Honey Pomegranate Mandelbrot

Pomegranate is not only good for you, but is also a traditional Jewish food.

  1. Yield: 2 dozen pieces
  2. Prep: 20 minutes
  3. Cook: 1 hour, 0 minutes
  4. Total: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Long before pomegranates became known as a healthy super food–linked to everything from improving cardiovascular health, to preventing cancer, to abating erectile dysfunction–they were a mainstay of Jewish cuisine.
Included in Deuteronomy 8:8 as one of the seven species of Israel (along with wheat, barley, grapes, figs, olives, and dates) and mythologized to contain 613 seeds in every fruit, pomegranates are, without doubt, one of Jewish tradition's most sacred and celebrated foods.
As a symbol of fertility and love, the pomegranate shows up multiple times in the Jewish canon's most famous love poem, The Song of Songs. For example (4:3): “Your lips are like a crimson thread; your mouth is lovely. Your brow behind your veil [gleams] like a pomegranate split open.” Not surprisingly, the red, spherical fruit also regularly shows up as an artistic theme on ketubot, challah covers, and other marriage and family-focused Judaica.
Pomegranates' peak season generally falls somewhere around the High Holidays, which makes them the perfect accompaniment to the harvest holiday of Sukkot. They can be hung in a sukkah as decoration, and their seeds can be incorporated into both sweet and savory dishes–everything from pomegranate-glazed chicken to salads speckled with lush, bright red seeds.
In that spirit, here is a pomegranate-inspired dessert recipe, which livens up a traditional Mandelbrot batter with a splash of pomegranate juice. The juice imparts a beautiful blush and an extra hint of tartness to each delicious cookie.


  1. 1 egg white
  2. 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced
  3. 1 cup chocolate chips
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
  6. 3 cups flour
  7. 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  9. 2 Tablespoons 100% pomegranate juice
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 5 Tablespoons honey
  12. 1 cup sugar
  13. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  14. Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling


Mix together oil, pomegranate juice, honey, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Mix in eggs and orange zest, if using. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt to combine. Fold in chocolate chips and crystallized ginger. Batter should be quite thick.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the batter into two side-by-side rows on the sheet, each approximately 8 inches long by 4 inches wide. Brush the top of each row with beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

Bake until top of dough is firm and dry, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 300. Slice into 3/4 inch thick pieces, and rearrange on the baking sheet so the pieces do not touch one another.

Replace the baking sheet in the oven for another 20-30 minutes to dry the cookies, turning once after 10-15 minutes.

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Leah Koenig is a writer and cookbook author whose work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Saveur, CHOW, Food Arts, Tablet, Gastronomica, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. Leah writes a monthly food column for The Forward and a bimonthly column for Saveur.com called “One Ingredient, Many Ways.” She is the former Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning blog, The Jew & The Carrot, and she is a frequent contributor to MyJewishLearning.com, where her recipes are very popular, and highly praised. Her first cookbook, The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook: Daily Meals for the Contemporary Jewish Kitchen, was published by Rizzoli in 2011. The book was named one of the “Best Books of 2011? by Library Journal and The Kitchn called it “a big, beautiful book that is also down-to-earth and completely accessible.”

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