Archive for the ‘cookies’ Category

Easy Rugelach (aka Babka Bites)

November 11, 2013


Did you know that you can make rugelach from challah dough? Well, you can!

These won’t be super flaky yeast dough rugelach. For that texture, you need what is called a “laminated dough,” or a dough that has layers of butter or margarine rolled into it (like puff pastry, croissant or danish dough). The difference between these rugelach and the super-flaky kind is the difference between doughnuts and cronuts.

If you want super-flaky yeast dough rugelach, take a look at this. If you want something easy to make and trans-fat free (no margarine!) that tastes like bite-sized chocolate babka, read on.



Mabul Bars

October 4, 2013


This is Leora’s parshat Noach pun: marble cake (or whatever) for mabul or flood. The bars are Mrs. S’s recipe. I used part brown sugar instead of all white and added a little vanilla extract.

Prior Parshat Noach desserts:

Mabul Cupcakes

Rainbow Cookies

Einat Admony’s Homemade Kit Kat Bars (and my dairy-free take on them)

September 25, 2013


The recipe that really jumped out at me from Einat Admony’s Balaboosta was her Kit-Kat Bars. It is kind of a variation on the classic peanut butter bars, which have a peanut butter and cornflake crumb base and a chocolate layer on top. This “Kit Kat” recipe swaps out peanut butter for Nutella in the base and puts a rich ganache on top.

Admony is the chef behind Taim falafel bar and Balaboosta restaurant in New York City (and she is opening another restaurant, too) . She says that the recipe for  this dessert came from Israeli restaurant Keren (Haim Cohen’s restaurant which was big in the 90′s), where she had her first professional job as a line cook.

I loved the idea of a crunchy Nutella bar, but I wanted to make these pareve. I tried two different approaches: (1) I swapped out the Nutella for chocolate peanut butter and (2) I combined regular peanut butter and hazelnut truffle chocolate. Both work. although the version with the hazelnut chocolate is a little truer to the original flavor combination.

Bonus: If you would like to see Einat Admony making these bars, take a look at this video at Daily Candy.

Another Bonus: Recent interview with Einat Admony where she talks about Sukkot and gives her mom’s recipe for chicken with pomegranate syrup and walnuts.

Yet Another Bonus: Chef Michel Richard included a recipe for Le Kit Cat in his book Happy in the Kitchen. The recipe is similar to Einat’s recipe, but calls for peanut butter and milk chocolate instead of Nutella in the base and the topping is chocolate mousse instead of ganache. If you want to see yet another variation on this, plus some attractive plating, take a look at this recipe from New Jersey chef Jonathan Adams.

Okay, one more: Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bars, using homemade pailleté feuilletine instead of cornflakes.

These Kit Kat bars look elegant and have a sophisticated taste–you would never guess that they are basically easy cereal bars.


Reverse Engineered Soft Baked Chocolate Squares

June 27, 2013


This is the result of my attempt to reverse engineer Kashi’s Soft Baked Chocolate Squares. The texture is very similar to the Kashi squares: cakey but dense, much drier than brownies and more compact than cake. I like them this way, but if you prefer a moister, fudgier bar, I have a variation that creates that texture, too.

I tweaked my recipe to mostly match the Kashi ingredient list and to even more closely hew to the nutritional data. They are vegan, with about 4 g. of fiber and 4 g. of protein per 160 calorie serving from black beans, sweet potato, ground nuts, flax seed meal, whole grain wheat, spelt and oats.


Gooey Pesach Blondies

March 28, 2013


These were a huge hit. I underbaked these so that the center was gooey. The edges could be cut and served in squares, but the center had to be served warm, in scoops like a runny chip cake. Someone said that it reminded him of pecan pie.


Passover Dessert: Chocolate Mistakes

March 28, 2013


This cookies were an accident. I was making a cookie recipe which called for just cocoa, powdered sugar and egg whites, with some chopped nuts folded in. I must have gotten distracted when measuring out the powdered sugar because the batter was just too dry. So, I added in the yolks that I had separated out from the whites. Then the batter was too runny. So added in a packet of ground nuts.

