Circus Animal Cookie Hamentashen

March 2, 2017

Purim is coming up in a little over a week and in my kitchen that means one thing. Hamentashen. Over the years hamentashen fillings have evolved way beyond the traditional fruit and poppy fillings. I have certainly made my share of interesting flavors! While I like to make the traditional favorites year in and year out, I always make sure to experiment with at least one new and crazy flavor every year.

One of the popular trends  in the last few years has been filling hamentashen with a smooth cookie butter made out of other cookies (such as black and white hamentashen, oreo hamentashen, and lotus butter hamntashen). Last year, inspired by all these cookie hamentashen, one of my friends made hamentashen filled with Mothers Circus Animal Cookie butter, and they looked absolutely amazing! Those cute little pink and white circus animals covered in sprinkles always evoke nostalgia for me, and I knew I wanted to make some myself this year.

The only problem with this plan was that the circus animal cookies are dairy and I usually make my hamentashen parve. Never one to let a little thing like that stop me, I created my own “circus animal cookie” butter that absolutely tastes just like the original, without any of the dairy. (I may have done a bit more side by side taste testing  with the original cookies just to make sure.)  With some extra sprinkles added to the dough and a final dip in candy coating to match the original cookies, these hamentashen are ready for prime time!

Looking for more hamentashen ideas? Check out my collection of hamentashen recipes for more inspiration.

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Ingredients & Quantities

For the dough
1 1/2 cups(6.75oz, 190 g) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (5 oz) sugar
1 teaspoon ground vanilla or one scraped vanilla bean
1/4 cup (2 oz) margarine, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup (2 oz )shortening, cut into 8 pieces
1 beaten egg
1 ½  teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons ice water
¼ cup (50 g) rainbow sprinkles

For the Filling
5 ounces dairy-free shortbread cookies (such as Leibers alef-bet cookies)
2 tablespoons oil
3 ounces wonder melts or other dairy free  white or pink coating chocolate
2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles

For Dipping
6-8 ounces pink wonder melts (or white coating with a few drops of oil based red food coloring)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Rainbow sprinkles as desired.

Preparation Instructions

Make the dough:
Place the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and ground vanilla in the bowl of a food processor (flour through sugar) and pulse to combine. Add the margarine and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the beaten egg and vanilla extract and pulse until combined.

Remove the mixture from the food processor and pour into a large bowl. Press the dough together gently. If it makes a ball it is done. If it is still crumbly sprinkle the dough with one tablespoon of ice water and mix until it comes together into a smooth ball. If the dough still seems too dry add the remaining water until the dough just comes together.

Divide the dough in half and roll each piece out between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper. Stack the dough, with parchment attached, on a large cookie sheet and chill for at least 30 minutes, or until firm. (Note: if using the no roll method of hamentashen making skip this step and shape the dough into a three inch dough log before chilling)

Make the filling:
Place the cookies and oil in the bowl of the food processor. Process until smooth. Melt the wonder melts over a double boiler or in the microwave at 50% power. Stir the melts and the sprinkles into the sitting and set aside to cool slightly.

Make the Hamentashen:

Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut into circles using a round cutter or the mouth of a drinking glass. Fill each circle with a small amount of filling. (For 2 inch circles use about a teaspoon of filling). Brush each circle with the egg wash and fold two sides together, pinching tight to make a corner. Fold up the remaining side to make a triangle with the filling showing in the middle and pinch the other two corners well. It is important that they are well pinched, so that they do not come open in the oven.

Bake at 350 until they are slightly firm to the touch, about 11 minutes. Cool completely

Melt the remaining color melts and coconut oil over a double boiler or in the microwave at 50% power. Place the mixture in a small deep bowl. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Take one hamentash and dip half (or all) of the cookie in the melts. Place it on the baking sheet and sprinkle generously with sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining hamentashen. If desired dip half in white melts and half in pink to get the feel of the original cookies.

Recipe Times


45 Minutes




1 Hour

Recipe Yield

2 dozen

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