Category Archives: Dessert

Apple and Chocolate Heaven cake with honey and cinnamon syrup

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Apple cake for Rosh Hashana – been there, done that. Here’s a new combo that includes the seasonal and traditionally significant tastiness of the ever-so-overdone Rosh dessert. Thank you smitten kitchenal di la restaurant, and my CIA spy (aka my brother) for your inspirations…

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Filed under Dessert, Jewish, Parve, Rosh Hashana

Hamantaschen with an Argentine Twist

Hola from Argentina! Despite the large Jewish population here, I’m a bit isolated in the north on a rural farm, without the pleasures of Jewish bakeries so the following recipe was inspired by the ingredients I could get my hands on. As a substitute for the traditional honey, I used dulce de leche, an Argentine sweet gooey delight. Try using it as well as a filling for the cookie!

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Filed under Dairy, Dessert, Jewish, Purim

Chocolate Hazelnut (aka Nutella) Hamantaschen

Nutella Hamantaschen

As you may have noticed, the Heathens produced quite a few hamantaschen recipes last year for Purim, so I was struggling a bit to come up with something unique. I re-read Marc’s post and was reminded that his mother uses chocolate in hers, and the same day went digging through my freezer. I came across a bag of Oregon hazelnuts, that were given to me by my friends, Penny and Bill, brought back from one of their many trips to Eugene to see family and the Ducks. At that point I recalled of the joy of the ultimate combination of chocolate and hazelnuts:  Nutella. The ingredients of Nutella are relatively simple (sugar, oil, hazelnuts, cocoa powder), and I realized I could easily make my own with my unearthed treasure of hazelnuts.  I adore Nutella and will put it on just about anything, so filling  hamantaschen with it may be the most deliciously evil idea to occur on the blog since the (in)famous animal style latke.

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Filed under Ashkenazi, Dessert, Holidays, Jewish, Purim

Tehina Cookies

Cookies are so photogenic

Someone at my yoga studio requested I make them tehina cookies. Tehina is sesame seed paste and is used prolifically in Israeli foods, like hummushalvah, or straight up as a condiment with falafel. Obviously jumping at the opportunity for an excuse to make cookies I immediately set to the task. I never fail to be in awe of the strange properties of tehina. It can be liquid or turned into a solid, savory or sweet…. whatever it is made into, it’s bound to be delicious.

These little cookies are no exception. It’s similar in a way to the nuttiness of peanut butter. They taste like halvah and melt in your mouth. These are SO easy and quick to make. They will not disappoint. You can easily double the recipe, or use margarine instead of butter to make it dairy-free.
Click on for the recipe!

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Filed under Dessert, Israeli

Halvah Ice Cream

 

Fresh Vanilla and Ice Cream together in ONE delicious frozen dessert

Yes, yes I know it’s winter. But ice cream just makes those hard days feel easier.  So dispute the frequenting rain and extreme cold in Tel Aviv (well cold by my, and Israel standards, which in actuality means like 45F)  I decided to make ice cream to cure some winter day blues. Which kind of ice cream you ask… HALVAH CHUNK ICE CREAM!

Halvah as a flavor is extremely popular and widespread in Israeli food.  Along with the standard chocolate, vanilla, halvah is bound to be found in any ice creamery in Israel. Halvah flavored, halvah topping, halva chunks, or even tahini flavor with halvah pieces, halvah with seasame candy…..think of it as the Israeli version of peanut butter, and in the world of ice cream, it is just as prevalent.

I had a lot of leftover halvah from a slightly botched halvah experiment, something went wrong in the mixing process and it turned out much too crumbly.  It was very tasty but not solid enough to cut and eat, I figured it would be much better put to use in a fresh batch of vanilla ice cream. So this is my representation of the halvah/ice cream combination, and I must say it was a huge hit.

I used the vanilla ice cream recipe from David Lebovitz’s blog, recipe here. I won’t put up the halvah recipe I used since it wasn’t very successful, plus you can find Marc’s version right here.  Or you can use store bought if you choose.

Click to see brief instructions on how I blended the halvah into my ice cream…. and pictures! (although they aren’t the best quality.)

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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Sukkot

Pumpkin Latkes

Pumpkin Latkes

Its the day after Thanksgiving and I am enjoying the satiety that come from too much food and drink, and in the miracle of miracles, I finally got a seat at the grown-ups’ table. I had thought it might happen, given the guest count and but I have been having Thanksgiving with the same crowd for about 25 years and had yet to graduate, so I wasn’t holding out too much hope. But happen it did and it was all that I’d hoped for, but I was promptly told it was a fluke occurrence and I would be headed back to the “young adult” table next year. While today I will bask in the glory of my newly recognized adulthood, Hanukkah is just around the corner (starting Wed night) so the frying and latke making has already begun for the Heathens. I figured in honor of Thanksgiving I would carry on the pumpkin theme and make pumpkin latkes. Obviously these have a slightly different texture than traditional potato latkes, and are more pancake like. They are also slightly sweet so I would include them with my apple latkes as a great Hanukkah breakfast or dessert option.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Hannukah, Holidays, Jewish, Parve, Sephardic

