a little of each

A family's cookbook

Prize-Winning Hamantaschen March 2, 2015

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 12:39 pm
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Alice’s First Place poppy seed hamantaschen!

 

Recipe adapted from the Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer.

The Jewish holiday of Purim is a little bit Halloween (costumes and sweets are involved), a little bit Mardi Gras (imbibing and parties too!), but there are a few staples: retelling the story of Esther, Mordecai, and the dastardly Haman, usually as a fun play; a drink or two, and noshing on hamantaschen, triangle-shaped cookies with a variety of fillings.

This year we hosted our first (but not the last!) Hamantaschen Bake Off with great success.  Adults and children each submitted entries in either Traditional flavors (prune, poppy, apricot, or strawberry – a recent “traditional” addition, that last one) or Gourmet, which covered everything else and then some!

I’m so proud to say that my girls who already enjoy baking have been inspired by BBC/PBS’s Great British Bakeoff/Baking Show and were more than eager to enter the contest.  We started with the same basic dough recipe, and then Adeline turned hers into chocolate chip hamantaschen with a white chocolate drizzle, and peanut butter and chocolate hamantaschen. Alice went traditional with poppy seed and strawberry.

Alice’s poppy seed entry won first place in the Kids Traditional category, and her strawberry took third!  Adeline’s chocolate chip entry tied for third in a crowded field of Kids Gourmet!

Ingredients

Dough:

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola or vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
dash salt
For the chocolate chip and peanut butter versions, you’ll need 3 oz of chocolate, chopped to less than 1/4″ pieces.

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Filling:

1. Chocolate chip hamantaschen: mini chocolate chips, and/or chopped chocolate
2. Poppy seed hamantaschen: prepared poppy seed filling
3. Strawberry hamantaschen: seedless strawberry jam
4. Peanut butter chocolate hamantaschen: two parts peanut butter to one part powdered sugar

Directions

In a large bowl mix together eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add flour and salt, and mix until dough comes together. If making the chocolate chip or peanut butter version, add the chopped chocolate to the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for one hour to firm up

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two or three large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, or plan to bake in batches. Divide the dough in half. Take another two pieces of parchment and sprinkle flour on one, place the dough half on top, then sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough.

Place the second piece of parchment on top of the dough and roll on top of the parchment until the dough is about ¼ inch thick. Every few rolls, peel back the top parchment and sprinkle a little more flour on the dough. Use a 2-3 inch drinking glass or round cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles.

Place up one teaspoon of filling in the center of the dough circle and then fold the three sides in towards the middle to form a triangle, leaving a small opening in the center. Pinch the three sides together very tightly. Repeat with the remaining dough and scraps, making sure to sprinkle a little flour under and over the dough before you roll.

Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned but the tops are still light. Slide the parchment paper onto wire racks to cool the cookies. If desired, drizzle melted chocolate across the cookies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

 

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Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce June 2, 2013

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:49 pm
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Nana made this every January for Peter’s birthday. Peter would then savor it by the spoonful or over ice cream for the next few months. From a February 1954 issue of Woman’s Day magazine.

 

Ingredients

8 squares unsweetened chocolate

2 cups sugar

1 (14 ½ oz) can evaporated milk

2 Tbl strong black coffee

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

 

Directions

Melt chocolate in top part of double boiler over boiling water; add sugar and mix well. Cover; cook over boiling water for 30 minutes. Add milk, coffee, salt, vanilla; beat until smooth and thick. Serve hot.

 

Creamy Velveeta Fudge

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:37 pm
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Don’t let the name fool you or gross you out – this is a wonderful, creamy fudge.

 

Ingredients

1 stick butter

8 oz Velveeta cheese

½ cup baking cocoa

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 lbs confectioners sugar

 

Directions

Melt butter and cheese on low heat. Sift in cocoa and sugar; stir well. Add vanilla and optional nuts. Press into a 9 x 13 pan. Cool and cut into squares.

 

 

Peanut Butter Fudge

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:33 pm
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Before we realized chocolate was bad for dogs, this was a favorite of Kippy’s, our malamute. When you opened the refrigerator to get a slice of fudge, she would sit next to the fridge at full attention until we gave her a little sliver.

 

Ingredients

1 large Hershey’s chocolate bar

2/3 cup chunky peanut butter

1 stick salted butter

 

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat until all ingredients have melted and the mixture just starts to bubble. Pour into an ungreased pie pan and refrigerate to harden.

 

Jen’s variations:

Dice up some caramel squares and add them to the still-warm mixture in the pie pan.

Add some miniature marshmallows to the still-warm mixture in the pie pan.

Line bottom of pan with diced nuts and pour fudge on top.

 

 

Candy Bar Chocolate Brownies

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:31 pm
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Doris saw a tip on “Martha” that would be extremely helpful with this potentially messy dessert: Grease the pan, then line it with parchment paper and grease that as well. When the brownies have cooled, invert the pan on a cake rack and peel off the parchment paper. Normally, these are difficult to get out of the pan neatly even when they are cooled completely, but they are delicious!

 

Ingredients

1 ½ sticks (12 Tbl) unsalted butter, melted

1 ½ cups sugar

2 large eggs (must be at room temperature)

2 Tbl water

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup all purpose flour

10 mini chocolate/peanut candy bars crumbled (Snickers fun size work well). These must be refrigerated about 20 minutes before crumbling.

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 cake pan (aluminum is fine) with butter. With a spoon, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in water and vanilla. Sprinkle the salt and baking powder over the mixture, then mix in. Do the same with the cocoa, adding it in three separate batches. Finally, stir in the flour until just blended. This is a very oily mixture so a mixer would make it impossible to work with. Using a large chef’s knife cut the candy bars in half lengthwise, then in four cross cuts, and then chop them into a coarse crumble. Fold the crumble into the batter thoroughly. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 30 minutes until the center is set, the edges look a bit crusty and the top of the brownies start to crack a little. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

 

Fudgey Peppermint Brownies

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:30 pm
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From Southern Living,” makes two dozen.

 

Ingredients

1 cup butter
4 (1-oz) unsweetened chocolate squares
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 Tbl vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
20 coarsely crushed peppermint candies
 

Directions

Melt butter and chocolate in heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth; let cool. Beat eggs at medium speed for 2 minutes; gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating well. Add melted chocolate, flour, and next three ingredients; beat well. Stir in peppermint candies. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar. (You can also cut the brownies into circles with a biscuit cutter for a different look.)

 

Chocolate Kisses Peanut Butter Cookies

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 2:54 pm
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Ingredients

2 2/3 cups flour, sifted

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup + granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

5 dozen Hershey Kisses, foil removed

 

Directions

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside. Cream butter and peanut butter. Add vanilla. Add one cup white sugar, one cup brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add flour and blend thoroughly. Shape dough into one tsp balls and roll in some granulated sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet two inches apart and bake at 350 degrees for eight minutes. Remove and press a Kiss into the middle of each cookie. Bake for two more minutes. Remove to wire rack and let cool. Makes five dozen.