Gingerbread Hamsa Cookies
Merry Christmas! This year Hanukkah and Christmas fell on the same week. Although I don’t technically celebrate either of them, I made sufganiot (jelly doughnuts) and gingerbread cookies. Why settle for one holiday (or none at all) when you can celebrate all of them? As long as I have something to keep me distracted from the Jerusalem cold that’s starting to get on my nerves. At least winter here is just a transition season.
Lemon Pistachio Sufganiot
After spending an entire day deep in oil in search of the perfect sufganiot, I faced another dilemma: what cream to put inside? I was so sure I was going to make sufganiot filled with homemade pistachio spread. By the end of the day, I was struck with another idea; fill the sufganiot with lemon pistachio mousseline cream that I used once for filling éclairs. I got wonderful, tangy sufganiot.
Last week, Instagram reminded me of wonderful sufganiot I made a year ago. Pistachio sufganiot filled with homemade pistachio spread. At the time I was planning to upload a recipe, but I couldn’t finish it in time. This year I didn’t give up. Somehow, after a long day of experimenting with different combinations of ingredients — making dough, letting it rise, rolling it out and endless frying — I landed upon the perfect recipe.
Madeleines in Provence
A little more than a year ago, good friends of mine, Yuval and Elisha, packed their belongings, said goodbye to crowded Tel Aviv and moved to France to build a new home with their baby girl Akko. Since then, they host family and friends non-stop in their beautiful house in the village of Lauris in southern France. It was only a matter of time before I would find myself there, between lavender fields and endless vineyards, raising a glass to a simpler, more charming life.
Last month, Noam came to visit Jerusalem from San Francisco. On his way here he made a stop in Sweden for a quick family visit. While he was there, he wrote me the following word: “Kardemummabullar”. A Google search taught me it wasn’t a curse, but a yeast pastry baked and coated with cardamom. In fact, it’s the Swedish brother of the American cinnamon roll.
Evil Eye Cookies
This week we celebrated my dad’s 68th birthday… almost 70! (tfu tfu tfu, against the evil eye). To celebrate it I made him a small birthday cake plus special cookies decorated with royal icing to keep away any bad luck from him this year: cookies against the evil eye, a concept deeply rooted in my family.
Recently I discovered that the Argentinian cookies Alfajores have Middle Eastern roots with origins from an ancient cooking book from Baghdad of the Middle Ages, just a little over 1000 years ago. (I know, sounds like One Thousand and One Recipes.) The origin of the name in Arabic is al-fakher (الفَاخِر), which means “fine” or “quality” or maybe “praised”.
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