Poppy Seed Hamantaschen

by Ben Miller

Dont eat these if you need to pass a drug test anytime soon.

Don't eat these if you need to pass a drug test anytime soon.

I didn’t even realize that Purim was this past week until I saw a post on Mark Bittman’s blog about making the perfect hamantaschen. Inspired by the post, I decided to try and create my own hamantaschen using the dough recipe on Bitten, but with a poppy seed filling instead of the prune one provided.

The results were quite good. It actually tasted pretty close to the hamantaschen I’d bought before the store. A few caveats I would add though. The dough has to rise overnight so there is a planning element here. Second, poppy seeds are shockingly expensive. I bought two 2.5 ounce jars at Safeway for about $7 each, and that barely got me enough to make the recipe. Also, make sure that you do a good job pinching the edges together, if you don’t, the hamantaschen will fall apart during baking. Finally, I halved the Bitten dough recipe and got 25 hamantaschen out of it, which was about perfect for the amount of filling I made.

Poppy Seed Hamantaschen

Dough recipe can be found on Bitten here. It’s actually really interesting because the instructions are very similar to how one would make fresh pasta, using a dough well and then adding the wet ingredients. I had some trouble doing this because you add almost too many things to the center, but if the walls start folding, just start mixing in flour as fast as possible, that will help you from making a mess.

Filling recipe can be found here.

I’m not going to give the dough recipe because there is already a lengthy description on Bittman’s blog. The filling ingredients and instructions are below.

Poppy Seed Hamantaschen

Poppy Seed Hamantaschen

Poppy Seed Filling

1 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons raisins
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Combine poppy seeds and milk in a small pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Once the mixture has thickened, add raisins, sugar and honey. Let it cook a few more minutes to re-thicken (about five minutes).
  3. Take off heat and add lemon juice and zest and butter. Allow it to cool before putting the filling in your dough.

8 responses to “Poppy Seed Hamantaschen

  1. This sounds good and I hope to try it soon. With regards to the poppy seeds, this is one thing that I would go to Whole Foods for. Few people seem to know this but for bulk grains, beans, seeds, and a few other things, Whole Foods actually has amazingly cheap prices. For example a glass spice jar of sesame seeds can set you back anywhere from 3-8 dollars. But you can actually get organic sesame seeds in bulk from Whole Foods for $1.99 a pound.

  2. A (seemingly cheaper) alternative to making the poppy seed filling is to purchase it already-made. I found this 12.5 oz filling: http://tinyurl.com/dlqwnn for about $3 in a local grocery. My hamantaschen came out quite good.

  3. queen esther

    those are beautiful, little hamantaschen!

    with your extra poppy seeds, perhaps you would like to bake a golden challah for shabbat!
    this is guaranteed, the best challah recipe ever….

  4. Yummy – thanks for posting! I can’t wait to try this! I love poppy seed hamantashen.

    I have found poppy seeds to be fairly inexpensive at International markets. If you have any around, it is worth a looksey.

  5. Seconding Michele here- you can get voluminous bags of poppy seeds at Middle Eastern or Indian groceries for a pittance.

  6. Prune hamentaschen rock. Poppy seed is good but the seeds get stuck in your teeth.

    You missed purim? But it’s one of the most fun holidays! It encourages you to put on a disguise and drink copious amounts of alcohol.

  7. Pingback: It’s Purim. Time for Hamantaschen! « Diva Indoors: Food, with love

  8. I have a whole wheat-white flour recipe for the dough and used your poppyseed filling. I took ’em to a potluck at a biodynamic farm. Best response ever: the farmer who grew up Orthodox asked for the recipe, hadn’t been practicing for years and the taste really brought him back. The irony? I’m not even Jewish! Thanks so much for sharing! Halving the recipe was ideal.

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