Rugelach, bubka and chocolate balls are readily available at bakeries throughout Israel. So, what happens when an Israeli pastry chef opens a home-style bakery in New York City? Success, of course.

Zohar Zohar, a 40-year-old pastry chef who logged long hours with some of New York’s top chefs, recently opened Zucker Bakery to great acclaim (433E 9th St.). Her baked goods – with Israeli, Moroccan and European influences – have won top acclaim in food sections of The New York Times and New York Magazine, among others.
TimeOut Magazine just nominated the bakery for a Food & Drink Award for Best New Bakery of 2011.

“I try to keep the homey feeling of my grandmother’s house and hope to touch some people’s nostalgic memories through the cookies’ taste and the design of the shop, while keeping my fine details and quality,” writes Zohar on the bakery’s website.

Zohar uses her family’s old recipes.

“When Israelis come here they recognize about 90 percent of the recipes,” she told Ynet. “The Americans, however, don’t recognize anything, but despite that they tell me it makes them feel like I just took them to visit their grandma’s home.”