Teiglach is one of those Ashkenazi dishes that often gets dismissed as hopelessly old-fashioned, and that is a shame. Traditionally served on Rosh Hashanah, when sweetness is paramount, it is made from small nuggets of dough (and sometimes nuts) that are boiled in honey syrup, resulting in a sticky-sweet jumble that is a joy to eat. This version adds crystallized ginger to the mix, which gives the dessert an extra kick.
For the dough:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the syrup:
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups walnut halves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla until fully combined. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until the dough begins to come together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead, adding a little more flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and supple. Shape the dough into a ball and place back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time (and keeping the others covered with a kitchen towel), roll into a long, very thin log about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the logs into 1/2-inch pieces and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining pieces of dough. Bake until just puffed and lightly golden, 5–8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, gently separating any pieces that stuck together during baking.
Make the syrup: Stir together the honey, sugar, ground ginger, and lemon zest in a large saucepan, and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey turns a deep golden color, 5–10 minutes. Add the baked and cooled dough pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until the dough begins to take on some color, about 10 minutes. Add the walnuts and crystallized ginger, and continue cooking, stirring often, until the mixture is dark brown and very sticky, 5–10 minutes.
Pour the teiglach and honey syrup back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool. Using wet hands, transfer the teiglach to a serving plate and shape into a mound. Alternatively, to make individual portions of teiglach, make smaller mounds (2–3 inches high) and place in muffin cups. Let cool completely and serve at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Reprinted from “Little Book of Jewish Sweets” by Leah Koenig with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019.