Rosh Hashana is coming and our friend (and Davida’s superMom), Staci Segal, is sponsoring a pre-Rosh Hashana bake sale to benefit benefit Ohr Meir U’Bracha, The Terror Victims Support Center of Israel.
Last year, Davida baked glazed carrot muffins for this bake sale. This year Davida and Staci’s daughter, Chava, are spending the year studying in Israel, so I offered to bake and send over some cupcakes for this important event. I wanted to make sure that the Segal bake sale would have adequate Respler representation.
I sat down to think about what I could bake that would be unique and delicious. It needed to be something easy to transport, interesting and something appropriate for Rosh Hashanah.
The first thing that came to mind was an apple dessert. The apple is such a strong symbol of Rosh Hashana.
During Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year), we eat apples dipped in honey as a symbol for a sweet new year. It is interesting that an apple is chosen as the fruit to dip.
One reason is that in King Solomon’s Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs), the nation of Israel is compared to an apple. “As the apple is rare and unique among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved (Israel) amongst the maidens (nations) of the world.” Furthernore, an apple is symbolic of the love between the nation of Israel and G-d as we read in Shir Hashirim , “Beneath the apple tree I aroused you.”
We are taught that an apple tree sprouts the tiny core of each apple before the leaves surround and protect the young fruit. In the same way, the young Jewish nation accepted the Torah before understanding the myriad of details within. The famous acceptance of our nation was verbalized as “we will do and we will understand”. We committed to the holy observance of Torah commandments even before we understood the full extent of what this commitment entailed. Therefore, the apple has become a symbol and remembrance of the commitment to our faith and acceptance of Torah at Mount Sinai. We recall this on Rosh Hashana when our mission is to proclaim G-d as our King.
I decided to prepare cupcakes designed to look like red apples. I baked vanilla cupcakes for this recipe. Perhaps, next time, I will prepare honey cupcakes to fully represent the Rosh Hashana tradition of “dipping the apple in the honey”.
These cupcakes are available for sale among other delicious desserts at the Segal Home this Sunday, September 25th, 2016 from 2-8 PM. Their address is 475 FDR Drive #301 on the Lower East Side. For more information, please contact Staci at 917-295-7295 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Red sanding sugar or sugar and red food coloring
Brown licorice, brown taffy or small pretzel nub
Green taffy or gum
Bake your favorite cupcakes.
Cut pieces of brown licorice, taffy or pretzels to resemble stems.
Flatten green gum or taffy and use knife to cut out leaf shapes. Use blunt knife to form leaf veins.
To make red sanding sugar, combine 1 cup of sugar with red food coloring, adding food coloring until the desired depth of color is reached. I pulsed this in my food processor. Alternatively, you can combine the sugar and color in a ziploc bag or in your mixer.
Frost cupcakes generously with a small knife or spatula, heaping frosting to form a mounded top for each cupcake.
Using spoon, sprinkle sanding sugar on top of each cupcake until well coated. Gently shake off excess sanding sugar.
Insert brown stem and green leaf.
Wishing you all a Kesiva Ve’Chasma Tova (a positive inscription and seal for the upcoming year).