Tasting Jerusalem

Tasting JerusalemWelcome to Tasting Jerusalem, a virtual cooking group exploring the unique flavor profile and recipes of Middle Eastern cuisine through the lens of Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, published by Ten Speed Press.

Sarene Wallace (aka @FringeFood) and I will pick a different ingredient or technique along with recipes each month as we collectively cook our way through the book and learn from each participant’s implementation of the recipe and ingredients.

We’ll announce each month’s ingredients and recipes in a blog post here on OMG! Yummy as well as on our Facebook page and on Twitter under the hashtag #TastingJrslm.

All levels of cooks are welcome from novice to chefs – the only requirement is an interest in the cookbook and the cuisine it encompasses! So join in every month or as you can while we explore the vibrant flavors of Jerusalem.

14 Responses to Date and Walnut Thumbprints: An Intersection of Cultures in a Cookie

  1. sandy Corman March 15, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    The cookies were indeed delicious. If you ever have any extra think of me. Want you to know I bought the book Jerusalem the Cookbook. Beautiful pictures and great stories along with some great recipes.

    • Beth Lee March 16, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

      Wow — I can’t believe you bought the book – I’m so proud of you. I thought you would enjoy it, regardless of how much you cook, for the stories and history behind the dishes and region. Great!

  2. Deb March 16, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    My family would be happy if cookies were the only sweet I ever baked! LOL Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, all would be just dandy! But we bakers need to grow and try new recipes. I adore the Date and Walnut Thumbprints and the melding of classic recipes that capture the sublime buttery flavors! I like Sandy’s idea, send a few of those cookies my way!

    • Beth Lee March 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      You make me apple hand pies and I’ll send you a batch of these! Last night we were in Santa Cruz for a concert and stopped off in the Pacific Cookie Company for a quick treat before the show – you can’t imagine how one good cookie can make 4 people so happy. We gobbled them up. Nothing quite like a good cookie. Perfection in a small package!

  3. Hannah March 19, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    Food history is fascinating (and delicious when doing hands on research!). Love your thumbprint version and this date filling sounds just divine. I wish I could have come to your workshop! Great photo. :)

    • Beth Lee March 29, 2014 at 8:15 am #

      Maybe we will fly up to Seattle and do a version of the workshop in your new store!!! I am so excited to see photos!

      • Hannah April 11, 2014 at 8:01 am #

        Beth, you are very welcome anytime! I’d be thrilled to have you and Sarene teach. What a treat that would be! xx

  4. Kathy March 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Beth, I really enjoyed your information on these cookies. It seems that much of the middle eastern and Jewish culture share similar foods. I am Lebanese descent and make ma’amul quite often. It’s a cookie my grandmother always made and now I make them for my grandchildren.

  5. gretchen preville March 28, 2014 at 11:14 am #


    The workshop at Shir Hadash was great fun, imformative and OMG Yummy! I loved these cookies and am considering a version with dried mission figs as I have lots of them. I will try them next week and we’ll just ss how they work out! Keep inspiring us!



    • Beth Lee March 29, 2014 at 8:21 am #

      Loved having you there Gretchen. Let me know about the dried mission fig version. I think it could be delicious – and they will soften and create a great filling just as the fresh dates did.

      • Gretchen Preville April 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

        Hi Beth- Thakns for yet another great recipe!!! I made the cookies yesterday with dried black misson figs instead of dates. So yummy! Try them! I’ll be taking them to Shir Hadash tonight for a special dinner in suipport of Kiev.

        Shabbat Shalom,


  6. Couscous & Consciousness March 29, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    Love the fascinating insight into the origins of these cookies, and I love the way that you and Sarene interpreted the various recipes to come up with your own unique version. This to me is so totally what cooking is all about.

    • Beth Lee March 29, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      And nobody exemplifies that idea better than you in your always inventive and smart adaptations. I love following along with your cooking Sue!


  1. Tasting Jerusalem March 2014 – Cardamom | OMG! YummyOMG! Yummy - March 25, 2014

    […] Graybeh, page 260: This recipe does not officially include cardamom but in the headnote he mentions that there are many variations and one of Yemenite descent includes cardamom. A similar Persian cookie called koloocheh also includes cardamom – more on these cross-cultural cookies in this post about date and walnut thumbprints. […]

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