B’Tayavon: Deb Segaloff’s favorite cookies

February 24, 2022

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Equivalent to French’s Bon Appetit, B’Tayavon in Jewish News is where locals share favorite recipes.

This issue features one of Deb Segaloff’s favorite cookies.

Pink and Greens

Deb Segaloff

Food, recipes, ingredients, and smells provide sensory connections to the past by evoking meaningful memories. My grandma, Lottie Mantinband Bernstein, was a terrific cook. While she was once a staple in the Beth El kitchen, I best remember her kitchen on Gates Avenue. My family went there nearly every Friday night for Shabbat dinner.

She had her specialties that are still treasures. One of my favorites is what we call “Pink and Greens.” They are a delicious cookie that is best described as an iced rugulach. My family loved these, and I always felt proud to bring them places knowing they were (to me) a Jewish cookie. In the 1980s pink and green were the colors so I brought “preppie” cookies, and when my friends starting having babies, I changed them to “pink and blues” for shower cookies. Plus, I made them for my kids with team colors and other special requests over the years. They are a little easier than traditional rugulach as you roll the dough into stuffed logs and slice the cookies rather than handroll each crescent. The icing is with almond extract and is delicious!

As delicious as these cookies are, the memories of making them with my grandma and eating them with my Pop-Pop, father, and family leave a forever sweetness.

From Deb Segaloff’s grandmother’s kitchen and various restaurant kitchens, to Joan Nathan’s test kitchen working on The Flavors of Israel Today, cooking has been a passion and art that she enjoys.

Photos courtsey of Deb Segloff.

PINKS and Greens Recipe

Dough

8 ounces cream cheese,
room temperature

2 sticks butter, unsalted sweet cream, room temperature

2½ cups all-purpose
unbleached flour

Pinch of salt

Filling

Cinnamon sugar

White raisins, cut in small pieces

Cut up maraschino cherries

Ground nuts such as pecans
or walnuts

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add flour and salt. Refrigerate at least an hour or overnight. Roll out to a rectangle. Sprinkle with filling ingredients. Roll up like a jellyroll into a log. Cut into small (3⁄4 inch) pieces. Bake on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for around 20–25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Icing

¼ cup (¼ stick) butter

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon boiling water

Food color as desired

Beat ingredients into
a smooth icing.

Divide into bowls and add colors.

Ice cookies once they have cooled.

Letter to the Editor