Category Archives: Dessert

Chocolate Chip Dot Cookies & Prayer Before Taking Medicine

Chocolate Chip Dot Cookies

 

I have been very quiet lately because unfortunately, Raizel has been very sick.  I am trying to visualize the positive and praying for her to receive a complete and speedy recovery.

However, I am happy to say that today was the first day in a very long time that Raizel was actually feeling somewhat like her old self.

To celebrate, I agreed to make “Chocolate Chip Dot Cookies.” This is something that Raizel has wanted me to make for the longest time.

Since I am time challenged, I usually, prefer to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares. But, Raizel REALLY wanted to make “dot cookies,” so I agreed.

In exchange, Raizel agreed to let me take lots of pictures and post this recipe because, “I know that blogging makes you happy.” A sure sign that she is feeling better!

Chocolate Chip Dot Cookies 

Ingredients:

1 cup oil

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2-3 eggs (depends on if you like your cookies chewy or crisp)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups flour (spelt or wheat)

12 oz. chocolate chips

Optional: 1 cup nuts

Instructions:

By hand or with a mixer: Mix sugars, oil, and vanilla a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until blended. . Stir in flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

With only 2 eggs, the dough will be quite stiff. We made a second batch with 3 eggs, and the dough was much easier to manage. The stiffer dough made crispier cookies. The softer dough made chewier cookies.

Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake in a 375°F preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown.

When slightly cool, remove from cookie sheet and place on wire rack.

Food processor directions

Cream together the sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Add the flour, salt and baking soda and gently pulse until just blended. Mix in by hand the nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake in a 375°F preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown.

When slightly cool, remove from cookie sheet and place on wire rack.

Tips: Initially, I made this recipe using only 2 eggs. I found the dough very stiff, and it was difficult to incorporate all of the chocolate chips. Since I had so many chocolate chips left in the bowl, Raizel, Yaffa and I made a second batch with 3 eggs. The dough was much softer and easier to manage.

I have discovered that chocolate chip cookies are a very forgiving recipe.

My husband and Raizel both declared that “these cookies are killer!” My husband actually ate 3, which is very unusual for him and a true vote of confidence.

However, Jay liked the batch with 2 eggs, which was crispier, and Raizel liked the one with 3 eggs that was chewier. So, either way, they were a hit.

I even think that they could easily be baked at 350*F and still come good.

Here are the pictures. Both girls wanted to have their pictures taken making the cookies.

First try, only using 2 eggs

blending in the flour, with a more stiff dough.


Trying to blend in all the chocolate chips.


This is the dough with 3 eggs. Much soother!


Baking in the oven.


Voila! The final outcome.

Slightly off topic, but, I wanted to share the pictures that I made of the prayer to say prior to taking medication. Unfortunately, we have been saying this prayer very often lately.

 

This is a second version of the one above:

 

This picture is a personal prayer that I wrote to reinforce my desire for any medication to be effective and helpful.

This is my personal prayer.

Enjoy the cookies and may everyone in need be blessed with a speedy and complete recovery!

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Cinnamon Pull Aparts

Cinnamon Pull Aparts

Raizel’s obsession with cinnamon was not assuaged by the cinnamon muffins.  Although my cinnamon muffins were good, apparently, they still did not compare to Cinnamon Pull Aparts.

So, last week, Raizel, her friend Cassy, and Cassy’s mother, Consolita and I had a bonding experience. We baked Cinnamon Pull Aparts together.

As I shared, originally, my niece,  “Yo-Yo,” gave me a great recipe for Cinnamon Pull Apart Buns. However, when the time came to make the recipe, it was too blury to read.

So, Consolita and I did a quick Google search and found this recipe, originally from the Fleishman’s Yeast Company. I altered it slightly, as I made the dough in a food processor, minimized the amount of margarine used, and rolled it out and baked them as a pinwheel slices, rather than as balls of dough.

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour (I use spelt). Add up to 1/4 more to prevent it from being too sticky.

1/4 cup sugar

2.5 teaspoons RapidRise Yeast

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk (I used rice milk)

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup oil (original recipe called for margarine)

1 egg

Filling

1 cup sugar (I used Demerara, raw sugar)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup margarine, melted (I used Smart Balance)

Glaze:

1 cup icing sugar

3 tablespoons milk (I used rice milk)

Instructions:

Place flour, sugar, yeast and salt in food processor and pulse to blend. The original recipe called for warming the milk, but, I did not do that. Instead, I added hot water to the milk, together with the oil and the egg, and blended it until it formed a smooth dough.

Kneed dough on a lightly floured surface until well blended and slightly elastic. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Blend together the sugar, cinnamon and melted margarine.

