7 Rich, Chocolaty, and Jewishly Inspired Recipes

Jewish chocoholics, rejoice! We've rounded up our best, chocolatiest recipes, all with Jewishly inspired origins, for you to whip up in your own kitchen. Whether you bring them to the office to share or keep them all yourself, we know you'll love these seven chocolaty options.  

1. Israeli Birthday Cake

Every birthday deserves a great cake, and this iconic, cocoa-based, richly iced, cake known as ugat yomledet (birthday cake) fits the bill – for a birthday or any festive other celebration. The recipe comes from Rabbi Deborah Prinz, a Reform rabbi who’s also a noted chocolate expert who penned On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao.

2. Chocolate-Filled Hamantaschen

Go traditional this Purim! OK, chocolate hamantaschen aren't as traditional as mohn (poppyseed), but they're certainly more traditional than all those newfangled hamantaschen combos that keep cropping up (we're lookin' at you, "unicoen hamantaschen.") This recipe comes from the sisterhood at Temple Beth El in Madison, WI.

3. Wake-Up Fruit Kicks

These energizing chocolate chunks have a real zing to them! These chocolate-coated, dried fruit snacks celebrate the seven species of the land of Israel – two grains and five fruits; the recipe uses six of those foods. They’re perfect for a midday munch, whether you’re sitting at your desk or on a sunny hike. 

4. Chocolate Chip Mystery Mandelbrot

Mandelbrot means “almond bread” in Yiddish, but its origins are the biscotti cookies that were created in Italy more than 700 years ago. During the Depression and World War II, butter and cooking oil were expensive and hard to come by, so mayonnaise was often used in their place – which is the secret ingredient in these “mystery” mandelbrot.

5. Chocolate Challah

Jan Rood Ojalvo says of this recipe, “I wanted a loaf that smelled heavenly even as it was baking and tasted decadent from the first bite. The joy of challah is its crust, and this chocolate version is crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, and studded with chocolate chips.” She decorates the glazed braids with extra chocolate chips for stunning effect before sliding the loaves into the oven.

6. Mustacchioni (Miniature Chocolate Almond Tortes)

This recipe has its roots in the port town of Trieste, Italy. Many Jewish ships traded between Trieste and Livorno, opening trade from the New World to the Far East, and the use of almonds is indicative of Spanish Jewish influence. Almond cultivation was among the primary occupations of Mediterranean Jews, and it was the Spanish Jews who first replaced flour with ground almonds in baking their tortas. This recipe makes 24 miniature cakes.

7. Faye’s Chocolate Chip Orange Zest Cookies

Steve Rood Goldman shares a touching family memory of visits to his Grandma Faye's high-rise apartment in Miami Beach, where she made these cookies. “As a young newlywed, I raved about Grandma Faye's chocolate chip cookies,” he writes. “When my wife finally procured the recipe and baked a batch, we had to agree that my memory was sharp indeed.”

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Kate Kaput is the assistant director of marketing and communications, focused on messaging and branding, for the Union for Reform Judaism; in this role, she serves as a content manager and editor for ReformJudaism.org. A native of Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, and an alumna of the Religious Action Center's Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Fellowship, Kate holds a degree in magazine journalism and lives in Cleveland, OH, with her husband.

View all posts by Kate Kaput