People often ask me what is my favorite dessert from my cookbook, The Kosher Baker . I tell them that my favorite dessert to MAKE is one thing, but my favorite dessert to EAT is something else. I love baking fancy French pastries, complicated tarts, grand layer cakes, and decorating plated desserts and cakes. I enjoy the challenge and the artistry behind those fancy desserts. But if you offer me any of those creations to eat, and a scone, or piece of homemade challah, I will always choose the scone or bread. Simply put, I prefer to eat simple desserts; they make me feel warm inside.
Fancy desserts certainly have their place at our holiday tables and in our lives. This summer, while on my travels, I enjoyed several spectacular kosher meals at Marron Bistro in Montreal, Nobo in Teaneck, NJ, and Pardes in Brooklyn where dear friend Levana Kirschenbaum and I enjoyed a 15-course tasting meal. Although all of these restaurants served lovely desserts, no one can touch Moshe’s wheatgrass and tarragon sorbet at Pardes. Maybe the kosher baking revolution that I started two years ago is finally taking hold? If yes, then I am happy for all of us. Especially, when we eat out, we want a dessert above and beyond anything we can make at home.
Many of us have a few holidays when we really want to impress our guests and I have devoted my career to giving you the tools to do that. This year, however, I have decided to make your baking life and mine easier for Sukkot. After the 12 challahs I baked for Rosh Hashanah, my pre-Tashlich cinnamon buns (no, not to throw into the water), and multiple desserts for our local Yom Kippur break-the-fast, even I can get tired of baking – and I LOVE baking. Maybe we all need something simpler for Sukkot?
Comfort foods are perfect for sukkot and help us turns our sukkahs into a real temporary home. For many of us, the weather has gotten colder and we want a dessert that feels like a thick fleece blanket. The pumpkin challah is your warm introduction to your meal. At the end, you need one soft and cinnamon-ey dessert that will feed everyone – my Apple and Orange Cake. Let these baked goods help you get cozy in the sukkah, and you can pull out all the stops come Chanukah.