For obvious reasons, most people consider taiglach – those honey-drenched, boiled Ashkenazi pastries – to be a traditional Rosh Hashanah delicacy.
Yet as far as the extended Shiputzim family is concerned, taiglach have long been associated with, well, bar mitzvahs.
For instance, family lore tells how my great-aunt z”l made her famous taiglach for my father’s bar mitzvah.
But seeing as she had to schlep three days by bus while holding the fragile dish of taiglach on her lap, she couldn’t bring too many, and thus, each person at the bar mitzvah was entitled to exactly one of the precious treats.
Fast forward to the next generation, when my dear maternal grandmother z”l prepared taiglach, according to her mother’s recipe, for my brothers’ bar mitzvahs and even whipped up – I use the term loosely; taiglach are a HUGE patchke - a batch for a bris or two.
Of course, her idea of a “batch” was actually a gallon’s worth.
Legend has it that the first time one of the relatives from my father’s side saw that huge container of taiglach, he was stunned. “I’ve never seen that many taiglach at once in my entire life!” he exclaimed.
These days, the taiglach mantle has passed to my mother, who has earned a well-deserved reputation as a skilled taiglach expert. Not only did she prepare taiglach for each of the Shiputzim sons’ bar mitzvahs – see, for example, here and here – but random distant cousins have been known to call her up for taiglach-related advice.
My Mother’s Taiglach
Most members of the Shiputzim family are adamant that taiglach taste best when eaten with a toothpick, but YMMV.
- 4 eggs
- 2 TBSP oil
- ¼ tsp dried ginger
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 2/3 kilo honey
- 3 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 tsp dried ginger
- 2/3 cup boiling hot water
Combine eggs, oil, ¼ tsp ginger, and flour into a soft dough. (If the dough is too dry, add a bit of water.)
Roll the dough into long, ¾-inch-diameter “snakes” and flatten. Dot the snakes with a generous amount of raisins and then roll the dough around the raisins until they’re covered. Using a sharp knife, cut the snakes into ¾-inch-long pieces. Set aside.
In a large pot, combine honey and sugar and bring to a boil. Lower the flame to medium heat, and then carefully drop the taiglach into the syrup, one at a time, without stirring.
When all the taiglach have floated to the top and the taiglach are almost ready, add the remaining 1 tsp of ginger and gently mix through.
When the taiglach are golden-brown, turn off the heat and immediately add the boiling water.
Let cool and store in a sealed container. (Taiglach keep for weeks on end --- assuming that no one eats them first...)
Note from my mother: A teaspoon or so of the honey syrup is great with a cup of tea.
Thank you, Imma, for graciously sharing your recipe!
P.S. Laura posted her own taiglach recipe here.
לשנה טובה תכתבו ותחתמו לאלתר לחיים טובים ולשלום!
May you all have a wonderful, happy, healthy, prosperous, and sweet new year!