Pistachio “Persian” Rugelach

I love when I am able to merge my husband’s Persian culture with my Jewish one. This was a perfect to do so with both Norooz (Persian New Year) and Purim just days apart. I decided to merge the two holidays in one treat – pistachio, cardamom, chocolate chip rugelach.


Rugelach is a traditional Jewish rolled cookie, most often filled with raisins or chocolate and walnuts, as in my Aunt Gussie’s Rugelach.


Many Persian desserts and pastries have pistachios and/or cardamom in them.


So, I coated pistachios with cinnamon-sugar mixtures and cardamom-sugar mixtures to see what we preferred; both were good.  But when I added the chocolate chips, the pistachios, chocolate and cardamom just blended perfectly together.  So we ended up with our “Persian” Rugelach. Which happens to also be even extra fitting since the story of Purim took place in ancient Persia.


Pistachio Rugelach (“Persian Rugelach”)

3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup orange juice

2 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

3 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup mixture of cardamom & sugar

1/2 cup pistachio, chopped

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and vanilla.

Mix in the salt, baking powder and 3 cups of flour. Knead in an additional 1/2 cup flour until the dough is dry enough to roll.


Roll the dough out to 1/8″ thickness.


Sprinkle heavily with cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle with nuts & chips. Cut it into triangles or diamonds (today I did triangles).


Roll into crescents, pressing in the end point, and place on cookie sheets. Bake in batches for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.




Makes 30 – 40 rugelach, depending upon the size you make them.


Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Persian, Purim, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Kulich – a Russian Purim Challah

They tried to kill us…we survived…let’s eat! Ah, the story of many a Jewish holiday.  And Purim is no exception. The most familiar food is hamantaschen, or Haman’s hats.


Russian Jews also make a sweet Challah braided to symbolize the rope Haman was going to use to hang Mordechai, but was instead used to hang Haman.  I decided to bake a kulich this year –  a 6-strand braid.



So…let’s eat!


½ cups warm water

1 T dry yeast

½ cup sugar

3 eggs

½ t salt

½ cup vegetable oil

3-4 cups flour

Sesame seeds for sprinkling


Pour water into mixing bowl, and sprinkle with yeast and sugar. Wait ten minutes until bubbly.

Add 2 eggs, salt, oil and half the flour. Mix (by hand or with an electric mixer with bread hook attachment) until combined. Add more flour, a little at a time, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise one hour. Briefly knead dough, then let rise, covered, for another hour.

Divide dough into six parts,


and roll each into long strands.


Pinch together at one end, then braid the strands. (Alternate crossing the right strand over the three to its left, then the left strand over the three to its right.)


Pinch together at the bottom when done.


Place on a cookie sheet, cover, and let rise one more hour. Beat remaining egg, and brush it over the loaf to glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Preheat oven to 350 F, and bake approx. 45 minutes, until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Enjoy!


Makes one large loaf.








Categories: Bread, Kosher, Purim, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 4 Comments

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Hamantaschen

With Purim coming on Thursday, Sunday was Hamantaschen baking day. I decided to make 2 different types this year, date-filled and Chocolate & Peanut Butter.  The CPB’s came out surprisingly well.  The texture is great, it is like eating a cookie version of a reese’s cup.


The dough itself was delicious, just the perfect amount of chocolate and not too sweet.   The sweetness if left to the peanut butter filling.  That was so good I could not bring myself to discard the extra.  Not sure yet what I will do with it, but it will be something.


I can’t wait to share these with friends….otherwise I will eat them all!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hamantaschen

by Amy Spiro, in The Jewish Week

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt


1 cup creamy peanut butter

2/3 cup milk

1/3 cup confectioners sugar


Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix until completely  combined.


Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.

For the filling, beat together the peanut butter, milk (or soy milk) and icing sugar and smooth. (If you’re having trouble getting it smooth microwave the mixture for about 10 seconds.)


Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper until about ¼“ thick. Use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut out as many shapes as possible.


Place a scant teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle, and


fold up the three sides to form the triangle shape. Make sure to pinch each corner closed so it seals.


Bake on 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute then remove to a wire rack and cool complete


Share and Enjoy!