Roll the dough into a rectangle, on a lightly floured surface or between 2 layers of parchment paper.

Spread the sugar, cinnamon and margarine over the dough.

Starting on the long side, roll up dough as tightly as possible, jelly-roll style.

With a serrated knife, slice into ½ inch slices and place pieces closely together cut side down on greased or parchment lined pan.

Bake in a preheated 375*F oven, until done and rolls are golden brown.

For glaze: Mix the icing sugar and milk in a bowl, adding the milk 1 teaspoon at a time. Stir until desired consistency.

Drizzle glaze over rolls while still warm.

These are the original instructions:

Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt in a large mixer bowl and stir until blended. Combine milk, water and butter in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch (120° to 130°F.  Butter won’t melt completely). Add to flour mixture with egg.

Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in just enough remaining flour so that the dough will form into a ball.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with a towel; let rest for 10 minutes.

For filling, combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.

Cut dough into 36 pieces.   Dip each piece into the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place in fluted tube pan that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray.  Combine any remaining butter and sugar and drizzle over rolls. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then invert on serving plate.

Making it it the food processor was much faster and easier!

Here are the pictures:

Mixing dough in the food processor. Much easier and faster!

 

 

dough fully blended.

dough fully blended.

 

 

Rolling out the dough between 2 layers of parchment.

Rolling out the dough between 2 layers of parchment.

Spreading out the filling over the dough.

Spreading out the filling over the dough.

Ready to bake.

Ready to bake.

Ready to be iced!

Ready to be iced!

I forgot to take a picture right away. Here are the leftovers.

Final outcome: Raizel and everyone else loved the rolls. The smell of cinnamon was heavenly too!

Overall, this was a successful culinary adventure, and fun too. It turns out that Consolita is a great cook, and she agreed to do this more often. I now have a cooking buddy!

Enjoy!

Reference:

http://www.breadworld.com/recipes/Beginners-Cinnamon-PullApart-Bread

In A Hurry Nut Drop Cookies

This is another recipe from my mother. While we were visiting, my mother had one of her various meetings. This recipe was her contribution.

My mother said that this is her go-to cookie recipe when she is short on time and wants to serve something simple and yet spectacular.

These cookies have an added panache, as you can adapt the flavor with different spices. And, they are also kosher for Passover!

 

Ingredients

1 lbs nuts or seeds. My mother said that “peanuts are the best, but any combination will work.”

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

Optional: coriander and cardamom

Instructions

Beat egg with sugar and spices. Add nuts. Shape into cookies, drop on parchment line pan.

Bake in 325*F oven until set.

Optional, sprinkle with icing sugar when done, but my mother thinks they are sweet enough.

To give as a gift, place gently into a glass mason jar. Cover and decorate with a nice ribbon or bow.

Mixed and ready to drop.

Mixed and ready to drop.

Drop with a spoon onto parchment paper.

 

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

In a jar to give as a gift.


Fast, easy, sophisticated and yum!

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Muffins

Cinnamon Muffins

For some reason, Raizel has been obsessed with cinnamon. My niece, “Yo-Yo” (this is short for Yocheved) gave me a great recipe for Cinnamon Pull Apart Buns when we went to visit my sister 2 weeks ago for Chanukah.

I have to share how much my niece, Yo-Yo is growing up to be a delightful young woman. Similar to my sister, Raizel, Yo-Yo has developed a passion for baking. The 2 of us enjoyed reading and discussing various cookbooks and recipes. She is truly my sister’s daughter.

However, since I am time challenged, I decided to experiment with this faster Cinnamon Muffin recipe instead. Hopefully, it will satisfy Raizel’s craving for cinnamon. If not, stay tuned for Yo-Yo’s Cinnamon Pull Apart Buns.

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used spelt)

1 cup sugar (I used slightly less)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Alternative: use water, coconut or nut milk instead. I used rice milk

½ cup oil

2 eggs

Instructions:

By hand: combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix the eggs, oil and liquid in a bowl. Making a well in the center, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, and oil in food process for 1 minute. Slowly add liquid until well blended. Add flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

Pour batter into a greased, sprayed or parchment lined cupcake tin.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cinnamon Glaze

For fun, I thought I would experiment with making a glaze similar to the one used for the doughnuts, and with cinnamon added as well.

Ingredients

Equal amounts of water and sugar, i.e. 1/4 water and 1/4 cup sugar.

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

To make the glaze, place equal amounts of sugar and water and the cinnamon into a small pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook the sugar, cinnamon and water over high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.

For a thicker glaze, continue to cook the glaze and stir occasionally until it reduces to a thicker consistency, or add more sugar.

When the muffins are done, dip them into the simmering glaze and then place on a serve plate.

