September 17, 2010

The onion cookies

Since I was a little girl, every year on the day before Yom Kippur, we make the onion cookies. My great-grandmother Pauline taught her daughter; my grandmother taught my father; he wrote down her recipe and taught it to my sister and I. (My mother loves them as well and her role was always to bake the cookies while my father's job was to put together the dough, roll it out and cut the cookies with a small, round glass. We never used cookie cutters.)

Today's batch came out particularly well, as you can see. I've decided to adapt my grandmother's recipe and remove the water to make the dough less wet (and hopefully the cookies less soggy when we eat them tomorrow to break the fast).

Yum! This annual treat is a welcome blast from the past that tastes just as good as childhood memories.


(My father sat down with his mother one day as she baked these and took notes while she worked. Now five generations of Cohens have enjoyed onion cookies to break the fast after Yom Kippur.)

5 cups flour (or more, as needed)
small box of poppy seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable or olive oil
3 large onions, finely chopped

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix 4 cups flour and all dry ingredients with onions and poppy seeds.

In a separate bowl, beat oil and eggs together with a fork.

Make a well in the center of the flour/onion mixture and stir in beaten eggs and oil.

Add one additional cup of flour if wet.

Working in batches, roll dough out 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick on a floured board.

Cut cookies with a small round cookie cutter (or use the traditional juice glass dipped in flour). You can re-roll scraps into the next batch.

Place cookies about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Pierce each cookie with a fork.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool cookies on racks and store in a sealed container with a piece of bread to take up any moisture. (Cookies tend to soften overnight.)

Spread with butter or cream cheese and enjoy!

Makes more than 50 cookies but can be halved.

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