I like an apple cake as much as the next girl (two favorites are Amy’s Bissel Apple Cake and this Cornmeal Apple Upside Down Cake) but there are two nights of Rosh Hashanah, and once I’ve got my apple cake craving taken care of, I need something else. Enter these blondies. Though blondies might not seem quite fancy enough for a big holiday meal, trust me that these will blow your hair back, and can be gussied up into something truly stunning to look at, and downright delectable to eat.
The only specialty item called for here is pomegranate molasses, which you can almost certainly find at your local Middle Eastern food store, or you can buy it online here. I love to drizzle some pomegranate molasses over my yogurt and granola in the morning, and it’s also good as an ice cream topping.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¾ cups brown sugar
¾ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup pomegranate seeds
⅓ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper, and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the pomegranate molasses and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the dates, pomegranate seeds, and pecans if including.
Pour the batter into the lined pan. It will be a very thick batter--smooth out the top with a butter knife. Bake until top is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.
When blondies are completely cool (I let them sit, covered, overnight) remove from pan, and if you want a round dessert, use a biscuit cutter or the edge of a juice glass to cut circles out of the blondies. Serve topped with ice cream, and drizzled with a tiny bit of pomegranate molasses. Follow with a sweet and wonderful new year.
It may seem that Rosh Hashanah is a lifetime away, but in fact, it is a mere three weeks away! And the month of Elul is already upon us, so I am hyper focused on preparing for the New Year, if you can believe it. Elul is actually one of my favorite times during the Jewish year. I love the spiritual gear-up for the High Holy Days; taking time to reflect on the year that has passed, and hopes and goals for the year ahead.
I also love trying new recipes, and preparing desserts, challah and other dishes for the New Year. It always goes back to food for me.
And in the spirit of trying new things for the New Year, here at The Nosher we decided to try something a bit different this holiday season – our first ever Rosh Hoshanah Ingredient Challenge!
We reached out to some of our favorite contributors and told them their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to create a delicious, beautiful Rosh Hashanah recipe using 2 of the following traditional New Year ingredients: pomegranate, honey, apples, dates, gourds, beets, fenugreek and black eyed peas. They will get extra points if the dish created is ROUND! Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see their amazing creations.
But we want to see what kind of Rosh Hashanah recipes YOU can come up with so we are extending the ingredient challenge to our readers too! Send us your best recipes using two of the above ingredients and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will feature the best recipe as part of our High Holiday menus, so get cooking! Entries need to be received by Friday, August 23rd and must include a description of the dish, ingredients, directions and at least one photo.
Wishing everyone a meaningful Elul full of reflection and maybe some recipe-creation too.
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons lemon rind (fresh or dried)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp water
2 large apples (preferably Golden Delicious or Gala), peeled, cored and sliced paper thin
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a tube pan (like you
would use for an angelfood cake), then flour the pan slightly. Mix 1
tablespoon sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Beat eggs with 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric
mixture on medium speed. Add honey, oil, and lemon rind and beat to
blend. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and
salt. Add about half the flour mixture to egg batter and blend
together at low speed. Add in lemon juice and water to batter.
Slowly blend in remaining flour mixture and blend on low speed.
Spoon 1/4 of the batter into the tube pan and spread evenly.
Layer 1/3 of the apple slices on top of the batter and sprinkle with
the cinnamon sugar mixture. Continue with batter/apple/cinnamon sugar
batter until you finish with a layer of batter. Don't worry if the
top layer of apples isn't completely covered.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake
comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan, and once cooled, pop the
pan bottom up and gently transfer to serving plate.
Serve at room temperature and enjoy!
Growing up Rosh Hashanah always meant a trip to grandma’s house. Ten kids running around, 8 adults, games, music, naps on the living room floor after temple and of course a whole lot of food.
Grandma always had a spread. Matzo ball soup, brisket, chicken, kasha, roasted vegetables, salads, potatoes. Every year grandma out did herself. Her meals evolved and as the ten of us got older, there seemed to be more and more food (and no leftovers the following day).
As we all got older, got married, moved, had lots of kids, joined different temples, our traditions changed. Grandma now comes to our houses. For a change, we finally get to feed her and she gets to sit back and enjoy as we did when we were children.
Figuring out how grandma made her brisket was always a challenge. If you have ever seen the show “Everyone Loves Raymond” you kind of get the idea of where this is going. She might have given you the recipe but it never tastes the same. I tried for years. Maybe it was the love she put into it, maybe she left out an ingredient, I will never know, but now it was up to me to figure it out.
One of my favorite things about cooking now for the holidays is I get to take all these traditional foods that grandma once made and put a nice modern twist on it. Her chicken liver that made all the kids cringe, now we make it vegetarian and it’s gone within seconds, the potatoes that were smothered in mushrooms and onions, now are plain and simple. The brisket that she made, you know the one that sat in the oven all day, now is made in a crock pot. I still cook with the love, but with a modern twist, easy, simple, throw together in the morning and come home from temple and serve.
