Taiglach or Honey Dough Balls
This year, I thought I would try to make taiglach for the first time with Raizel.
The word “taiglach” is Yiddish for “little pieces of dough” which are cooked in honey.
Growing up, this was a very special holiday treat that we only enjoyed on Sukkot. Taiglach are traditionally served on holidays which emphasize sweetness and joy. Some people have the custom of eating them on Purim as well.
I have very fond memories of eating taiglach in the sukkah as a child. I looked forward to them every year!
Raizel was very excited to try this.
I was excited that she was excited.
Aside from Mommy time, making this also gave Raizel an opportunity to practice using her hands and develop her fine finger dexterity.
Since my oven is still not working well, there was the added incentive that taiglach can be made on top of the stove. No oven required! So, it’s a win-win!
Dolly from koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com graciously made this recipe at my request. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it until after I made the version below. Happily, our versions are slightly different. Experiment with which one you like best.
According to Dolly, her family made them with raisins and almonds and piled the taiglach up in a mound. However, growing up, our taiglach were made in a single layer and made without raisins or nuts. Instead, they were sprinkled with coconut.
Please check out her blog and wonderful explanation on this delicious treat.
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons oil
About 1 ¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup honey. (I think that this is 1 lbs of honey, but I only had 12 oz so I added more sugar instead.)
1 ½ cups sugar.
2 teaspoons ginger
Optional: ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons boiling water. This is critical, because otherwise the syrup will become too stiff and hard when it cools.
Optional: 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans, blanched almonds or hazelnuts
Optional: ½ cup coarsely raisins or minced candied fruit.
Optional: shredded coconut to sprinkle as desired.
To make the dough: Combine the eggs, vanilla (if using) and oil together until smooth. Add 1 cup of flour, baking powder and the salt. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft, workable dough. If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of cold water. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. The dough should be soft, and not sticky.
Traditionally, the dough is divided into 4 and rolled into a rope until it is approximately .5 inches thick. Then the dough is cut into .5 inch pieces. Some people then tie them into loose knots and tuck the ends underneath.
This dough, however, is very flexible. It can be cut into squares, or rolled into balls instead of twists. The pieces can even be baked or fried first for added crunch.
Since I am time challenged, I cut the dough into 36-40 pieces and then rolled them into balls. Some people like to add a few raisins inside the balls. Feel free to experiment.
Syrup: Combine honey, sugar and spices in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.
To assemble: Drop the pieces of dough into the syrup one at a time. Reduce the heat to low, and let them rise for 2 minutes. Cover and simmer for 15-30 minutes, without stirring. Then, stir the dough pieces occasionally so that all the pieces will cook evenly. Simmer (up to 45 minutes) until golden brown and the dough sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
Add boiling water and remove from heat. Spoon onto lined cookie sheet or pan in a single layer to cool. If desired, roll in chopped nuts or sprinkle with coconut. Pour some of the honey syrup over the taiglach if you would like them to stick together.
Save the rest of the sauce for a recipe that calls for honey. I am planning on using it to make chicken.
When cool, place in a sealed container. Do not refrigerate.
The taiglach can remain at room temperature for several weeks, but hopefully they will be gone before then.
I was only able to take a few pictures:
Raizel and Yaffa LOVED them!
I was particularly overjoyed when Raizel said, “the only reason why these taste so good is because we davened (prayed) while we made them.”
That was the first time that she validated my beliefs that prayer and love are critical to successful cooking!
It was “Yiddishe nachas!” For those who may not know, Yiddishe nachas is a term which refers to the inner warmth and pride one feels when one observes the transmission from one generation to the next of one’s spiritual values and traditions.
True bliss on so many levels.