Forget the honey, dip the apple in the halla

It’s hard to have anything else on our minds these days – either in the cooking department or the spiritual department – than the High Holidays.

apple halla 311 (photo credit:
apple halla 311
(photo credit:
Each of the recipes that follows would be the perfect addition to your Rosh Hashana table. Many are great for Succot also – and, of course, there’s no reason not make them all year round!
Apple Halla
Nothing starts the holidays off better than this sweet, rich Halla.
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted margarine
3 ½ cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for surface
¾ cup warm water
2/3 cup honey
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one ¼-ounce envelope)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 ½ tart green apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 1 ¾ cups)
More margarine for pan and bowl.
1. Spray a large bowl with non stick spray, melt 4 tablespoons margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat; let cool. Combine 2 tablespoons melted margarine, the flour, water, 1/3 cup honey, the eggs and yolks, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.
2. Transfer dough to greased bowl, and brush with 1 tablespoon melted margarine. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 ½ hours.
3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into 8 ½-by-14-inch rectangle. Top with apples; knead to incorporate. Return to bowl. Brush with remaining tablespoon melted margarine; cover. Let rise again in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 hour more.
4. Preheat oven to 190 (375) degrees, with rack in lowest position. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Roll dough into a rope (about 24 inches) on a floured surface. Coil into a circle, and transfer to pan. Let rise again until dough almost doubles in volume, about 45 minutes more.
5. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons margarine and 1/3 cup honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Brush dough with half the honey-margarine. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 35 minutes.
6. Brush halla with the remaining honey-margarine. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from pan, and let cool.
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 small red chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 bay leaf
1 (28 ounce) can pumpkin or a 2 pound fresh pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced
2 ½ cups vegetable stock
1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the ginger, chile, cilantro, bay leaf, and pumpkin and cook for another 3 minutes.
2. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, skim any foam from the surface. If using fresh pumpkin, reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. For canned pumpkin, just simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and take out the bay leaf, and let cool a little.
3. Transfer the soup into a food processor or with an immersion blender, process until smooth. Return the mixture to the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat gently, stirring. Remove from the heat and pour into warmed soup bowls. Garnish each one with a swirl of parve cream or parve tofutti sour cream.

Duck with Rich Burgundy Wine
2 whole ducks
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
Poultry seasoning
1 large onion, quartered
1 apple, quartered
1 orange, quartered
4 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red Burgundy wine
1. Preheat the oven to 180 (350) degrees.
2. Clean the ducks well and rub the body cavities lightly with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning. Stuff the cavities with pieces of onion, apple, orange and celery. Rub the ducks with the soy sauce and oil.
3. Place in a baking pan and roast, uncovered, basting often with Burgundy wine, about every 10 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes baking time per pound of duck. Remove the stuffing before serving.
Three Layer Brownies
It wouldn’t be Yom Tov without a sweet dessert.
1 cup quick-cooking oats
¾ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup margarine, melted
1 egg
¾ cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
¼ cup nondairy creamer
¼ cup margarine, melted
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons margarine
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 – 2 tablespoons hot water
1. Preheat oven to 180 (350) degrees. Stir together the oats, ¾ cup flour, brown sugar and baking soda. Mix in the ½ cup melted margarine. Pat into bottom of 9 x 9-inch square pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, beat together the egg, sugar, 2/3 cup flour, nondairy creamer, 1 ounce melted chocolate, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the baking powder until smooth and pour over crust. Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
3. For top, microwave together the 1 ounce chocolate and the 2 tablespoons margarine. Stir until smooth; then stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough hot water to enable pouring. Spread over brownies. Cool completely on wire rack.