Delicious Desserts for Rosh Hashanah and Every Other Holiday

The Jewish High Holidays are all about family and friends sharing meals and nothing enhances the celebration like a decadent dessert. Paris-trained pastry chef, Paula Shoyer, known as “the Jewish baking maven,” has created the essential baking book for Jewish cooks. The Holiday Kosher Baker is a stunning book that will forever change the way people bake for the Jewish holidays—because now choosing the right dessert is easy as pie, or babka or layer cake!

Paula has created desserts that follow the latest trends but also ones that remind us of those our grandmothers used to make—with a distinctively modern twist. There are recipes for green tea hammentaschen, fortune cookies for Purim, red velvet layer cake, babka bites, both easy and fancy desserts—something for everyone in the Jewish community.
The Holiday Kosher Baker is divided into sections for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (desserts to eat after Yom Kippur concludes), Sukkot, Hanukah, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot and dozens of color photos show you precisely how to prepare the fancy desserts.
Along with new versions of sponge cakes, babkas, challahs, and rugelach, you’ll find a stunning Ombré Layer Cake, Caramelized Mocha and Vanilla Bean Napoleons, and a Salted Caramel Banana Tart Tatin, an unusual (and tasty) take on upside-down apple cake. Recipes for low-sugar, gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free treats are also included. There’s something for everyone in the Jewish community.
This is a must-have kosher baking cookbook for the holidays—one that you’ll enjoy using throughout the year. Here are two of the most delicious Rosh Hashanah recipes.

Apricot and Berry Strudel
Apple strudel is a classic Jewish dessert. In this version of the classic dessert, which Paula makes with blackberries, dried apricots provide a chewy element while juicy blackberries provide just the right amount of gooeyness. You could also make this dessert with plums, or substitute dates or dried figs for the apricots.

Apricot and Berry Strudel

Apricot and Berry Strudel

• 1 cup dried apricots, chopped into ¹/³ inch pieces
• 1 ½ cups blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 pound filo dough (8 x 12 inch sheets), thawed according to package directions
• Spray oil

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line a 12 x 16 inch jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with parchment. Set aside. Keep a clean, damp dish towel on hand. Place the chopped apricots and berries into a medium bowl. Add the sugar and cornstarch and toss lightly. Set aside.
Place a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Take the filo out of its package and unroll. Separate one sheet and place on top of the parchment. Spray with the oil. Place a second sheet on top and spray again. Repeat with two more sheets. Cover the remaining filo with a piece of parchment or waxed paper and top with a clean, damp dish towel.
Place half the filling along the long end of the filo, 2 inches from the edge. Fold the right and left sides (the short sides) in 1 inch. Roll the long end of the filo (with the filling), into a tight, long log. Place it on the baking sheet. Repeat to make another log.
Bake the strudel for 40 minutes, or until it’s lightly browned on top. Let the strudel cool and cut it into 2 inch (slices. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to two days. Reheat to serve; serves 10.

Chocolate Babka Bites
Chocolate babka is Paula’s most popular dessert. She came up with a two-bite version so she could enjoy her beloved babka without overeating. In the end they came out so good that the risk of overeating has not been completely eliminated. Be careful not to overbake these bites or you will lose the soft interior.

¼ cup warm water
½ ounce dry yeast
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
Dash salt
4 tablespoons margarine, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes
¼ cup canola oil
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
½ cup margarine, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
¾ cup sugar
¹/³ cup mini chocolate chips


Babka Bites

To make the dough: Place warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and let it sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Add ¼ cup sugar, flour, salt, margarine, oil, egg, and egg white. Combine with a wooden spoon in a stand mixer until all the ingredients are mixed in.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 1½ hours.

To make the filling: Place the margarine into a medium or large bowl and beat until creamy. Add the cocoa and sugar and beat until combined. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature while the dough is rising. Preheat oven to 325˚. Place mini muffin papers into a 12 cup mini muffin pan. You will need to bake Babka Bites in batches.
To assemble and bake:

After the dough has risen, divide it in half. On a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour, roll each piece of dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle so that the 12 inch side is facing you. Sprinkle a little flour on a rolling pin if the dough starts to stick to it. Use a silicone spatula to spread half the chocolate filling all the way to the edges. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips all over the chocolate filling and roll up tightly the long way. Cut into ½ inch slices and place one into each of the muffin cups, cut side up. You will have about 24 slices. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Serve  warm or at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to three months. This recipe makes 46 to 48 babka bites.

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