Three weeks prior to Rosh HaShanah, all the New York Jewish bakeries put up signs urging customers to place their teiglach orders, though most American Jews outside of New York are not familiar with this great dessert, honey-soaked balls of baked dough.
I have fond memories of sitting around the table discussing politics and picking on this dessert, trying to dislodge a sweet morsel. This recipe is much easier than the original technique of cooking the dough in the honey syrup, and the results are perfect every time!
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Combine the eggs, oil, water, and vanilla, and beat with a fork or whisk until light and combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, ginger, and baking powder.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until well combined. Knead with your hands for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll out small chunks of dough into long 1/2-inchwide snakes and cut into 1/3-inch pieces. Roll the dough pieces briefly in your hands to make balls, and place them on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 20–22 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, combine the honey, sugar, ginger, and orange zest in a heavy 3-quart saucepan and bring slowly to a boil. Simmer for exactly10 minutes.
- Add the teiglach balls, the nuts, and the raisins or cherries to the honey mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to coat well. Place in a pie plate or individual tart tins mounded to form a pyramid.
- The balls of dough can be made and frozen until you are ready to assemble the teiglach.
- Always freeze baked goods after they are thoroughly cooled. Place in a freezer bag and close almost all the way. Insert a straw and suck out all of the air and then seal. Defrost before using.
- Always stir a hot sugar syrup with a wooden spoon. Metal will conduct the heat and get too hot and plastic will melt.