Makes about 3 dozen.

Categories: Dessert, Kosher, Purim, Recipe, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Salmon “Hamentaschen”

Happy Purim!


I saw the recipe for these savory hamentaschen and I could not resist trying them!  Honestly, I was not expecting much, it was ust the novelty that I was going for, but to my great surprise, they were really, really good!  The only change I made was to make the cucumber-dill sauce as a chunky sauce rather than processed smooth.


I had a lot of extra filling, so we made salmon sticks out of the remainder.  They were not pretty, but they tasted really good.


We ate this for lunch, and between three of us, we polished off everything except 3 of the salmon sticks.  I call that a success!

Salmon Hamentaschen

Slightly adapted from Sharon Matten on aish.com

1 14.75-oz can red salmon (wild caught) – do not drain

1 1/4 cups bread crumbs

2 large eggs (locally grown)

1 small onion (white or red), diced

1/2 cup ketchup

4 sheets puff pastry, defrosted (I only had 1 sheet, which is why I had extra filling)

Cucumber-dill Sauce

1/2 large cucumber, peeled and diced

1/2 – 3/4 cup mayonaise

1/2 Tbasp dried dill


Preheat oven to 400F.  Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix together the cucumber, mayonnaise and dill.  Adjust amount of dill and mayonnaise to taste.  Set aside.


In a large bowl, crumble the salmon and, using your hands, mix together with the bread crumbs, eggs, onion and ketchup until fairly smooth.


Roll a sheet of pastry to 9×11.  Use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut circles from the pastry dough.


Spoon the salmon mixture onto the puff pastry circles.  Pinch into triangle hamentaschen.


Bake for 15 minutes until browned.


Serve warm or cold with the Cucumber DIll Sauce.  Enjoy!


Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Purim, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment


My last post was about needing to lose my winter weight, so it may seem odd for the following post to be about sweets.  But it is time for Purim, and that means hamentaschen!  Luckily, one of the traditions of Purim is to give gifts of food, so pretty much all that we bake will be given away (except for what my husband will insist I keep for him – he loves hamentaschen).


I usually make hamentaschen with prune, apricot preserves, and strawberry preserves.  This year I wanted to try my hand at some home-made fillings. So I made homemade apricot and a date-walnut-peach fillings.  I have been won over, I am never going back to pre-made fillings.

20140308-164603.jpg 20140308-164625.jpg

If you have never had hamentaschen, let me explain.  Purim is the Jewish holiday celebrating the triumph of Queen Esther of Persia over the evil Haman, a king’s advisor who planned to have all the Jews killed.  It was thought that Haman wore a tri-cornered hat, so, as part of the tradition, we eat cookies shaped like his hat: hamentaschen = Haman’s hat.


The dough is wonderfully flavored with orange juice.  This recipe is one I have been using since I was a child and first made them with my sister-in-law Ginny.


4 cups flour

4 eggs (locally raised)

3/4 cup sugar

3 Tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp orange juice

Orange zest

Apricot Filling (see below)

Date-Walnut-Peach Filling (see below)


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the first seven ingredients in a large bowl.




Roll out to 1/8” thick.  Using a glass, cut as many circles as you can in the dough.


Place a small spoonful of filling in each circle.


Pinch up three sides to form a “tri-cornered hat”.  Repeat the process of rolling out the dough and making “hats” until all the dough is used.


Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Enjoy!


Makes at least 5 dozen Hamenstaschen.

Apricot Filling

Adapted from JoyofKosher.com

12 ounces dried apricots, chopped

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place apricots in a saucepan.  Add sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and just enough water to cover the fruit.


Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until liquid is reduced and fruit is thick, 15 – 20 minutes.


Transfer to a food processor and pusle 3 to 4 times until desired consistency is reached (I wanted to keep mine with a little texture to it).


Date-Walnut-Peach Filling

12 ounces dates, chopped

1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

3 Tbsp peach preserves

~1/4 cup water, if needed

Chop the dates in a food processor.


Add nuts and peach preserves and process more.


Depending upon your nuts, you may need to add water to get the desired consistency.


Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Purim, Recipe | 1 Comment

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