Monthly Archives: January 2017

Hamantashen

Hamantaschen is a filled pocket or pastry recognizable for its triangular shape, usually associated with Jewish holiday of Purin.  The shape is achieved by folding in the sides of a circular piece of dough with a filling placed in the centre.  Hamantaschen are made with many different filling, including poppy seed(the oldest and most traditional variety), prunes, nut, date, apricot, raspberry, raisins, apple, fruit preserves, cherry, fig,  and chocolate.
 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2                 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2             cup granulted sugar
  • 4                 tsp poppy seeds
  •  1                tbsp lemon or orange zest
  • 1/ 2            tsp baking powder
  • 1/4             tsp salt
  • 1/2             cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2                 egg yolks
  • 1                 egg
  • 1                 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3             cup apricot or raspberry jam
  • 1                 tbsp milk
Instructions
  1. Whirl flour, sugar, poppy seeds, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a food processor.
  2. Add butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form.
  3. Whisk yolks, egg and vanilla in a bowl and pour through feed tube. pulsing until dough starts to come together.
  4. gently knead into a ball and divide in half.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and press into discs.  refrigerate at least 1 hour or unto 3 days.(bring to room temperature before rolling).
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  7. Roll dough on a lighty floured surface to1/4” thickness.  Use a 3” round cookie cutter to cut out dough, rerolling scraps.  Scoop a scant 1 tsp jam into centre of each round.
  8. Lightly brush edges of rounds with milk.  Pinch in 3 corners to seal, forming a triangle, leaving jam centre open.
  9. Refrigerate for 15 min.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Cherry Almond White Chocolate Biscotti

These are ideal dunked in a cup of coffee or tea.  Or serve alongside a glass of VinSanto or other dessert wine.  Use blanched or un blanched almonds.

Cherry Almond White Chocolate Biscotti

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makes 72 Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 3/4               cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
  • 2                   tbsp kirsch, brandy or water
  • 1/2               cup butter, softened
  • 1                   cup granulated sugar
  • 2                   eggs
  • 2                   tsp almond extract
  • 2-1/2           cups all-purpose flour
  • 2                   tsp baking powder
  • 1/4               tsp salt
  • 3/4               cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 12                 oz white chocolate, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a microwaveable bowl, microwave cherries, kirsch (water) on high for 45 seconds.  Stir; let stand until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time.
  3. Beat in almond extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture in 2 additions, stirring just until combined.
  5. Drain cherries if necessary.  Add cherries, almonds and 1/3 of the chocolate.  Mix well.
  6. Divide dough into thirds.  On a lightly floured surface, roll each into 12 inch long log.
  7. Place, 2 inches apart, on parcement paper-lined or greased baking sheet;  press to flatten logs slightly.
  8. Bake in 325 degree preheated oven until light golden and just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.
  9. Let cool on a pan on rack for 10 minutes.
  10. Transfer log to  cutting board.  Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Stand slices up, about 1/2 inch apart, on baking sheet.
  11. Bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven until almost dry, about 30 minutes.
  12. Transfer to a rack, cool completely.
  13. In a bowl over saucepan of hot water, melt remaining chocolate.
  14. Dip 1 end of each biscotti into chocolate.  Place on waxed or parchment paper-lined baking sheet;  let stand until set, about 1 hour.

Make ahead:
Store layered between waxed paper in airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for upto 1 month.

Chocolate Palmiers

Chocolate Palmiers

 

 

 

 

 

Makes 72 Cookies

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1                  8oz package Cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2              cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4              cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2                  tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2                  tbsp coffee liqueur or hazelnut liqueur
  • 1/2             cup finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts, toasted(optional)
Cookie Dough
  • 1/2              cup butter, softened
  • 1/2              cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2              cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2              tsp baking powder
  • 1/2              tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4              tsp salt
  • 1                  egg
  • 3                  tbsp milk
  • 1/2              tsp vanilla
  • 2 3/4          cups all-purpose flour

