Purim is around the corner (it starts the evening of March 23!) and Michiganders are busy planning their themes and costumes for the festive holiday. One of the major mitzvot of Purim is to give gifts of food to friends and neighbors. While people peruse Instagram and Facebook pages for ideas for the perfect theme, some neighborhood women are working industriously in their own kitchens to create the perfect addition for your mishloach manot (Purim baskets), and creating superb kugels, cakes, cookies, and challahs to grace your holiday table.
While kosher take-out in Detroit is limited and kosher restaurants are few and far-between, these cottage industry chefs have amazing additions to help make Purim—or any other holiday—special and stress-free. These under-the-radar chefs are truly the best-kept secret in metro Detroit.
Most market by email and some are on Facebook, while others simply market by word of mouth. I have included links to email (just ask them for menus) and Facebook pages, when available. Here’s your go-to list for fantastic kosher homemade treats:
Baker and business owner Devorah Weiner offers pareve (non-dairy), ready-to-bake challahs. Choose from challahs made with whole wheat, white and spelt flour, or specialty varieties like Loaded Chocolate Chip, Sweet Vanilla Chip, and Savory Plain.
But that’s not all. This year for Purim, Challah Shop is offering “bake your own” hamantaschen dough, ready to be sliced, filled, folded, and baked, as well as a special “Purim Surpise” challah for your seudah (holiday feast). If I told you what was in it, well, it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it? Challah Shop also offers healthy chocolate chip granola bars and chocolate chip cookie dough rolls. And the best part is that there is no guilt in taking the credit for the delicious results, since you did the baking. In addition to “bake your own” goodies, Devorah also offers kugels and cakes. Click here to request more information.
A boutique bakery, founded by baker extraordinaire Chana Kaplan, is offering a package of two cupcakes for $6, as well as 8”, 9”, and 10” layer cakes. The full size cakes are beautifully decorated, all pareve, and starting at $45, but these desserts are worth every penny, guaranteed to dazzle and delight your guests. Choose from Red Velvet; German Chocolate Cake; Chocolate Cake with either Peanut Butter, Mocha, or Chocolate Mousse; Strawberry Shortcake; Faux Cheesecakes; French Macarons; oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookies; trays of miniature eclairs; or Kaplan’s signature Carrot Cake with pareve cream cheese frosting. Kaplan cakes are featured on the dessert menu at Prime Ten kosher steakhouse. All Kaplan cakes are pareve and yoshon, and under supervision. Click here to request more information.
Carole Ohayon Gregg makes prepackaged mishloach manot with assortments of chocolate truffles, chocolate covered pretzels with toppings, as well as custom orders on lucite or in gold baskets. Some include wine and cheese, others cookies and coffee. Aside from her confection business, Carole cooks and bakes and will include her other homemade specialties, when requested. Her specialties include soup, schnitzels, outstanding meat and potato knishes, delectable cinnamon buns, dips, kugels, matbucha, pies, babkas, cakes, and cookies. Visit her Facebook page for more information.
If cupcakes are what you crave, these tiny, beautifully decorated minis come in sophisticated nut-free flavors including champagne, red velvet, caramel, and mint in dairy and non-dairy options. The Purim packages offered by Bite-Size Bliss include a Purim Spirits package that includes three mini red wine and three mini pink champagne cupcakes decorated with fondant hamantaschen and wine bottles, along with chocolate lentils. The Fun-Filled Package includes three funfetti mini cupcakes, three chocolate mini cupcakes with filling, decorated with fondant groggers and masks, and candy on the side. These cupcakes are creative and beautiful additions to any Purim basket. Visit her Facebook page for more information.
If you’d like to include beautifully decorated custom cookies in your Purim basket, these are the premier cookie decorators in town. The Goldman girls have built an outstanding reputation with their cookie pops (on sticks), basic and detailed cookies, both full-size, minis, and mega cupcakes, and paint your own cookie sets. They also will put together trays and 3D centerpieces—which are perfect hostess gifts . Basic cookies start at $1.75 each. Detailed cookies start at $3.25 apiece. Centerpieces start at $40 and cookie trays begin at $35.Click here to request more information.
These purveyors of fine pareve treats have become a Detroit staple, creating beautifully packaged gift bags of caramels to make your Purim basket a bit more sticky but so much more delicious. They will also package the caramels to pair with a kosher wine of your choice. Call (248) 252-1472 for more information.
Whether you are planning for Purim, or just want to add something special to your Shabbat or holiday table, these hidden gems will not disappoint.