Owner of NYC’s La Boîte and GCI by JNF Co-Founder, Lior Lev Sercarz
Galilee Culinary Institute by JNF Chief Culinary Officer and Co-founder, Lior Lev Sercarz grew up eating hamantaschen in Israel and says they were always filled with poppy seeds “I love eating and making them. Even though I tasted many different fillings over the years, poppy is still my favorite. In this recipe I include halva, tahina, and spices for a fun twist on the old childhood favorite.”
For the dough
200 grams butter
120 grams confectioners sugar
375 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams almond flour
80 grams sesame seeds
20 grams sumac
320 grams poppy seed filling (store bought)
100 grams halva, crumbled
70 grams tahina
60 grams cranberry or pomegranate juice
100 grams raspberry jam
3 grams salt
2 grams aleppo chili flakes (optional)
Lior’s “Halvataschen” (Courtesy Christian Leue/ La Boîte)
1) Cream the butter and confectioners sugar in a bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the 2 eggs and mix for about 2 minutes, until well incorporated with the butter and sugar. Gradually add both flours, the sesame and the sumac and mix until it all comes together into a dough. Do not over mix. The dough might be a bit sticky.
2) Remove the dough, and wrap it with plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least one hour.
3) In a bowl combine all the filling ingredients using a rubber spatula until smooth. Set aside to refrigerate if you are not making the halvatashen right away.
4) Remove the dough from the fridge and place to a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to a 1/4 inch thick square. Using a drinking glass or cookie cutter, cut out 3 inch circles and place them on a lightly floured surface. Use all the dough scraps and roll them out again to make as many circles as possible.
5) Place a small dollop of filling in the center of each circle. Lightly brush the edges with water and using your fingers, pinch the edges to form a triangular shape, making sure the filling in the center stays uncovered.
6) Place the halvataschen on a tray lined with parchment paper, cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
7) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the halvatashcen for about 20 minutes.
8) Once cooled down , you can dust them with powdered sugar and a bit of ground sumac. Enjoy.
* Top the “halvataschen” with shredded halva once cooled down.
* Replace the poppy filling with date paste and add 1/2 cup of chopped almonds to the filling.