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Special Treat Recipes

We'd like to share with you our collection of special treats and contemporary recipes from Israel that you can serve all year round.

Apple Dumplings

Apple DumplingsWe used to call this sweet dish Apples in pajamas and it was always a debate whether to eat the apple with the dough or eat the dough first and it than apples by itself. I‘m sure your guests will appreciate and admire it when you prepare this Apple dumplings recipe. INGREDIENTS: 8 medium size apples, peeled and cored 1 tablespoonful of butter or margarine 1 tablespoonful sugar 1 tablespoonful of raisins I egg Brandy (optional) Ready made puff pastry dough 1 beaten egg + castor sugar for glazing PREPARATION: Mix the butter, sugar and raisins with the egg. Add a little brandy and stuff the paste into the apples. Roll out the puff pastry dough and cut into squares. Now put one apple in the center of each square and press the pastry together. Brush with the egg and sugar and bake in pre heated oven (400 degrees) for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream.

Austrian Apricot Dumplings

Austrian Apricot DumplingsThis is a recipe from my Austro Hungarian grandmother Olga who was telling me stories about the KAISER FRANZ JOSEF. She would prepare Marillen Knoedel, Austrian Apricot Dumplings, once a year and invite all her ‘‘girls‘‘. INGREDIENTS: 12 whole fresh apricots without pits 12 sugar cubes 1/2 pound fresh curd cheese, or pot cheese 1 large egg 1 tablespoon sugar Pinch salt 1.5 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon melted butter 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, dried out 1 tablespoon sugar PREPARATION: Place the cheese in some cheesecloth and let it drain pressing gently to remove excess moisture. Beat the cheese until smooth. Add the egg and continue to beat until incorporated. Add the sugar and salt, and gradually add the flour; continue to mix. Add the melted butter and mix just until you feel the dough holds together when patted with your hands; it will still look pretty wet. Cover and stow in refrigerate for several hours until the dough will stiffen. Carefully pull out the pit, keeping the apricot in tact. Stick a sugar cube inside the apricot where the pit was and squeeze the apricot back together to close it up tightly. The sugar cube will melt inside the apricot when you cook it. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Roll the dough out into a thin circle and cut out 12 circles with a 4-inch ring cutter. Place an apricot in the center of the dough and carefully bring the edges together to completely enclose the fruit and form a dumpling. Gently lower the dumplings into the simmering water; they should not be touching or crowded. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes; the dumplings will sink to the bottom of the pot first and then rise to the surface when they are ready. Carefully remove the dumplings from the water with a strainer. In a separate skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and sugar and cook until the bread crumbs are golden. Roll the apricot dumplings in the browned crumbs to coat evenly. Serve! Some people like the dumplings to be sprinkled with cinnamon, served with whipped cream or hot vanilla sauce. I prefer it as is as it is rich enough.


BaklavaBaklava is a sweet pastry made of layers of Phyllo dough filled with chopped almonds, nuts, or pistachios that is served all over the Balkan and Turkey. The delicacy is very nourishing and sweet and is served best with a strong coffee. My wife's aunts from Rumania were the best baklava producers and I still feel the sweet flavor of their backing on my tongue... INGREDIENTS: 1 package Phyllo dough. Phyllo dough is paper-thin sheets of unleavened flour. A package weighs about 16-18 ounces. 1 pound chopped nuts. You can use almonds, pistachio, or walnuts and can mix them according to preference and availability. 1 cup melted butter or margarine Some people like to add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon For the syrup: 1 cup water 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup honey PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13'' pan. Unroll the Phyllo dough and cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Remember that it is very important to cover the Phyllo dough with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat 3to 4 times. Add a layer of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, and nuts. The last layer should have 6 sheets of Phyllo. As it will be difficult to cut the Baklava after it is backed, use a sharp knife to precut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 50 minutes until Baklava is golden and crisp. While baklava is baking make the syrup. Boil the sugar and water until sugar is melted and add the honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon syrup over it. Let cool. Enjoy!

