Fall into Simplicity and Easy Cookies Recipe

Autumn might mean, for many, leaves of trees changing: shades of orange, red or yellow; hot chocolate simmering on the stove waiting to be coated with cinnamon; or pumpkin pies baking in the oven. Autumn, for me, mostly means time spent with my family, with various shades of emotions, the vegetables spiced with cumin simmering to be served to half a dozen hungry cousins, and baked cookies that spent too much time, inadvertently, in the oven. Jewish Holiday season involves many, many, many nights spent in company of a short-tempered family in a very short span.[1] The proximity of each holiday, mixed with the beginning of the school year, and the difficult withdrawal from Montreal summery days definitely blend together to make the holidays a vast stew of bursting laughter and anger. To add to these emotional upbeats, each meal needs to be prepared with care and affection.

Each feast is always marked by the series of preliminary interminable discussions on who will host the family for the first night, the second night, the break of fast, the entry of the fast, and the list goes on.

And like any real festivity in my family, the questions always revolve around food: who will have the honor, the privilege, the joy, the pleasure to receive my whole tribe for dinner. Usually my grandfather wins. Let’s give it to him: he cooks for all of us following my grandmother’s legacy, even 20 years after her death, he soothes the family feuds by holding sacred the table where he gathers us, and with his small 87 years, he entertains us with his always comical stories and adventures he goes on (the most recent is a trip completely paid for by some distant cousin to represent the lineage of the Meknes family).

This week I want to share with you a little recipe he passed on to me, as we entered in the wholiest of wholiest day of the year – that day we all wait for, where repetition after repetition we ask for forgiveness, we declare our smallness in the universe, and spend a long time pretending like our body-needs are not necessary: we fast! So everyone has their own ways of preparing for it. My grandfather always invites us three hours ahead of time so we can luxuriously eat at our convenience a whole lot of food. My mother drinks a whole lot of tea, and mostly boiled items to reduce the salt. My uncle Alain says we shouldn’t eat too much because other wise we wouldn’t really be making the effort of fasting for real. And I, well, I love to eat those cookies that are predominantly present on the table.

Biscuit à la cannelle / Cinnamon cookies:

  • 2 eggs / 2 oeufs
  • 1 glass of oil / 1 verre d’huile
  • 1 glass of sugar / 1 verre de sucre
  • 1 tea spoon of baking powder
  • cinnamon to taste / cannelle au gout
  • a bit of water / 1 peu d’eau (facultative to make the cookies softer)
  • and “the appropriate amount of flower” / la “farine qui convient”

Required tools:

  • washed hands / mains propres


  1. Pre-heat the oven (375)
  2. As my grandfather explained to me, depending on the kind of glass you use (he usually takes measures in tea cups, but you can use standard cup measuring), you need to be add the flower until the right consistency: the dough should be easy to roll and not too sticky.
  3. Make little balls (about 1 inch in diameters) and put in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. But be-careful it might be shorter.

And in case they burn, you always have the grater, like in this little video I leave you with!

Roots and Recipe Blog on Vimeo

Till next time,


[1] The fast of Yom Kippour is framed by the important start of the fast and break of fast , following the two nights of Rosh Hashana of 10 days, and then 3 days later the 8 days of Sukkot, where most meals should be taken in the shaky shack resembling what might have been huts from the desert – talk about liberation!