Monday, February 25, 2013

Desserts for Shabbat parshiot

Parsha Desserts

I have tried for about a year, to somehow incorporate part of the parsha (Torah portion), or chag (holiday) - depending on what's going on - into our shabbat desserts. It's supposed to spark discussion around the table about "higher things" than what might normally be going around the table ;)

I love checking through the internet for ideas, so I thought that it's only fair that I put out mine, in case others might be interested. I have quite a bunch so I'll keep adding them as I find them in my huge number of family photos from the past few years....

Parshat BiReisheit
I's likely not really apples that Adam and Chava ate from the tree....but I had cake pop balls in the freezer and was feeling tired and pregnant (thanks again, Chava!), so apples it was. There are adorable apple cake pops on google images that turned out way better than mine, but basically I added the pretzel piece as a cute/easy way to make the stem and a little green marshmallow fondant to make the leaf.

Apple-shaped cookies on sticks...didn't have an
apple shaped cookie cutter, but a little triangle
removed from the side, ends rounded out and
then used that triangle for the stem. Colored
icing sugar/water mixture iced it after baking.

Parshat Noah

I used a cup to make the circular cookie and then cut it
in half with a knife and squished in the centre circle. I pulled
out all of my pareve icings for the colours

Parshat Lech Licha
I used a clean kitchen pair of kitchen scissors to cut
the feet shape from fruit roll up and used little
icing dots from confectioners sugar/water/pink color
all into a ziploc with a snipped end. All was
assembled onto a pareve chocolate cake that was
recently iced.

Parshat VaYetzeh
(Yaacov's dream...He lays his head on a number of rocks to nap....this is supposed to look like a pillow of rocks)
Marshmallow fondant for the pillow and those chocolate
rocks placed inside
Parshat Vayishlach
(Rivka is buried in Beit Lechem)
White chocolate glued to look like a house shape (beit) and
sliced roll of marshmallow fondanat to look like bread slice (lechem).
Put 'em together and you get "Beit lechem"
(The brown at outside of the bread slices was just a smear
of chocolate syrup or cocoa look like crust)

Parshat VaYeshev - Yosef's colorful coat 

Fun for the kids! Take out icing (or any food colouring + icing sugar +
water/soy milk mixture in a ziploc bag with corner snipped) and go
to town on these shirt-shaped cookies.

Cookie in shape of coat (sorta....) with whatever pareve
cookie icing in different colours that I could find

Parshat Toldot 
(Yaacov trades Esav for the birthright with the Lentil Soup)

Chocolate bowl of "lentil soup" (red jelly beans etc)
Chocolate bowl made by putting cupcake liner into
bowl of melted chocolate and then removing it and putting
on parchment paper to harden. Peel off paper. Or do the
dipping-balloon-into-chocolate trick which I find inconsistent....

Parshat Teruma
Parshat Naso
(Both discuss the Aron HaKodesh)

I used chocolate bars (you can see the Elite brand cow!) and "glued" them together with melted chocolate. Then I dripped a line of chocolate onto parchment paper and let it solidify in the fridge. Once that hardened,  I "glued" it with the remelted chocolate onto the box, to look like the  handles of the aron. I filled it with some Mike N Ikes but if I had my mold-maker of the luchot here with me in Boston, I'd have used that...

Parshat HaChodesh
Parshat Bo (Jews given mitzva of Rosh Chodesh)

Crescent moons cookies used on the
week of Parshat HaChodesh

Parshat Va'Era -- with makat barad
I used regular yellow cake recipe (or a mix....) and added red food 
colouring and raspberry flavouring extract.
 I make cake pops with that and then added the 
white frosting to look like ice. 
The red cake inside is supposed to look "firey"

Parshat BiShalach -- with Yitziat Mitzrayim 

Blue meringue cookies pose as the waves of the Red Sea
that some determined-looking Lego people march through
(I guess "Poison Ivy" here is Miriam HaNiviah?)

Parshat VaYakhel Pikudei
There is discussion about various items in the Beit HaMikdash in these linked parshiot, including the "table of showbread" - the "lechem hapanim".
I used marshmallow fondant (so easy to make, and yummier than regular fondant) to make three long pieces that I braided into "challot". There are twelve "challot" on twelve cupcakes here.

Parshat VaYikra
This was quite last minute and was - in many ways - just a way for me to rationalize buying those pesach candy gummy fruit slices that I love...I was able to eat all the green ones (by myself, in the car before I even arrived home from grocery shopping) and left the red, yellow and orange ones to be made into the flames for the "Korban Oleh". The brownies are supposed to look like the burnt part of the offering...

Forgot to take a photo before shabbat, so these are the "leftovers"
of the Korban Oleh (ironic, I guess....)

Parshat Tzav

Two ideas for this week's parsha:
(1) I used the Hebrew homonym of "tsav" (with a vav it's the parsha's name, with a vet it's the word "turtle")

It was made using some easy cookie cutout recipe and i used some middle sized balls
 for the feet and chocolate chips for the eyes of the frogs.
I had some green Christmas (!) sprinkles to add on top as well.

(2) In "Tzav", there is also the prohibition of eating blood. These are my cake pops that are made to look like a drop of blood. Bit gross, I know...

Parshat ShiMini
This week's parsha discusses kashrut laws, including that of fish. Here are rice krispie treats cut with butterfly cut outs - because it was the closest I could find - and then molded into a fish shape. I was going to let the kids decorate the fish scales, with sprinkles vs. rock candy vs. candy M&Ms.

