Bet­ter than you had in Hebrew School

Maybe you don’t have time to make three dozen haman­taschen for your kid’s class com­plete­ly from scratch. In which case, store-bought dough will def­i­nite­ly do.

Makes 30 cookies

One 16½ oz [470 g] store-bought sug­ar cook­ie dough

3 Tbsp veg­etable oil

1 recipe Apri­cot Fill­ing (Below)

Crum­ble the dough into a big mix­ing bowl. Driz­zle the veg­etable oil over the dough, then, using your hands, mix until well com­bined. Divide the dough into two balls and press on them to make disks. Wrap in plas­tic wrap and refrig­er­ate for about 1 hour. Pre­heat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment paper. Roll out the dough on a well-floured work sur­face until about ⅛ in [3 mm] thick. Use more flour if you need — just don’t let the dough stick!

Using a 3 in [8 cm] round cut­ter, cut out as many rounds as you can and care­ful­ly place them on the pre­pared bak­ing sheet. Ball up the remain­ing dough, roll it out, and cut more rounds. Repeat until you have used up all the dough. Place about 1 tsp of fill­ing in the mid­dle of each round of dough. Fold three sides in, over- lap­ping the cor­ners to get a clas­sic tri­an­gu­lar haman­tasch. Pinch the cor­ners to seal and smooth any cracks. Repeat with the remain­ing dough and fill­ing. Bake for about 15 minutes.

Illus­tra­tion © George McCalman



Sub­sti­tute prunes for the dried apri­cots in the apri­cot filling.


In a small saucepan, whisk togeth­er 1 cup [300 g] of straw­ber­ry or rasp­ber­ry jam with 2 Tbsp corn­starch over medi­um heat. Bring to a sim­mer, low­er the heat, and sim­mer for 2 min­utes. While the jam fill­ing cools, roll out the pas­try. Sub­sti­tute the jam for the apri­cot filling.


Sub­sti­tute 1 cup [180 g] mini semi­sweet choco­late chips for the apri­cot fill­ing. This one’s extra easy and always a hit.

Pop­py Seed

Com­bine 1 cup [140 g] ground pop­py seeds, 1/2 cup [120 ml] milk, ¾ cup [255 g] hon­ey, pinch of salt, and maybe some grat­ed lemon zest in a food proces­sor; pulse into a coarse paste. Sub­sti­tute the pop­py-seed paste for the apri­cot filling.


In a small saucepan, com­bine 1 cup [160 g] of chopped, dried apri­cots and ¾ cup [180 ml] of water. Bring to a boil over medi­um heat, cov­er, and turn down the heat to low. Sim­mer for about 5 min­utes, stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly, until all of the water has been absorbed and the apri­cots are soft. Trans­fer to a food proces­sor and add ¼ cup [60 ml] of water. Blend until a smooth, thick paste is achieved. You should have 1 cup [240 ml] of fill­ing. Refrig­er­ate until ready to use.

Reprint­ed from Eat Some­thing by Evan Bloom with per­mis­sion by Chron­i­cle Books, 2020

Rachel Levin is a free­lance jour­nal­ist who was the first San Fran­cis­co restau­rant crit­ic for Eater, and has writ­ten for The New York Times, The New York­er, The Wall Street Jour­nal, Lucky Peach, and Sun­set, among oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. The 2018 recip­i­ent of Les Dames Escoffier’s Karo­la Saekel Craib Excel­lence in Food Jour­nal­ism Fel­low­ship, Rachel recent­ly launched a new semi-reg­u­lar col­umn in the San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cles Food sec­tion on restau­rant reg­u­lars, illus­trat­ed by George McCal­man. Her work has twice been includ­ed in Best Food Writ­ing antholo­gies, and she has con­tributed to AMP’s Mar­ket­place and Pop-Up mag­a­zine. She is the author of Look Big: And Oth­er Tips for Sur­viv­ing Ani­mal Encoun­ters of All Kinds (Ten Speed, 2018).