Bread Pudding

Bread PuddingMy sister in law who stayed a few years in England brought this recipe with her. The recipe allows for many variations and is great for breakfast or dessert. It is most delicious with vanilla or apple sauce. Try serving it hot from the oven adding vanilla ice and everyone will cheer you up. INGREDIENTS: If you like you may double these quantities and bake it in a 9x13 inch pan. 6 slices day-old white bread 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter Optional: 1/2 cup raisins pre soaked in cognac or tee if you don't like the alcoholic taste you may exchange the raisins with chocolate chips. 4 eggs, beaten 2 cups milk or one cup milk and 1 cup cream 3/4 cup white sugar. If you prefer brown sugar use 1 cup instead. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or use vanilla sugar instead of the regular one. PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the bread into small pieces into an 8 inch square baking pan and mix with the raisins or chocolate. Sprinkle with the melted butter. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour over the bread and make sure the bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate MousseMy son Zeev brought this recipe home he was working in a restaurant to finance his Veterinary study. His chef used to prepare this Chocolate Mousse recipe that has been a real hit. Since than my wife Rita prepares this Chocolate mousse for us, whenever a festive occasion arises. INGREDIENTS: 14 ounces cooking chocolate ¼ cup water 1 ounce butter 8 eggs yolks 4 tablespoons brandy (or Grand Marnier) 1 tablespoon cacao 2 spoonful of unsweetened yoghurt 8 egg whites for whipping- keep separate PREPARATION: Dissolve the chocolate in the water while mixing. Add all ingredients one by one and mix well. Whip the egg whites and fold into the chocolate mixture. Keep in freezer. Take out of freezer about 20 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Trifle Dessert

chocolate trifle dessertOne of the easiest desserts with many variations this delicious layered chocolate trifle dessert is always a great hit. The recipe is just a suggestion and the ingredients can be exchanged using the ingredients you have on hand and using your imagination. INGREDIENTS: 1 short cake or lady fingers 1 to 1.5 oz. chocolate liqueur or brandy, you may want to use the canned pears syrup or milk if you prefer a non alcoholic variation. 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix 1 package instant chocolate pudding mix 4 cups cold milk 1 large can of half pears in syrup – drained 1/2 cup chocolate chips – the smallest variation available 1 cup whipped half-and-half cream for garnish 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or peanuts for topping PREPARATION: Prepare each pudding in a separate bowl. Place half the cake in the bottom of the dish sprinkle with the alcohol, syrup, or milk. Put the drained pears halves and add the vanilla pudding. Sprinkle with a thin layer of chocolate chips. Repeat layers this time using the chocolate pudding. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. Before serving add the whipped cream and garnish with the chopped walnuts or peanuts. Of course same preparation can be done in individual cups instead of one serving dish.


CompoteCompote is very refreshing dessert and there are so many ways to prepare and serve it. For Many Years the basic version using dried prunes and apples was the official dessert in Israel started by polish emigrants. Cold in the summer served with vanilla ice cream or warm in the winter it is a wonderful ending to a good meal. Go easy on the sugar – the fruit are sweet enough. There's no exact recipe and it can be made using almost any fruit, fresh or dried just use your imagination. INGREDIENTS: Use about two pounds of fresh fruits, or half of it using dry ones, for this recipe. 5 liters of water. You may want to exchange some of the water with wine. If you do so I suggest you use white wine for apples or pears and red wine for cherries or prunes. When using wine cook the fruits in the part of water you choose first and add the wine only for the last 10 minutes of simmering. 5 tablespoons of sugar or equivalent of sweetener. Optional additions: juice of half a lemon, some cinnamon, or cloves according to your own liking. Wash and cut the fruit (into whatever sizes you'd like) and put it in a large pot with the sugar and cold water. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down a little and simmer for about 40 minutes. Now for serving: fill high glasses with the liquid only and serve cold. Serve the fruits cold in a small personal bowl with a little liquid and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve in a large bowl with some freshly minced mint, or serve hot with a zest of stronger alcohol like rum or cognac.

French Toast With Peaches

French Toast  With PeachesYou can serve it instead of breakfast or serve this French toast with canned peaches recipe to high lighten a lovely brunch. This recipe is always a hit. INGREDIENTS: 8 slices white bread or Challah (a day or two old) ½ cup milk 4 eggs 1 tablespoon sugar Butter for frying For cooked topping: 8 peach halves (or more if you like) and ¼ cup of the canned juice 2 tablespoons butter PREPARATION: Start with the topping: in a small pan, melt the butter on a medium heat, add the sugar and let caramelize for just a minute. Add the peaches and the juice and simmer on a low heat for 5 more minutes. Meanwhile combine the milk, the eggs and the sugar. Whisk with a fork. Put the bread slices in the mixture and leave to soak for just a minute. Melt some butter in a pan and fry the soaked bread slices till golden brown. Place on individual plates (or on one serving plate) and add one peach halve onto each bread slice. Then pour a little of the warm, cooked topping for a wonderful taste and an appetizing finish. It will disappear soon.