Parshat Tazriah - Metzorah
Tzara'at on the house, clothing and body....apparently it was red/green on house/clothing and white with reddish border on body and white hair strands. Since the background icing was already white, I ended up simply using dots of green and red. 

Parsha Acharei Mot-Kedoshim
Another double parsha this year! In "Kedoshim", we are given a lot of laws of proper conduct, one of them being the issur of Richiloot ("gossip"). This idea was quite low key as we were all in "lockdown" as the Boston Marathon Bomber was being hunted that day, and we opted for a simple cupcake with "lips" to symbolize Richiloot. In retrospect, we should've put a cross-out sign on it (like a "no smoking" type of symbol) instead...

Red frosting lips on vanilla cupcakes.

Parshat Emor
Used a great idea from another parsha dessert website Puff pastry dough is rolled out thin, holes poked in it with fork to give it that matza type of texture, and then egg whites brushed on, icing sugar +/- cinnamon added. Bake at 350 degrees 'til has browned a bit. 

Sweet "matza" relating to Pesach Sheni in Parshat Emor

Parshat Behar Bechukotai

I was out of town for this shabbat so this was a rush job done during the 30 minutes before my taxi came to take me to the airport. Hopefully expectations are low now...I melted airheads (tangy taffy...chewy taffy...lotsa names for it, I'd imagine) in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, on a piece of parchment paper. I smoothed and thinned the candy. Then I hunted through my cookie cutter collection to try and find a bird shape so that I could use "ViKaratem Dror Ba'Aretz" ("And freedom was proclaimed in the land") and make a little chickadee bird shape, as "dror" also means that type of a cute brown bird. I had only a duck, and therefore used a J shape to simply make shofar shapes for the reference to Yom Kippur in the parsha. 

Parshat BaMidbar
The Jewish peope are counted in this week's parsha. The total number (excluding Levi'im) was 603,550. Here's my calculator cake....white icing, black icing sheets (leftover from recent birthday cake) and sour belts. It sparked discussion....mostly about if we're allowed to cut into numbers on shabbat....if they hold the same 'issue' as letters.

Parshat Nasoh
This week's parsha has birkat cohanim in it. Here are chocolate shaped "hands" in position for the blessing. I use a seashell shaped cookie cutter and poured melted chocolate into it, then used a toothpick to separate out the fingers a bit more. Next time I'd use oreo crumbs (just found out that they're not truly dairy!) mixed in to the melted chocolate for a more child-friendly taste.

Parshat Miketz
Parshat Va'Era
(cow theme -- Miketz with Pharoah's dream of 7 skinny/fat cows or Va'Era with makat dever of livestock)

Okay, it's a bit of a stretch but these cookies with white icing
and melted spots of dark pareve chocolate are supposed
to look like Holstein cows - (the cute black n white type)

Parshat Chukat

Although I am not happy to be concentrating on Moshe's "oopsie", this dessert hints at the stick, rock and water. A pretzel stick and chocolate rock on top of blue jello that symbolizes the water that came from the rock. Note -- the pretzel will soak up moisture from the jello, and will cause the pretzel to bend up in a freaky, anti-gravity way. So just place the stick in right before serving.

Parshat Balak

I made tents from straight pretzel sticks and bent fruit leather. They were placed on a brown pie top. These symbolize the tents that the Jews lived in that Bilaam ended up blessing instead of cursing, as Balak had ordered.

Parshat Ha'aZinu
Last minute attempt at putting the parsha into our dessert that had already been made...scattered those chocolate rocks and added the parsha's pasuk since I assumed none of my kids would get the connection. 

Candy Megillah Activity

Hmmmm I can't figure out how to rotate this....Basically, it's a 6 line summary of "main events" that happen in the Purim story, using candy to "fill in the blanks". For older kids (9-11 yo), I gave them the candy and they had to place it in the blanks. For my younger kids (4-7 yo), I cut the complete page into puzzle pieces which they assembled. Then - and only then - they're allowed to eat the candy :)

Parshat Titzaveh
Choshen Mishpat

Jelly bellies or Mike n Ikes pressed into almost-hardened piece
of chocolate with sour strings as the straps of the Choshen.

Mishloach Manot
Fish in Fishbowl - cakepop fish propped in a styrofoam square that is hot glued to the bottom of a dollar store fishbowl.  
Fish idea works well 'cuz the mazal (horoscope) for Adar (the Hebrew month that Purim is in) is Pisces which is two fish...
I did this once in Israel and I added a chocolate log (Elite, I think) and a Guylian chocolate "shell" 
The cake pop was embellished by using heart shaped candy sprinkles - two hearts for fins and a heart with its bottom part stuck into the mouth area to look like "fish lips"

Pebbles I used from "Oh Nuts!". I also used chocolate rocks and the Jelly Bellies that have the pebble-type of spots (I think it's "soda shoppe Jelly Bellies")

Mint Theme
Yay, kosher Junior Mints in the USA! Though I know some kids do not love mint, this was what we did this year for simplicity sake since we were travelling and needed something packable to bring to Canada. Mint gum, peppermint candy, Junior mints and Oreos (couldn't find mint cookies but I needed the second bracha of "mizonot"....)
The note we enclosed in the package


  1. Great ideas! I especially like your choshen. Thanks for sharing. I added your blog to my kosher blog list.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Blima! It always surprises me that my kids get so excited about it on Friday evenings...and it lets me get away with smaller portions per child a lot of the time too :)