Here are the pictures:

Fresh out of the oven!

 

Cinnamon Glaze

Cinnamon Glaze

Glazed and ready to eat.

The girls are back at school today, so, it is too soon to tell how much they like them.

However, I love the smell of cinnamon. To me, it is the scent of Ha-Olam Ha-bah (The world to come or heaven).

Postscript: Raizel came home from school today and said, “These are awesome! Wow.” She then spontaneously said, “They still don’t compare to Cinnamon Buns. Can we make them on Sunday?”

I had to laugh when she said that. So much for fast and easy delicious muffins. It looks like we will be exploring Yo-Yo’s Cinnamon Buns recipe next.

Enjoy!

Fantastic Glazed Doughnuts 

Fantastic Glazed Doughnuts

Every year we go to visit my sister for Chanukah. My sister, Raizel, is really a lot of fun. Aside from my mother, and my Aunt Perel (A”H), my sister is also one of the best cooks I know.

By training, Raizel is actually a chef. However, once she got married, she transferred her cooking skills to being a “Baal Chessed.” For those who may not already know, “chessed” translates as “loving kindness.” It is an action, as well as a character trait. So, if someone is a “Baal Chessed,” they are a charitable person who is constantly engaged in acts of kindness.  That is my sister, to a “T.”

In addition, my sister is also a Baal Hachnasat Orchim.”  “Hachnasat Orchim,” is the Hebrew word for “hospitality” or “welcoming guests.”  This mitzvah, in its purest form, consists of hosting and serving the needs of those who are destitute and have no place to eat or sleep.

My sister and her husband used to host up to 20 people per meal for Shabbat and holiday meals. All of their guests were treated to homemade, all natural, healthy, kosher food. Many of them  were people who genuinely needed a place to eat.

It was a delicate balancing act. Yet, my sister and her husband excelled at this mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim (welcoming guests), all while raising 6 beautiful children, 3 of whom are now married. One of my wonderful nieces, Eli, shared this recipe for doughnuts.

Fantastic Glazed Doughnuts

Ingredients

2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast

2 tablespoons warm water

3/4 cup warm milk

Alternative: use water, coconut or nut milk instead

2 1/2 tablespoons butter

Alternative: use coconut oil or palm shortening instead

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoons salt

2 3/4 cup flour

Instructions:

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in a small amount of warm water. Add the milk (or substitute), butter, egg, sugar and salt. Blend this until its smooth.

Add the remaining flour and knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough with a plastic bag and leave the dough to rise, until the dough has doubled, about 1/2 – 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and roll out a half inch thick.

Using a cup or biscuit cutter (or even a dry empty can to cut out the doughnuts. If you want to make the doughnuts with the traditional hole in the middle, use a shot glass or similar sized object to cut out the holes. (The holes will later become doughnut holes)

Place these on cookie sheets and let them rise for about 30 to 60 minutes.

Heat oil in a pot, and then fry the doughnuts, approximately, 30 seconds on each side. Once the oil becomes hot, this process is very quick.

The trick is to have the oil hot, but not too hot. Our friend, Judith, said that in the days before there were thermometers, you knew the oil was hot enough when it would take 1 minute to cook a piece of bread. I thought that was a nice trick!

My sister simply put in one of the doughnut holes, and waited until it started to brown nicely.

Regulating the temperature correctly is critical to making doughnuts successfully. If the oil is too hot, the outside will burn but the inside will be too raw. If that happens, bake the doughnuts in the oven so that they will cook nicely.

Remove from oil and place in pot of sugar syrup and coat on each side.

Sugar Glaze

The trick to making doughnuts taste completely awesome is to dip the doughnuts into the glaze right after they have been fried. Unfortunately, my sister is an intuitive cook, and she does not need to follow recipes. So, this an approximation of what she did.

Ingredients

Equal amounts of water and sugar, i.e. ½ water and ½ cup sugar.

Instructions:

To make a glaze using granulated sugar, place equal amounts of sugar and water to a cooking pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook the sugar and water over high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.

If you want a thicker glaze, continue to cook the glaze and stir occasionally until it reduces to a thicker consistency, or add more sugar.

Once the doughnuts are cooked, quickly drop them into the simmering glaze, and turn to coat both sides and then remove and place on plate.

Decorate as desired.

Here are the pictures. My sister laughs at me that I need things explained so exactly. But, that is why I am writing this blog in the first place.  I am so grateful that I have her and my mother to learn from.

img_6120

First step.


img_6122

Kneaded into dough and read to rise.


img_6137

Cut into doughnut shape. The secret is to roll thin and use a good cookie cutter shape.


img_6142

First side cooking


img_6143

Flipping them over.


img_6141

Dipping into sugar glaze syrup.


img_6146

Final product. A work of art!

