Halva and pistachio filled macarons in white and blue for the occasion of Israel’s 68th Independence Day, celebrated yesterday 12th of May. Halva is a tahini based sweet confection, this recipe uses store bought unsweetened halva bars to balance the overall sweetness of the cookies together with lightly salted pistachios. I was thinking of fireworks and confetti when taking the above shot, macarons in sugar cone surrounded by halva and pistachio sprinkles is really wow, isn’t it?
The celebrations in Israel started on Wednesday evening transitioning from the mourning of Memorial Day to celebrating the Independence day. We drove away from the party city Tel Aviv and went camping in the Galilee area close to Hatsbani river.
Barbecue is a common part of the celebration of the holiday and like dozens of other families in the camping area we brought our portable grill with us. We did not however grill any meat, but had some juicy corn on cob, vegetarian hot dogs and side dish of potatoes and broccoli inspired by a recipe I saw on Pinterest. Other foods I prepared for the trip was a mason jar salad, roasted chickpeas and fruits and healthy sugar cones for dessert and snacks.
Because of the traffic we arrived to the camping area later than expected and found all spots under trees already taken. It was soon going to get dark and we knew we’d get up with the sun anyway so we crossed a bridge to a more quiet side of the area and set our camp next to a wooden picnic table not far from one of the water sinks in the area. The camping area was pretty packed with families and bigger groups of people but we were kind of isolated from the crowds, only a party of four young men set their tents and tables within 10 meters from ours.
The atmosphere in the night was great, filled with happy voices, everyone barbecuing, some played music from portable speakers, kids and few doggies running around and fireworks from the settlements nearby. Being surrounded by tall trees we did not see that many fireworks but could hear them clearly. I’m not going to say that we slept well that night, with noises from background and a confused little dog, we hardly slept more than couple hours before the sun came up. That wasn’t anything unexpected though and no matter how little sleep, nothing beats waking up in middle of nature, if you ask me. 🙂
Overall our first camping experience in Israel was excellent, our pop up tent though it looks small was perfect size for us three and needless to say it’s super convenient (when you learn the tricky folding up -part). The little camper Peach, still doesn’t get how sleeping bags work and prefers to sleep without strangers walking nearby. She had enough exploring for this week and is happy to be back home. We on the other hand, have to start gathering some other camping gear as my husband is going camping in the dessert next month!
From camping back to macarons, the shells in pictures are made without pistachios – simply because I wanted to achieve as white shells as possible and used blue food colouring simply because of the occasion. Otherwise light green and beige would be the colours to reflect the flavours and as I’ve written in the recipe, you can substitute half of the ground almonds with ground pistachios. To achieve as smooth shells as possible I always pulse the ground almonds and icing sugar mixture in a coffee grinder and sieve it to get rid of any bits or lumps, I’ve added this step in the recipe. If you decide to try this recipe, please let us know how you it worked for you. And like always, any questions or suggestion are welcome! x