These bite-size cakes are actually biscuits dipped in honey syrup. They take a bit of patience to make but keep for ages, so you can make them the week before Rosh Hashanah. They are perfect as a gift or to serve for afternoon tea. — Merelyn Chalmers in The Feast Goes On
For the honey syrup, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a saucepan, add the bean, honey, light brown sugar, lemon juice and zest, and the cinnamon stick. Slowly bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking trays.
Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt into a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the oil and sugar until well combined, then stir in the wine and orange zest and juice.
Gradually pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to form a rough dough. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer and, using the dough hook, beat for 5 minutes until smooth, shiny and glutinous, adding extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
Roll the mixture into small walnut-size balls and place them 1¼ inches apart on the prepared baking trays. Lightly flatten each ball with the back of a spoon to make a slight indent and bake for 12 minutes, or until firm.
Remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick from the warm syrup, pour into a shallow dish and soak the cakes in the syrup for 30 seconds on each side. Using two forks, lift the cakes from the syrup and place on a wire rack positioned over a tray. Sprinkle with the pistachios and allow to stand for 1 hour.
The cakes will keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.