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32 Crazy Hamantaschen For Purim

These are Hamantaschen.

These are Hamantaschen.

They are the official cookies of the Jewish holiday Purim.

They are the official cookies of the Jewish holiday Purim.
Image by David Silverman/Staff / Getty Images

Marked by costume parties and copious drinking, Purim is a raucous Jewish holiday that celebrates a foiled plot to kill all of the Jews in ancient Persia.

They are named after this guy, Haman.

They are named after this guy, Haman.

Haman was one of the Persian king’s royal advisers who had it in for the Jews, and especially for a particular Jew named Mordecai. Unfortunately for Haman, the king took a liking to Mordecai’s beautiful niece, Esther, and made her his Queen. By wielding her royal influence, Esther convinced the king to save the Jews and kill Haman instead.

Hamantaschen translates to “Haman’s pockets” and there are a lot of theories about what they represent — his hat, his ears, his pockets full of evil bribe money.

More importantly, they are triangular cookies traditionally made out of a delicious shortbread dough and filled with fruit preserves, poppy seeds, or marmalade. In celebration of their salvation, Jews eat them during Purim, which is on February 23rd and 24th this year.

The traditional flavors are apricot, fig, prunes, strawberry — that kind of thing.

The traditional flavors are apricot, fig, prunes, strawberry — that kind of thing.
Source: theshiksa.com

But there’s a crazy world of Hamantaschen out there!

But there's a crazy world of Hamantaschen out there!

Here are the standouts.

1. Caramel Apple Hamantaschen

Caramel Apple Hamantaschen

A dulce de leche and stewed apple filling turn Hamantaschen into mini apple pies by any other name. Find the recipe here.

2. Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Savory Pizza Hamantaschen

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Savory Pizza Hamantaschen

Jews are encouraged to drink freely as they listen to the story of Purim being read annually from the Scroll of Esther (also known as the Megillah). Why not substitute the traditional wine and Hamantaschen with these Hamanpizzas and beer?

3. Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Hamantaschen

Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Hamantaschen

This recipe substitutes more traditional fruit fillings with a thick caramel sauce poured inside after baking.

4. Coffee Cake Hamantaschen

Coffee Cake Hamantaschen

This cookie’s streusel-inspired filling of apple butter, brown sugar, and assorted chopped nuts is sure to give biscotti a run for its money as a coffee accompaniment.

5. Candy Cane Cheesecake Hamantaschen

Candy Cane Cheesecake Hamantaschen

This recipe allows Jews to appropriate the candy cane for their own holiday. They’re not just for Christmas anymore!

6. French Onion Soup Hamantaschen

French Onion Soup Hamantaschen

In addition to Gruyere cheese, Worcestershire sauce is the key. Find a detailed recipe here.

7. Gluten-Free Hamantaschen

Gluten-Free Hamantaschen

Yes, it’s possible! Celiac sufferers rejoice.

8. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hamantaschen

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hamantaschen

Photo and recipe by Amy Spiro at The Nosh Pit.

9. Chocolate, Raspberry and Coconut Hamantaschen

Chocolate, Raspberry and Coconut Hamantaschen

Try this trifecta of awesome like this.

10. Rum and Raisin Hamantaschen

Rum and Raisin Hamantaschen

A Trinidadian filling of macerated prunes, raisins, currants, and Angostura bitters soaked in rum or cherry brandy gives the traditional dried fruit filling a boozy twist. Photo and recipe from TriniGourmet.com.

11. Gingerbread Hamantashen with Spiced Apple Filling

Gingerbread Hamantashen with Spiced Apple Filling

Who says gingerbread is only for Christmas? Ginger, allspice, cloves, and molasses give seasonal spice to the traditional shortbread base in this recipe.

12. White Chocolate and Cherry Hamantaschen

White Chocolate and Cherry Hamantaschen

Sweet and sour, just like the heroic Mordechai and villainous Haman. Get the recipe here, created by Alison and Jeff Nathan.

