Posts filed under ‘Jewish’

Chocolate Caramel Matzoh Crunch – A small batch

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This sweet treat which is taking the internet by storm this Passover season, is a riff on Christmas Crack but with matzoh, obviously. And per the interwebz can easily be altered for the Kosher or vegan cooks among us.

3 sheets unsalted matzohs
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
big pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toppings, which are optional (chopped nuts, sprinkles, sesame seeds, coconut, drizzled white chocolate)

Line a rimmed 11×17 baking sheet with foil

Preheat the oven to 350ºF

Place the matzoh in the lined baking pan, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces

In a 3-4 quart saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together
cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil
boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly
remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over matzoh
working quickly, spread the caramel with a heatproof spatula

Put the pan in the oven
bake for 15 minutes
keep an eye on it and do not let the caramel brown or burn

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips
let stand for a few minutes, then spread the melted chips with an offset spatula

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Then sprinkle the melted chocolate with the preferred topping

Let cool completely, the break into pieces, storing in an airtight container until ready to serve.

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April 8, 2019 at 9:38 pm Leave a comment

Babka

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So much easier than you’d think. And next time I’m doubling this recipe to see how that works, since I got so many requests for samples.

This dough can be made by hand, but I recommend using a stand mixer if you have one. Makes 2 loaves.

3 cups AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 packet yeast
3 eggs, divided (one egg to be used for the egg wash)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons warm milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine flour, sugar, and yeast
add 2 eggs, milk, and vanilla
mix until the ingredients come together, 2 to 3 minutes
(if the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a splash of milk or water)

Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time
allow each piece of butter incorporate before adding the next
add salt
mix until combined, about 3 minutes
dough should be smooth and elastic, pulling away from the sides of the bowl
(if dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time)

Place dough in a greased bowl
cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2  hours
once dough has risen, refrigerate for 30 minutes
(this dough can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight)

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Chocolate filling
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch kosher salt

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter for a minute on high
when chocolate butter mixture is melted whisk until smooth
then whisk in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and salt
let cool to room temperature before using

Brown sugar cinnamon filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
1/2 cup raisins, optional

Combine the ingredients and mix well to combine
set aside and let cool to room temperature

Fruit filling
1 cup jam or preserves
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Combine and cook for 3 minutes in the microwave
mix well to combine
allow to cool completely before spreading
use it with the chocolate filling or on its own

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Spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray or line with parchment paper

Punch dough down and work for a few turns on a floured surface
divide dough in half
roll half of dough into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle
brush edges of dough with egg wash
spread each rectangle with half of desired filling
leaving approximately a 1-inch border on long sides of dough
roll the dough jelly-roll style on a short side
press edge to seal
with a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise
twist dough pieces around each other, and place in prepared pan, cut sides up
now do the second half of the dough

Place prepared pans on a baking sheet
cover loosely with a kitchen towel
let rise until doubled in size, about an 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Preheat oven to 350°F
bake for 30 minutes
then tent with foil
bake 30 minutes more

Allow loaves to cool before slicing.

March 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

Cabbage and Potatoes with Sausage

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My mother has been sharing her old-world recipes with me. This one is a winner for sure. It’s done in a pressure cooker, but I’m sure an InstaPot would be just as good, or stove top, just remember to double the cooking time.

1 head cabbage, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 apple, diced
2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
6 sweet Italian sausage links (but any sausage, smoked or not, can be used)
6 – 8 red potatoes, quartered or sliced thick

Blanche the cabbage in a pot of boiling salted water for approximately 2-3 minutes and drain in a colander. (I’m not convinced this step is necessary, but my mother was adamant. So… Ok)

Brown the sausage and remove from pan, no need to cook through
add onion and brown
add carrot and apple
stir to combine
add bay leaves

Mix in half the cabbage
layer first the sausage, then potatoes
add the rest of the cabbage
add stock

Seal the pressure cooker
cook for 10 minutes once up to full pressure.

January 14, 2019 at 10:31 pm Leave a comment

Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage

stuffed

I love stuffed cabbage, but who has the time, am I right!? This recipe is based on one for the Instant Pot and is super simple. I used a pressure cooker instead, but it can also be done in a Dutch oven, just double the cooking time.

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
salt
pepper
1 cup stock
1/4 cup water
1 cup cooked rice (or 1/2 cup uncooked rice)
1 small to medium cabbage, chopped
oil for sauteing

Saute the onions and garlic until almost brown
throw in the rest of the ingredients
toss until well combined
cover and cook for 20 minutes in a pressure cooker

Season to taste and serve.

February 23, 2017 at 9:18 pm Leave a comment

Hamentaschen – A small batch

hamentaschen

NOOOOWWWWW I remember why I don’t make Hamentaschen, they’re a hard pastry to master. The oil-based dough is finicky, and no matter how diligent you are in pinching the corners, some ALWAYS break open. But they’re still damn tasty.

It’s the plural form of hamentasch. A small triangular-shaped pastry, prepared especially for the festival of Purim.

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon or so of water (but hold off until the other ingredients are combined, you may not need it)
pinch of salt
filling (jam, prunes, poppy)

hamentaschen 2

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Preheat oven to 350°F

Mix everything together until the dough comes together
roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick
cut out circles, using an 8 oz glass or 2″ biscuit cutter
add about a teaspoon of filling
turn up edges and pinch corners to form the traditional corner shape

Bake for 30 minutes

Makes about a dozen

March 16, 2014 at 11:20 am 3 comments

Chopped Liver – A small batch

liver

Traditionally this recipe uses rendered chicken fat, known as gribenes or schmaltz. It’s not something I have readily on hand, so I use plain old oil.

1/2 pound liver, either chicken or beef
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 egg, hard-boiled, peeled, and diced
1 slice hearty bread, diced (I prefer rye)
salt and pepper
oil

Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat
season raw liver with salt and pepper
brown the liver on both sides, about 3 minutes for each side
remove from pan and set aside

Brown the onions in the dirty pan
add more oil if needed

In a food processor add all the ingredients and pulse for about 30 seconds, or until the desired consistency is achieved. More oil may be needed to loosen up the chopped liver.

Salt and pepper to taste
chill for about 2 hours

May 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

Ashkenazi-Style Cheesecake

When I was a kid, a family tradition was to get to choose a favorite cake for our birthday dinner. As far as I can remember, which isn’t saying much these days, my brother chose 7-Layer Cake and I chose a cheesecake that came from the local grocery store. This cake was known to our family as Grand Union cheesecake. Unfortunately, the store chain went out of business, taking its baked goods with them, and I was forced to live without.

Many years later, while visiting a family member, an avid baker in France, I was served some cheesecake that he had made. To my surprise it was the Grand Union cheesecake of my childhood memory. He was kind enough to share.

16 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
squeeze of lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces sour cream
3 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 F

Grease a pan (either round or rectangular, but 9 inches is the smallest)

Beat egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside
lightly beat yolks (reserve 1 tablespoon and set aside)
combine cream cheese and yolks
add sugar, lemon, vanilla, sour cream, and flour
fold in whites until well combined

Pour batter into prepared pan
glaze with reserved egg yolk mixed with a splash of water
place on a baking sheet
bake for 1 hour

The cake will soufflé and then collapse on itself.

Let cool completely and then refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

November 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm Leave a comment

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