Rosh Hashanah is a major food holiday. We buy Simanim, new fruits, and try to make some unique and special recipes to bring in the new year.
With the holiday also comes lots of chaos. Lists, menus, grocery shopping, trips to the dry cleaners, etc.
So, how can we achieve a special menu on Rosh Hashanah when we are so consumed with every other aspect of the holiday (not to mention a new school year)?
The answer lies in one of Rosh Hashanah’s staple foods- apples!
Apples happen to be beautiful and can be used in so many stunning ways as a garnish. From apple chips and fanned apples to baked whole mini apples and pretty cut-out shapes, an apple garnish can easily make your dishes go from average to wow-worthy, and there’s no better time to showcase them than on Rosh Hashanah.
Let’s take a closer look at some ways you can garnish your food with apples.
Apple Oatmeal Cookies
I’m going to let you in on a secret. Those oatmeal cookies are from a mix. I don’t have time to make a cookie dough and chill it for hours. Using a cookie mix makes this a breeze!
Oatmeal cookie mix
5 to 7 Granny Smith or Gala apples
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Make your cookie mix and set aside.
3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
4. Wash and slice the apples very thinly (parallel to the apple’s base).
5. For each cookie, place 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of dough on parchment paper and press down to flatten (keeping a circle shape).
6. Place an apple slice on the cookie dough and press in the center, and along the edges, until you just start to see the cookie dough appear underneath. (Work slowly and carefully. Be sure the cookie dough underneath does not go beyond the apple slice.)
7. Continue with all the cookie dough, leaving 2 inches of space between cookies.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies are dark golden brown.
9. For more uniform and round cookies, use the edge of a round cookie cutter to re-shape before they cool.
10. Allow the cookies to cool and then remove from the pan.
The apples will make the centers of the cookies soft, so it’s important to keep the cookies in the oven until golden in color. I also recommend serving these right away.
When slicing my apples, I only used the slices with a visible star in the center for an extra-pretty effect.
Veggie Platter with Roasted Apples
This might look fancy, but in reality it’s just a platter with roasted veggies on top. The roasted mini apples make it even more beautiful and festive.
Roasted butternut squash circles
Roasted red onions
Roasted frozen brussels sprouts
Roasted mini rainbow carrots
Roasted mini apples
Parsley leaves, for garnish
Pomegranate arils, for garnish
1. Place each roasted veggie in bunches around your board or platter.
2. Garnish with roasted apples.
3. Garnish with parsley bunches on opposite sides of the board. Then sprinkle with chopped parsley.
4. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils.
Apples in challah are a popular tradition on Rosh Hashanah. This apple topped challah is a new take on that tradition! The end result looks like a pastry you would see in the window of a French bistro.
Granny Smith apples
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
Favorite challah dough
1 egg, beaten
1. Braid your challah, or put balls into a round pan for a pull-apart challah. Set aside.
2. Peel, core, and slice your apples. With a small round crimped-edge cookie cutter, cut shapes out of your apple slices. Place your apple slices in a bowl with freshly squeezed lemon juice and set aside.
3. In a small pot, heat the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved, boiling for about 5 minutes.
4. Pour the sugar syrup over the apple slices in a medium bowl.
5. Brush your challah with beaten egg.
6. Strain the apple slices and place each slice on segments of braided dough, or dough balls if you are making pull-apart.
7. Brush the apple slices with egg wash.
8. Bake until golden brown and fully cooked.
9. Remove the challah from the oven and allow to cool.
10. Brush with warm honey right before serving.
This is embarrassingly easy to make. Why? Because all you have to do is bake your favorite cake (yes, even from a mix), and top with baked apple fans. It looks stunning and tastes amazing.
Favorite cake, baked
1 Granny Smith apple, washed
Apple juice or water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut your apple around the core, leaving you with 4 large apple pieces, or “cheeks.” Starting with just one cheek, thinly slice, going almost all the way up to one end of the apple, ensuring the apple slices are still connected at the top. Continue with remaining apple cheeks.
3. Push down gently on each sliced cheek, encouraging the slices to fan out.
4. Place the fanned apples in a baking pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add a splash of juice or water.
5. Bake the apples until slightly soft.
6. Allow apple to cool, and then place over your cake.
Here are more recipes where a simple apple garnish makes you look like an insanely skilled hostess.