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Shanit Schwartz’s Fig Hamentashen


Celebrate Purim with Hamantaschen

Shanit Keter Schwartz, playwright/performer of Daughter of the Wicked recalls how her
Yemenite family celebrated Purim in Israel when she was a child.

“During Purim, we would celebrate dancing with tin drums, flutes and noisemakers all the way to temple. We would go to read the Megillat Esther and have a Yemnite feast with all our favorite foods. My mother had a fig tree in our back yard and she would pick figs to put in the hamentashen that she brought to eveyone.“

Hamantaschen Fig Filling

6 ounces figs chopped

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cardamon

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.

Hamantaschen Recipe

Hamantaschen Cookie Dough Ingredients

  • 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


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.

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.


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