3 pounds of brisket
2 large onions
6 carrots cut into matchsticks
5 stalks of celery chopped (plus leaves if you have some)
6 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
6 Tbsp of cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup stock (I used chicken)
3/4 cup red wine
A handful of fresh cut herbs (I used parsley and tarragon)
Heat up a large skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Spinkle all sides of your brisket with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Add brisket to the sauté pan and brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). When brisket is browned, add to crock pot.
In same skillet, add a touch more oil and sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic for about 5-10 minutes, cooking the vegetables just a touch.
Meanwhile in measuring cup add wine, stock, brown sugar, ketchup and vinegar. Whisk and set aside.
When vegetables are done add cranberries and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine mixture and add herbs, bring to a boil.
Carefully pour vegetables and sauce over brisket, cook high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours.
When done, take out meat, let cool for 5 minutes or until easy to handle, cut, plate and spoon some vegetables over with a touch of gravy.
I like to serve the brisket on a large plate with a little gravy and all the vegetables surrounding the cut up brisket. I put the rest of the gravy in a serving bowl or serving container so my guests can enjoy some extra gravy on the side.
note on brisket: this dish can also be frozen if you wanted to prepare ahead. I would recommend using one of those throw away tins (which makes for easy clean up). Place meat into tin, pour over sauce and when cool freeze. The morning of your dinner, take out to thaw and heat up in the oven till warm.
Rosh Hoshanah is one of my favorite Jewish holidays to cook for. Each year I look forward to the Fall smells, sense of renewal, traditions and of course eating lots of apples and honey. Now that I live in Texas, I sadly do not always get to spend the New Year with my family back east. But I do always take the opportunity to dream up a new version of my favorite main dish – brisket. In Texas, brisket is BBQ king.
Slowly smoked until it nearly falls apart and then smothered in a sweet and tangy sauce. I, of course, braise my brisket and enjoy feeding it to doubtful locals who are always won over by the tender meat and sweeter accompanying sauce. Plus, no special equipment besides an oven required!
I have wanted to try to create a pomegranate brisket for some time as a nod to the Rosh Hoshanah tradition to eat fruit that has just recently come into season. The pomegranate is often used for this purpose! Pomegranates are a little tricky to find in Texas, but the juice is plentiful and makes a perfect braising liquid. Served with pan juices and a crunchy, fresh succotash, this brisket is a new spin on an old favorite. If you have access to pomegranates, feel free to replace the dried cranberries with fresh pomegranate arils. This recipe can be doubled to feed a crowd, but remember the cooking time will be longer too.
Amy Kritzer is a food writer and recipe developer in Austin, TX who enjoys cooking, theme parties and cowboys. She challenges herself to put a spin on her grandmother’s traditional Jewish recipes and blogs about her endeavors at What Jew Wanna Eat. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook and watch her cooking videos on Google+.
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
2 medium white onions, chopped into large pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups pomegranate juice
½ cup dry red wine
1-2 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs rosemary
2 springs thyme
2 ears corn, shucked and removed from the cob
1 cup dried cranberries (or fresh pomegranate arils)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp honey
2 tsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup cilantro, minced
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Season brisket on all sides with salt and pepper.
In a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat and brown the brisket on all sides, or about 5 minutes per side.
Remove the brisket to rest, and add in onions and garlic. Sauté until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add brisket back in over the vegetables fat side down and cover with pomegranate juice, red wine, and enough chicken broth so the brisket is covered about ¾ of the way. Add in rosemary and thyme.
Cover the brisket and braise in the pre-heated oven for 3- 3.5 hours or until fork tender.
Once cooked, remove brisket to rest and heat pan juices over medium- high heat until reduced by at least half and sauce is thickened. Strain and add salt and pepper if needed.
In a bowl, combine corn and cranberries.
In a separate bowl, whisk together extra virgin olive oil, honey, and red wine vinegar. Toss with corn mixture and add in cilantro and salt to taste.
Once brisket has cooled, sliced against the grain and top with sauce and succotash. It is best reheated in a 200 degree F oven covered in its sauce to retain moisture. Enjoy!
Summer is officially over and there is no rest for the weary because the High Holidays are right around the corner. Rosh Hoshanah, the Jewish New Year, begins on Sunday night September 16th and here at The Nosher we’ve been preparing for weeks already!
Stay tuned later this week – we have some fantastic brisket, kugel and apple cake recipes perfect for your family dinners as well as complete Rosh Hoshanah dinner menus to help take the pressure off of planning.
And don’t forget to enter our “Best Brisket Recipe Contest” – the deadline to send us your favorite recipe is tomorrow!
Happy High Holiday planning!
Did you inherit bubbe’s best brisket recipe? Or did you create your own brisket that wows your family each year?
Rosh Hoshanah is right around the corner and we are looking for your best brisket recipe to feature as part of our High Holiday dinner menu!
Think your brisket beats all the rest? Email the recipe to email@example.com. Make sure to include the weight of the piece of brisket you use, how many it serves and the cooking time. If you have a photo of your beautiful brisket even better! And don’t forget to submit by September 5th to be considered.
The winner’s recipe will be featured on our blog as part of our special High Holiday menu and will also receive a copy of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking – no perfect brisket should go out without a perfect dessert.
May the best brisket win!