Posts Tagged ‘hannukah’

Sufganiyot, Jerusalem

December 8, 2015

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My husband was in Israel on Chanukah and didn’t eat any sufganiyot. The lines were too long and he didn’t have the cheshek. But, as you can see, they really looked amazing. There is this new thing (well, new to me, anyway) (correction: apparently, this a just-new-to-me-in-the boonies-of-Chutz La’Aretz thing) of putting the filling into a plastic pipette, which you squirt into the doughnut yourself before eating it. Is this to prevent sogginess? Is it just a trendy thing? Does anyone know?

 

 

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Chanukah Mac ‘n Cheese

November 27, 2013

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About 20 years ago, I made macaroni and cheese to bring to a family Chanukah party. The next year I was asked to bring it again. “It can be a tradition,” my sister enthused, “every year the kids will look forward to your mac ‘n cheese!” I wasn’t so keen on the idea. The idea of making the same thing over and over wasn’t so appealing.

But, here we are all these years later, and I am still bringing macaroni and cheese to the family Chanukah party.

I have posted this before, but it is worth reposting.

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Chanukah Hush Puppies

November 18, 2013

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A popular theme for Chanukah this year is “Food that is Thanksgiving-ish or Autumnal but still recognizable as Chanukah fare.” Put another way, the question is: What Thanksgiving food can be fried as latkes or sufganiyot?

I offer you hush puppies. It is fried–perfect for Chanukah. It is a traditional recipe from the American South that is a twist on cornbread, a Thanksgiving classic. Basically, hush puppies are mini latkes made from cornbread batter. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that hush puppies are to cornbread what latkes are to kugel.

Why hush puppies are not more popular (outside the South) I will never understand. They are, according to one journalist, “the best fried food in existence.” Hush puppies may be ready to have their moment, though. The New York Times just featured an article about quinoa hush puppies, as served at Market Table. I wouldn’t be shocked if the NYT quinoa hush puppies recipe makes the rounds for Chanukah.

There are a lot of stories about how Hush Puppies got their name. A popular story is that hush puppies were made from cornmeal leftover from frying fish and thrown to the dogs to quiet them.

My husband was reminiscing recently how his mother would make little latkes from matzoh meal/breadcrumbs and egg that was leftover from breading something for frying. I’ve done that, too. You don’t want to throw away the extra egg and breading, right?

That is kind of what hush puppies taste like, those little breading latkes, but there are also little bits of onion, like with potato latkes. Actually, they also kind of remind me of falafel, but cornbread flavored, of course.

Traditionally, hush puppies are served with fried fish and tartar sauce, but I am not such a fan of dipping deep-fried food into a fat-based sauce. I think the hush puppies taste nice by themselves or served with cranberry applesauce.

But serving hush puppies with a rich sauce is apparently the norm. Curious whether anyone else is serving hush puppies for Chanukah, I came across an article about Amanda Cohen chef/owner of Dirt Candy in New York City. Apparently, Dirt Candy has a super popular appetizer consisting of hush puppies with a side of maple Dijon butter. Market Table offers a spicy aioli to go with the quinoa hush puppies, which is a mayo-based sauce. If that appeals to you, follow the links to get the Maple Dijon Butter and Chili Aioli sauce recipes.

There are lots of recipes for hush puppies, but I offer you the recipe I have been making for many years, which comes right off the side of a bag of Indian Head cornmeal.

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Easy Rugelach (aka Babka Bites)

November 11, 2013

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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.

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Caramel Spice Applesauce and Lemon Ginger Applesauce

December 10, 2012

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It isn’t so hard to make you own applesauce, and the flavor is exponentially superior.

Lemon ginger applesauce is a wholesome mix of apples, ginger, lemon and a bit of honey. The bright lively flavor of this applesauce is an antidote to the heaviness of fried food. The famous tummy soothing properties of ginger mean that this applesauce will make you feel a bit better if you over indulge in latkes.

The other applesauce is comparatively a rich treat, with buttery caramel flavor.

Hanukkah Blog Party

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Gelt Trip: Brown Butter Toffee Crunch Bars

December 6, 2012

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Toffee bars, but with the toffee and butter flavors amplified. Browning makes the butter flavor more intense and complex, and toffee chips add texture and highlight the caramel flavor of the crust. Using chocolate gelt is a fun holiday touch.

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Three Doughs, Endless Possibilities: Grandma’s Rugelach

December 29, 2011

The above is actually a picture of Hungarian Yeast Rugelach, from a much earlier post. I don’t have a picture of the crescent shaped rugelach my grandmother A”H  favored. I went with roll shaped rugelach this time. If you want to see how the crescent shaped rugelach is made, you can take a look at my earlier post.

My father firmly believes in apricot rugelach, but my notes say that my grandmother used raspberry jam.  She also used to drop blobs of it all over the dough, while I am a jam spreader. Doesn’t matter. This is a classic cream cheese dough recipe for rugelach.

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Three Doughs, Endless Possibilities: Julia G.’s Rugelach

December 29, 2011

I don’t know why, but I usually feel the urge to make rugelach this time of year. Not pareve yeast rugelach, but dairy rugelach, with real butter and cream cheese.

It always seems like a fabulous idea . . . until I am halfway through rolling out, filling and shaping the dough. Then I remember why I only make rugelach once a year. These aren’t simple drop cookies. These are hand crafted miniature pastries. Rugelach are not hard to make, but they are rather labor intensive.

