Sweet home Louisiana

Bake up batches of succulent Southern cookies from NOLA in Tel Aviv such as Blondies, chocolate and peanut butter and "snickerdoodles."

Blondies cookies 370 (photo credit: KEREN BITON and TALYA RASNER)
Blondies cookies 370
(photo credit: KEREN BITON and TALYA RASNER)
Last summer, a new bakery opened on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. The NOLA American Bakery brings to Israel the best of classic American baked goods. NOLA (an acronym of New Orleans, Louisiana) is the result of the hard work of Talya Rasner, a young entrepreneur with a deep emotional connection to American cooking and baking.
As a descendant of a Jewish immigrant family in the US originating in Eastern Europe, she remembers the flavors of this unique cuisine from her childhood and is now proud to offer it in Israel.
Harriet Sternstein, an American pastry chef from New York, joins Rasner in her new venture, where every day she prepares a tempting array of freshly baked pastries, including brownies, cinnamon rolls, classic American cheesecake, cupcakes and muffins.
In addition to its well-known and popular pastries, NOLA prepares specialty New Orleans style muffins, including pecan pie, Mississippi mud pie, Leah Jean’s munchies, Doberge cake, corn bread and sherry poppy seed cake.
Here are a few traditional recipes that are always well received.
✔ 2⅔ cups flour ✔ 4 tsp. baking soda ✔ ½ tsp. salt ✔ 226 gr. butter ✔ ⅔ cup white sugar ✔ 1 cup brown sugar, packed ✔ 2 large eggs ✔ 1 tsp. vanilla extract ✔ 1 cup pecans, crushed
Preheat oven to 175° C. Grease and line a square baking pan.
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and the two types of sugar at high speed for 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and the vanilla.
Lower the speed and add the flour mixture.
Mix well. Add the pecans. Mix briefly and pour the batter into a baking pan and spread out.
Bake for 28-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out dry. Let the Blondies cool completely before cutting into squares and removing from the pan. Blondies can be kept for up to five days in an airtight container.
✔ 2 cups white flour ✔ ½ cup cocoa powder ✔ 1 tsp. baking soda ✔ ½ tsp. salt ✔ ¾ cup cold butter ✔ 1 cup white sugar ✔ 1 cup dark brown sugar ✔ ¾ cup peanut butter ✔ 2 eggs ✔ 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract ✔ 240 gr. bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Using an electric mixer, whip the butter and both sugars until smooth and light.
Add peanut butter and mix well.
Add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla.
Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix.
Add another ⅓ and mix, and then add the remaining flour mixture and mix well.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Using a spoon, form small balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake 8-12 minutes or until cookies are stable but still soft.
Cool cookies before placing in an airtight container.
✔ 1¼ cups sugar ✔ ⅔ cup oil ✔ ¼ cup maple syrup ✔ 1 egg ✔ 1¾ cups flour ✔ 1½ tsp. ground ginger ✔ 1 tsp. cinnamon ✔ 1 tsp. baking powder ✔ 1 tsp. baking soda ✔ ½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 170°C.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, oil, maple syrup and egg.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add the dry mixture to the sugar mixture and mix well.
Using two spoons, form cookies. Dip each cookie in the leftover sugar. Make sure the cookies are covered well.
Lay cookies on a lined baking sheet 5 cm apart. Bake for 12 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes.
Cookies can be stored for 3 days in an airtight container or up to a month in the freezer.
✔ 1½ cups sugar ✔ 1 cup soft butter ✔ 2 eggs ✔ 1¾ cups flour ✔ 2 tsp. cream of tartar ✔ 1 tsp. baking soda ✔ ¼ tsp. salt ✔ ¼ cup sugar for icing ✔ 2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place 1½ cups sugar, butter and eggs in a bowl and mix well.
Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
Form 5-cm diameter balls from the batter.
Mix ¼ cup sugar with cinnamon.
Roll balls in cinnamon mixture.
Lay balls on baking paper, leaving adequate space between them. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Cool on a metal rack.
Recipes courtesy of NOLA American Bakery, 197 Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv. Open Sunday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (03) 523-0527.