Teyglech (Honey Balls)

Published December 14, 2011, issue of December 23, 2011.
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Makes about two pounds of cookies

2 ¼ tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
7 large egg yolks
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/3 cups bread flour, unsifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon rum flavoring
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, almonds, pecans (optional)
1/2 cup glaceed cherries (optional)
1-2 cups flour for dusting

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees with your baking surface in the middle. Using the flat (paddle) beater at medium speed, blend together the sugar, salt, eggs, egg yolks and oil. Add the flour and flavorings and mix to a smooth dough, 3-4 minutes.

2) Remove the dough to a well-floured work surface and sprinkle the top surface generously with more flour. Shape the dough into a rectangle about ¼ inch – ½ inch thick. Continue sprinkling flour as needed to prevent sticking.

3) Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, cut the dough into strips roughly ¼ inch – ½ inch wide, varying the width. Separate the strips and flour the cut edges well.

4) Cut the strips into pieces about ¼ inch – ½ inch long, so you end up with a large number of irregularly-sized dough pieces. Flour the cut edges yet again.

5) Arrange the pieces in a single layer on parchment-lined cookie sheets, making sure they don’t touch. Bake until light brown and crisp, 20-25 minutes.

6) Let the teyglech cool on the parchment and then put them into a strainer and shake off as much excess flour as you can.

Honey Coating

1 cup honey
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1) Combine the honey and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and boil, stirring often, until it reaches the hard ball stage, 250 degrees – 265 degrees. Depending on the heat, this can happen quickly, so don’t walk away.

2) Add the ground cloves, baked teyglech and nuts and/or cherries, if desired, and stir gently to coat with the honey mixture, taking care not to break the dough pieces.

3) Place the mixture on a lightly oiled piece of baking parchment or cookie sheet, allow to cool until you can handle it comfortably and form into rounded mounds of desired size. In the bakery, individual pieces were about the size of a tennis ball, while larger loaves were the size of a grapefruit or a small melon.

4) Let cool completely before eating, 2-3 hours. Eat by hand, taking teyglech, nuts and fruit from the loaf.


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