How do you get hamantaschen to stick together?

Hamantaschen are triangular-shaped cookies that are traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim. They are filled with jam or other sweet fillings and are meant to resemble the hat or pockets of Haman, the villain in the Purim story. While delicious, hamantaschen can be tricky to make because it’s easy for the cookies to break apart or for the filling to leak out. So how do you get the three corners of the hamantaschen to seal and stick together?

Use the Right Dough

The key to getting hamantaschen to stick together starts with the dough. The dough needs to be easy to work with and mold without cracking or breaking apart. Here are some tips for dough:

  • Use a recipe specifically for hamantaschen, not a sugar cookie or shortbread dough which may be too delicate.
  • Look for a dough recipe with some fat content such as margarine or oil to keep the dough pliable.
  • Avoid overworking the dough which can make it tough. Mix just until combined.
  • Chill the dough before rolling. Chilled dough is firmer and easier to shape.
  • Roll the dough to an even thickness, about 1/4 inch thick, so the cookies bake evenly.

The right hamantaschen dough should be firm but still easy to mold without cracking. Test a small piece of dough first to ensure it has the right consistency before rolling and filling the cookies.

Use the Right Filling

The filling you use for your hamantaschen also affects how well they hold together. The filling should be thick enough to stay put inside the cookie without leaking out. Here are some tips for fillings:

  • Jam or preserves work well since they are naturally thick. Apricot, raspberry, strawberry, cherry, and poppy seed fillings are traditional.
  • Cook down chunky fruit fillings on the stovetop first to evaporate excess liquid.
  • Whip cream cheese or nut butter fillings thoroughly so they become dense and stiff.
  • Add some cornstarch or ground nuts to runny fillings to thicken them up.
  • Avoid fillings that are too chunky or coarse since the pieces can poke holes in the dough. Puree berries for fruit fillings.

Use about 1-2 teaspoons of filling per cookie, depending on size. Overstuffing can cause the filling to leak out. Spoon the filling onto one corner of the dough triangle, rather than the middle, so it’s easier to seal the edges.

Seal the Edges Well

Shaping the hamantaschen is key for getting the three corners to stick together. Make sure to thoroughly seal the edges of the triangle after spooning in the filling. Here are some tips for shaping:

  • Use the tines of a fork to firmly press the edges of the dough together around the filling. Start at one corner and work towards the other side.
  • Pinch the corners together using your fingers first, then reinforce with the fork.
  • Moisten the edges of the dough lightly with water or egg wash before sealing to help them stick together better.
  • Twist the corners slightly as you seal them for extra sticking power.
  • Make sure no gaps or holes remain in the sealed edges or the filling will leak out.

Getting a tight seal is important for keeping those corners together. Take your time working the edges and don’t be afraid to re-seal any parts that pop open.

Refrigerate Before Baking

Giving the shaped hamantaschen time to chill in the fridge before baking also helps the dough keep its form. Here’s how:

  • Arrange shaped hamantaschen on a baking sheet or plate and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  • The chill allows the dough to relax which prevents it from springing back open when baked.
  • It also firms up the edges of the seal so they hold together better in the oven.
  • If you chill longer than 30 minutes, tent the cookies with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.

Just a brief stint in the fridge makes a difference. Be sure to space cookies apart if chilling on a baking sheet, so they don’t stick together.

Bake at the Right Temperature

Using the proper baking temperature helps hamantaschen keep their shape in the oven. Here are some tips:

  • Bake at 375°F which is hot enough to set the dough without over-browning.
  • Use the middle rack position to ensure even heating all around.
  • Bake for about 12-18 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the bottom.
  • Rotate the baking sheet halfway through for even baking.
  • Watch closely towards the end to prevent over-baking, which can make the corners crack and separate.

The right baking temperature gives the cookies time to set up sturdily without getting too crispy and compromising that all-important seal.

Cool Completely Before Filling

It’s important to let the hamantaschen cool completely on the baking sheet before filling them. Here’s why:

  • Hot hamantaschen are too fragile to handle without breaking when filled.
  • Steam trapped inside can make the cookies collapse if filled while hot.
  • Chilling firms them up again and helps them keep their shape.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after baking before attempting to fill the cookies.

Have patience and let the hamantaschen cool all the way before carefully prying open and filling the cookies. The cooling time helps lock in that triangular shape.

Use a Sturdy Filling

Be sure to use a sturdy filling for filled hamantaschen that will hold up inside the cookie without leaking. Some options include:

  • A thick fruit jam, jelly or lemon curd
  • Sweetened whipped cream cheese or ricotta
  • Chopped nuts mixed with honey or chocolate hazelnut spread
  • Dulce de leche or thick caramel sauce
  • Chocolate-hazelnut spread or chopped chocolate-covered nuts

Steer clear of runny fillings like pastry cream or thin glazes which can seep out. Use about 1 teaspoon of filling per cooled cookie.

Seal the Cookies Again

After filling the cooled hamantaschen, you need to re-seal them to keep the filling securely inside. Here’s how to do it:

  • Press the edges of the cookie back together gently after adding the filling.
  • Use the tines of a fork again to seal, pressing all along the edges.
  • You can also use a pastry brush to lightly coat the edges with egg wash or water before pressing together.
  • Make sure no gaps remain around the filling or it can still leak out.

Take your time sealing the filled cookies and inspect for any openings. The second sealing ensures the filling stays put inside those tempting hamantaschen!

Store in an Airtight Container

After all that hard work shaping, filling and sealing, you want your hamantaschen to last! Here are some storage tips:

  • Allow filled hamantaschen to rest uncovered at room temperature for 30 minutes to help seal set.
  • Then store cookies in an airtight container to prevent drying out.
  • Place a sheet of parchment or wax paper between layers to prevent sticking.
  • Cookies will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze for up to 2 months and thaw before serving.

With proper air-tight storage, both baked and filled hamantaschen will retain their form and fresh taste for optimum enjoyment!

Troubleshooting Issues

Here are some common troubleshooting tips if your hamantaschen won’t stick together:

  • If dough cracks when shaping, it is likely too dry. Add a teaspoon or two more liquid and remix.
  • If fillings leak after baking, the seal may not be tight enough. Refrigerate dough before baking to help seal hold shape.
  • If cookies break open after filling, the dough needs more fat for flexibility. Add an extra tablespoon of margarine or oil.
  • If cookies are too crunchy, the dough was probably overworked making it tough. Handle gently and avoid over-rolling.

With a few simple adjustments, you can get those hamantaschen sealed and sticking together for the perfect Purim treat!


Getting hamantaschen to stick together and contain their deliciously sweet fillings takes a bit of finesse. Start with an easy to work with dough that can be shaped without cracking. Use thick, stiff fillings that won’t leak out of the cookies. Take your time sealing the edges well and refrigerate the shaped cookies before baking. Bake at a moderate temperature and cool completely before filling and resealing. Choose sturdy fillings that will hold up inside the cookies. Finally, store the finished hamantaschen in an airtight container. Follow these tips and your hamantaschen will come out perfectly shaped and sealed for Purim!

Leave a Comment