This recipe is adapted from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion's recipe for Bakery Date Squares.
My husband introduced me to techina (tahini), a staple found in most Israeli kitchens, as soon as we made aliyah in 1992.
One favorite dish of the Ashkenazim that survived the move from the shtetl to North America was the hearty mushroom-potato-barley soup called krupnick.
Every birthday deserves a great cake. This iconic, cocoa-based, richly iced cake fits the bill.