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Hamantaschen pop up for only a few weeks a year, when the Jewish holiday Purim is just around the corner, usually in February or March. Traditionally, the triangle-shaped cookies are filled with fruit spreads or chocolate, and if you get them from a novice, chances are the dough will be hard enough to break a tooth. When you discover a bakery that finds that happy chewy golden mean with an excellent filling-to-cookie ratio, buy those little guys by the pound. Purim begins on Saturday night, but hamantaschen will be around until the end of next week.
Uri Scheft is to be applauded for more than his chocolate rugelach. The Israeli baker, who recently opened Breads Bakery in Union Square, started serving both chocolate and vanilla — a rare find — hamantaschen ($1.50) this week. The chocolate filling resembles brownie batter baked inside a soft, easy-to-break cookie. The vanilla filling is custard-like, and Scheft has dropped in tiny chocolate chips that add textured little surprises. 18 E. 16th St.
Baker’s Bounty, based in Linden, N.J., makes a trek to the city’s farmers’ markets every week and offers dessert plate-size hamantaschen for $3. The dough here is so moist that even though most of the shortbread is untouched by filling it can stand alone as a sweet bite. All the fruit spreads are made locally near the bakery. Find a complete list of farmer’s market locations that carry the treats at bakersbounty.net. Various locations.
Moishe’s is the the go-to Jewish bakery in the East Village for a reason. The challah loaves are always fresh, and the hamantaschen are available all year round. They come in five traditional flavors — prune, raspberry, apricot, poppy, and chocolate — and two sizes: small and ginormous. The smaller cookies cost $1 each and a colossal one goes for $3.50. The dough is crumbly and most resembles what Grandma might whip up around the holiday, and the filling-to-cookie ratio is near perfect, with jam touching almost every corner. 115 Second Ave.
My Most Favorite Food on the Upper West Side has a full Kosher restaurant that serves three meals a day. The glass dessert cases towards the front hold seasonal baked sweets. Each handmade hamantaschen looks a little different from the one next to it, a nod to the care it took to make each one. Apricot filling pours out of a lopsided isosceles while prune spread is barely visible in dough shaped at a right angle. All are about the size of a palm and run for $11 a dozen. 247 W. 72nd St.