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Pumpkin Challah

Amy Kritzer

An unconventional twist on traditional challah, this dough incorporates pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree.

1/2 cup warm water (about 100 degrees)
1 1/2 packages active dry yeast
3 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg + 1 egg yolk for the dough and 1 egg for the glaze
  1. Mix the yeast into the hot water water in a bowl. Leave for 10 minutes to dissolve.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the flours, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In the bowl with the water and yeast, whisk in pumpkin puree, 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, oil, and honey.
  4. Make a well in your flour mixture and add in the pumpkin mixture to form a dough. Add more flour if your dough is sticky.
  5. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Put dough in a warm, dry bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours until tripled in size.
  7. Form dough into a braided challah.  For a simple three-strand braid divide your dough into three parts and start in the middle, braiding each side and securing at the ends.
  8. Put challah on parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap for 45 minutes until it doubles in size again. While it is rising, pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  9. Brush challah with an egg yolk wash and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown.

Amy Kritzer is a food writer and recipe developer in Austin, TX who enjoys cooking, theme parties and cowboys. She challenges herself to put a spin on her Bubbe’s traditional Jewish recipes and blogs about her endeavors at What Jew Wanna Eat. Her recipes have been featured on Bon Appetit, Daily Candy, The Today Show Blog and more. You can follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook and watch her cooking videos on Google+.


Spiced Angel Pecans

Tina Wasserman

These angel pecans are truly heavenly! A perfect treat to make in the fall when pecans are freshly harvested, you can serve them to guests in your sukkah during Sukkot.

1 egg white
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Place egg white in a 2-quart bowl and beat with a whisk until light and foamy.
  3. Fold melted butter and vanilla into the whites. Add the nuts and gently stir to coat all the nuts with the egg white mixture. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and salt, and gently fold into the nuts to coat evenly.
  5. Spread the nuts onto a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper, and bake for 45 minutes, stirring the nuts after the first 25 minutes. Nuts should be very crisp and dry.
  6. When completely cool, store in an airtight container or freeze in ziplock freezer bags until ready to use.

For Savory Nuts: Substitute 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce for vanilla, and use 1 1/2 teaspoons Lawry’s seasoned salt, 1/4–1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon curry powder instead of the spices. Prepare as directed above.
For Orange-Spice Nuts: Substitute 1 teaspoon orange extract for the vanilla, and use 1/2 teaspoon cardamom instead of the nutmeg. Prepare as directed above.

Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Beating the egg white for coating provides more surface area for the sugar to adhere to and makes the pecans more crunchy and “heavenly”!
  • Pareve margarine or oil may be substituted for butter to make it suitable to serve at meat meals.

Moroccan Sweet Couscous with Mixed Dried Fruits

Tina Wasserman

This dish is now a staple on my buffet table for all fall Jewish holidays, because I like to incorporate a new fruit (pomegranate) or fall fruits (raisins, apples, pears in their dried form) for Rosh HaShanah and Sukkot. In reality, this traditional Moroccan dish is served for Hanukkah, but I can’t relegate it to just that one holiday. I have streamlined the preparation time by using dried fruit that is already chopped, and you can use any combination of dried fruit that you want. This is a very kid-friendly recipe and a great way to get those iron-packed fruits into their diet.

1 cup Israeli couscous
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or pareve margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
One 7-ounce package of chopped mixed dried fruit or 1 1/2 cups assorted dried fruits
1/3 cup whole almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly roasted
1/3 cup milk with 3 drops of almond extract added
Cinnamon, pitted Medjool dates, pomegranate seeds, and/or apricot slivers for garnish
  1. Cook couscous in a large pot of boiling salted water for 7 to 10 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain, but do not rinse, and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the butter or margarine in a 1-cup bowl in the microwave for 35 seconds. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the couscous to coat thoroughly. 
  3. Add the dried fruit and roasted nuts. 
  4. Mix the 3 drops of almond extract into the milk. Add just enough of the milk to the couscous to moisten it. Do not add too much or the mixture will be runny. Reserve excess milk in case the couscous is dry. Remoisten before you garnish. 
  5. Pile the couscous into a mound or pyramid shape on a serving platter. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and garnish with Medjool date halves, pomegranate seeds, and/or apricot slivers.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Israeli couscous is a large, milled ball of pasta approximately 1/8 inch in diameter. 
  • Coating couscous with butter or margarine prevents the mixture from clumping. However, it still holds together beautifully when mounded. 
  • Made with wheat berries, this dish is Greek koliva, and Sephardim serve this tooth-resembling grain to celebrate a baby’s first tooth.


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