Kosher Baking A-Z

 

Make Desserts Better With One Simple Ingredient

 

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I am a simple baker. I don’t make fancy cakes or decorated cookies. You’ll never see my concoctions dressing up a bakery window and I’ve accepted this fact. I make bundt cakes, chewy chocolate chip cookies and yummy brownies. My family loves them, but Paula Shoyer doesn’t have to look over her shoulder.


 

Just A Pie Full Of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go...

 

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The Kosher Connection decided to dedicate this month’s link up to our longtime friend and distinguished Jewish food historian, Gil Marks. Gil has been sick for a while and we want to wish him a refuah shleimah (complete healing). I am sharing my recipe for these mini pies (full of sugar) in hopes to add a little sweetness during this otherwise difficult time. Gil has been an inspiration and a true pioneer. We thank Gil for all his amazing books, writing and teachings over the years and look forward to many more.

I made this recipe as an adaptation to Momofuku’s famous crack pie, I read about online. It is supposed to be so good, that you can’t stop eating it.  I first discovered Momofuku’s recipes when I attempted a new recipe for chocolate cookies that just didn’t really hold together and I ended up with a bunch of chocolate cookie crumbs.  I was able to use those crumbs to make these Chocolate Chocolate Cookies with Cookie Crumbs, which turned out absolutely amazing.  I learned that one of Momofuku’s specialties was using cookie crumbs and cake crumbs in the cookies and cakes.  So, when I found myself with graham cracker crumbs that wouldn’t hold together I knew where to turn.


 

DIY Cake Decorating

 

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I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. Yes you can call me creative, however I am creative in a theoretical sense. But when it comes to hands-on artistry I cannot be relied on to do much more than color in the lines. I never took a course (or even a class) in cake decorating nor do I own my own set of pastry bags and tips. I always borrow from my kind and patient neighbor Robin. She is patient because sometimes it takes me days to return her cake decorating equipment and she is kind because she never says anything about it.

When it comes to my kids’ birthday cakes, I feel so much pressure. People can’t wait to see what I turn out. They expect cakes of grandeur and beauty, cakes that are whimsical and delicious and most of all professional looking. But I wasn’t trained for this. Suddenly you become a mom and you’re expected to be able to do something fun with frosting. But because I am creative in the theoretical sense, I’ve figured out a way to make my kids and myself look good. Now with no skill or fancy equipment (other than an offset spatula) you can too!


 

How To Bake Cookies Without Margarine

 

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Ask Us: I hate using margarine – do you have any cookie recipes using oil?

Answer:


 

Cookbook Spotlight: Nosh On This (Gluten Free) ...

 

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Last year we featured Lisa Horel from the GlutenFreeCanteen blog and her first book, the Book of Nosh, filled with gluten free classic Jewish bakery foods. After Lisa became gluten free she wouldn’t give up her favorites and with so many people needing to be gluten free she has fullfilled a great need for these recipes. Check out the full interview with Lisa here, In the JOK Kitchen with Gluten Free Canteen.

Lisa is back again with more gluten free recipes in Nosh On This, she says, “Nosh on This is a larger, more comprehensive book with a detailed introduction about gluten-free flours along with lots of helpful baking tips. It contains over 100 recipes including a chapter on baked savories and a chapter on how to use a baking mix in a variety of different ways. The book is full of photos – one for each recipe.”


 

Uses For Leftover Hamantashen Filling

 

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You have been diligently preparing for Purim making many Hamantashen with many different fillings. Your Shalach Manos baskets need to be filled with assorted treats and your Hamantashen are anticipated additions in your baskets.

Most religious institutions, when preparing for Purim festivities, enlist cadres of cooks to assemble scores of dozens of Hamantashen for their holiday carnivals. Along with the traditional prune (lekvar) and poppy seed (mohn) fillings, apricot, almond, chocolate, strawberry and other fruit flavors have become favorites.  When preparing hundreds or even thousands of Hamantashen at a time, bakers can easily use many different flavors and have no leftovers.


 

Two New Winter Cupcake Recipes

 

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I love cupcakes and once you get in a cupcake groove, it’s hard to get out.  They’re just so cute, so versatile, and so easy to whip together!  The only way to deal with this addiction is to feed it.  Usually bad advice to offer to addicts, except in the case of cupcakes. I love trying out new flavor combinations and recently started “Cupcake of the month”.  It gives me the opportunity to use different themes and ingredients to bring out the true feeling of that month. January right away makes me think of winter.  I live in California, where winter is mostly sunny and warm but I know somewhere out there, it must be cold and snowy.  When I think of winter, the first thing that comes to mind is the crisp fresh air. chocolate peppermint cupcake For my first cupcake, I chose a Chocolate Cupcake topped with a Peppermint Buttercream, drizzled with melted chocolate and pieces of peppermint candy.  The cupcakes have a dark chocolate flavor and are super moist.  Piled high on top is the peppermint buttercream.  You can add crushed peppermint to any of your favorite vanilla buttercream recipes.  By using actual crushed peppermint instead of a peppermint extract, you get that slight crunch in the cream that screams that cool & crisp wintery fresh taste. You might want to use a round tip to frost the cupcakes; otherwise, the pieces of candy will get stuck inside a typical swirl tip.  The optional melted chocolate drizzled on top helps bring together the flavors of chocolate and mint together.  For an extra crunch and a pretty finish, sprinkle on the remaining pieces of candy. chai latte cupcake

For the second cupcake I made Vanilla Chai Latte Cupcakes.  When it is cold outside I will most likely not leave the house without a hot drink in my hand.  I’m not much of a tea drinker, but I absolutely love chai lattes.  They are so comforting; the aroma itself warms you up.  Every sip gives you a beautiful blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamon that, when combined all together, make one incredible drink.