Fried Shortcake

Fried ShortcakeThis Fried shortcake recipe offers you an easy way to upgrade the shortcake left from the day before without anybody realizing it. You can even use supermarket version and slice it and set aside for a day or two. INGREDIENTS: 8 slices of shortcake Butter for frying the shortcake 3 spoonfuls brown sugar I.5 cups cut strawberries (or any other kind of berries) 2 spoonfulls butter to fry berries 3 teespoons brandy or orange liquer (optional) 1 spoonful lemon juice PREPARATION: Melt the butter and fry shortcake slices. Set aside. Melt the butter and add sugar and fruit; cook shortly. Add the brandy. Now arrange every cake slice on a plate and cover with the hot berries. You can set two layers like in picture but even with one everyone will be happy. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Muriel’s Apple Cake

Muriel’s Apple CakeDiane volunteered is her special treat recipe as always telling us a story. in 83’, we made aliyah. It seemed like all my new neighbors always had a fresh cake in the oven. When our dear friend, Muriel Golovensky, renown for her baking prowess, came to visit from our hometown, New Rochelle, N.Y. and asked, how can I help you? I quickly responded, one of your cake recipes- something easy, that always comes out well. So here is Muriel‘s apple cake recipe! INGREDIENTS: In a separate bowl combine and set aside 5 tbl. sugar 3 tbl. Cinnamon 6 apples, peeled and sliced In a large bowl combine 3 cups flour ¾ cup sugar 3 teasp. baking powder Then make a well and add in 7/8 cup vegetable oil 4 eggs PREPARATION: With a wooden spoon blend together slowly adding: ¼ cup concentrate of frozen orange juice (mixed with) ¾ cup of water only until a thick pancake batter consistency Lightly grease a bundt pan, pour in 2/3 of mixture, add apples, pushing them gently into batter and cover with rest of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for app. 50 minutes till top is crisp and slightly cracked Serve with powdered sugar.

Pina-colada dessert

Pina-colada dessertThe Pina-colada dessert is a refreshing way to crown a summer evening gathering. There are many variations; non alcoholic when kids are around, non dairy after a fleishig meal, or sugarless for diabetics. Here a basic Pina-colada dessert suggestion. INGREDIENTS: 3 oz Pineapple juice 3/4 oz Coconut cream 3/4 oz Coconut rum 2 splashes Orange juice 3/4 oz Cream 2 Ice cubes Optional; 3/4 oz Dark rum PREPARATION: Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve in individual glasses each with 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Rote Gruetze

Rote GruetzeOriginally Red Grit, or Rote Gruetze as it was called in our home, is a late Summer time dessert from Germany that takes advantage of the fresh berries of the season. The Red Grit dessert is ideal for Tu-Bishvat, Shavuot or as we do all year round taking advantage of frozen berries like raspberries, strawberries, red currants, mixed with cherries and strawberries usually using a combination of these. The picture shows one that is made with strawberries only. Serve it with un-wiped double cream, Vanilla sauce, or ice cream and you can be sure everyone will look for seconds. INGREDIENTS: 6 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened berries 1/2 cup sugar – with or without vanilla flavor according to taste 1/4 cup cold water 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp. corn-starch PREPARATION: Clean and cut berries. Please note that whenever using frozen ones let the fruit thaw before being cooked so the fruits absorb the sugar. In a saucepan combine the sugar and berries with the lemon juice and let stay for an hour. Stir cornstarch in cold water until smooth and keep aside. Now bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When boiling add the cornstarch mixture into the berry mixture gradually while continually stirring. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken, remove from heat, and serve cooled.

Strawberry Trifle Dessert

strawberry trifle dessertThis delicious layered strawberry trifle dessert is always a great hit and will be finished before you realize it. The recipe is just a suggestion and the ingredients can be exchanged using the ingredients you have on hand and using your imagination. INGREDIENTS: 1 short cake or lady fingers 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix 2 cups cold milk 1 cup sour cream and 2 packages 8 ounces each cream cheese, softened 1 to 1.5 oz. rum, brandy or sherry brandy. You nay want to use apple or orange juice if you prefer a non alcoholic variation. 16 ounce strawberries or other berries and 1 ounce of raspberries for garnish Whipped cream for decoration PREPARATION: Prepare pudding with milk according to package directions. In a different bowl mix the sour cream with the cream cheese. Whip the cream in a separate bowl. Place half the cake cubes on the bottom of the trifle bowl or other serving dish. Sprinkle with the alcohol or juice of your choice. Add a layer of strawberries and the vanilla pudding mix. Repeat layers this time using the cream cheese. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. Before serving add the whipped cream and garnish. If you do not have raspberries you may garnish with a few strawberries or sliced kiwis instead.

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