Traditional food can be disappointing when made by someone other than a family member. Hamantaschen, often prepared for the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim, can be one of those foods.

The cookies, which get their name from their triangular shape thought to represent the hat of Purim villain Haman, are stuffed with a sweet filling and enjoyed at bakeries across the world during this time of year. Traditionally filled with apricot, prune or poppy filling, there is some room for freedom when selecting your preserve of preference.

While the best filling choice can be seen as an international debate between those devouring these treats each year, the cookie itself is light, buttery and perfect for tea. The problem here comes in when finding a recipe that will satisfy your tradition-minded taste buds. 

Photo courtesy joshbousel via Flickr/CC

After testing and tasting plenty of cookies, I've settled on this classic Hamantaschen recipe as my go-to. Hailing from a trusted friend with skills in Jewish baking, these will please any cookie lover and live up to all traditional ideas of what the triangular treats should be. 

Which is your favorite Hamantaschen filling? Are you an apricot fan or a poppy person?

Hamantaschen (Makes about 4 Dozen)

1 cup butter or unsalted margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
4 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 t vanilla
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T lemon juice
filling (prune, poppy, preserves, etc)

Cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla, baking powder, eggs, salt and lemon juice. Mix well. Add flour (may need more if sticky). Knead dough and chill a few hours or overnight if possible.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough and cut into 2 1/2- 3" circles. Place filling in center of circles. Bring edges together to form triangle and pinch seams together from top down to corners, leaving small opening in center.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until lightly brown.