The vanilla cupcakes came out light with a fluffy texture and not overly sweet, which is perfect because it will be covered with just a simple yet rich buttercream. The buttercream is made with the chai spice mix that you make before hand using cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and cardamon.  Once iced, the cupcakes were lightly sprinkled with white sugar sprinkles and small white snowflakes giving off that snowy look as well. When you bite into this cupcake, the full flavor of a vanilla chai latte stirs all of your senses. Enjoy my cupcake recipes! Vanilla Chai Latte Cupcakes Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream


 

Curry, Caramel, Coconut and Chocolate Tart *Dear...

 

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Chocolate together with smoked chiles?  Chinese five spice?  Curry???  Well, yes, yes and yes!  But before we plunge into flavor adventures, let’s back up a bit.

As you know, there’s nothing else like chocolate.  It is great in both sweet and savory applications; it can be melted, chopped, grated and pulverized into nibs and powder for a multitude of uses; it can be used straight up and intense or blended with sugar and milk for a lighter taste.  And best of all, its deep, universally-loved essence blends beautifully with so many other flavors, each enhancing the other.


 

Non-Dairy Cronots

 

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With the holiday of Chanukah upon us, now is the perfect time to explore the world of the deep fried cronot.  Cronots are a cross between a croissant and a doughnut. This fusion dessert is actually perfect for the fusion holiday of Thanksgiving and Chanukah!  Fried foods are all the rage this holiday, stemming from the miracle of the menorah oil lasting eight days instead of one.  There is no better way in my humble opinion, to celebrate the miracle of oil than deep frying dough.  Cronots are  essentially made by taking buttery croissant dough, cutting it into a doughnut shape, and frying it instead of baking.  They look just like a traditional doughnut until you bite into one.  Cronots are crispy, light, tender, and flaky.  They rise from the yeast in the dough, as well as from the layers and layers of fat that has been rolled and folded into the dough.  When you cut it open, you can see the beautiful layers that were created from all the folding of the dough.

I have seen cronots cut in half and filled with all sorts of fillings including pastry cream and topped with glazes and powdered sugar.  I’m sure they would be delicious if filled with your favorite fruit jam or jelly.  I like to keep my cronots simple by  rolling them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, while they are still warm from the fryer.  The cinnamon sugar gives this delicious pastry extra texture and sweetness.


 

Cookbook Spotlight – The Holiday Kosher...

 

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Two years ago Paula Shoyer came to market with The Kosher Baker.  A cookbook that filled the void for many to create amazing non dairy desserts that left no need for apology.  Check out our first interview with Paula and learn more about her transformation from lawyer to pastry chef to cookbook author.  Now, Paula is back with more amazing recipes to add to your holiday repertoire.   The Holiday Kosher Baker Cookbook is a go to bible filled with tips and tricks for any new or seasoned baker.  Paula is especially gifted and making our favorite desserts without any dairy, although this book does include some specialty dairy recipes for Shavuot.

 


 

Hanukkah Desserts

 

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We all love more dessert recipes and our friends in Montreal really know how to do them right.  We showcased the Montreal Hebrew Academy Cookbook, And Then There Was Cake and shared a few recipes last month.  Now, we get to sample a few more special for Hanukkah.


 

Thanksgiving Pie Fries

 

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner it is firmly pie season. Sure, I make pies all year round, but there is no one-day of the year that screams “pie” like Thanksgiving. (Ok, maybe March 14th does as well, but only among the slightly nerdy circles I run in.) The challenge of Thanksgiving pies for me is that people expect the traditional flavors, leaving me much less freedom to innovate and play around with the dessert than I usually have. It is rare for me to serve the same dessert twice for Shabbat or holidays, but for Thanksgiving people expect the classics.

That is what makes these pie fries so much fun. They have the traditional Thanksgiving pie flavors of pumpkin and cranberry apple served up in a fun new shape. I had seen apple versions of pie fries all over the web, so when I was given the challenge of turning them into more Thanksgiving like treats I jumped at the opportunity. Although they are baked and not really fried, pie “fries” are the perfect Thanksgivukkah treat.


 

Vegan No Bake Brownies With Variations

 

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Sometimes I really miss baking.  Don’t get me wrong – working as a chocolatier is soul-satisfying, with fine chocolate’s unmistakable taste and aroma and the other fine ingredients I use, I’m in heaven.  On those days when I’m immersed in administrative business tasks and I’m away from the chocolate, I yearn to be back making it.  I love this beautiful food and how happy it makes everyone, including me.

But there is something very special about pastry too, with its varied components coming together in exciting ways when a dessert is assembled and its flavors and textures combined.  When I did pastry full time, I loved coming up with new creations for my clients – whether it was the restaurant needing something special for Mother’s Day or a client with a dietary restriction needing a creative solution.  I miss working regularly with those clients (though many have remained devoted fans of my chocolates too).  And while I still bake for my family, of course it isn’t the same.


 

Learn To Melt Chocolate For Parve Chocolate...

 

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What better way to end a meal than with decadent chocolate desserts?

Here is your source for all things chocolate:


 

And Then There Was Cake, Cookbook From Montreal ...

 

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As the Hebrew Academy of Montreal looks ahead to their 50th anniversary they decided to assemble the new kosher cookbook, And Then There Was Cake, desserts to enjoy and impress.  Throughout the years the leaders of the parent association found themselves in kitchens and around food as they worked to build a better school.  Now they are passing on these recipes to the next generation.

Glazed Pear Tart