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Surprise House Cookies

Did you know that tzar’at can also effect people’s homes? Tzar’at (skin lesions on the skin that appear as a result of speaking gossip) can show up as green or red spots on the stones of a home. A priest is called to examine the home. If it is tzar’at, the priest will isolate the home for some time. If the coloration does not improve, the individual stones affected might be removed. In the most extreme case, the entire home is destroyed!

There was hidden kindness from G-d in this seemingly negative situation. During the forty years of the Jews traveling through the desert, the Canaanites hid their gold and valuables in their houses. When the Jews conquered the land and lived in those homes, they did not know about the treasures! When Jew had to destroy their home because of the plague of tzar’at, it exposed the hidden treasures!

This week we create an adorable surprise house cookie that has to be “broken” to reveal the delicious goodness that is hidden inside!

Here is what you'll need:

  • Basic sugar cookie dough (recipe below)

  • House shaped cookie cutter

  • Round cookie cutter

  • Colored chocolate chips

  • Melted chocolate

Let’s get started:

Sugar Cookie Recipe:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more as needed for rolling)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

  • 2-3 tablespoons water (as needed)


Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the margarine and sugar until smooth and creamy.

Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add tablespoons of water one at a time, if the dough is crumbly.. If the dough seems too soft and sticky for rolling, add 1 more Tablespoon of flour.

Divide the dough in half and roll out both pieces of dough in between parchment paper to prevent sticking. Refrigerate the rolled dough for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the rolled cookie dough from the refrigerator.

Use the house cookie cutters, to cut house shapes out of the dough. Use a small circle cutter to cut circles in the center of one-third of the house cookies. Place the cut-out cookies onto a baking tray, and bake for 12 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and cool completely before moving on to the next step.

Once the cookies are out of the oven and cool, you can start assembling the house. Each house will need two whole house cookies and one with a circle in the middle.

Melt half a cup of baking chocolate in a microwave, double boiler, or plastic bag in water.

Use a plastic bag and cut a small hole at the tip to pipe the chocolate on neatly.

Turn over the house with a hole, and pipe melted chocolate on it.

Place that cookie on top of one of a full cookie.

Use a spoon to pour in some colored chocolate chips or other small candy or sprinkles. Fill the cavity completely, but do not overfill.

Add additional melted chocolate onto the second layer of the cookie, surrounding the chocolate chips.

Place the third cookie over the chocolate, so the chocolate chips stay inside the house.

Take some red or green chocolate chips, and place them on the cookie using the melted chocolate as glue.

And there you have it! You just created these adorable surprise house cookies, an edible visual of the Parshah!

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