Jewish Recipes
Moses In The Basket Recipe
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Moses In The Basket (Moshe b'Tayva): Medjool dates are very large, usually found in Middle Eastern stores, and should be tender to the touch and moist inside. Substitute another date if necessary. Your Moshe will be smaller but just as sweet.

The ingredients are 14 to 16 large Medjool dates, a few drops rose water or almond extract, 1 to 2 teaspoons hot water and marzipan.

To make marzipan, use 3 ounces (a slightly rounded half-cup) almond slivers or whole blanched almonds, ground, 2/3 cup powdered sugar and teaspoon "Kosher for Passover" vanilla extract.

For garnish: 1/4 cup crushed, toasted, unsalted pistachio nuts, whole cloves as needed and coriander seeds or mustard seeds (for the eyes).

To prepare: Slit the dates lengthwise, and remove pits. Set aside. Grind the almonds in a food processor to a powder consistency. Add the sugar, and, with the machine running, add the vanilla, rose water or almond extract, and 1 teaspoon hot water. The mixture should come together like a ball. If not, add another 1 to 2 teaspoons water, but be careful not to add too much or the marzipan will be too soft. For each little Moshe, make a small ball of marzipan for the head and an elongated oval-shaped piece for the body. (The total length should be slightly smaller than the length of a date.)

Roll the body in the crushed pistachio nuts. Attach the head to the body and stick the whole in one of the dates, gently pressing the sides of the date around them to make him snug. Round the top and the bottom with a gentle pinch, to make a little boat.

To make the eyes, use the tip of a whole clove to pierce 2 holes in the "head." (We considered using cloves for the eyes themselves but were afraid of a lawsuit from anyone not removing them before eating.) Stick a coriander seed in each hole (these are both edible and healthful), and Moshe is ready to float to his destiny. Makes 14-18.

"The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking"


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