It is traditional to prepare sweets shaped like a Torah scroll. Strudels, cannolis, rolled cakes, and blintzes are some examples of Simchat Torah treats. Another lovely custom is to bake cookies shaped like the Hebrew letters of the first word of the Torah.
The first phrase in Genesis is “In the beginning.” In Hebrew, this is written in one word, “Bereishit.” The whole family can enjoy mixing the cookie dough. A fun tactile activity is to sculpt the letters from the dough with your fingers. If you like, you can decorate your cookies with icing and colorful sugar sprinkles. As you bite into each sweet letter, you will be reminded of the sweetness of learning Torah. Here is an easy recipe for sugar cookies.
4 ½ cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ cups butter
2 egg yolks
6 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Mix the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
Beat in the eggs and egg yolks.
Add the vanilla extract.
Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Seal the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (162 degrees Celsius).
Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Pinch out a piece of dough and roll it into a rope.
Shape the letter and place it on the cookie sheet.
Once all the letters have been shaped and placed on the cookie sheet, bake for about 10 minutes, or
until the cookies are goldenbrown.
Allow to cool to room temperature to decorate.