Whether or not you're reading the Megilla and shaking those noisemakers at the evil Haman, Purim started last night, and that means hamantaschen time. Here are a few bakeries in Manhattan that carry the Jewish holiday's trademark cookie: a shortbread-like triangle with fillings that have a gooey jam consistency. Though it ends tonight, these spots typically stock hamantaschen year-round.
Price: $2.25 for traditional cookie (large), $2.50 for danish version (large), $13 per pound for mini cookies
Fillings: Apricot, prune, poppy seed, chocolate
Some have baptized this old-school Jewish bakery the city's hamantaschen mecca (so many religious references in there). We tried the mini version "made with cookie dough"—they distinguish this from the "danish dough" alternative—which had really bold fillings. The poppy seeds are fun to grit with your teeth, and those were some huge prune discs. Sadly, the actual cookie part was stone-hard and pretty flavorless. All day they'll be popping them into the oven, and will happily let you sample the two kinds (the danish is supposed to be softer). 115 2nd Avenue (b/n 6th and 7th Streets; map); 212-505-8555
William Greenberg Jr. Desserts
Price: $3.50 each or $42.00 per dozen
Fillings: Apricot, cherry, prune, poppy and chocolate.
A little steep for a baked good no bigger than a cell phone (a small one at that). However, the cookie part had a nice gritty texture and buttery flavor that the others lacked. They'll ship anywhere. 100 Madison Avenue (b/n 82nd and 83rd Streets; map); 212-861-1340; wmgreenbergdesserts.com/store
9th Street Bakery
Fillings: Apricot, poppy seed, raspberry, prune
These are delivered daily from Brooklyn-based distributor Beigel's Bakery, which also supplies East Broadway Kosher bakery at 363 Grand Street. The cookie-to-filling ratio feels off here (the fillings barely peek out of the frame). And, maybe it was just a weird batch, but the cookie part tasted like a cup of coffee fell into the batter. 350 East 9th Street (b/n 1st and 2nd Avenue; map); 212-477-6642
The Hungarian Pastry Shop
Price: $2 to-go, $2.25 to eat there
Fillings: Apricot, prune, poppy seed, walnut
We didn't try these, but called up, and they'll have fresh batches today, and everyday. We figure the Hungarians know what's up. 1030 Amsterdam Avenue (b/n 111th and 112th Streets; map); 212-866-4230; geocities.com/hungarianpastryshop