Know what the most popular post on this site is, right at this very moment? By far? It’s a post called “ Mmm… kichelicious .” I adore kichel, the dry unsweetened European cookie that has been a staple of Jewish life since… well, probably since someone’s Bubby needed to make cookies and discovered that she was out of sugar. Apparently, thousands of people out there on the Internet love kichel and want to know how to make it well at home. But celebrity kosher baker Paula Shoyer does not. Which is too bad, because in every other way, she’s absolutely perfect. I enjoyed a baking demo she did yesterday at the home of the U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro. She did a really great job of preparing a couple of basic recipes that I hope to share with you very soon. But the real reason for her crusade to bring simple, delicious pareve baking recipes to home cooks is because, as she said yesterday, “in the U.S., pareve desserts… are absolutely horrific.” Foremost among
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My fellow Israelis are ridiculously huge fans of desserts involving what are basically soggy cookies. This may have something to do with the fact that the horrendously misnamed “petit beurre” cookies are absolutely everywhere. These cookies are analagous to the Social Tea biscuits we used to buy back in Canada. They’re misnamed (in Hebrew, “פתיבר” – all one word) because, being pareve, they don’t contain a single drop of butter. I’m sure they’d be a great base for desserts of all kinds, but actually, the pareve ones aren’t a bad substitute. Perhaps the best-known and most-loved of these treats is Kadurei Shokolad (כדורי שוקולד), literally Chocolate Balls. When I told my kids we were having them, they literally jumped and shouted “yay!” GZ (age 7) was not too thrilled when I told him he’d be making them himself , but he got into it quickly. These are super-easy to make, and tons of fun to do with kids. I recommend having a variety of sprinkly things on hand to roll t
If you didn’t know any better – like I didn’t when we first came here – you’d probably assume, with good reason, that both of these tins contained condensed milk: But that’s where you’d be wrong. Sure, at least at first glance, the Hebrew text is exactly the same: חלב מרוכז וממותק / chalav merukaz umemutak / concentrated sweetened milk. But the English is different, and therein lies the key difference between the two – the one on the right is FAKE. Here are the ingredients of the real thing (on the left): Milk (55%), sugar (45%). That’s it. Pure and simple. Now, here are the ingredients