Instruction

For the Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, the 2 tbsp flour, and the liqueur.  Beat with electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth.  Stir in nuts.  Cover and set aside.
  2. For dough, in a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla.  Beat in as much of the 2-3/4 cups flour as you can with the mixer.  Using a wooden spoon,  stir in remaining flour.  Divide dough in half.  If necessary, cover and chill about 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough into 12 x 8 inch rectangle.  Spread the half of the filling, stopping within 1/2 inch of each long edge.  Roll both long edges,  scroll fashion, to meet in centre.  Brush seam where dough spirals meet with water; lightly press together.  Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  4. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap.  Place on a tray or cookie sheet.  Chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degree.  Greese cookie sheets; set aside.  Using a thin-bladed knife, cut rolls into 1/4-inch-thick slices.  Place slices 2 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake about 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are slightly browned.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

Apple Teacake

Apple Teacake

Ingredients

  • 4              oz butter
  • 1/2           cup sugar
  • 1              tsp vanilla essence
  • 2              eggs
  • 1              1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3              tsp baking powder
  • 1              tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4           cup milk
  • 3              fuji apples
  • 1              tbsp sugar
  • 1              tsp ground cinnmon
  •                 Icing sugar to dust
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 8” round springform tin with Pam or butter.
  3. Line the base and side with baking paper.
  4. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until it is pale and creamy.
  5. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add flour, spices, milk and stir until just combined.
  7. Spoon the mixture into prepared tin.
  8. Peel, core and quarter apples, then thinly slice.  Push slices into batter, leaving curved half of each slice exposed.
  9. Combine extra sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle over apple.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake is cooked when tested with a skewer.
  11. Transfer to a wire rack to cool or serve warm dusted with icing sugar.

Strawberry Crepe Cake

strawberry crepe cake          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 24                sweet crepes
  • 8                  oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1-1/2            cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3/4               cup heavy cream
  • 1/4               cup confectioners sugar
  • 2-1/2            tbsp turbinado sugar(raw sugar)

Instructions

  1. Blend the cheese and strawberries together in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl.  Using a hand mixer, add the heavy cream and confectioners sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Assemble the cake by placing one crepe on a flat surface such as a platter or cake stand.  Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of cream in a thin layer over the crepe.  Top the cream with another crepe being sure there are no wrinkles and the crepe lays flat.  Repeat with the remaining cream and crepes.  Lightly cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for 4 hours oe overnight.
  3. Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the top of the cake with the turbinado sugar.  Using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar to create the crispy top.
  4. Decorate with whipped cream and strawberries.

Pecan Snowball

Pecan Snowball

 Ingredients
  • 1                 cup unsalted butter (8oz)
  • 1                 cup powdered sugar(plus more for dusting)
  • 2                 tsp vanilla extract
  •                    pinch of salt
  • 2                cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/4        cup finely chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl(or in the bowl of your stand mixer) cream  butter and sugar together.
  3.  Add the vanilla and salt and mix well.
  4. Slowly add the flour, mixing well after each addition.  A thick dough will form.
  5. Add the chopped pecans and mix well.
  6. Scoop 1 tbsp of the dough and roll it into a ball and place it onto the cookie sheet.  Continue until all the dough has been formed into balls.  Place them onto cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes then gently roll them in powdered sugar while still warm.
  9. Let it cool completely and then coat them in powdered sugar again.

Rugalahs

Rugalahs are one of the most requested Hannukkah cookies.  When the nut-and-fruit crescents bake, they ooze ever so slightly, and the rich filling crisp and caramel-like around the crescents.

Rugalah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1                 pkg(250g) cream cheese softened
  • 1                 cup butter, softened
  • 2                 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2                 cups all purpose flour

Filling

  • 1                 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/2              cup golden raisins(optional)
  • 1/4              cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4              cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4              tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4              cup apricot jam

Instructions

  1. In bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until fluffy: beat in sugar.
  2. Stir in flour in 2 additions.
  3. Form into ball: cut into quarters and shape into discs.  Wrap each and refrigerate for 2 hours.  (make ahead:  Refrigerate up to 24 hours.)  Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Filling:

  1. In a bowl, stir together pecans, raisins (if using), granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  2. In a separate bowl stir jam with 1 tsp water.
  3. On lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disc into 11”(28cm) circle.  Spread 3 tbsp of the jam mixture evenly over top;  sprinkle with one-quarter of the nut mixture.
  4. Cut into 12 pie-shaped wedges; starting from wide end, roll up each wedge.
  5. Place, about 2”(5cm) apart, on parchment paper or foiled lined baking sheets.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  8. Topping:  Brush egg over crescents.  Sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake in 350 degree F(180 degree C) oven until golden, about 25 minutes.
  10. Let cool on pans on racks for 5 minutes.
  11. Transfer to racks and let cool completely.

rolled cookie

Roasted Curry Cauliflower Dip

Roasting the cauliflower brings out a depth of flavour in the gorgeous dip.  Serve this hint of curry spread with pappadum, crudites or crackers.

