Tag Archives: rosh hoshanah desserts

Everybody’s Favorite, with a Holiday Twist

And, I’m back!  Sorry for the absence of postings last week, Mark and I were India – more on that soon, with a travel journal and lots of pictures.  In the meantime, let’s get back into the swing of things with an easy, and perfectly delicious recipe.

Like apples and honey, pomegranate seeds are also a symbolic treat for the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  Tradition dictates that you try a new/exotic fruit, which for many a pomegranate qualifies, and also the abundance of tiny pomegranate seeds is symbolically linked to an abundance of goodness in the New Year.  
Image via Vos Iz Neias?
 While working on the whole wheat apple muffins, I thought this would be a fun way to incorporate some extra goodness into the holidays.

Pomegranate Cookies, adapted from Nestle Tollhouse

1 and 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
3/8 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup of fresh Pomegranate Seeds
1/2 cup of Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds
Set the oven to 350 degrees, and bake for about 8 minutes or until browned.

Just like you were making regular chocolate chip cookies, cream the butter and sugars, add the egg and vanilla.  Then add the dry ingredients of flour, baking soda and salt.  

Then add the fresh pomegranate seeds.  You could also you dried seeds, but I found the fresh ones kept the cookies unbelievably moist.  You could stop with the fresh seeds for a healthy, sweet treat, but come on, how could I resist not adding in dark chocolate covered seeds as well?  Dark chocolate is rich with antioxidants, so that counts too!

I found the fresh seeds and the chocolate covered seeds at Trader Joe’s, but if you’re not so lucky to have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you could just use regular chocolate chips and remove the seeds yourself.  To avoid a mess you can open up the pomegranate and pull out the seeds with your hands and the fruit submerged in a bowl of water.

For these cookies I used a teaspoon sized scoop.  The cookies came out to be size of an Entenmann’s cookie, which is pretty much the perfect 2-bite size. 

Eat and enjoy, and share with a friend.  Wishing you all great things for fall and the start of the New Year!

Sweetness for the New Year

Growing up there were certain food pairings that always went together: peanut butter and jelly, Oreo cookies and milk, apples and honey.  As the Jewish High Holiday season approaches, my mind and my appetite starts to shift away from blueberries and peaches and to autumn’s bounty of apples.  

On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, it is traditional to dip apples into honey for it signifies the wish for sweetness in the coming year – but really any reason is a good reason to mix apples with sweetness.  The holiday season is always filled with multiple meals, treats and often overindulging, this healthier take on a traditional apple cake will set the year off on a healthier and sweet note, and that’s what I always wish for good health and sweetness.  
Whole Wheat Apple Muffins, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup of apple sauce
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsps dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
2 large apples, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
I have to start off by saying that I played with the ingredients for this recipe to create something lighter, and more sponge cake like than a traditional dense muffin – although I do love a good muffin.  

Let’s get started, all of the dry ingredients are in one bowl.  Because I subbed out half of the butter, I halved the amount of all-purpose flour and added half a cup of cake flour to help keep the fluffiness.  I also used less sugar than the original recipe called for because of the natural and added sugars in apple sauce.  As a side note, we just got fresh cinnamon, and the aroma is amazing.

In a separate bowl mix the butter, apple sauce, and sugars.  When the butter is broken up enough – it won’t look like normal creamed butter and sugar because the liquid content of the apple sauce, don’t worry.  Now blend in the egg.  It still is not going to be pretty, don’t worry.  Now add in the yogurt.  I use non-fat, sugar free Greek yogurt, because I don’t want to add extra sugars that are hidden in most yogurts.

After you blend the yogurt it will resemble what you probably expected the mixture to look like all along – phew!  Slowly add the dry ingredients to to the wet mixture.

Time to get to the apples.  I am partial to granny smith apples.  I use them for my apple pies or just for snack.  I love their tart flavor and crisp bite.  I am sure you could use your favorite variety.  Make sure to eat some apples a long the way, that’s what I did.

With a large spoon mix in the apples.  I have to warn you at this point the batter is sticky, and not at all like a traditional cake dough.  It more closely resembles a cookie dough.  Don’t worry about it.  Seriously, apples and sugar and yogurt and flour is not something to worry about.

Plop large spoonfuls of the batter into muffin cups or if you run out of papers as I did eventually just make small balls on a cookie tray.  For extra sweetness you can sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on top of the muffins.

Pop these into a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, and then lower the oven temperature to 400 degree for another 5 minutes.  That is it.  It is a fast, fast baking recipe.  Kind of perfect for the holiday season when you are cooking/basting/baking all day and don’t have time to slave over dessert – and probably even better to save for yourself for a treat the next day.

Wishing you good baked goods, health and happiness.