Speculoos Hamantaschen


I've always wanted to try Speculoos, the very trendy cookie butter. Adding it to the hamantaschen updates this traditional cookie. Drizzling chocolate and adding sea salt and pearl sugar elevates them to a gourmet level. 


½ cup butter (or margarine)
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk (or almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour plus more
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Speculoos Cookie Butter for filling (from Trader Joe's)

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped pieces or chips
2 tsp vegetable oil

pearl sugar (optional) I found mine at William Sonoma
thick sea salt (optional)


Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add egg, milk and vanilla until mixed thoroughly.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add dry mixture to wet mixture until incorporated.

Note: if the dough is too soft, increase flour amount by 1/4 cup of flour until more firm.

Chill dough for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Dust your work surface with powdered sugar or flour to keep from sticking. Roll the dough to about ¼ inch thick.

Using a round cookie cutter, cut out and place onto cookie sheet. To keep the dough from sticking to your cutter, dip in powdered sugar or flour before each cut.

Fill cookies with scant 1/2 tsp of speculoos in each round. Place cookies on baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper and place entire baking sheet into the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. This will ensure the cookie does not fall apart while baking.

Bake for 7-8 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely.

Place dark chocolate and vegetable oil in a small glass bowl. Heat in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted. Mix until completely smooth. Use right away.

Use a fork or a small plastic squeeze bottle to drizzle dark chocolate sauce back and forth on cookies. Sprinkle with pearl sugar and a pinch of sea salt if desired. Allow to dry completely on a cooling rack before serving or packaging.

Orange Poppy Seed Hamentaschen

Here is a recipe for Poppy Seed Hamentaschen with a twist. Adding orange zest to the dough and filling and poppy seed to the dough updates this delicious classic. Note to baker: As you can see, no one's triangles are perfect, least of all mine. No matter how yours turn out, I guarantee you they will taste great!


  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (grated outer peel) (from 1 orange)

  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange juice (from zested orange)

  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

  • 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • 3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling


  • ½ cup poppy seeds

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (grated outer peel) (from 1 orange)

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 large egg white

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour


1.     Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment.

2.     To make the dough: In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, orange zest, orange juice and poppy seeds. Add the baking powder and flour and mix until the dough comes together. Knead the dough by hand and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  

3.     To make the filling: In a bowl, mix together the poppy seeds, sugar, zest, cinnamon, egg white, honey and flour.

4.     Divide dough in half and roll out on a floured surface. Continue to add flour to the rolling pin and dough to minimize sticking.

5.     Use a glass about 2 to 3 inches in diameter to cut the dough into circles.

6.     On a parchment lined cookie sheet, transfer the circles, place a teaspoon of filling in the center and then fold in three sides to form a triangle, leaving an opening in the center. Pinch the corners tightly. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

7.     Bake for 12-16 minutes, or until lightly browned. Do not over-bake or they will be too hard. Cool completely. 

From the Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer, available here.

Grandma Schiff’s Carrot Mold

Often times, friendship is akin to a puzzle; the pieces (in this case, the women),  fit together seamlessly, effortlessly and perfectly. This is how it felt when my dearest friend, Julie and I met outside a preschool class nearly 19 years ago.  From that moment on, we and our sons, (Yale and Ben), became best friends.

Over the years, our families have become completely intertwined; and as we have gathered at each other’s lifecycle celebrations, we have come to know the extended families quite well.

Although I never had the opportunity to meet Julie’s grandmother, Rose Schiff, my family grew up on her famous Carrot Mold. It has become a staple at our Shabbat table on Friday nights, as it is at Julie’s as well.  Aside from being absolutely and deliciously addictive, this recipe is the easiest and quickest side dish you will ever whip up. There is no peeling or grating necessary; simply open 4 jars of carrot baby food, (yes, you read that correctly), and combine with the ingredients listed below. How’s that for fast and easy?!


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup Crisco
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups baby food carrots


Cream sugar and Crisco. Beat in egg. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until well mixed. Pour batter into Teflon Jello mold or pretty baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or cake tester comes out clean. 

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