Roasted Curry Cauliflower Dip

 

 

 

 

 

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 3/4            cup Balkan-style plain yoghurt(Greek yoghurt)
  • 1/4            cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1                tsp curry powder
  • 1/2            tsp salt, ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 1/4            tsp ground ginger and pepper
  • 1                head cauliflower(about 2 lbs)
  • 1                large onion cut into eighths
  • 6                clove garlic
  • 1                tbsp lemon juice
  • 3                tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together 1/3 cup if the yoghurt, oil, curry powder, salt, cumin, coriander, ginger and pepper.
  2. Cut cauliflower into florets;  add  yoghurt mixture along with onions and garlic, tossing to coat.
  3. Spread on large greased baking tray; roast in 425 degree F(220) oven, stirring once, until tender and browned, about 40 minutes.  Let cool.
  4. In food processor, puree together cauliflower mixture, remaining yoghurt and lemon juice until fairly smooth with a few chunks.
  5. Stir  in cilantro.

Welly Bites

Inspired by Beef Wellington, the clasic of the 1960s , this mini make-ahead version has fewer steps and ingredients.

Makes 32

Beef Welly

welly bites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 3           tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1           tbsp chopped thyme(or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1/4       tsp each salt and pepper
  • 12        oz  beef tenderloin premium oven roast. cut in1” cubes
  • 1          pkg(450g) frozen butter puff pastry, thawed
  • 1          egg

Instructions

  1. In bowl, mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper, add beef, tossing to coat.
  2. On lightly floured surface, roll out 1 of the pastry to 12” square, cut into 16 squares.  Repeat with remaining pastry.
  3. Lay 1 piece mustard-coated beef in centre of each square.  Brush edge with water.  Bring up corners and pinch together in centre, pinch sides closed.  Place on parchment paper-lined or greased baking sheet.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.(Make ahead.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours).
  4. Beat egg with 2 tsp water; brush over pastry.  Bake in 425 degree F(200 degree C) oven until golden brown and puffed, about 15 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.
  6. Serve with horseradish sauce.

Chicken Parmegino

Chicken Parmagio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2                    lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4               cup all purpose flour
  • 3                    lare eggs
  • 2                    cups panko bread crumbs, as needed
  •                       Koher salt, as needed
  •                       Black Pepper as needed
  • 5                    cups simple tomato sauce(see recipe)
  • 1                    cup finely grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano Reggino
  • 1/4                lb fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces
  •                        olive oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place cutlass between two pieces of parchment or plastic wrap.  Using a kitchen mallet or rolling pin, pound meat to even 1/4” thick slices.
  3. Place flour, beaten eggs and panko into three wide, shallow bowls.  Season Cutlass generously with salt and pepper.  Dip a piece in flour, then beaten egg, then coat with panko.  Repeat until all the meat is coated.
  4. Fill a large skillet with 1/2 in oil.  Place over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot, fry cutlass in batches, turning halfway through, until golden brown.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Transfer the cutlass on a baking tray, spoon a layer of sauce on it.  Sprinkle parmesan on the sauce and top with mozzarella pieces.
  6. Transfer the pan to oven and bake until cheese is golden about 5 mins.
  7. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with pasta in tomato sauce.
Simple Tomato Sauce
Ingredients
  • !/4           cup extra virgin oil
  • 4             garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4          tsp chili flakes
  • 2             (28 oz) cans whole or diced plum tomatoes
  • 2             sprigs basil or
  • 1             bay leaf
  • 1/2          tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/4          tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large, straight sided skillet over medium heat, warm the oil.  Add garlic and cook until just golden.  Add chilli flakes if desired and cook 30 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes and juices, basil or bay leaf, and salt and pepper.
  3. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until sauce is thick and tomatoes have mostly fallen apart, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Adjust heat as needed to keep at a steady simmer.  If using whole plum tomatoes, mesh them up with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to help them break down.  Remove sauce from heat and discard basil or bay leaf.