Posts Tagged ‘hanukkah’

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.


Chanukah Recipes

December 21, 2011

If you are still mulling over what to make for an upcoming party, I have some ideas for you. Below is a list of some of my favorite recipes and a round-up of what other kosher bloggers have posted this year.


Chanukah Cake Pops (from homemade cake and frosting–with dairy-free options)

December 21, 2011

I made some cake pops for upcoming Chanukah parties. The standard recipe calls for cake mix and store bought frosting, but I just didn’t want to go that route.

Making the cake and frosting is actual trivial compared to the task of shaping, dipping and decorating.  An additional bonus of homemade cake and frosting is that you can control the ingredients and eliminate trans-fats or make it dairy-free (or even vegan).

For the cake, I went with a vegan chocolate cake that is intensely chocolate, but tends to crumbly dryness, which is an advantage in this case. For the frosting, I went with a super dairy mix of powdered sugar, butter and cream cheese. It would be very easy to make this vegan/dairy-free/pareve, though, with margarine and Tofutti cream cheese.


Sufganiyot: Traditional and Modernishe Baked

December 15, 2011

So are baked sufganiyot just as good as fried? Just for you, dear readers, I tried both side by side to see.

Baked Sufganiyot

The short answer is yes. The inside tastes pretty much the same. The crust is not at all the same, but, with enough powdered sugar it doesn’t really matter so much.

The appearance of baked and fried is different, too, but that becomes secondary when you put enough powdered sugar or glaze on top. My kids can’t tell the difference. My husband likes the baked version a little better because it has all the flavor and none of the grease.


Spoon Cookies

December 13, 2011

Don’t these make you think a little of teeny sufganiyot, with the jelly oozing out and the powdered sugar on top?

No? They don’t?

Well, never mind, because you will want to make these anyway for Chanukah. They are great make-ahead dairy cookies–the amazing browned butter flavor and the melt-in-you-mouth texture only improve after a couple of days.

The recipe originally comes from Gourmet Magazine, and it has won devoted fans (see the many comments on it at Epicurious). There is a very similar recipe posted on Food Network, where it is also listed by its Finnish name of “Lusikkaleivat.” The main difference between the two recipes are that the Food Network recipe calls for the addition of an egg yolk and for baking powder instead of baking soda. The preparation instruction for the Food Network recipe are also a trifle less fussy and there is a better description (with a video!) for shaping the cookies, which is the hardest part.

I didn’t see the Food Network video until after my cookies were in the oven (sigh–too late. . . .). After getting a trifle frustrated, I resorted to shaping the dough into an even number of balls (you must have an even number because these get sandwiched together). I pressed the balls against the cookie sheet to flatten, and then squeezed them a bit to make them into oval shapes (I was able to shape one cookie with the spoon, and I used that shape as the guide). Other people who made these cookies (judging by the comments on Epicurious) found it easier to either  stick with flattened balls or to roll out the dough and cut out tiny circles.

If you go with shaping the dough into round balls, you should be able to get 64 balls that are the size of large marbles, which ultimately yields 32 sandwich cookies.


Latke-Palooza: Oven Fried Sweet Potato Latkes

December 10, 2011

It was about an hour before Shabbos and I got the idea into my head that I would make vegetable latkes. Not such a practical idea at that point in the day, but there was a recipe on the bottle of safflower oil for sweet potato zucchini pancake that sounded really good.

I wasn’t delusional enough to think that I could fry up individual fritters. Instead, I quickly mixed up the batter, slapped eight large patties onto a well oiled pan and threw the whole thing into a 500 degree oven. After a few minutes, when the laktes seemed to gotten firm enough to flip, I pulled the pan out of the oven and turned each pancake over and threw the pan back in the oven until they looked golden.

The results surprised me. First of all, the latkes tasted as if they were fried (with no mess!). Second of all, they had a delicate, sweet flavor and texture. The zucchini and sweet potato complemented each other in a way I didn’t expect. My husband said they reminded him of Ratner’s vegetable cutlets, but I thought they were much lighter.


Chanukah Mac & Cheese

December 14, 2009

So, do you see how the Cheez-It Scrabble crackers spell out Happy Chanukah and Chag Sameach on my macaroni and cheese casserole? Please notice because absolutely nobody else did. They just dove in and devoured it. (more…)

Super Duper Easy Sufganiyot

December 23, 2008

I tried to resist. I really did. Even though my sister, who is a fantastic cook, has the cookbook, I shied away from Jamie Geller’s Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing.

I figured that I was not the target audience. I guess I figured wrong.

It was my mother who drew my attention to Ms. Geller’s article in The Jewish Press. My mom loved her Chanukah menu of  spinach balls, crudites, hummus, pita chips, guacamole, charif, and macaroni salad (appetizers), and Caesar salad with herb croutons, ziti, spinach fettuccine, and sun-dried tomato crusted tilapia (main course), with sufganiyot as a dessert. So I gave my mom the recipes.

Flash forward: It is dinnertime and my husband and son keep asking when I am making the latkes and sufganiyot. I assume that either they are kidding or I can placate them with purchased donuts and frozen latkes.  No.

I find potatoes and onions on the counter and my husband kindly offers to get the ingredients for the jelly donuts so that they will be ready in time for dinner. My son pulls up his stool to the counter, all ready to help. Right now.

I bring the potatoes and onions back down to the basement and bring up a box of mix. My son and I make the mix latkes. They are not so good. My son pushes them away and asks about the jelly donuts. I suddenly remember Jamie Geller and her recipe in The Jewish Press (also here with a picture, too).

I cut the recipe down and changed it a bit. I was going to just cut the recipe in half and use 8 ounces of yogurt, but I found a 6 ounce container of vanilla yogurt in the fridge, necessitating cutting the recipe down slightly more. 

My son loved mixing together the ingredients. It was so easy: just dump and stir. They fried up nicely and I stuffed them with strawberry jelly. I let my son shake them up in a bag with powdered sugar. He and my husband were thrilled. They are not quite the same as yeast raised sufganiyot, but they were quite tasty.

Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)
6 ounces of vanilla yogurt (I bet lemon yogurt would be excellent)
1 Tbl. sugar
1 egg
3/4 – 1 cup of flour (my son spilled a little of the flour, but it should have been a scant cup of flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/8 tsp. salt

Mix together the ingredients and let them rest while you heat up oil in a pan. The instructions say to let the batter rest, covered, for 15-20 minutes. I really don’t know why this is necessary. I just let the batter rest until the oil got hot. Jamie calls for heating 6 cups of oil in a 6 quart stockpot, but I used about 2-3 inches of oil in a 3 quart saucepan because I was making so few donuts. I also did not cover my pot while heating the oil.

How do you know the oil is hot enough? If you a deep frying or candy thermometer, the temperature will be 360 to 375 degrees. I waited until I saw the oil start to move under the surface or shimmer and then dropped in a drop of batter to see if it fried up right away. If the oil smokes, then it is too hot. Safflower oil is a good oil to use.

I made my donuts about half the size that Jamie suggests. I used a heaping teaspoon instead of a tablespoon to drop batter into the oil. I also needed to use a second spoon to scrape the batter off the first spoon. Fry the donuts until they get brown on the bottom and then flip them over. Continue to fry until the donuts are golden brown all over.

Drain the donuts on a paper towel lined plate. When they have cooled, cut a slit in the side and stuff them with strawberry jelly. Piping the jelly in in is best, but I had success just using a butter knife to shove in blobs of jelly. Put the donuts  (just three at a time) in a bag with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and shake until the donuts are dusted with the sugar.