Tag Archives: Yiddish

Cookies 8: Mandelbrot

mandelbrotAs Hanukkah draws to a close, try this delicious and easily adapted cookie.

Unlike many cookies, mandelbrot, “almond bread” in Yiddish, are twice-baked. The result is something very much like Italian biscotti.

In addition, you can easily adapt the mandelbrot recipe to incorporate your favorite treats: chocolate chips, almonds, walnuts, and more.

Here’s a mandelbrot recipe from Edna Weisberger by way of AllRecipes.com.



4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup white sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)

3/4 cup chocolate syrup

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into an electric mixer’s mixing bowl and mix well; blend eggs and 1/2 cup oil into mixture. Pour orange juice and orange zest into mixture; mix well. When the mixture becomes very thick take the mixing bowl out of the mixer and continue stirring with a wooden spoon (at this point the mixture is so thick that it could damage an electric mixer).

Separate dough into thirds. Roll (or spread with your hands) each chunk of dough into a rectangular shape. Sprinkle the chocolate syrup onto the center of each rectangle. Fold the sides of each rectangle into the center to form a loaf shape. Work with the loaf until there is no longer a crease that could break open while baking. Each roll will be approximately 12 inches long. Brush the outside of each roll lightly with oil. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of the rolls.

Bake on a nonstick cookie pan for 20 minutes. This is a firm, cake-like cookie. If you would rather a crispier cookie toast the cookie another 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. When cooled cut the loaves to form semi-circle shaped cookies.

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Happy Hanukkah

I admit it; I love dreidels.  It all started when one of my sister’s best friends in college invited us to a Hanukkah party.  We sat around listening to music and playing dreidel, which this Atlantic City girl was delighted to discover was actually gambling.  From then on, I was hooked. 

When my son recently came home with a handmade menorah from school, I thought the time was right to introduce him to the dreidel.

Maybe it’s not the best way to get my son interested in Hanukkah and Judaism, but it’s a start.

Dreidel:  the rules of the game

Each player starts the game with an equal number of whatever commodity you’re gambling:  coins, peanuts, gelt, etc. 

Each player puts one piece in the “pot”.  When it’s your turn, spin the dreidel.   

Nun means nothing in Yiddish. The player does nothing.

Gimmel means everything in Yiddish.  The player gets everything in the pot.

Hey means half in Yiddish. The player gets half of the pot.  If there is an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player takes half of the total plus one.

Shin means put in in Yiddish.  

The game is over when one player wins everything!


Below:  the four sides of the dreidel, from right: nun, gimmel, hey, and shin.




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