photo from @average.jen on Instagram.
Jelly donuts are one of the most symbolic dishes of Hanukkah, but have you ever wondered how that came to be? Of all the delicious fried foods to nosh on–fried pancakes, fried chicken, fried cheese, schnitzel–how did the jelly donut, or sufganiyah (sufganiyot is the plural), rise to popularity? The answer, like all good food questions, has everything to do with agriculture, food politics, and of course, our taste buds.
Photo from B-Holes Bakery Instagram
Babka is having a major moment, and why not? There’s lots to love about the loaves of twisted dough, generously interspersed with a filling that usually involves lots of chocolate. Many professional bakers behind babka’s renaissance are working with laminated doughs—yeasted dairy doughs turned with lots of butter. I thought about doing the same, but the challenge of creating a delicious pareve babka made without margarine won out. I couldn’t shake thoughts of my grandmother’s love of apricots, so I built the filling around them. I love the cheeky marriage of Sephardic flavors wrapped in a quintessentially Ashkenazi pastry.
It’s cheesecake season! We all know that Shavuot just isn’t complete without a cheesecake. But I have to ask—why can’t the signature Shavuot dish be something easier?! How about brownies, or cupcakes, or even a trifle? Why does THE dessert of Shavuot have to be a dessert that involves a water bath, a stand mixer, a food processor, and easily cracks if you don’t follow the recipe just right (or even sometimes if you do)?
You know Shavuot is coming when you begin to see cheesecakes everywhere. Countless variations in the bakeries and supermarkets. Endless numbers of recipes in the media. Cheesecake is the iconic Shavuot dessert, as sacrosanct as a Hanukkah latke or Passover matzah ball.
Photo credit: LA Times
Gluten-free brownies–when made without those unpredictably tricky gluten-free flours–is the kind of dessert that speaks to me: fudgey, rich, and above all, very easy to make.
Have you ever craved homemade hummus so badly that you’d pay to have it delivered to your front door? Well, if you’re in New York City, there’s someone who can help you out. His name is Ohad Fisherman, and his company is Hummus Joonam.
Noshers! Here are our Hanukkah gift picks for a happy and healthy holiday around the table.