Category Archives: Jewish

Dreidel Hanukkah Gingerbread Cookies

Every year the holidays spring quickly on me.  This year I’m starting my baking and filming early as next week I have jury duty and I really don’t know how my schedule will be.  Hanukkah is early this year so I’ll begin with these cute Dreidel Cookies.

I always use my favorite Gingerbread recipe.

Passover Matzoh Crack

Passover Matzoh Crack
Matzoh is the most boring food to eat.  It tastes like cardboard and anyone who celebrates Passover, prepares their matzoh loaded with something on it.  So here is a delicious treat that turns boring matzoh into an exciting treat.

5 pieces of matzo
1 cup Earth Balance Vegan buttery Sticks
1 cup brown sugar (make your own organic brown sugar here)
¼ cup water
1 bag of dark chocolate chips (or a combination of chips)
1 cup of chopped nuts
Optional: Coarse salt.  You can add this to the matzoh after the nuts are spread out.

Passover Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whenever I make a Passover treat the first thing I’m asked is if it’s made with Matzo Meal.  If Passover is not a holiday you celebrate, or if you’ve never had baked food made with Matzo Meal, then you don’t know how dry it makes cakes and cookies.

This recipe uses almond meal/almond flour which is made from 100% ground almond.

1 lb ground almonds
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
4 egg whites
12 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (1 standard bag)

Biscoff (Speculoos) Hamantaschen Cookies

Biscoff Hamantaschen Cookies
Purim is only a few days away but you can enjoy these cookies any time of the year.

½ cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or unsalted butter
¾ cup organic granulated sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp almond milk (or any milk you choose)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more if needed
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Biscoff cookie spread for filling

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped pieces or chips
2 tsp vegetable oil

Hamsa Glazed Cookies

NOTE: Sorry about the crappy music in this video.  Youtube doesn’t give me much audio to choose from.

What I like about decorating these cookies is that it doesn’t take a lot of piping or royal icing.  The cookies are glazed and I hope to do a video in the near future on how to glaze cookies.  In the meantime, combine one egg yolk with a teaspoon of water and food color.  Mix well.  Paint the glaze over the cookies.  The first coat will be streaky so a second coat is needed.  Put cookies in a 200 degree oven for about 5 minutes to dry and set the glaze.

These cookies were made using my Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

I used the below two patterns to make the template.  To learn how I make cookie templates check out my Birdhouse Cookie post

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Almond Butter filled Brownie Hamantaschen

Happy Purim! If you have a favorite hamantaschen recipe you might want to try this one as well.  Like most of my recipes these days, it’s clean eating.  You can make this with a peanut butter filling instead of almond butter.  I have modifications for that below

Makes 5-6 dozen cookies

6 ounces melted chocolate, slightly cooled
2 sticks (1 cup) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, softened (If you use real butter instead, use unsalted)
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup organic brown sugar (Learn to make your own here)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons chocolate extract (Recipe is here.  You can substitute vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup cocoa powder
2½ cups whole wheat pastry or spelt flour

For the filling:
1 stick (1/2 cup) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, softened (If you use real butter instead, use unsalted)
1 cup creamy almond butter
1 teaspoon almond extract*
1 cup organic confectioner’s sugar (Learn to make your own here)

*Leave out almond extract if you use peanut butter


Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies

Passover is coming up and you would never know by eating these cookies that they are Pesach friendly.

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1/2 cup matzo meal
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 large egg whites
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Follow directions in the video above.


Chocolate Hamantaschen with Chocolate Filling


Hamantaschen is a Jewish filled cookie eaten during the holiday of Purim.  Traditional hamantaschen are filled with prune, apricot, or other fruit preserves.  I’m not a traditional person so I made my hamantaschen chocolate and used a chocolate filling.  There are so many optional fillings that you can really get creative.

Yield: 60 servings

For Chocolate Filling:

  • 1/2 cup (59 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk or whipping cream or coffee
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Combine cocoa, sugar, milk and walnuts, cinnamon, and vanilla in bowl and blend thoroughly.


For Hamantaschen Cookie:

  • 3 cups (375 grams)flour
  • 1/2 cup (48 grams) finely ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) raw sugar
  • 1 cup (226.80 grams) butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 oz or 42.52 grams) hot water
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white

Combine flour, almonds, baking powder, salt and sugar. Blend in butter with electric mixer until mixture resembles very fine crumbs. Blend water and cocoa in small bowl and beat in egg. Add to flour mixture and beat until mixture begins to form dough. Do not over-mix. Transfer to floured board and knead into ball. Chill 30 minutes for easier handling.

Divide into 6 or 7 portions. Flatten each with palm of hands and roll out 1/4- inch thick. Cut into 3-1/2 inch rounds with scalloped cookie cutter.


Place 1 teaspoon Chocolate Filling in center of each round. Fold edges of dough toward center to form triangle, leaving bit of filling visible in center. Pinch edges to seal.



Place on lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet and brush with egg white. Bake at 350 degrees F until firm, about 20 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool


The white ones are caramel filled with chocolate drizzled on top.  To make the chocolate ones look more appetizing, I threw on some chips.

Chanukah Jelly Doughnuts


I grew up Jewish.  During Chanukah we ate dinner, lit the menorah, and I received a gift.  This went on for eight nights.  Never have I heard about serving doughnuts during this time until I was an adult.  I still don’t know what the correlation is between jelly doughnuts and Chanukah.  Why jelly and not Boston creme or chocolate or any other flavor?

Here is a recipe from Zabar’s, one of my favorite New York City establishments.  Because I don’t particularly like jelly doughnuts, I have not made this recipe and can’t vouch for how they taste.  If any of you decide to try this recipe feel free to share your comments on how they turn out.  And if you know how the relationship between jelly doughnuts and Chanukah started, please share.

Dough Ingredients
1/2 cup warm water
5 teaspoons dry yeast
1/3 cup plus a pinch of granulated sugar
1 cup warm milk or water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted vegetable shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 1/4 – 5 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for frying

Filling Ingredients
2 cups jam or jelly of your choice, at room temperature (optional)
Granulated or confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Dough Preparation
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast, and pinch of sugar. Allow the mixture to stand for a couple of minutes to allow the yeast to swell or dissolve. Stir in the remaining sugar, the milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt, and most of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes, by hand or with a dough hook, adding more flour as needed to form a firmer dough that is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, place the bowl in a plastic bag, and seal. (If not using right away, you can refrigerate the dough at this point.) Let the dough rise for about 1 hour. Gently deflate it. (If the dough is coming out of the fridge, allow it to warm up for about 40 minutes before proceeding.)

Pinch off pieces of dough and form them into small balls, a little larger than a golf ball. Alternatively, roll the dough out to about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 21/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds.

Cover the doughnuts with a clean tea towel and let them sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Heat about 4 inches of oil in a deep fryer or a heavy Dutch oven to about 385°F. (see Note).

Add the doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, to the hot oil and fry until the undersides are deep brown. Turn over once and finish frying the other side. The total frying time will be no more than 11/2 to 3 minutes. Lift the doughnuts out with a slotted spoon and drain them well on paper towels.

To fill, make a small opening and spoon in jam or jelly or shake the doughnuts lightly in a paper bag with regular or confectioners’ sugar.

NOTE: To test oil temperature, it is a good idea to try frying one doughnut to start with. Once the doughnut seems done, take it out and cut it open to see if the inside is cooked. Then proceed with the rest. Try to fry at a temperature at which the oil bubbles but is not so hot that you brown the doughnut before the center is cooked.