It helps if you are prepared for that aspect and think ahead to make things a little easier. Make the dough a day ahead. Divide the dough up into individually wrapped packets and flatten the dough a bit so you have a head start on rolling out. It is also a little easier to make rugelach logs instead of crescents.

When you serve the rugelach for dessert at a party, all the hard work pays off.  At the end of a heavy meal, what most people want is a little something rich and sweet with coffee, and rugelach hits the spot.

Rugelach making is as much about the shaping as it is about the filling and the dough. I have three different dough recipes, and I play around with different fillings, but I have found that I can get very different effects just by changing from the crescent shape to a log shape or even a larger strudel shape.  You can even make a completely different cookie by using just jam as a filling and shaping the dough like danishes.

Another thing to think about is size. One of my tricks is to make miniature rugelach, but any size is delicious.

I just posted Grandma Rose’s sour cream pastry dough, which is used to make miniature danishes or strudel. Now, I am giving you the cream cheese dough recipe from my brother-in-law’s grandmother. Julia G. A”H was a superior baker, and she was famous for her rugelach (among other specialties).

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Three Doughs, Endless Possibilities: Old World Mock Strudel

December 29, 2011

I mentioned in my last post that Grandma Rose’s filled cookies are a bit labor intensive, with a lot of rolling and shaping. The dough gets divided into four parts, and by the time I had rolled and filled the first three parts, I was ready for something new to do with the remaining quarter of dough.

Grandma Rose’s dough is versatile. You can use it for many pastry purposes, but I was particularly keen on using it for making mock strudel.

Mock strudel is another “old world” delicacy that is substitutes flaky pastry dough for strudel dough. My husband’s grandmother used to make a pareve version (and Batmitbach has posted a pareve pastry strudel from her husband’s grandmother).

Many years ago Marrion Burros and Lois Levine published a recipe for this kind of mock strudel in Elegant But Easy (1960). The revised version of this cookbook (1998) also featured Ann Amernick’s variation on this recipe.

The original filling from Elegant But Easy: 6 ounces marmalade, 6 ounces apricot jam, 6 Tbl.  cup brown sugar, 1 Tbl. cinnamon, 1 cup chopped walnuts, and 1/2 cup golden raisins. The jam is spread over 4 pieces of dough, each rolled 6″x10″, the nuts, sugar, cinnamon and raisins are sprinkled over and each pieces is rolled up like a jelly roll and baked whole. It is kind of a cross between rugelach and strudel.

According to Marrion Burros, Ann Amernick’s filling was different because it called for all apricot jam, no brown sugar and lots more cinnamon, nuts, raisins and currant. Ann Amernick has actually published a few different versions of this recipe (I guess she must keep revising it). In all her versions, Ann Amernick adds much, much more filling than the Elegant But Easy version, pulling it away from its similarity to rugelach.

I ended up going with the version that appears in her 1992 book, Special Desserts, but I will explain her more recent versions.

Why did I want to make this strudel and why did I go with Ann Amernick’s version (well, one of her versions)? Well, Ann Amernick is a top-notch pastry chef with many, many years of experience. She worked as Roland Mesnier’s pastry assistant at the White House during the Carter era (she remembers the time they koshered the White House kitchen). She was pastry chef for Jean-Louis Palladin.  Her pastry role models are Gaston Lenotre and Yves Thuries. And she said in an EGullet interview that the one food she cannot resist is this particular strudel. “I love it more than anything,” she said.

Now, THAT is a dessert I have to try.

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Three Doughs, Endless Possibilities: Grandma Rose’s Filled Cookies

December 29, 2011

I realize that most people have baked all the holiday cookies they intend to bake. We have moved from decadent treat baking frenzy to after-holiday fatigue and dieter’s remorse. So, my posts now should all be healthy dishes and not rich pastries.

All the same, I am going to share three (not just one, but three) different pastry doughs.

The first recipe is from my Grandma Rose, A”H. She used to make these cookies that looked little miniature danishes. Imagine crisp, flaky pastry with the rich dairy taste of rugelach, filled with with jewel-like drops of jam.

People go nuts over these cookies. They seem so much plainer than rugelach, without the nuts, chocolate, raisins and cinnamon sugar. But the simple contrast of jam and pastry lets the flavor and texture of the crust shine through. The dough, which is like a pie dough, but with sour cream added instead of ice water, puffs up into light flaky layers like buttery puff pastry when it is baked.

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but I pretty sure it is “old world.” I haven’t seen any recipe that uses a pastry dough that is exactly like this, but I have seen other sour cream doughs, and they are all “from bubbe” recipes.

I won’t lie to you. These are not a snap to make. There is a lot of rolling and cutting and shaping and baking.

When you bake them, they have the frustrating habit of exploding open (the dough really rises). It helps to freeze them before baking and to accept that they might still come apart a little in the oven. Dust them with powdered sugar and it won’t really matter so much.

If you have access to oven-proof jam that will help, too, because regular jam boils over in the oven (like with hamentaschen). Apricot lekvar probably would work perfectly. But, Grandma Rose used regular jam/jelly. I tried a few different flavors of jam (the contrasting colors are pretty) and I think that the better quality jams worked out a little better than the cheaper jams/jelly I used.

One more observation: remember this dough for Purim, since it would be make delicious hamantaschen (although you would really have to pinch to prevent them from exploding open and you would need to use oven-proof filling, like lekvar–supermarket jam would for sure make them explode open).

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