Shape & Flavor these Twice Baked Cookies as You Like
Photo: Sara Gardner; Biscochikos

Shape & Flavor these Twice Baked Cookies as You Like

Contributed by Sara Gardner

Fall foliage, dropping temperatures and a shift in what’s piled high at farmers’ markets all point towards autumn and for those who celebrate, the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot.

The theme of welcoming guests into one’s home, or succah, is emphasized during these days of celebration. There’s a proliferation of traditional dishes that reflect the local harvest and the theme of ample or stuffed foods.

To see our recipe for mini-pumpkins stuffed 3 ways click here.

For kreplach or soup dumplings made easier with wonton wrappers click here.

But after we’ve eaten the stuffed stuff and we’re stuffed, what’s for dessert?

For a light, simple, classic dessert recipe we’re turning to a  Sephardic favorite called biscochikos. These cookies –  also known as biscotios, roskitas, and kahk, depending on where you are in the Sephardic diaspora – are a traditional adornment to the Sukkot table.

twice baked dairy free cookies biscochikos
Photo: Sara Gardner; Biscochikos

Baked twice like biscotti, these cookies speak to the pre-expulsion Spanish heritage of Sephardic Jews – in fact, a very similar cookie called a rosca is still a common afternoon treat in Spain – while the variety of toppings demonstrate how the diaspora changed the culinary repertoires of the Sephardim in the various places they settled.

In Greece, walnuts and cinnamon flavor the rings, while in Turkey, crunchy sesame seeds top orange-blossom-water-perfumed rounds; in Bulgaria, the outer ring will be usually left bare while the dough is spiced with a generous dash of cinnamon, vanilla extract, and orange zest.

Entirely customizable in terms of shape (in simple rounds or twisted) and topping, these cookies offer something for every guest – and a great treat to make with kids who want to be involved in the holiday cooking.

They can even be hung in your Sukkah – a delicious, Sephardic-inspired way to encourage any guest, wandering stranger and old friend alike, to stay for this festive holiday.


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