Archive for February, 2011

Driving Under the Influence of . . . Cholent?

February 28, 2011

Daring Bakers Panna Cotta: Greek Honey Ginger with Caramelized Pears

February 27, 2011

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

I chose to make a diet version of the recipe, substituting nonfat Greek yogurt for the cream, plus agar instead of the gelatin. I used honey flavored yogurt, and added a bit of candied ginger and vanilla bean paste. The panna cotta is topped with honey roasted pears in a orange caramel reduction. (more…)

Does Anyone Understand the New Google Recipe Search Feature?

February 26, 2011

Google has just introduced a new feature that allows you to search for just recipes from the Google page, but the recipe pages have to be marked up in a certain way. Does any other food blogger out there understand this?

I e-mailed Elise of Simply Recipes about this issue, and she has sent me a link to a tutorial that she had put up on this topic.

Grandma’s Chocolate Applesauce Cake

February 25, 2011

My grandmother’s signature cake was this super moist chocolate applesauce cake, topped with chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar (and sometimes chopped walnuts).  It freezes incredibly well–I just pulled this cake from the depths of my freezer from I-won’t-even-tell-you-how-long-ago, and it tastes as good as the day I made it. Well, the chips aren’t all melt-ey and gooey as they are fresh from the oven, but I supposed I could fix that by warming it up.

It is not the intense chocolate experience of some deep, dark cakes. Rather, it is a more subtle chocolate experience, like hot cocoa, with an undertone of cinnamon and apples, with the chocolate chips giving you an occasional jolt of pure chocolate. It is the way that these flavors combine that makes this cake so irresistible.

It is not a fancy dessert, just a humble 9″x13″ pan snack cake. But, cut it into squares and platter it nicely, and you can serve it at the fanciest dessert buffet. People will devour it. (more…)

Parshat Veyakhel Project

February 25, 2011

Okay, so this has to be just about the worst picture I have ever posted (and that is saying a lot), but (a) I got the parsha project done before Shabbos, and (b) it was one of the most successful projects I have ever done with the kids. (more…)

Perfect Brownies

February 23, 2011

No, there is no recipe (sigh). Dvora makes stellar brownies–for me these are the platonic ideal of brownies, cake-ey/chewey with a deep dark cocoa taste. But, she doesn’t do recipes. So, if you want some, you have to get in touch with Dvora.

Dessert, Straight from Israel

February 23, 2011

Thanks to my fellow bloggers, I discovered the Israeli dessert queen, Carine Goren (hat tip to Chavi, who has diligently worked to perfect Carine Goren’s challah. Not to digress by Chavi is a fantastic source of challah recipes–her blog is turning into a challapedia. Oh, and here is another post about Carine’s challah).

Anyway . . . enough rambling. Does anyone have a recommendation about which recipe to try first from this book? My husband says that when he bought the book at Steinmatzsky, the clerk raved about this book, but didn’t give any specific recipe recommendations.

Note:  here is a US source for her books.

Update: Here is Dvora’s take on Carine’s challah, which includes a link to the recipe in Hebrew and a video of Carine making the recipe.

Tastes Like the Real Thing Vegetarian Chopped Liver

February 20, 2011

I will try to post a better picture later, but I don’t want to delay posting about this delicious and healthy vegetarian chopped liver.

I have served this appetizer many times, and invariably someone assumes it is real or asks (after tasting it!) “Is this real chopped liver?!”

The taste and texture is that close to the real thing. (more…)

Parsha Ki Tisa Pavlova Har Sinai

February 18, 2011

(I had the idea this week to make fondant figures with the kids and then make Har Sinai out of chocolate meringue, actually a pavlova recipe. I’m using the fondant figures to do a stop action synopsis of the parsha.)

In this week’s parsha, Moshe comes down from Har Sinai to find the people worshiping an idol, the Eigel HaZahav: (more…)

Purim Katan: Choc PB Hamantaschen

February 18, 2011

I had to do something for Purim Katan, so I made this recipe for Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies and shaped them like hamantaschen. The original recipe calls for making a chocolate cookie dough and a peanut butter filling. You roll out balls of each and then wrap the peanut balls in the chocolate balls. To make the hamantaschen, instead of completely enclosing the peanut butter balls, just wrap the chocolate dough around the way that you would for hamantachen. Note: to get the edges of the chocolate balls nice, I flattened out the balls, and then used a cookie cutter to trim the edges. This way I got a nice round of dough.

Update: these were really delicious. Definitely would do these again. These are great to make with kids because it just involves rolling balls of the two doughs, flattening the chocolate dough, and putting the pb filling inside and folding it together. Less messy than rolling out with a rolling pin and spooning in jam/lekvar.

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Hamantaschen
Adapted from here

In a bowl, cream together the margarine, peanut butter, and sugar(s):
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter

Add in the following ingredients to the creamed mixture:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon coffee powder [dissolve in water]
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add the following dry ingredients to the batter:
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Now, make the PB filling by combining the following in a separate bowl:
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter [I think I used closer to 3/4 cup peanut butter; use enough to make a moist dough]

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while you shape the cookies. Form chocolate dough into 30-32 balls (1 1/4″ diameter). Shape the peanut butter mixture in the same number of balls (3/4″ diameter). Flatten the chocolate balls into 1/8″ thick rounds, trimming edges if necessary with a cookie cutter to make neat rounds. Put a peanut butter ball into the center of each round and fold up three sides and pinch together the edges to make a triangle shape. Go here for more detailed shaping instructions.

Place cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake cookies in preheated oven for 8 minutes or until they’re just set. Let cookies stand for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. Makes 32 cookies.

Other Hamantaschen:

Midnight Mint (like Girl Scout Thin Mints)
Lemon Sunshine
Darth Vader Hamantaschen
Angelina Ballerina Hamantaschen
Hamantaschen Apple Galette
Fruit Tart Hamantaschen
Hamantaschen Puff Pastry Shells
Hamantaschen French Toast Casserole