As you all know, I just celebrated Rosh Hashanah with my family, and along with the trips to synagogue came lots and lots of food. We started the first evening with my dad’s sesame crusted tuna served with wasabi sauce, homemade guacamole, cucumber salad and kimchee. Then, we continued with my mom’s famous chicken noodle matzah ball soup, sweet and sour meatballs, brisket with potatoes and carrots, green olive and tomato orzo, crunchy broccoli slaw, shaved fennel with cauliflower and a make-your-own salad station. Over the next couple of days we indulged in my dad’s grilled pastrami, corned beef, hard salami and cervelat hero sandwiches with mustard and Russian dressing, marinated steak, ribs, sliders, hot dogs and specials with a slew of toppings, health salad, potato salad, coleslaw, four types of pickles, kasha varnishkes and stuffed cabbage. Don’t even get me started on dessert.
Amidst all of this there was challah. Loaves and loaves of fresh-baked challah pulled right off the conveyor belt from Rockland Bakery. As always, the traditional round, braided egg bread was soft, slightly doughy and extremely addictive. Since I was a kid, we’ve eaten open-faced peanut butter on challah for breakfast before heading off to services.
Over the past few years I’ve been playing around with the simple concept, making changes along the way. I would choose the raisin studded challah over the regular, eventually switched my plain peanut butter for Peanut Butter and Co’s cinnamon raisin swirl version, and more recently, began adding apples and honey, symbolic of a sweet new year.
This year, my sandwich has reached new heights with the addition of a panini maker. When you bite into the crunchy cinnamon sugar toasted challah and reveal warm, melty cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter, crisp sliced apples and sweet honey, you’ll know the year ahead will be filled with joy!
Peanut Butter and Co. Cinnamon Swirl Peanut Butter
Red apple (or your color of choice)
Cinnamon sugar (or equal parts cinnamon and sugar)
Heat panini grill and cut raisin challah into slices.
Spread one side of each sandwich with cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter.
Thinly slice apples and cut in half on a diagonal. Yes, my cutting board is the shape of an apple.
Layer apple slices overlapping on top of peanut butter.
Drizzle with honey.
Spread a touch of butter on your preheated panini maker and on top of your challah.
Sprinkle buttered challah with cinnamon sugar. Place on your panini grill, butter side down.
Repeat process with butter and cinnamon sugar on the side of the sandwich that is now facing up.
Press and grill for a few minutes.
Eat and enjoy a new way to use up your leftover challah, apples and honey!