This week was the celebration of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana. While I myself am not Jewish, my boyfriend and his family are. This year I wanted to venture away from the typical platter of dried fruit nuts and chocolate when it came to gifts.
When we first started dating I had had very little exposure to Jewish culture and it was all very strange to me. Over the years I have grown to love the sense of community and tradition that is so strong within the Jewish community.
On Rosh Hashana, you wish everyone “shana tova umetuka”, wishing them a good and sweet year. Now not only is my boyfriends family Jewish, but they’re Israeli. That’s why the rectangular cookie has “shana tova” written in Hebrew on it. And on Rosh Hashana you eat apples dipped in honey, hence the apple.
I’ve made iced cookies before, although not since starting this blog, but not in such large quantities. By the time I was finished piping these, I could barely move my right hand. I’m still feeling twinges of muscle strain as I type! I’m so happy with how they turned out though! I definitely think my piping skills improved over the course of the weekend. I can’t wait to give these to the family 🙂
Most recipes for royal icing use meringue powder or some other powdered egg substitute, which I have yet to see in South Africa. I use this recipe, which uses good old egg whites. Don’t worry though, the icing doesn’t taste anything like egg. I promise! I HATE the taste of egg!
Louise also has some really useful tutorials on how to pipe and flood cookies. The other source of decorated cookie wisdom I used is Sweet Sugar Belle. I also used her recipe for cookies, adding in some vanilla extract and they turned out perfectly: crumbly, not overly sweet, delicious!
Although I try not to buy too many specialist baking tools that I may only use once, in this case you will need a #1 tip and your life will be a lot easier with some icing bottles. I bought from YuppieChef.