Tag Archives: dessert

Apple or Fruit Crisp

This apple crisp was made in honor of the patients in one of my groups, in particular Walter.

For weeks we processed in the group their disappointment over not having a holiday party funded by the hospital for them.

Something that seems so trivial, kicked up all their stuff about not feeling worthy, validated and cared about.

We spent weeks talking about “what makes you feel cared about?” Who do you give gifts to, and who gives gifts to you?”

Finally, after much effort and discussion, the patients agreed to hold a pot-luck party.

I tried to help behind the scenes by calling all the patients and reminding them about the party and keeping track of who was bringing what.

I must say that the patients completely redeemed themselves. I am so proud of them!

Everyone brought something and a few people who haven’t been to the group in such a long time actually heard from word of mouth from others in the group and showed up too.

I often find my patients very inspiring. I marvel at their strength of character despite their adversities and their comfort expressing simple acts of faith, gratitude and prayer.

Before eating, all the patients took off their hats while another patient, Davis, led the group with a prayer. The blessing that Davis shared was so beautiful, I wish I could have recorded it! In all my years, I have never witnessed such respect and cohesiveness.

During the party, patients enjoyed a casual conversation, which focused around:

  1. What are you grateful for?
  2. What are your best wishes for the group?
  3. What are your goals for the New Year?

 

Patients enjoyed the party and they were very grateful that everyone was so generous with each other and for the opportunity to give and receive from each other. It was truly a heartwarming!

APPLE or FRUIT CRISP

Ingredients

Filling

5-6 cups fruit, cubed (I used 3 cups apples and 2 cups cranberries)

1/2 cup sugar

Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Optional: 1- 11/2 tablespoons cornstarch or 2 teaspoons of tapioca

Optional: 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice

Topping

1 1/2 cups oatmeal

Optional: substitute 1/2 cup flour instead of oatmeal

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

Optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon salt

Optional: 2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350*.

Combine fruit and filling ingredients in a greased or parchment paper lined baking dish

Combine the ingredients for the topping and mix until blended.

Sprinkle over fruit

Bake until fruit is soft and topping is slightly browned.

If topping becomes over cooked, cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Cool before serving.

Placed fruit in pan.

Ingredients for the filling.

Mix until well blended.

Ready to go in the oven.

Voila! Fresh out of the oven!

 

Here is a picture from the party:

I am happy to say that the fruit crisp was almost completely eaten! Even Walter said that he liked it.

Enjoy!

 

 

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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

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!

Shabbat Marble Cake With Optional Glaze

Shabbat Marble Cake With Optional Glaze

When the girls were little, I baked almost everything from scratch. As Raizel was on the Feingold Diet, I made everything with all natural ingredients, and without dyes, additives or preservatives. With time, I have collected a small repertoire of fast and easy baking recipes. Nothing fancy, but I figure, “done is better than undone.”

Ironically, the highest compliment that I usually receive from Raizel is, “this tastes as good as store bought,” rather than the other way around!

My oven is also still not working properly. To compensate,  I have started using an oven thermometer, which I am finding very helpful. 

Armed with my trusty thermometer, and with the day off for Thanksgiving, I had time to make this Shabbat Marble Cake. This is the first cake that I have baked since we moved to our new house.

For those who may not be familiar, a Shabbat cake is simple, fast and easy cake that one makes especially for Shabbat and those moments when one has a lot of cooking to do and limited time. Perfect for the time challenged cook.

Ingredients

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup liquid – I used rice milk but juice is also good

2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour: I used spelt, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, corn meal or any other flour too. The texture, however, may be altered slightly.

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”)

3 tablespoons cocoa powder: Add at the end to only 1/2 – 1/3 of the batter

Instructions

By hand: beat eggs, and sugar. Add oil and vanilla. Alternate adding the liquid and the dry ingredients until blended.

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

To assemble marble cake:

Pour ½ – ¾ of batter into a greased or parchment paper lined pan, or use a Bundt pan.

If using a Bundt pan, lightly flour the pan after it is greased to prevent sticking.

Then, with the remaining batter, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Pour over vanilla batter in stripes. Gently swirl with a knife. Do not over mix!

This can also be made as two 9″ layers, one 9″x 13″ rectangular cake or 24 cupcakes.

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

Optional Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup icing sugar

4 teaspoons of milk or liquid (I use rice milk, but lemon juice also works)

Instructions

Pour icing sugar in a bowl. Add liquid 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until desired consistency.

Drizzle over cake, while slightly warm.

Since I am time challenged, I was only able to take 2 pictures:

 

Fresh out of the oven.

I took  this picture just before Shabbat.


Although she will never admit it, I think that Raizel is finally missing home baked goods. She said, “this is great! It is even better than store bought!

I am happy to say that between her, Yaffa, and her friend Kayla, I have only 2 pieces left. I consider that to be a ringing endorsement.

Enjoy!

 

Passover Mandelbread  or Drop Cookies With Chocolate Chips

Although Passover is over, I still want to share some of the recipes that I made over the holiday. This way, I can keep track for next year.

This year, for the very first time, I experimented with making kosher for Passover mandelbread with chocolate chips. I also used the dough to make drop cookies as well. 

Mandelbread is a very traditional Jewish cookie similar to biscotti that I make during the year.

As I have shared, one of the culinary challenges of Passover is baking desserts without sacrificing taste and texture.

I usually try to stick to recipes that are specifically designed to be kosher for Passover. Especially when baking, I find that it is difficult to adapt recipes to be suitable for the holiday.

