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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Spiced Oatmeal Cookies November 7, 2013

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 12:46 pm
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Aunt Doris says these cookies are just the thing to bring some cheer and sunshine to a grey day.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup butter softened
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
a few gratings of fresh nutmeg or 1/4 tsp
3 cups quick oats
3/4 cup currants
1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

Mix flour and spices. Set aside.

Cream sugars and butter together until well mixed. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour mix in two batches, mixing well. Stir in oats. Add the currants and nuts which are optional. The original recipe called for raisins. However, I think the tiny currants are sweeter.

This may seem like a lot of spice but it is a nice blend and not too strong for the little ones. The original recipe called for twice as much spice but this is the recipe I made today and trust me, the cookies are delicious.

The other important thing is to bake them at exactly 11 minutes at 375 degrees. They will look golden around the edges and sort of raw in the middle but that is okay. Let them sit on the baking pan about two minutes before moving them to a rack. I always use parchment paper to line the baking pans, and in this case it makes for very easy removal.

Drop about a tablespoon of batter for each cookie. They don’t spread out a lot. Yield is about 5 dozen.

 

Brown Sugar Chewies June 2, 2013

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:20 pm
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Thanksgiving 2005, from “Paula Deen and Friends”

 

Ingredients
¼ cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup pecans, chopped
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Turn off heat, add brown sugar and stir until smooth. Stir in egg. Sift together flour and baking powder and stir into brown sugar mixture. Add vanilla and pecans. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. When cool, dust top with a sifting of confectioners’ sugar. After cutting into squares remove from pan and store in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid.

 

Peanut Butter Cookies

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:10 pm
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From the Pillsbury Book of Baking.

 

Ingredients

½ cup sugar

½ brown sugar

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup peanut butter

2 Tbl milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 ¾ cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

 

Direction

Cream sugars and butter together. Add peanut butter, milk, vanilla and egg, and mix well. Add in flour and baking soda, and mix well. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough onto a cookie sheet. Use a fork dipped in granulated sugar to press hatch-marks in the top of each cookie. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

 

 

Pecan Cookies

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:08 pm
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Ingredients

1 ¼ cup flour, sifted

¼ tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 stick butter

1 ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed firmly

½ tsp vanilla

1 egg, beaten

1 cup pecans, chopped medium-fine

 

Directions

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in sugar using a wooden spoon. Add vanilla, egg and finally the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Stir in chopped nuts last. Place rounded teaspoons of dough two inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

Cinnamon Jumbles

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:06 pm
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Ingredients

½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

¾ cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions

Mix butter, one cup sugar and egg thoroughly. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Blend together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into the buttermilk mixture. Chill dough. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough about two inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Bake for eight to 10 minutes.

 

Hozen Blozen

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:04 pm
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This is an old recipe from Mama Kate. It’s not very sweet, and the recipe makes a nearly literal ton of the little flaky knots. While Mama Kate’s family was from Slovakia, the cookie seems to be Hungarian.

 

Ingredients

8 eggs

2 Tbl salt

2 cups sugar

¼ cup whiskey

1 ½ cups milk

13 cups flour

½ cup shortening (Crisco)

¾ cup butter

vanilla

 

Directions

Rub shortening and butter into flour very well, as in making pie crust. Beat all other ingredients together and add to flour mixture. Knead well. Roll out to desired thickness (about 1/16”). Cut into strips three inches long. Make a small slit in the center of each strip and pull one end through. Fry in deep fat until golden brown. Makes about 350. (!)