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By Marcy Goldman, Globe Correspondent

I marvel at the Jewish holidays. Each has a succinct theme and historical connection that is the very fabric of an ancient culture. Yet it always distills down to a very basic concern: What are we making/cooking/baking for the upcoming holiday? Well, that is not the only thing we think of at holiday time, but it is a fact: Food counts, for it is a palatable way of celebrating the start of a brand-new year.

In this case, it is the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, one of the loveliest and most inspiring holidays when it comes to baking. Unlike Passover, which really limits a baker, Rosh Hashana offers a heady cornucopia of choices. Honey and apple desserts are de rigueur, but after that, pretty well anything in fall-oriented flavors works well.

I take my inspiration from the holiday and its credo: sweetness, symbolized by the use of honey, in the new year. Certainly, for the classicists, I give a nod to the usual suspects (challah or egg bread, and honey cake) but I always add something a little quirky but apropros, such as fruit-of-the-vine mandelbrot or a decadent chocolate marble honey cake. The result is a sweet table that trumpets in the new year on an exceptionally sweet note.

  • Apple Cinnamon Vanilla Challah
  • Honey Chocolate Cake
  • Bubbe-Style Marble Cake
  • Honey And Apple Cake
  • New Year's Fluden
  • Apple And Sour Cherry Cake
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