Mohn (Poppy Seed) Cookies

Mohn cookies

On my last trip to Berkeley Bowl as I was stocking up on dried chick peas for hummus,  I decided to get a large bag of poppy seeds as well.  As I have the tendency to do when faced with a bulk bin, I bought way more than I would need to sprinkle on my challah. My co-workers have been politely requesting more cookies since the day I introduced them to my crack-like peanut-butter cookies. I needed a post for the blog, I already had the oven heated from roasting pumpkin earlier in the day, and I had vague memories of the existence of Jewish poppy-seed cookie recipes. A quick perusal of the internet and my cookbooks proved I was indeed correct. Mohn (Poppy Seed) cookies originated in Germany or Poland depending on the source you consult and they are frequently served with coffee or tea. This version is only mildly sweet and has a lovely contrasting texture of the soft dough and crunchy poppy seeds. The recipes varied from softer drop cookies to crisp rolled and cut cookies. Unfortunately, almost all of them were parve and called for oil. There is pretty much nothing I dislike more than parve cookies, so I decided to substitute the oil for butter, and to get the dough to the right consistency, (and for added flavor) I added lemon juice and zest.

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Filed under Ashkenazi, Dessert, Hannukah, Holidays, Jewish, Purim

Teiglach

Teiglach

I’ve been planning to make teiglach for the past couple of weeks, but with the Bay Area in a heat wave I was trying to avoid turning on my stove for the required hour. With Simcha Torah coming up tomorrow night I was rapidly running out of time for the recipe to be relevant, so I cranked up the A/C to get these done in time for the culmination of the high holidays. Given that it was 95 degrees in San Francisco yesterday, I may have lost my mind a little bit, but sometimes a little sacrifice is required for my art. As you prepare to celebrate the beginning of a new cycle of reading the Torah (finish up Deuteronomy and start-up again with Genesis), teiglach make a nice sweet treat to go along with the obligatory drinking and hakafot.

While I have definitely never made teiglach I also started the project thinking I had never eaten them either and was unprepared with for what they would taste like, but upon biting into the completed cookie I remembered having them at some point as a kid.

Teiglach literally means “little dough” in Yiddish and has its history in the Lithuanian Jewish community, and is traditional for Rosh Hashana and Simcha Torah. (Apparently holishkes are also traditional for Simcha Torah, as the rolls of cabbage are symbolic for the Torah rolls) While boiling dough in honey seems a bit odd, the dough cooks up crunchy like a cookie covered in a sticky honey syrup.  The ingredients are quite basic and the process is very simple but the resulting cookies are oddly addicting.

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Filed under Ashkenazi, Dessert, Holidays, Parve, Rosh Hashana, Simcha Torah, Sukkot

New Fruit for Sukkot

fruit for sukkot

I was going to do a “what to do with your leftover etrog” post for Sukkot but discovered from the folks over at the Jew and the Carrot, that actually eating the etrog may be a bad idea. It turns out that most of the etrogim produced for the United States are blasted with pesticides to make them look pretty but probably pretty toxic to ingest. So, at the suggestions of Jo Ellen, the editor of Zeek,  I have decided to embark on a taste test of fruits I have never tried.  Given Sukkot’s tradition of eating fruits, nuts and grains this sounded like a good way to start the holiday especially because it comes so early in the year and it is still a bit warm here in Cali.  We do have a couple of other traditional recipes  posted from last year, so I urge you to check out our Holishkes (Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage and Ma’amoul date cookies if you want to follow the tradition of eating stuffed foods. I am pretty well ready for Sukkot as, luckily, or oddly, I have built-in Sukkah on my deck due to the fact that my European chain-smoking next door neighbors,  have put up a bamboo mats to help protect me from the second-hand smoke. I suppose in order to be in keeping with the requirement that it be a temporary structure I could ask them to rotate the mats.

Trying new or interesting fruit actually something that Dafna, (a co-heathen) and I used to do occasionally when we worked together. I used to bring in interesting fruits and we would sit at my desk and decide whether to add them to our regular fruit repertoire. Baby kiwi and honey crisp apples were two of our favs. I headed over to 99 Ranch and Berkeley Bowl to see what I could find. Upon entering 99 Ranch the first thing I came upon was a durian. Now Dafna will get a bit of a chuckle out of that as we once won the Bay Cities trivia contest by correctly answering durian.  Lucky for me I remember that the hint was that tribal people used to rub it near their sleeping places because the disgusting smell would keep away predators, so I kept on walking. What I eventually settled on were starfruit, dragon fruit, fresh dates, golden kiwi, and passion fruit. (I threw a pomegranate in there for a little holiday festiveness)


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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit and Vegtables, Holidays, Sukkot

Honey Baked Apples for Rosh Hashana

Honey baked apple

As I’m sure most of you know, one of the traditions of Rosh Hashana is to eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize the sweetness of the new year. I personally like to make apple based desserts to incorporate this tradition further into the meal. While my Apple honey up-side down cake is pretty darn tasty, I though I would do something that really allows the apples center stage. I’ve also been on a fig binge. They are in the peak of their season right now and I’ve been finding all sorts of varieties, from California green to the black missions.  Now, as if in an effort to slowly torture me, there is a fig tree right at my front door, and while it looks amazing, the fruit is all but inedible to anyone but the squirrels, so unfortunately I have to get mine from the store like everyone else.  As Gordon pointed out in his last post, the fig is one of the Seven Species of Israel, and it is the first literal plant named in the Torah, when Adam and Eve used the leaves of a fig tree to cover their suddenly noticed nakedness. This sound very uncomfortable to me, as those leaves are prickly, but I’ll take the fruit anytime.

recipe after the break

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Filed under Dessert, Fruit and Vegtables, Holidays, Rosh Hashana