This is a very special recipe to all in the extended KosherEye family. It is an heirloom, a recipe passed on from my mother and her sisters. It is a savory cookie – an easy to make cousin of a bialy and is delicious plain, or with a shmear of cream cheese. Some call it tzibeleh pletzel, some tzibeleh kuchen – we call it a delicious food memory redux.
1 very large onion, diced
4 cups plain flour, unbleached
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
2 teaspoons poppy seeds (divided)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup water
1 cup oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine onions, egg, water and oil
Combine flour, poppy seeds, salt and baking powder
With hands, mix wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. (Over mixing will result in tough cookies)
Make balls approximately 1 ½ " in size
Flatten with rolling pin to approximately 1/4 -1/2 " thickness
Prick each cookie with a fork
Top with reserved poppy seeds
Place cookie on a greased (parchment covered) baking pan—
Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden
Makes about 20-24 cookies
A Note from baking historian and cookbook author Arthur Schwartz:
"These will never become crisp, no matter what temperature you bake them, how long you bake them, or how thin you roll them. The moisture of the onions will eventually soften them up, even if you manage to get a little snap in them when they come from the oven. Indeed, these taste best straight from the oven or, at least, reheated. I brought mine back to their prime by putting them on a baking sheet for 10 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven." Cool on a wire rack while still on the pan. Best when used the same day but keeps well when kept in a tightly closed container.
If you would like to cook like a Jewish baker, we recommend the book Secrets of a Jewish Baker by George Greenstein, a second-generation baker, who baked on Long Island for many, many years. The book was his retirement project.
Recipe: kosher, snack, heirloom