Sunday, November 5, 2017

Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks


You really can't get much better than the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Reese's? I mean, the ultimate in the merger of flavors. But I'm biased- I love anything with peanut butter- jam, chocolate, bananas and  a few other things that I dare not mention for fear of being thought of as even weirder than I am. 

The recipe calls for chunks of milk chocolate. With all the fancy chocolates around that cost a fortune, when it comes to milk chocolate , I always come back to basics. This is Israeli milk chocolate called "para" which means" cow". Best stuff around- for baking, eating, melting or whatever you need milk chocolate for. It is an icon here in Israel and has been around since 1934. I don't think there is an Israeli that didn't grow up with a few bars of these in their kitchen cupboards 
(or wherever Mom's would hide them). I always loved the imprint of the cow on each chocolate square.

This recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking is simple to make, amazingly melts in your mouth and, unfortunately for me, quite addictive. I made the dough and kept it in the fridge, making only a few at a time so I didn't devour the entire output at once. ( Which didn't stop me from eating a spoonful or two of unbaked dough straight from the fridge- no words!!)
Ready to bake!

 Hot out of the oven- that's the way I like them- soft, warm and melt in your mouth!

OMG, those huge chunks of chocolate!!

You can find the recipe here at Baked Sunday Mornings!
Enjoy!






Sunday, October 22, 2017

Exceedingly Chocolate Crinkles



The recipe for this week on Baked Sunday Mornings was Apple Pie. I love apple pie, but having just finished the season of the fall Jewish holidays, where EVERYTHING is apples, I decided to go rogue this time. I made cookies from the book we recently finished- Baked Occasions.
There were quite a few "assignments" I missed during the baking of the book, and this was a perfect opportunity to catch up.

These cookies have a million different versions in books and online, but the basic concept is the same for all- that crinkly look. This recipe is easy, straightforward and if directions are followed, should come out, well, crinkley!



Baking is all about chemistry and the interaction between and among various ingredients, how they work together - or against each other- to produce the desired results. I wanted to know what it is that makes these balls rolled in powdered sugar, spread slightly and crinkle during the baking process. I did some simple research and there are a few explanations.n Some recipes say that the combination of baking soda and  baking powder, give the cookie the right amount of lift to spread just enough so that the rolled cookies produces "fissures " or cracks as they bake. All fine, but this recipe has no baking soda in it and they turned out just beautifully "cracked"!
One recipe also says the key is to roll the balls in granulated sugar before rolling them in powdered sugar. Also not required here and the results-again- were perfect.
What is important here is to use quality ingredients(as always), do not over mix the dough, and chill before forming the circles, and rolling them so they are thoroughly coated in powdered sugar.
The result is a soft, cakey center with a slightly crisp edge that just melts in your mouth! Delicious right out of the oven or cooled. ( But who can resist "right out of the oven?!)

You can find the recipe for Exceedingly Chocolate Crinkles here at Baked Sunday Mornings.
Enjoy!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream


We are now back to the beginning-the first "Baked" book,  "New Frontiers in Baking" which, in my opinion is the best. I have bake extensively from this book and look forward to redoing some of my favorites.

This particular recipe is one of the few I haven't made before. I think I was leery of the pastry cream topping and the 6 egg yolks involved. As it turns out, rightly so!

The cupcakes are light and fluffy- quite different from a typical banana bread or cake, which tend to be heavier.  The batter was easy to make but made more than the designated amount- but that's fine! More is better!


Now for the pastry cream-
I always debate as to when the thickness is the right thickness. Taste doesn't seem to be the issue- it's delicious, but being able to pipe the cream is a different story. Mine did not come out thick enough to pipe so I just lightly spread it on top. Sort of runny......
I think next time I would possibly fill the cupcakes with the pastry cream and top it with a light butter cream frosting. Lots of cream leftover- guess I'll just have to make cream puffs!!

























You can find the recipe here: Baked Sunday Mornings
Enjoy!


Sunday, August 27, 2017

LEBKUCHEN


Lebkuchen (German pronunciation: [ˈleːpˌku:xn], or Pfefferkuchen, traditional German baked Christmas treat, somewhat resembling gingerbread.
I've never tasted these before so I had no references as to comparisons. But just knowing that they have some relation to gingerbread and all those delicious ,warm spices that go with it, was enough for me.

