Tuesday, September 11, 2012

For a Sweet New Year - Kosher Connection Recipe Linkup

It's time for the next round of the Kosher Connection Recipe Link-Up!  This month's theme is "Honey," which is especially appropriate for the time of year - the run-up to Rosh Hashana.  In addition to my grandparents' honey chiffon cake, which I suggest you make because it makes me happy ;-),  I am contributing a newly developed recipe for Spiced Honey Sticks with Lemon Glaze.  I can't exactly call them mandelbroit, because there's no mandel (almonds) in the recipe, and they are not biscotti, because they are not toasted after baking and slicing.  The texture is soft and chewy, just the way I like them.  They have a tasty honey flavor without being cloying, the spice adds interesting notes, and the honey-lemon glaze brings it all together.  Feel free to bake and freeze. The honey in the recipe keeps the bars moist and chewy for several days, stored in a sealed plastic container.  A great recipe to prepare in advance of the holiday.

Here in Israel, we don't call it a run-up to chag for nothing.  All over the country, people are running around and FREAKING OUT over the impending TWO DAY CHAG!!!  When we first made aliyah, I vacillated between thinking that (A) everyone here was crazy, I mean good grief, I could prepare two day yom tov in my sleep and (B) how wonderful it was that everyone is preparing for the same holiday.  Six years down the road, I am slightly less enamored of the supermarket chaos that ensues two full weeks before yom tov.  If you saw the creative parking that goes on in the lot at our Rami Levy (think drunken sailors and illegal mid-lane car abandonments), you would understand my frustration.  But it is still truly beautiful that we are on the same page, gearing up for Rosh Hashana.  And I just have to keep telling myself that.  Even if I am now enough of an old-timer to think two days of yom tov is really, really long.

Fear not the crystallized ginger -
 but do try sprinkling a little flour over it while
you're chopping so it doesn't stick to your knife

So what are the keys to getting ready for Rosh Hashana?  Here's my take:  Shop early.  Get whatever you can buy in advance, things you can freeze like chicken and meat, dry goods, items with long shelf lives.  Start preparing early.  Bake and freeze, if you have the room.  Make recipes that are quick and require little patchke-ing.  Like this one. Mix it up, chill just a bit, bake in two long loaves, cool, glaze, and slice.  I considered giving you two variations, one with crystallized ginger and one without, because I thought the ginger flavor might be a bit much for some people.  The flavor is indeed quite pronounced shortly after baking, like when you can't wait for the bars to cool and you slice off an end and you burn your fingers and your tongue just a little, but it's worth it.  The next day, though, the flavors meld and mellow perfectly.  Even if you've never tried it,  be adventurous - add the crystallized ginger.  But if you don't have it on hand, or don't feel like chopping it up (I can't resist a little patchke!) but still want a spicy kick, add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. Or just omit the crystallized ginger, and it's still a delicious honey dessert for a sweet New Year.  Definitely a step up from your traditional honey cake.

Spiced Honey Sticks with Lemon Glaze

100 grams or 1/2 cup margarine at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar

Cream the margarine with the sugars until smooth.  Beat in the egg, then the honey and vanilla.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Mix in crystallized ginger.  Chill dough at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into two and, with oiled hands, roll each into a long, narrow log about 13 inches long, and place on the sheet, leaving space between the two rolls.  Flatten slightly.

I cheated - I used two separate pans.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool.

Not so impressive without the glaze, but still yummy.

Mix together glaze ingredients. Drizzle diagonally across loaves with a disposable decorating bag, a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off, or even with a fork. 

Allow glaze to set, then cut into slices, somewhere between a half and three-quarters of an inch. Enjoy!

With best wishes for a Shana Tova U'Metuka - a Good and Sweet New Year full of blessings for us all.


Now check out all the other recipes featuring honey from the September Kosher Connection Recipe Linkup!


Avital said...

Love the use of crystallized ginger! I picked some up in Meah Shearim a while ago and have been looking for different things to do with it. Thanks for the tip to sprinkle flour -- it really does get sticky very quickly.

How many honey sticks does this recipe yield?

Dvora said...

It makes about 3 dozen, depending on how wide you slice the loaves. The loaves do spread, so you could even cut the a bit wider and then split them down the center for a larger yield.

Also good to sprinkle your knife with flour, or possibly spray with cooking spray (haven't actually tried that one!).

Thanks for reading! Enjoy!

Self Sagacity said...

wonderful, I love honey and sweets.

Anonymous said...

I love the flavors, the candied ginger and the cardamom. I wonder if I could use oil instead of margarine, though?

Dvora said...

I actually have a friend who is testing it out, and promised to check in if the result is good. She was going to try it with 1/4 cup oil (I think somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 should work.). I think the texture might not be as good, but will still be fine.

RonnieVFein said...

Perfect combo of flavors and the texture makes these wonderful accompaniment for coffee.

Pragmatician said...

They look magnificent, and very inviting.

Dvora said...

Use 1/3 cup oil, add one tablespoon cornstarch, bake 13 minutes

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