Holiday Roundup: Hamantaschen, Macarons & Persian Sweets
What sunny, sweet days we have had ! March 20th was not only the first day of spring, but also the Jewish holiday of Purim and Macaron Day too (Jour du Macaron in France). I enjoyed the obligatory sweets, meaning those 3-cornered cookies called hamantaschen for Purim, with mun (poppy seed), prune and apricot fillings… and I stopped by Ladurée here in Zürich‘s old town to mark the occasion with a salted butter caramel macaron. (Or two.)
But the weekend saw lots of other sweets too, including more cookies. With a friend in town, I was even busier in the kitchen than usual, making a few batches of my favorite crunchy oat, seed and nut granola (with dark chocolate and sea salt). Getting crumble topping ready to cover ramekins filled with frozen summer berries. And preparing rolls of cookie dough to bake at a moment’s notice (chocolate chip pretzel cookies and Nutella oat cookies). You can only imagine my reaction when my friend showed up herself with an enormous box of bakery cookies from London’s Assal Patisserie, as well as Persian nougat (known as Gaz). It was NowRuz, the Persian New Year, she told me. And enjoying these sweets made with saffron, pistachios and rosewater was a must. I was certainly not going to argue.
It also happened to be my friend’s daughter’s 2nd birthday, so we simply had to add a birthday cake to the mix. The birthday girl loves banana and chocolate, so the recipe was easy to pick. Banana coffee chocolate chip cake with mocha buttercream frosting was the winner (decaf coffee, but of course). The idea came from David Lebovitz‘s banana cake with mocha frosting and salted candied peanuts. It was a huge hit. With the birthday girl, her mom … and me too.
It was clearly a sugar-filled weekend in Zürich – even more so than usual. Did you celebrate any of the special days above ? If so, what sweets were on your table ?
Roundup of Sweet Links
* My recipe for hamantaschen and quick story of Purim
* Smitten Kitchen does hamantaschen with a cream cheese dough and poppy seed filling
* Halvah or chocolate chip cream hamantaschen, anyone? Head to Lehamim Bakery in Tel Aviv (New York Times)
* “Persians savor a new year’s feast filled with old traditions” (The Oregonian)
* NowRuz, Persian New Year 2570