Now mind you- at the present moment it is close to 100℉ here in Israel; humidity is, well, let's just say two showers a day are a minimum to feel "not sticky". So baking cookies that have a Christmas, wintery association is a bit out of sync for me, but I haven't baked in so long that I just had to give these a try.

Interesting. That's my word to describe them. Interesting. The combination of spices is soothing and warm, with the added chocolate coating on top to give it just the right amount of sweet ( but not too much).
The recipe calls for chopped candied orange peels, so I decided to make them myself. Saturday,most grocery stores are closed here and I was too lazy to go out in the heat to the one or two places that are open. Making the candied orange peels was easy enough and if I were to make them in large batches, I would definitely dip them in melted chocolate! Only warning if you want to try them is to allow enough time for them to dry out.



I think what I like about these cookies is that one was certainly satisfying ( I tend to overindulge!) and the taste of the spices sort of lingered in my mouth and just kept on going for quite a while. Like I said- interesting.

If you'd like to give these a try, you can find the recipe here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

OLD-SCHOOL OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES




Everyone has their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. My personal favorite is from Jacques Torres. Then there are the famous Tollhouse cookies that we were all brought up with- just a so- so in my opinion. These definitely are up in running for a tie with first place!

The addition of oatmeal, both ground and chunks, gives the cookies a texture that is hearty and down to earth. The sprinkling of fleur de sel on top gives  that extra zing that takes them over the top. Both old and young loved them!


Apologies for the low quality iPhone pics- no time to get out the camera and set up the tripod etc.
You can find the recipe  here at Baked Sunday Mornings. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

S Cookies




This recipe came just in time to finish off the last of the flour in my house until after Passover. 
I have always looked at baking as a kind of therapy( for me at least). These simple, yet delicious (and addicting, I may add!) cookies really hit the mark on that note. I found the rolling of the dough so soothing  ( weird, I know, but...) and relaxing. They were easy to put together- the recipe calls for using a mixer and I did. I think they could be made without by just hand mixing. They are somewhat similar to a biscotti recipe I have which is completely in one bowl- which I love. Next time I try these I will see if they turn out just as well by hand mixing. 


The "S" shape is fun to do and as explained in the recipe, they are the perfect  dunking cookie. That's where the addicting  part comes in. You can't just dunk one or two- you have to keep dunking until all the tea or coffee ( or a glass of milk, for that matter) is GONE!  Anyways, that's my personal rule!



You can find the recipe here at Baked Sunday Mornings. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tricolor Cake


Unfortunately, from this picture, you can't see the tricolor. I'll have to edit this post and insert a picture when I cut the cake- and that will have to wait until Tuesday when the cake is being served. Hopefully, when I cut into it , there should be a layer of mint green, white and yellow.

This cake was a bit labor intensive- not difficult- just a lot of work and time consuming. I had difficulty finding almond paste and used something local, which I have no idea if it  worked or not- just have to wait until I cut into it. (scary) What I should have done from the very beginning was make my own almond paste.  In the first Baked book-Baked- New Frontiers in Baking, there is a recipe for Italian tricolored cookies. I have made them numerous times and they are one of my favorites. I used the recipe there for almond paste.  So easy and much more economical. Why I didn't do that this time is beyond my comprehension. ????
In any case, it's done and the verdict will come in on Tuesday. Updates to follow!

You can find the recipe here, at Baked Sunday Mornings.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

An Evening of Italian Recipes (plus some of my own latest creations)

This evening I attended a class of Italian cooking with Shira Wasserman and Ruth Ofek. An intimate, very enjoyable evening with demonstrations on how to make homemade pasta, a cream sauce with mushrooms and chestnuts (yum!), amaretti cookies and tiramisu. Good company, great food and belly full! 

Homemade Pasta- Shira 
Finished dish - cream sauce with mushrooms and chestnuts


Caprese salad

Homemade pasta- Shira Wasserman
Ruth Ofek making tiramisu

Tiramisu - Ruth Ofek

Rainbow Ozney Haman for Purim- (me!)

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies (me!)


Recipe for the Nutella Chocolate Chip cookies can be found here.