The final outcome was a work of art. The downside of doughnuts is that they are only good fresh. So, make sure you invite lots of people over to share them with you! You can tell them it’s a mitzvah.

My sister tells me that the reason why she is able to make these so well is that she is not afraid of making a mistake, and every year she keeps on trying to improve. So, now you know why she is not only an awesome cook, but an awesome person as well. She is truly our family tzedakis (righteous soul).

img_6186

 

Shabbat in 2 Hours — Baked Apples

shabbat-cat

I love cats. I couldn’t resist.



Shabbat in 2 Hours — Baked Apples

I hesitate to call this an actual recipe. However, my friend Malka introduced me to baked apples for Shabbat. It is even faster and easier than my fruit compote, and I bake them while I have everything else in the oven.

Ingredients:

Apples, cut in half, and seeds removed

cinnamon

Instructions:

Cut apples in half and remove the core and any other blemishes. Lightly spray oil the pan and sprinkle cinnamon over the bottom. Add apples, cut side down.

Bake in 350* – 375* oven until done. The house will smell heavenly!


Enjoy!

Just for fun, I thought I would post this.

shabbat-coke-image

Many blessings to all for a beautiful shabbat.

Saturday night begins the first night of Channuka and Christmas Eve. Happy holidays everyone!


Love,

Carol and family.

Carrot Cake Chronicles

 

Carrot Cake Chronicles or Carrot Cake Redemption

I am calling this post, “Carrot Cake Chronicles” however, my husband suggested that I call this recipe “Carrot Cake Redemption.”

Since the winter holidays are here, I have been attempting to bake more. This carrot cake was my contribution to our department holiday party.

The recipe is a variation of my 1-2-3-4 Cake. The only difference is, less flour, since carrots are added for bulk, and no liquid.

I tend to do the bulk of my cooking when I wake up in the morning before going to work. Nevertheless, baking while distracted is not a good thing to do. I did that the first time I made this recipe and I unfortunately had to make this cake twice.

The first time, I accidentally added too much flour. Although I tried to rescue it by adding some orange juice and a half cup more oil, I am afraid the end result was something that resembled a quick bread rather than a cake, and a dried out one at that.

Ever tenacious, I added a wonderful orange glaze, in a second attempt to rescue my poor dried out cake.

Despite my heroic gestures, the first cake was not as successful as I would have liked. No matter how I sliced and diced it, the cake was still too dry, despite having a wonderful flavor. If anyone has any good ideas for how to rescue adding too much flour to a recipe, I would appreciate the feedback.

Once I paid more attention, the second cake came out much better. I also baked it in 2 smaller pans, and checked the temperature using my oven thermometer.

Happily, the second time around, this carrot cake was redeemed.

The lesson learned for me is: be in the moment and avoid multitasking while baking.

img_6102

One Bowl Carrot or Zucchini Cake

Ingredients 

2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)

1 cup oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

2 cups grated carrots (about 3-4 carrots)

Optional/Variation: 2 cups grated zucchini instead of carrots

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Optional: ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon allspice

Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts

Optional: 1 cup raisins

Optional: 1 cup drained crushed pineapple

Optional: orange zest

Instructions:

By hand: Beat the oil, sugar, salt, eggs together. Mix the flour, spices, baking soda and baking powder together and stir into the wet ingredients. Add the carrots, nuts, and any other optional ingredients and mix until just blended. Pour into greased, sprayed or parchment lined pan.

In the food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food processor for 1 minute. Add flour and baking powder, spices and pulse until blended. Next add the grated carrots and any other optional ingredients and pulse until blended. Pour into greased, sprayed or parchment lined pan.

This can be made as two 9″ layers, one 9″x13″ rectangular cake, a Bundt pan or 24 cupcakes.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Orange Glaze

Ingredients

1 orange, zested and juiced, this could be about ¼ cup of juice, but I didn’t measure.

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups icing sugar, more or less depending on desired thickness

Instructions

Zest and juice the orange into a bowl. Add the vanilla, and then add the icing sugar until desired consistency.

Spread over cake. This cake freezes well.

 

Here are the picture:

 

 

Grate the carrots and place in a separate bowl.

Mixing in a bowl to stir in nuts.

Mixing in a bowl to stir in nuts.

Yaffa took this picture of me all by herself!

Yaffa took this picture of me all by herself!


Cake number 1 ready to bake.

Cake number 1 ready to bake.


Cake #1


Cake # 2 — Redeemed!


Beautifully glazed -- better to look good than to taste good?

Beautifully glazed — better to look good than to taste good?

My final words of wisdom with respect to my carrot cake chronicles:

My final words of wisdom.

Enjoy!