Showing posts from 2012

Pareve Sugar Cookies for (not exactly) a Year…

Searching for the perfect Pareve Sugar Cookie recipe a few weeks ago, I found a bunch of references online to a now-defunct blog post (if you click the link, you will probably get a message telling you just how defunct) explaining how you could create your own sugar cookie mix in bulk.Intrigued, I tracked down an old cached copy of the post, with the recipe, and stashed it off-line for safekeeping.  And yes, it uses shortening, and if you don’t want to use shortening, then don’t.  Sometimes, you kind of have to.  I use Butter-flavoured Crisco now that it’s pareve again here. Here’s the recipe – shamelessly reposted word-for-word as a service to you, my beloved readers:Sugar Cookies for the YEAR! Warning: This makes a LOT of sugar cookie mix.
We store it in freezer zip lock bags, pre-measured and ready-to-go at any time. (see below)
12 cups all-purpose flour
6 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon salt
4 cups shortening (I like to use the bu…

Big-Kid Baking Nachas, Part II: Hobbit Cake

I bragged here over the summer about Elisheva’s challah-baking efforts while away from home.   Well, over the last few years, it seems like she’s become the official birthday-cake baker for her circle of friends.  Usually, she does something simple, but last night, inspiration struck and she made this Hobbit-themed cake, presumably from a friend who is kind of into The Hobbit.She baked the half-round cake (this one was a cake mix, but usually she does them from scratch) in a metal mixing bowl, lined with tinfoil and sprayed very well, then hollowed out a little opening for the door.  I think it looks great!  (said the proud mama)Later, she melted chocolate, cooled it on a piece of parchment, and added this cute little “doormat.”Now if only she’d learn to wash up her mixing bowls when she’s through…

Pumpkin, for Challahs

I continue to be intrigued by the concept of pumpkin challah, and I recently made a whole LOT of pumpkin mush.  I posted about that on my regular blog, but saved these luscious pumpkin-challah pics for this blog, as a special treat for readers here.First of all, a fun discovery – you don’t need a shmancy recipe to get pumpkin challah!  I actually just used the basic Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day no-knead challah recipe, which I didn’t even love all that much.  The pumpkin kicked it into far loftier spheres.Rather perfectly, this recipe called for 1 3/4 cups of water… for which I substituted about 1 3/4 – 2 cups of homemade frozen pumpkin purée, thawed.  That’s it – that’s the trick.  No water at ALL.  If you’re using canned pumpkin, it might not work, because it’s very dry, but homemade frozen purée is a bit waterier and this worked out just fine.  If you find that you can’t stir the mixture with your dough whisk, add a bit of water, maybe 1/4 cup at a time, until you achieve th…


I wrote on here back in June about my deep-seated, irrational NEED for a piecaken.  If you don’t remember, or have no clue what that is, you can read about it here. So today I did – kind of.  Except it was an utter disaster, the most cr*ptacular confection I think I have ever confected.And in case anyone thinks I am some kind of Superwoman who never blogs her failures, here ya go, in delicious step-by-step horribility… Starting out on a promising foot with a delicious pie.  I used a sheet of malawach pastry for the top crust, rolled thin.  I’ve done it before and it actually makes a pretty decent, flaky / tasty crust.  Oh, inside this there is cherry pie filling.  And I cut proper vents, four of them, right in the middle.The top crust wasn’t attached perfectly at the edges, as you can see… …but that still doesn’t exactly explain what happened when I went to “decant” the pie on top of some of the cake mix.  Oh, yeah, did I mention I whipped up some cake mix in the meantime, while the …

Teeny Tiny Challah

Not the tiniest challah I’ve ever made, but probably the most intricate small challah, if that makes any sense…Good yom tov!!!

Disappointing Apple (Stuffed) Challah

Disappointing because it was a LOT of work and tasted, well, not extraordinary.  Blah.I was inspired by this beautiful post about an apples-and-honey challah – sounds amazing, right?  Stuffed with apples, it truly is gorgeous – click over and check it out (the one above, left, is mine).  But she doesn’t show you a picture of the inside, so I’ll cut right to the chase and show you that what looks like a TON of apples, going in, totalled to a few straggly bits that didn’t make a noticeable difference to the bread itself.To be totally, TOTALLY fair, I didn’t follow her recipe.  I used Maggie  Glezer’s Czernowitzer Challah, because I’ve used it for stuffed onion/poppy challahs every Purim and it always works out okay.  I think it’s not as sweet a dough, but the texture was also eminently ordinary.Lots of work, though…Chop up apples – the original uses bigger pieces, and perhaps they’d be less juicy if you didn’t cut them so much… and they might not “vanish” into the bread in the same way.…

Rosh Hashanah Challah Bake Sale…

Going, going…GONE!

Little things…

… can make a HUGE difference.  We all say it, but I think this is  the best example of one teeny change that can make a huge difference to my baking life.These are my oven gloves.  You may remember them from when I ordered them.   $8 each, made from kevlar, and oven-safe to 540 degrees I have loved them for almost two whole years and they’re still going strong.  (here’s what they looked like brand-new! --->)Anyway, they’re perfect… except they keep getting lost.  And I have nowhere good to store them in the chaos that is my kitchen.  Regular oven mitts are usually returned dutifully to the hooks next to the stove, but having nothing “hook-able,” the gloves just get tossed (by me – I admit it!) wherever when baking is done, only to be missing when they’re needed next (often just a couple of minutes later – I am that absent-minded).And then it came to me!  I now crochet!  Just crochet a little loop onto each one and – hey, presto! – an easy shortcut to happy glove storage-land.So I d…

Looks disgusting – tastes, mmm…

Facebook status update:  “No-knead dough meets all-day crock-pot caramelized onions = easy happy pletzel eatin'!”Made the dough last night – basic no-knead recipe, with 1/3 spelt, mostly because I was out of white flour, but also to feel just a teeny bit virtuous despite our second “starch” supper in a row (last night was homemade pasta with home-grown tomato sauce; so sue me).Spent the morning at Humber Arboretum, but I came home to… this:Crock-pot caramelized onions!  Actually, I hadn’t meant to leave the crock-pot on the whole time we were out, because I started them at 1 a.m., and as far as I was concerned, they were ready by breakfast time.  But I don’t think they suffered much for the overcooking, except for looking even more disgusting than they had before.Anyway, they look GREAT spread out on a crust… (This dough was so soft I didn’t bother with a rolling pin.  Just grabbed 1-lb for the cookie sheet and approx 2/3 of a lb (or 3/4?) for the small one, rounded them out and l…

Rosh Hashanah Bake Sale?

Well, I have no idea why, but I am putting together a challah bake sale for next Sunday, erev Rosh Hashanah.  With free pickup here or personal hand-delivery in the neighbourhood.Why bother?  No idea.  I suppose there could be some profit in it, along with some stress and – I guess here’s what I’m hoping: lots of fun, kneading (or not), baking, sharing decent bread.  I may have even finagled my sister Sara into coming and baking with me next Sunday.  I’ll let you know how it goes – if not right away.  I have promised delivery between 3-5 pm, and pickup at 4 pm.  These are awfully tight deadlines, considering I’ve been known to still have challah in the oven at the start of Shabbos and Yom Tov, but I have a really good plan to get things rolling very, VERY early in the day.  All I need is a little sleep and maybe someone else to handle the laundry.  ;-)Funny thing – I was looking for a picture of a baked, streuselled round challah I could post on the sale page to tantalize potential c…

More delicious kosher morsels!