The holiday of Purim will be here soon and that means one thing around here, hamantashen. Hamantashen are triangular cookies usually filled with jam or jelly. They are meant to resemble the ear or hat of the antagonist from the Purim story, Haman. As I have stated in the past, I am not a baker. Ask me to roast a big honking piece of meat, no problem, saute some vegetables, I can do that, but cookies and cakes are just not my speed. I usually leave the baking to my lovely wife, Ronit. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating baked goods of all sorts, but making them is just not my thing. That being said Purim wouldn’t be the same without hamantashen, so I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a shot.
As much as I love a good sugar cookie style hamantashen with a jam filling, for this recipe I wanted a hamantashen that was a little different. I also wanted something with contrast and a pop of color. It’s still pretty cold in Chicago, so I was drawn to the warmer flavors of ginger and cinnamon and winter squash. Gingerbread seemed like an obvious choice with its dark color and strong flavor. A pumpkin pie filling gives these hamantashen textural and chromatic contrast. The idea was also inspired by the fact that my kids are going through a Harry Potter phase which is the theme for our costumes and mishloach manot. Pumpkin seems to a recurring culinary theme in the wizarding world so I figured why not. Let us know what your favorite flavor hamantashen is in the comment.
Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie Hamantashen Recipe
A little something different than your average jelly filled hamantashen. The darker colored dough with the bright orange filling gives these some great visual appeal and the the warm flavor profile of the ginger and cinnamon really makes them pop in the flavor department.
- 5 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Cup Molasses
- 2 tbsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tbsp Ground Clove
- 2 tbsp Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp Nutmeg
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 Large Butternut Squash
- 1/4 tbsp Real Maple Syrup Not pancake syrup
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tbsp Nutmeg
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon
- 3" Round Pastry Ring or Cookie Cutter
- Stand Mixer With whisk and dough hook attachments
- Cookie Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Aluminum Foil
Using your stand mixer with the whisk attached beat together the eggs, vanilla, molasses, oil, and brown sugar until thoroughly combined
Switch to the dough hook and add the flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Mix on low until the dough starts to come together. It should look like small pebbles at this point.
Slowly start adding the water a little bit at a time until the dough starts to come together. It should take about a 1/4 cup but you may need a little more or less. Once it comes together, stop adding water and let it mix a little longer until it forms a smooth ball.
Wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Using a heavy serrated knife cut the squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle on the maple syrup and then sprinkle on the salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Put the two halves back together and wrap in foil. Bake until soft, about 90 minutes.
Allow the squash to cool and the scoop out the flesh from the skin using a large metal spoon. Using a fork or a potato masher, mash until you achieve the desired consistency. If the mixture seems a bit wet feel free to drain out some of the liquid.
Roll out your dough about 1/4" thick and cut 3" rounds. Place a 1 teaspoon of your filling in the middle and fold the edges up in to a triangle.
Place the hamantashen on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until they start to brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. Allow the hamantashen to cool and serve or wrap and freeze.
Ok now that the baking is done I am going to go smoke a brisket. While I do that don’t forget to check out Rachel’s latest hamantaschen recipe: Blackberry Cheesecake Hamantashen! or some of our other hamantaschen recipes: