Levana’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie, Anyone

Cookie, Anyone (Photo credit: scubadive67)

Almost anytime I have a large group coming for Shabbat I try to include these winners. Last week, my son called from Jerusalem to say he was really looking forward to having me make him some cookies since he missed out on Shabbat the week before because of the “Epic Israeli  Snowstorm of 2013”.  I made them and they disappeared!

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies made with vegetable oil in Levana Kirshchenbaum’s cookbook, Levana’s Table.


  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups best-quality chocolate chips, the smaller the better


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugars together until
light and fluffy. Add the oil and vanilla and mix in thoroughly. Add the
flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix at low speed. Fold
in the chips by hand.

3. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart onto cookie
sheets lined with foil. Bake only one tray at a time. If your cookie
sheets are the professional heavy-gauge type, bake the cookies for 10
minutes. If they are lighter, bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will firm
up as they cool, so do not be tempted to bake them longer or they will
4. Store the cookies in tin boxes, separating each layer with foil or wax paper so they don’t stick.

YIELDS: 4 dozen cookies

SOURCE: Levana’s Table, by Levana Kirschenbaum. Recipe reprinted with permission from Levana Kirschenbaum.

1. If using pareve chocolate chips, the cookies will pareve. If using dairy chocolate chips, the cookies will be dairy.
I sprayed my cookie sheets with non-stick spray instead of using foil.
It is less expensive, and the cookies could still be easily lifted off
the sheet with a spatula.
3. I did not separate the cookies with wax
paper before storing. I let them cool completely on the rack, and then
placed them in an air-tight container. They did not stick to each other.


My French Twist to a Hannukah Party

I got a call in my office from T.G. about a home party celebrating a new home and Hanukkah.  It was going to be 20 friends and it just seemed to much for her to pull it off without my help. I asked her what her favorite cuisine was and she said French. I got off the phone and did a bit of research. I got back to her the next day with two pages of suggestions. It stretched my talents a little.  I am so Sephardi oriented and the French Mediterranean looked to be a little bland for my palate. Boy was I wrong!  I worked French grainy mustard, white wine and shallots.  The flavors were new to me, but I enjoyed the challenge.

T.G. picked the following menu: A French Buffet

A  Classic Cold Potato Salad and Sliced Roast Beef in a Mustard Onion Marinade on a bed of mixed field greens.  The large platter was surrounded by cooked chunks of roasted beets, blanched cauliflower and broccoli and then covered in chives and capers.

French Roasted Herb Chicken- a golden and succulent beautiful chicken cut into eighths.

Oven Roasted Green-beans with gently golden slivered almonds.

India – French Cumin and Garlic Roasted Carrots with seedless grapes and red onion.

Persian Rice with raisins, scallions and black olives with saffron spice and topped with pine-nuts.

Sourdough Homemade Bread Cubes- for the wash station.

French Orange Poached Pears

Sweet Parmiers

The whole party took me 12.5 hours to prepare, cook and pack up for take out.

By 10 p.m. I got an email that it was well received. Then I exhaled…..