom adds a hint of spice to the figs. Coffee is another great flavor to combine with figs as done here. Or, even star anise can add something extra special.
What Kind of Figs to Use
In this easy hamentaschen recipe, a fig puree is made using Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Dried Figs. They provide a color contrast and satisfying sweet filling for the buttery, orange-scented cookies. You could also try using our Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Golden Dried Figs for a delicate nutty sweetness instead—Golden Figs are marvelous with cardamom.
To Dip or Not to Dip
For the chocolate lovers, dip a corner of fig hamantaschen into melted chocolate for an extra-special treat! This also gives them a decorative flair and we like to sprinkle on extra orange zest and even crushed pistachios for contrast of textures and colors.
The fig hamantaschen will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container…if they last that long after baking them!
Fig Hamantaschen Recipe
Hamantaschen Cookie Dough
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- 2 eggs large
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 orange
- 6 ounces Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cardamon
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- orange zest and crushed pistachios for garnish, optional
Make the Hamantaschen Dough
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and process for a few seconds until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract and the zest of the orange. Add the egg mixture to the food processor and process for thirty seconds.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, gather into a ball and knead until it comes together.
- Divide dough in half and form into two discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Prepare the Fig Filling:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the chopped figs, sugar, 3/4 of a cup water, and the juice from the orange. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the figs have softened, about 6-8 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and the cardamom. Allow to cool slightly. Puree the fig mixture with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor and puree.
Make the Cookies
- Remove one of the disks from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to roll out. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness. (Do not roll them too thin or the filling will leak.)
- Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, or round drinking glass, cut out circles of dough.. Gather up the scraps and roll them out a second time to cut out more circles. (You should be able to get a dozen circles.) Place 6 circles on each cookie sheet.
Fill the Fig Hamantaschen
- Spoon a teaspoon of the fig puree in the center of the dough circle.
- Create the classic triangle shape for the hamantaschen, by doing a series of three folds. First, fold one side of the cookie in so that the edge comes to the middle of the jam filling. Fold the second side in the same way and so that it partially covers the first side. Finally, fold the remaining side up and in so that it overlaps the other two sides. Pinch the seams together. Chill the cookies for at least ten minutes prior to baking.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining disk of dough.
Make the Chocolate Glaze
- Place the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on medium power for 30 seconds. Stir. (If chocolate is not completely melted, continue microwaving for thirty second-intervals and stirring until melted.)
- Dip one corner of each cookie into the melted chocolate. While chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on orange zest and/or crushed pistachios, if using. Return cookies to a cooking rack to allow the chocolate to harden.
I made these for Purim, but was a bit disappointed with the outcome; My dough was quite soft so I’m wondering if I should have worked more into it? I rolled out to 1/4” and used a 4” cutter, but only got 18 cookies that were soft and puffy and I had a ton of leftover filling when using the 1 tsp. called for in each cookie so I certainly will try another attempt at the dough.
Barb- thanks for the comments and questions. When you try the recipe again, perhaps instead of working the dough more, roll it into a ball in plastic wrap to chill in the refrigerator to set up (I find that a finger nudge should leave an indent but should not be entirely firm). Chilling cookie dough helps the fat (in this case, butter) solidify a bit more, making it easier to roll, cut, and work with (and also giving more defined shapes). As for the filling, if you do find you have extra after using the 1 teaspoon in the Hamantaschen, try it on toast, as a sandwich condiment, or even swirled into yogurt to sweeten it just enough.