Rosh Hashana: Gift Idea
Next week my family will be celebrating the Jewish New Year also known as Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is one of Judaism’s holiest days and just happens to be my favorite Jewish Holiday. It marks the beginning of a 10 day period, known as the days of Awe, ending with Yom Kippur. The time period is meant to be introspective and mark the closing of the year and beginning of the new. (Yay for introspection and growth!)
One tradition at Rosh Hashanah is giving sweet treats to friends and family to wish them a sweet new year. So that’s exactly what the girls and I did.
Since a major symbol of the holiday is honey I thought we should make some honey comb greeting cards.
Honey Comb Greeting Cards
What you’ll need:
Paint bubble wrap with a thin layer of paint, press gently into the front of card. Let dry. When dry, dip finger in yellow paint and leave finger prints on ‘honeycomb’. When dry, draw lines onto prints to make bees. If your child is old enough to write have them write, ‘Shana Tova’ on the front of card, or you can do this for them.
Rugelach is my favorite traditional Jewish treat and I love this recipe I found years ago.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup jam
1 cup loosely packed golden raisins, chopped
1 1/4 cups walnuts (1/4 lb), finely chopped
Milk for brushing cookies
Special equipment: parchment paper; a small offset spatula
Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined well. Add flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, then flatten (in wrap) into a roughly 7- by 5-inch rectangle. Chill until firm, 8 to 24 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of a 1- to 1 1/2-inch-deep large shallow baking pan with parchment paper.
Cut dough into 4 pieces. Chill 3 pieces, wrapped in plastic wrap, and roll out remaining piece into a 12- by 8-inch rectangle on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment, then transfer to a tray and chill while rolling out remaining dough in same manner, transferring each to another sheet of parchment and stacking on tray.
Whisk 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon.
Arrange 1 dough rectangle on work surface with a long side nearest you. Spread 1/4 cup preserves evenly over dough with offset spatula. Sprinkle 1/4 cup raisins and a rounded 1/4 cup walnuts over jam, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar.
Using parchment as an aid, roll up dough tightly into a log. Place, seam side down, in lined baking pan, then pinch ends closed and tuck underneath. Make 3 more logs in same manner and arrange 1 inch apart in pan. Brush logs with milk and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of remaining granulated sugar. With a sharp large knife, make 3/4-inch-deep cuts crosswise in dough (not all the way through) at 1-inch intervals. (If dough is too soft to cut, chill until firmer, 20 to 30 minutes.)
Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to warm in pan on a rack, about 30 minutes, then transfer logs to a cutting board and slice cookies all the way through.
I decided to use mason jars as the container for our sweet treats because, who doesn’t love a mason jar. I simply wrapped a square piece of brown paper around the top of each jar and tied with a thin yellow striped ribbon. Tie a honey dipper to the jar as well and voilà.