Explore > Jewish Life > Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer's Hamantaschen Recipe

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer has instructed New Yorkers about sex and romance from 92Y's stage for decades. She offers a Poppy Seed Hamantaschen for Purim, the holiday on which we read the Book of Esther (also called the Megillah), a salacious story of seduction, sexual manipulation and feasting.

Westheimer notes, "Do poppy seeds have any aphrodisiacal qualities? The answer is in the eye of the beholder. If you believe it's true, then it will be true. And that is true of any other filling you might want to use in place of poppy seeds such as prunes, apricots or cherries. Variety is the spice of life, whether it be in cooking or in sex, so be sure to mix it up when doing either."

  • 1 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can poppy seed filling

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar and butter and beat until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then orange juice and vanilla extract. Sift together flours, baking powder and salt; add to bowl gradually, until a ball forms around the beaters, being careful not to overmix. Gather the dough and form into 2 discs; wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter cookie sheets. Sprinkle flour on working surface, roll out dough in circles about 1/4-inch thick. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out circles and place them on cookie sheets. In the middle of each round place a teaspoon of the filling. Pinch 3 sides together to form a triangle, leaving some of the filling exposed.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until light brown. Cool on cookie sheets than transfer to racks to cool completely before storing in airtight cookie jar.