We’re on a bit of a seed kick lately over at Epicurious, have you noticed? Between the Seedy Power Sprinkle (a crunchy, put-it-on-everything topping from this year’s COOK90 meal plan) and the loaded Power Butter (an amped-up, slightly sweetened chia-pumpkin-sesame spread), we’ve clearly fallen for the hearty, textural element that a blend of seeds can provide. So when tasked with creating an updated take on hamantaschen, it felt on-brand to go the seed-forward route. I’m not gonna call these Power Cookies, but please know that I definitely thought about it.
It also didn’t hurt that poppy seeds are already a common hamantasch filling. To play up their nutty flavor, we paired the poppy with sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds, and added a few spoonfuls of tahini to the caramelized honey that holds them all together. The cookies are sweet and savory, crunchy and chewy, with granola bar vibes but a dessert destiny. With any luck, they might just become your new favorite spin on the classic.
The cookies are sweet and savory, crunchy and chewy, with granola bar vibes but a dessert destiny.
To make All the Seeds Hamantaschen, a powerful addition to any cookie plate, first get your dough together—it will need to refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before you can roll it out. This dough is made with butter and cream cheese, a combo that is reminiscent of rugelach and does a great job keeping things tender and malleable during the cutting and shaping process. A bit of orange zest adds brightness and lift.
While the dough chills, caramelize the honey: this will be the basis of your filling. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, the honey will bubble and foam, then turn dark amber and start to smell toasty. You’re going to keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally with a heat-proof spatula, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the honey reads 300°F. Getting the honey to this stage means that it will firm up easily when you’re making your filling balls (more on those in a moment), but soften again when baked into the cookies, becoming a delightfully chewy center studded with seeds.
Once you hit that temp, you’ll pull the pot of honey from the heat and stir in the tahini and a pinch of salt before pouring the finished caramel over your collection of seeds. They’re waiting for you in a heat-proof bowl because you read the recipe all the way through before you even started, right? Right.
Working quickly now, use a teaspoon and your hands to roll the mixture into balls and set aside. The seedy, caramelly gloop (it’s delicious, I swear) will firm up as it cools, so don’t take a break; scoop, roll, and set aside filling balls until you’ve used everything in the bowl. You’ll have about two dozen balls total.
Don’t stress assembly on these bad boys—hamantaschen are pretty dealer’s choice in terms of shaping technique, as long as you end up with a vague triangle. It helps to shape your cookies directly on a parchment-lined sheet pan, so move your rounds of dough there as you cut them out (about 12 per sheet), then brush with a slick of egg wash (we add a bit of water and pinch of salt to ours) to ensure that everything stays sealed.
The Epi staff is split between Team Fold and Team Pinch. For the former—which gives you hamantaschen like the ones in the photo at the top of this post, because our food maven Anna Stockwell, who styled the photo, is Team Fold—simply fold three sides of the rounds up and over the filling ball at the center, overlapping at the corners, and press gently to seal. To go the pinch route, which is preferred by our Digital Director David Tamarkin, lift three sides of the dough round to pinch together at each corner, resulting in a pointier and slightly taller cookie, like these. Don’t worry if there are any gaps around the filling ball once you complete your shaping; the filling will puff up and soften in the oven, filling in any available space.
Now a final brush of egg wash on the outside of each cookie, an extra sprinkle of seeds (poppy and sesame, for contrasting color), and a few minutes in the oven is all that stands between you and a super seedy cookie break. They might not officially get "power" in their name, but they definitely pack a punch, as a holiday dessert or 2 p.m. desk-side treat.Kendra Vaculin
Originally Appeared on Epicurious