Posted on September 17, 2011. Filed under: Apples, Cakes, Chocolate Chip, Cookies, Desserts, Ethnic Recipe, Honey, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Recipes, Rosh Hashannah Recipes, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Honey for Sweetness in All It's Meanings.

Today’s topic is honey. Since we eat honey on Rosh Hashanah I thought I would write a bit about the Jewish connection with this sweet. First of all, did you know that bees are not kosher? I didn’t. Who would have thought about it one way or the other? After all, who eats bees? Not I! But the paradox is that honey made from bees is kosher even though it is stored in the bee’s digestive sac. Did we really want to know that? Nah! 🙂 Anyhow, there is more to the connection of honey and Judaism than for symbolizing a sweet and good year on Rosh Hashanah.

Honey is supposed to be served with every meal, smeared on the bread over which we recite the “Hamotzi” blessing (“Hamotzi” is the blessing recited over bread every time you eat it, no matter if it is a holiday or a normal day.) from Rosh Hashana until after Sukkot, honey is served with every major meal. It is smeared on the bread over which we recite the “Hamotzi” blessing. A sweet apple is dipped into honey on Rosh Hashana and we eat dishes prepared with honey. Especially popular in Jewish homes is the honey cake.

The first mention of honey in Jewish writings is in the bible as one of the gifts sent by Jacob with his sons when they went down to Egypt to seek food during the famine as it was a valuable commodity during Biblical times.

The custom of honey on the Jewish table during the High Holiday period is an ancient and universal Jewish custom. It is already recorded in the works of the Babylonian Geonim (the presidents of the two great Babylonian, Talmudic Academies of Sura and Pumbedita, in the Abbasid Caliphate, and were the generally accepted spiritual leaders of theJewish community world-wide in the early medieval era, in the 7th century, and probably dates back to even much earlier times.

Throughout the the Tanakh (the Jewish bible), honey is mentioned in connection with the land of “Milk and Honey.” Today, Jews still refer to Israel as the land of “Milk and Honey.” What is interesting about this is that the honey in the Tanakh is thought by the Rabbis to be honey from dates and figs which grow well in the Middle East. But I didn’t even know that there was such a thing. I thought all honey comes from bees, didn’t you? So now, in that light, I can understand the reason why Israel is called “the land of Milk and Honey.”

Although honey was held in great esteem, there is a strict prohibition in the Torah against bringing an offering of honey on the altar of the Beth Hamikdosh (the Holy Temple). In this respect honey was treated like leaven, which was also forbidden. The Torah does not explain why honey was not to be offered at the altar. But in some holy sources one reason, at least, is given: Honey, like leaven, causes fermentation, and is symbolic of the unruly human nature, and of certain bad traits of character like pride, conceit, arrogance. The prohibition of bringing honey (and leaven) to the altar was to remind the people that G-d detests conceit and arrogance, but loves humility and self-discipline. On Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur we pray that G-d forgives us for such behavior, so I again wonder why we eat honey on Rosh Hashanah, again, another paradox. And with that thought, here are some recipes to try out for Rosh Hashanah this year.

Honey Apple Pie Recipe
Honey apple pie is perfect for Rosh Hashanah, but you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it year-round. A puff pastry crust is filled with spiced, honeyed Granny Smith apples and a streusel topping.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon margarine or butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar


3 pounds (about 8 to 9) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup margarine or butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup honey


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Cup ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold margarine or butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick

Roll out puff pastry between two sheets of plastic wrap to 11 x 15
inches, large enough to cover bottom and up sides of the pan. Place in the bottom of the foil-lined baking pan. Brush lightly with melted
margarine or butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons white sugar. Bake for 10 minutes.


In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss
sliced apples in flour mixture. Drizzle with melted margarine or
butter, and then honey. Toss again. Let rest while you make the

Streusel Topping:

Whisk together flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Place flour mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add the cold margarine or butter cubes. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.

Toss the apple mixture again, then distribute in an even layer over
puff pastry in the baking pan. Sprinkle with the streusel topping

Bake about 1 hour or until apple are tender.

Yield: 24 to 36 servings, depending on cut size

A Honey of a Chocolate Chip Cookie 4 U!

Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies
By Bluenoser on August 20, 2005

Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 15 mins

Yield: 2 dozen

About This Recipe: “a different twist on this type of cookie”


1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips


Cream butter and sugar, then add honey. Add egg and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by
teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 375F 10 minutes.

It's Time To Bake!

Soft Honey Cookies Recipe
Photo by: Taste of Home
Soft Honey Cookies Recipe

This old-fashioned cookie has a pleasant honey-cinnamon flavor and a tender texture that resembles cake. It has been a family favorite for years and I thought the recipe should be shared with your readers.

This recipe is: Quick

16 Servings
Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min.


1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg
3 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt


In a small bowl, beat sugar and oil until blended. Beat in egg; beat in honey and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture and mix well (dough will be stiff).

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pan to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 16 cookies.

Nutrition Facts: 1 cookie equals 77 calories, 2 g fat (trace saturated fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 29 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 1 starch.

Soft Honey Cookies published in Reminisce Extra November 2008, p53

Get out the flour, the eggs and the honey...

Spiced Honey Cake Recipe
115 g /4oz light brown sugar
150 g /5oz butter
175 g / 6oz clear honey
200 g /7 oz self raising flour
Half teaspoon each of: ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon
Quarter teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon water
2 beaten eggs
350 g / 12 oz icing sugar


Heat the oven to 180 °C / gas 4 / 350 °F, and grease a 900ml/ 1½ pint
fluted mold (Bundt Pan) .

Place butter, honey, sugar and water in a pan, and heat gently until
butter is melted and sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and
allow to cool.

Meanwhile, sift the spices with the flour. Make a well in the flour
mixture, then pour in the cooled honey mixture and the eggs. Beat until smooth. Pour into the tin and bake for 40 – 50 mins. until the cakes is well risen and golden brown.

To check the cake, insert a skewer into the centre – it should come out clean.

Variations: Substitute the honey with orange marmalade or apricot jam. Or, substitute the honey with marmalade with orange marmalade minus one tablespoon, which you can replace with maple syrup.


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