13. Pumpkin Whole Wheat Hamantaschen

Pumpkin Whole Wheat Hamantaschen

This variation is essentially a Purim-adapted pumpkin pie empanada.

14. Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Hamantaschen

Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Hamantaschen

This salty-sweet combo is tried and true.

15. Rose-Water Almond Hamantaschen

Rose-Water Almond Hamantaschen

Since the story of Purim takes place in Persia according to the Megillah, the characteristically Persian flavors of rose-water and almond make this recipe regionally appropriate.

16. Fruit Hamantartlets

Fruit Hamantartlets

Ditch conventional dried or jelly fruit fillings in favor of these fresh fruit “hamantartlets”.

17. Mediterranean Hamantaschen

Mediterranean Hamantaschen

This homage to the Purim story’s Mediterranean setting combines tomato, basil, and goat cheese for a simple, savory appetizer.

18. Hamantaschen Truffle Pops

Hamantaschen Truffle Pops

Abandon the traditional cookie altogether with this trendy cake-pop adaptation.

19. Samoa Hamantaschen

Samoa Hamantaschen

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season, and this Samoa-inspired hamantaschen delivers the much beloved toasty coconut, caramel, and chocolatey drizzle in triangular form.

20. Baklava Hamantaschen

Baklava Hamantaschen

Baklava is a traditional Persian pastry made of layered phyllo dough, mixed nuts (commonly pistachios and almonds), and a heavy dousing of rose water-infused syrup and cardamom. This recipe swaps rose-water for apricot as a nod to traditional Hamantaschen fillings, while taking the cookie back to its biblical roots.

21. Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Hamantaschen

Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Hamantaschen

Gluten-allergic folks can celebrate not only Uncle Mordechai’s heroic rescuing of the Jews, but also this rice and coconut flour variant on the classic shortbread Hamantaschen dough.

22. PB & J Hamantaschen

PB & J Hamantaschen

A dollop of peanut butter turns a humdrum jelly-filled Hamantaschen into a whole new ooey-gooey experience.

23. Lemon Bar Hamantaschen

Lemon Bar Hamantaschen

A tangy lemon bar encased in shortbread? Yes please.

24. Zebra Hamantaschen

Zebra Hamantaschen

This swirled light and dark confection embodies the Übermensches and evil tyrants present in all biblical stories.

25. Spelt Brown Sugar Hamantashen with Red Currant Agave Filling

Spelt Brown Sugar Hamantashen with Red Currant Agave Filling

Purim goes gourmet with this elegant Hamantaschen upgrade.

26. Savory Meat Pie Hamantaschen

Savory Meat Pie Hamantaschen

From afar these may look like traditional Hamantaschen, but take a bite to discover they more closely resemble beef empanadas. Give meat-filled Hamantaschen a shot with this recipe.

27. Chocolate & Peanut Butter “Inside Out” Hamantaschen

Chocolate & Peanut Butter "Inside Out" Hamantaschen

Try this Reese’s-esque cookie interpretation.

28. Midnight Mint Hamantaschen

Midnight Mint Hamantaschen

This bittersweet and minty Hamantaschen recipe was inspired by the classic Girl Scout Thin Mint.

29. Chocolate Raspberry Hamantaschen

Chocolate Raspberry Hamantaschen

The use of almond flour gives this classic pairing of chocolate and raspberries a nutty, gluten-free spin. Find the recipe here.

30. Marble Coconut Hamantaschen

Marble Coconut Hamantaschen

The recipe for these black and white Hamantaschen is quite involved, but the outcome is almost too beautiful to eat (but presumably too delicious not to).

31. Cardamom Scented Hamantaschen with Pear & Goat Cheese Filling

Cardamom Scented Hamantaschen with Pear & Goat Cheese Filling

Though not a cookie, this savory take on the Hamantaschen makes a nice, arguably more nutritious complement to its dessert brethren.

32. Candy Hamantaschen

Candy Hamantaschen

The existence of rainbow gummy bear, gummy worm, and Toblerone-filled Hamantaschen really drives home this cookie’s endless versatility. Take a look at this tutorial.

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