Purim is one of the most exciting holidays on the Jewish calendar, yet its signature food, hamantaschen, is not! Triangle shaped and traditionally filled with uninspired flavors, it’s no wonder this pastry is frequently disappointing. Fortunately, pastry chef Paula Shoyer is on a mission to transform hamantaschen from bland and boring to tasty and tantalizing.

This recipe is courtesy of “The Holiday Kosher Baker” by Paula Shoyer.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Storage: In the fridge for up to four days; reheat in the oven until crisp

Advanced prep: May be made four days in advance

Spanokopita Hamantaschen

Yields 24

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar spice
  • 3 tablespoons soy cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover two cookie sheets or pans with parchment paper.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and add some salt. Add the spinach leaves and cook for 30 seconds. Drain. Once the spinach cools, squeeze out as much water as you can.
  3. To prepare the filling, place the spinach on a cutting board and chop roughly. Place into a medium bowl. Add the chopped onion, lemon juice, oil and za’atar and mix well with a fork. Add the cream cheese and mash into the spinach as best as possible. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. When the pastry is thawed, sprinkle a little flour on the parchment and unroll the pastry on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry to smooth out the creases. Every few rolls, lift up the dough and sprinkle a little flour underneath.
  5. Use a 3-inch drinking glass or round cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles. Use a metal flat-blade spatula to lift the circle and place on another spot on the parchment. Brush the circle with the beaten egg. Place a generous teaspoon of filling in the center and then fold in the three sides toward the middle to form a triangle, leaving a small opening in the center. Pinch the three sides together very tightly. Place on the prepared cookie sheets.
  6. When all of the pastries are shaped, pinch the corners tightly a second time. Brush pastries with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and on the sides.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

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