I’ve been making hamantaschen for as long as I can remember. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this cookie, it is traditionally made and served during Purim. This joyful holiday celebrates the defeat of the evil Haman, who was the advisor to the king of Persia. We serve the triangular “hamantaschen,” as a representation of the hat that Haman wore.
I’ve always gone the traditional route when making these cookies — a basic, not-too-sweet dough, encasing a jam or poppyseed filling. Nothing overly exciting, right?
I got so excited when I saw this rainbow version that I knew I had to make them — and share the how-to with all of you!
I’ve included detailed instructions, but don’t be alarmed — these take a little time but were actually much easier than I expected! I used my favorite cream cheese dough recipe as the base, and they were as delicious as they were pretty!
Rainbow Hamantaschen! 1 of 9
These multi-colored cookies are the perfect way to celebrate a joyous holiday - and they're actually easier to make than you'd think!
Color the Dough 2 of 9
Use gel or paste food coloring for the most saturated colors. I used the rainbow as my guide here, but you could do ombre, alternating stripes - the sky's the limit!
Slice and Cut! 3 of 9
Make 1/8" slices and place on your prepared baking sheets. Use a glass or cookie cutter to cut out your circles!
Using a 9 x 5 Loaf Pan 4 of 9
Since most people have a 9 x 5 loaf pan, I wanted to show you what to do, as the slices will be wider and the stack will be shorter than if you use an 8 x 4 pan. Simply place one slice atop the other on your baking sheet, as shown. Press the two together to create one large piece, and then cut out your circle. If you're using an 8 x 4 pan the slices will be just the right size and shape.
Rainbow Hamantaschen – Done! 5 of 9
So pretty, right? Purim is a noisy, happy celebration - and these hamataschen will fit right in!
Save the Scraps! 6 of 9
So what do you do with rainbow colored dough scraps? Make tie dye hamantaschen, of course! Gently gather the scraps and press into a disc. Don't overwork the dough or the colors will muddy.
Tie Dye Dough! 7 of 9
Gently roll the dough 1/8 - 1/4" thick - don't gather and re-roll so that the colors stay clean!
Cut and Fill! 8 of 9
Cut out circles as above, brush, fill, fold and bake!
Tie Dyed! 9 of 9
I think I like these tie dyed cookies as much as the rainbow ones!
Idea adapted from Kitchen Tested
Prep Time: 60 minutes (plus time for freezing the dough)
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
3 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1 t vanilla
4 c. flour
3/4 t salt
assorted fillings (raspberry or apricot jam, poppy seed filling, Nutella)
gel or paste food coloring (do not use liquid as it will change the consistency of the dough)
1 egg, beaten with 1 t. water
Line an 8 x 4 or 9 x 5 loaf pan with plastic wrap – one piece in each direction, with the wrap hanging over the sides.
Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla mix till combined. Slowly add flour and salt, beating just till well-incorporated.
Divide the dough into six equal parts. Working with one piece at a time, and wearing plastic gloves, place 1/4 t. of food coloring into the center of the dough. Knead the color in well, until the dough is all one even color. Repeat with remaining dough.
Starting with the red dough, divide it in half and press it out till it’s about the shape and size of your loaf pan. Place the dough “rectangle” into the bottom of the pan and, using your fingers, press it in to fill evenly. Do the same with the remaining five colors, and then repeat, starting with the red dough (you should have two layers of “rainbow” dough).
Press down gently but firmly to ensure that all of the colors are touching. Wrap pan with plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. Take the dough out of the freezer and let sit on your counter for 5-10 minutes.
Using a large, sharp knife, slice the dough into 1/8″ slices. Place the slices on your baking sheets. If you used a 9 x 5 pan, place two rectangles together (for a total of 4 layers of each color) and press gently to attach.
Cut circles out of each slice with a 2 1/2″ – 3″ cookie cutter (you can also use a drinking glass). Put the scraps to the side; these will be used to make “tie dye” hamantaschen!
Brush the edges of each circle with your egg wash and place 1 t. of filling into the center. Fold the dough into a triangle shape, pinching the corners tightly to seal.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or till the bottoms are lightly golden brown. Cool in pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make tie dye hamantaschen: gently flatten the scraps on a lightly floured work surface. Roll to an 1/8-1/4″ thickness, cut out circles and fill and shape as above.