Celebrate Purim with these buttery, tender-centered and crispy-edged hamantaschen. The cookies are filled with a ma’amoul-inspired mixture of jammy Medjool dates and pistachios, and sweetened with fresh orange juice and cinnamon. They are just the right amount of decadent and make a lovely addition to a Purim meal or mishloach manot basket. They also freeze well, so keep some on hand for any time a cookie craving strikes!
Date and Pistachio Hamantaschen
Makes about 30 cookies
- For the dough:
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter or non-hydrogenated margarine (like Earth Balance), at room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- For the filling:
- 1½ cups Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (see note)
- ½ cup roasted, unsalted pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Make the dough: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a stand mixer (or using a handheld electric mixer and a large bowl), beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla and orange zest and beat to fully combine.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, beating on low after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until a pliable dough comes together. If the dough looks too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. If it looks too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Gather the dough and gently knead it a few times, then form into two flat disks. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
- Meanwhile, make the filling: In a food processor, pulse the dates, pistachios, salt, confectioners sugar, orange juice and cinnamon together until a thick, textured paste forms. (Note: Medjool dates tend to be juicier than other varieties, even when dried. But if they seem too dry to easily chop in your food processor, you can plump them in a bowl of hot water by soaking for 10 minutes, then draining well.)
- Assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove half the dough from the fridge (keep the other half wrapped and chilled). On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter (or a glass), cut out as many rounds as possible and carefully transfer them to the prepared baking sheets. Gather the scraps, re-roll and cut out additional rounds.
- Scoop out a rounded teaspoon of the date-pistachio filling, place it in the center of each dough round and lightly flatten with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Fold the left side of the dough round over at an angle, followed by the right side. Fold the bottom flap up, tucking one end under the side of the flap to make a pocket (the filling should still be visible in the center). Gently pinch the corners to seal. Repeat process with the remaining dough and filling.
- Bake the cookies until lightly golden and browned at the corners, 15 to 18 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.