Dynamic Cookies From Israel
Dynamic cookies from the Holy Land, are the tribute of a young woman to the land she calls home. In Israel you are blessed to be able to use coconut meat from the coconut palm plantations. It is fresh and can be grated as you make the Macaroons. Macaroons that are made with fresh ingredients make dynamic cookies! Here is the recipe from the “My Jewish Learning” Website.
- 3 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut (the fresher is the best)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- scant 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 egg white
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together the condensed milk, egg white, vanilla, orange extract, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Fold in the coconut, followed by the chocolate chips. Drop tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
Bake until cookies are lightly brown, 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool, then peel cookies from parchment. Store in an airtight container.
Coconut Haters to Coconut Lovers
Many a person who used to hate coconut, has fallen in love with fresh Macaroons, made the Israeli way! They are made fresh with the abundant coconuts found all around this special land. It is out of this amazing land that we get these magnificent and dynamic cookies.
Fruits In The Courtyard
Those figs from the Fig Trees in the courtyard make sweet fillings for several favorites. The succulent dates are amazing. Along the trellis are the grapes that make the filling for the Hamantachen cookies and raisins for many others. Not to be forgotten is the honey, wheat and barely that makes the dough for these and other favorites. The olives are pressed into fresh Olive Oil and the pomegranates make yet another filling. From the Seven Species come sweet and dynamic cookies. These are the favorites that are made each Purim. Israel has many original and dynamic cookies to tease your taste buds. Hamantachash cookies are like no other and are some of the most dynamic cookies in the land. In the last few years people have added variety to the Hamantachen, but there is nothing like the original Hamantachen . They are a labor of love.
Makes 20 to 30 cookies, depending on size
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To assemble the cookies:
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups of filling, such as fruit jam, Nutella, poppy seed filling, chocolate, nut butters, jams, or thick compotes
Stir together the flour and salt, and set aside. With an electric mixer or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, zest, and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Add the flour, a half a cup at a time, mixing gently. The dough should look crumbly, but stay together. Use your hands to form it into a smooth disk, then wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line several baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together the egg and milk, then set aside.
On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. (If necessary, divide the dough in two and keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic until ready to use.) Use a 2- to 3-inch diameter biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out round circles, and use a spatula to transfer the rounds to the prepared cookie sheet.
On each round, spoon a 1/2 teaspoon of your desired filling. Lift up 3 sides and pinch the corners together to make a triangular 3-cornered hat shape, leaving the center of the filling exposed. Make sure you have thoroughly pinched the corners. If you’re having trouble, you can moisten the surface of the dough lightly with the egg mixture.
Make sure there’s about an inch of space between each cookie, then lightly brush the pastry with the egg wash.
Bake until lightly golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely before serving; overeager eaters will find themselves rewarded with scorching hot filling!
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
(Recipe taken from “The Kitchen. com”)
For a simple video on how they are made, take a minute to watch the following. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HT9pI9AauA There is a technique to making these cookies, the dynamic cookies that they are. The recipe is the basic recipe and you can incorporate some of the ideas in the video. Enjoy!
Winter Inspiration In The Land
Many of these dynamic cookies started out with a little early morning inspiration from a young woman’s heart. In this fertile and abundant land has come an endless supply of cookies that are sweetly delicious. How exceedingly special it is to be privileged to use fruits from the Seven Species elevating an ordinary cookie to deeper meaning. It is the Seven Species that help to make these delicacies the dynamic cookies that they are.
A winter inspiration are the Hanukkah Cookies. The cookie cutters can be ordered off the My Jewish Learning Web site. (You can find them in the Hanukkah recipe section with the cookie recipe.) Below is the simple recipe for these delicious and unique sweets. They are yet another delicious and dynamic cookie from the Land of Israel.
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Jam (raspberry preferred, but whatever you like is fine)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 6 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
Using electric beaters or a food processor, cream the butter and sugar. Add the orange juice, 2 egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon extract. The dough will be very wet. Add the baking soda and 3 cups of flour. At this point the dough will probably be gumming up the beaters, so turn it out into a bowl and work in the remaining three cups of flour by hand. If the dough still feels very sticky, add another half cup of flour.
The dough will store for up to two weeks in the fridge if it is tightly wrapped in plastic.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Sprinkle your work-space with flour. Divide the dough in half, and place one half on your floured work-space. Sprinkle flour on your rolling pin, and begin to roll out the dough. You want it pretty thin–about 1/8th of an inch thick. Using your cookie cutters, begin to cut out shapes from your dough. Remember to have an even number of each shape you’ll be using for the Linzer cookies.
Line and/or grease your cookie sheets. Lay half of each shape of cookie down on the sheets (so if you cut out eight dreidel shapes, put four on the cookie sheet). Poke a hole about the width of your index finger in the middle of each of the remaining shapes. (You may be able to do this with your finger, you may use the mouth of an empty bottle of vanilla, or use the bottom of a Hanukkah or Shabbat candle.)
Dot the cookies on the cookie sheet with about 1 teaspoon of jam per cookie. Then stack one of the cookies with a hole in it on top of each jam dotted cookie. When all the cookies are stacked, brush each Linzer cookie with egg whites, and sprinkle with ground walnuts.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
A Labor Of Love
These are just a few of the sweet delicacies of Israel. These are three of the most unique and unusual treats. They have amazing stories! They are made with love! They are a part of the land! They honor Israel’s heritage. They are indeed a few of the dynamic cookies found in the land that is “flowing with milk and honey.” They are distinctive! They are delicious! They are a labor of love!