I baked the cookies, but most of them ran into each other, so I had to cut them into squares. The whole thing looked a bit like a mess, but tasted almost just like boxed chometz brownies. They had that chewy texture, with the thin  crackly top. So, all in all, this is a mistake I would make again, but I would either bake them as bar cookies, or space the cookies further apart so they wouldn’t run into each other.


Chocolate Chunk Mandel Bread and Pistachio Blueberry Mandel Bread

March 10, 2013


Dueling Mandel Bread: Baba’s Chocolate Chip v. Bubbe’s Pistachio Blueberry

My mother and I baked mandel bread to use up the last bit of our flour. My mother made a variation on my grandmother’s recipe and I played around with a recipe from Locke Hughes’s Baba, Daye Glassman.

And I finally used up the last of my flour!

The results: the pistachio blueberry mandel bread had a zingier flavor (from the dried fruit and orange zest and juice), but the chocolate chip mandelbread had an especially nice melt-in-your-mouth texture–dry but not too hard.



Strudel Rugelach Mandel Bread: Strugelachbrodt?

March 5, 2013


I had leftover apricot lekvar and I used it to make a cookie that is a cross between strudel, rugelach and mandelbrodt. It is an adaption of a recipe for Date and Walnut Rolls, from Tzurit Or’s bakery Tatte Fine Cookies & Cakes in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Healthier Shtreimel Cookies: Blythe Danner’s Macrobiotic Thumbprints with Chocolate Filling

March 5, 2013


In 2006, Woman’s Day magazine published  Blythe Danner’s recipe for macrobiotic thumbprint cookies. I tore out and saved the recipe but never got around to making it. Well, not until now, that is (I had to use up the barley flour I bought to make my sister-in-law these other cookies). The recipe for thumbprint cookies that is online now is a little different from the recipe that was published in Woman’s Day–I guess Blythe Danner has changed how she makes the cookies.

I made a slight change. Instead of baking the cookies filled with jam, I filled them after baking with ganache to make a healthier version of those Stella D’oro Swiss Fudge cookies (AKA Shtreimel Cookies). Some cookies I filled with cherry jam and then topped the jam with ganache.


Bean Thinking of You Mishloach Manot

February 17, 2013


I was feeling kind of uninspired . . . For a mishloach manot theme, I was leaning towards “Random Stuff I found in Amazing Savings.” I didn’t even want to make any hamantaschen. I racked my brain for something that could get me excited about baking again. Then I remembered these coffee bean cookies from Carine Goren’s Sweet Secrets.

This is a soft cream cheese dough cookie, with a strong mocha flavor. To get the shape, you form the dough into an oval, and then press a toothpick down the center to make an indentation (I used a piece of uncooked spaghetti to mark the cookies).

You could make these cookies using any coffee flavored dough, as in this Martha Stewart recipe for espresso bean shortbread, which is shaped the same way. I have also seen cookies shaped like this dipped in chocolate, which makes them look even more like coffee beans (or more accurately, like coffee bean candy). But, I was feeling too lazy to go to the trouble of dipping the cookies in chocolate.

Then I realized that I had already bought a bunch of bags of black bean tortilla chips and a theme was born. Coffee bean, chocolate bean, vanilla bean, black bean . . . A bean theme. If I wanted to throw in candy, there are jelly beans, too. I’m planning on adding in a bottled coffee drink and mocha cupcakes (Amazing Savings had these cool Purim-themed cupcake liners with decorative flags).

Okay, it is kind of a lazy theme, because vanilla, chocolate and coffee cover almost everything. But, it is still a theme!

I ended making hamantaschen after all, with a coffee ganache filling (8 ounces bittersweet chocolate melted with a 4 ounce of strong coffee).  I used my regular hamantaschen dough, but you could use a chocolate dough, too.



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