For many reasons, I also avoid cooking and baking with matzah meal. I find that matzah meal makes the texture dry and tastes unpleasant. 

So, I wanted to make mandelbread which is non-gebrokts (without matzah meal) and also gluten free. However, I couldn’t find a recipe to accommodate my specifications.

So, I broke some of my personal baking rules. I took my regular mandelbread recipe and adapted it for Passover. 

Instead of regular flour, I used almond flour and tapioca starch. I was not planning on initially adding the tapioca starch. But, the dough was too sticky and did not hold its shape without it.

Below is the recipe of how I made the cookies this year, together with my recommendations for how to improve the recipe for next year.

Ingredients 

1 orange

2 eggs

3/4 cups sugar

Recommendation: Can also make with only 1/2 cup sugar. 

1/2 cup oil

Next time, I might use 1/4 cup of oil as nuts have a higher fat content.

4 cups almond flour 

1/2 – 1 cup  tapioca starch (approximately to make the dough less sticky and able to be shaped)

With less oil, tapioca starch may not be necessary.

2 teaspoons baking power

1 cup chopped nuts (approximately, to make the dough less sticky and able to be shaped)

9 oz. chocolate chips

Instructions 

Using a food processor, pulse the whole orange until finely chopped. 

Add the sugar, eggs and oil and mix until smooth. 

Then add almond flour and baking powder and pulse until blended.

I found that the dough was too sticky, so I added the tapioca starch and chopped almonds.

Stir in 9 oz. of chocolate chips.

Bake in 350*F oven until lightly browned and firm to touch. 

Raizel loves “dot” cookies, which I rarely make. 

So, most of the batter was made as drop cookies. 

A much smaller amount was baked in a log like mandelbread. 

When cooked, I sliced the dough and baked them again in a 250*F oven until toasted.

Here are the pictures:

The cookie dough when fully mixed

Dough shaped as drop cookies

Drop cookies final product

The final product baked like mandelbread/biscotti

It actually turned out to be less time consuming to make drop cookies instead of mandelbread. And, I think the texture was better too.

It may be that with almond flour, the dough is less resilient? I also think that the texture might be better if the dough is chilled prior to baking.

Overall, the cookies were a hit. Raizel declared, “this is killer!” 

And, they are even being eaten after Passover!

Enjoy!

Passover Brownies 

During Passover, we do not eat leavened food. The bright side is, it is a great time to stock up on gluten free products for the rest of the year.

In my community there is actually a gluten free Gemach after Passover. People donate their gluten free Passover products to give to others who are basically eating Passover food all year round. It is our favorite time to stock up.

One of the culinary challenges of Passover is baking desserts without sacrificing taste and texture.

Growing up, Passover desserts consisted primarily of the ubiquitous Passover sponge cake, closely followed by chocolate or fruit compote. No matter how much effort went into the dessert, after Passover, no one would eat it.

Over the years, one of my culinary goals was to make Passover desserts that even after Passover, people would want to eat.

So far, my flourless chocolate cake is the familial favorite. That was one of the first recipes I posted.

This year, with all the changes taking place, I was even more time challenged. So, I did not have time to make a flourless chocolate cake.

Instead, I made these brownies. I think that this was even more well received. It has been virtually all eaten. I may even have to make more!

Ingredients 

1 1/2 cups oil

3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

5 eggs

1 cup ground nuts (or matza meal, if gluten is not a problem and nuts are)

1 cup potato or tapioca starch (I like tapioca more)

1 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

Officially, the recipe is: stir oil, sugar and vanilla together. Add eggs and blend well. Stir in matzah meal /ground nuts, potato/tapioca starch cocoa, baking powder and salt.

Since I am time challenged, I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mixed everything until blended with a hand held mixer.

Bake in 350*F oven in 13X9X2 pan for 60 minutes, or until done.

1 bowl baking at its best!

The final product. It’s all gone!

Virtually nothing is left!

The greatest compliment I received was, “this tastes as good as regular brownies.” High praise indeed!

Enjoy!

Molasses Popcorn Balls 

I wanted to post this final recipe for molasses popcorn balls, while it is still fresh in my mind.

For Purim this year, in honor of this blog, I made them for the first time.

I liked the idea of molasses popcorn balls because they are relatively healthy, all natural and have no dyes, additives, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.

The secret is to use a candy thermometer. It takes the guesswork out of when the candy as reached the correct temperature, especially if you are inexperienced, as I am.

Mollasses Popcorn Balls

Popcorn 

1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup popcorn 

Instructions 

Place oil in pot on high, with 3 kernels of corn. When the 3 kernels pop, put in the rest of the popcorn, and cover leaving the lid slightly ajar so that the steam can be released. 

Once the popcorn begins to pop, lower the heat and shake the pot occasionally to prevent burning.

Place the popcorn in a large bowl.

  

Molasses Syrup 

2 cups sugar
1 cup molasses
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Instructions 

Boil first 3 ingredients until the syrup reaches 290*F or cracks when tested in cold water. 

Remove from heat and add baking soda. Beat briskly and pour over popped corn.

When cool enough to touch, shape into balls, and cool on parchment paper.

Source: “People’s Home Library”

Here are the pictures:

 Stirring the syrup:
  

Adding the baking soda:
  

Final product:
  

At the end, the bowl looked like this:

  

Cleaning up was relatively easy. I soaked everything in water, and the candy easily dissolved. After that, no problem.

My husband said, “I am so proud of you, this is a creative, all natural  treat!”

I hope that other people enjoyed them too.