Dear Marcy Goldman, Thank you for the most Delicious Majestic and Moist Honey Cake Recipe! xoxo Sherri


Dear Marcy Goldman, Thank you for the most Delicious Moist and Majestic Honey Cake! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us. I have always loved your cookbooks and any recipes I have tried.  xoxo, Sherri

Have you ever had a honey cake that was anything but dry and heavy? They are usually like hockey pucks. Not this one, it’s exactly what the name says it is and more. You’ll have to take my word on this, because I never liked honey cake, hated it actually. Last week I found myself somewhat like Elaine in the Seinfeld episode where she ate the $29,000 piece of cake and was dancing around as she ate it. If there was surveillance video of me in my kitchen last week, it would have showed the same. Of course she was missing her sugar fix in the afternoon, I was tasting a little of it every day, to see how long it could actually stay moist. I figured at some point, it had to get dry and heavy, but it never did. Maybe I’ll have to video tape myself and share that with you. If I get enough people requesting it, I just might! To put a number on it, if 25 people subscribe to my blog and comment on this post, I’ll do it!

So let’s rewind… why did I even make a honey cake when I don’t like it? Short answer, It’s Rosh Hashanah, it’s tradition, you can’t buy them in Columbus, Ohio and my husband loves them!

Long Sherri answer… I love family traditions especially around the holidays. Since moving to Columbus one of my favorite family traditions has been at Rosh Hashanah. I always set the holiday table with my sons’ shofars which they made as young children, beautiful flowers, my mother’s candle sticks, apples and mini honey jars. Even my wine bottle gets a little outfit! The excitement of the holiday prompts me to set the table well in advance just so I could have a few extra days to marvel at the table setting. It always makes me so happy. It’s also the time of year when my in-laws would visit for the holiday and stay for a few days.

My in-laws always arrived the day of Erev Rosh Hashanah right after lunchtime. As my father-in-law walked into the house, he would give me a big bear hug and comment how he could smell my cooking in the street as they pulled up. Year after year it was the same scene in my kitchen. The chicken soup was simmering away on the stove, the counter was filled with challahs fresh out of the oven, apple cake and mandel bread (my mother’s delicious recipe). Everything lined up like little soldiers.

The initial excitement of their arrival is one I looked forward to every year. It was even more special because I was the only one home to receive them and had them all to myself for a couple of hours. They came with suitcases and bags of gifts, but more importantly, the honey cakes! I seem to remember one year when my mother-in-law Joan brought five or six of them! I wish I could remember why she said she brought so many, but assume it was because her son loved them so much. Our first holiday without her, I still expected to see her walk through the door arms filled with honey cakes saying “I brought you some honey cakes, it didn’t come out too dry this year!”

It was something I never made (probably because I don’t like them) but more importantly it was her specialty. I’m a good daughter-in-law and would never have stepped on her toes. Last year, I decided to make my husband a honey cake – he does love them afterall. I didn’t have her recipe so what is a girl to do? Look through every Jewish cookbook and Google until she finds one that looks good. When a recipe has the words moist and majestic in it, especially for a honey cake, you look no further.

So thank you Marcy Goldman for bringing us all this most delicious cake! Just for the record, I made it last year as is but this year tweaked it just a little to accommodate my taste. I can now say I’m a honey cake lover, hence my Elaine dance in the kitchen! Remember, if you want to see my honey cake happy dance, make a comment on this post!

The tradition and excitement of years past fills my heart. My mother’s mandel bread fills my soul, alongside it sits this majestic and moist honey cake which I think my mother-in-law would have just loved. Shana Tova… Enjoy!
Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking. Here is what I changed… I omitted the cloves (I don’t like them), I used pineapple juice instead of orange juice because I always have cans of pineapple juice on hand, and never have orange juice! I cut down the sugar to see if I would miss it – I didn’t! Finally, I don’t care for the taste of whiskey and even in the cake it was a bit strong. My friend Susie and I baked honey cakes together last week and she suggested I try brandy. She uses it in a sweet potato dish she makes and said it adds a nice flavor. She was right; the brandy was a perfect choice, not as strong as the whiskey and when you eat the cake you wonder, what is that. FYI… I think my brandy is a little bit majestic as well. I started with ¼ of a bottle, have made 14 honey cakes this year and haven’t run out of brandy yet!

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup extra light olive oil
1 cup honey
1 granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)

Directions
I made mine in a variety of ways. My favorite, was the mini loaf pans (5 ¾ x 3 ¼) which yielded 8 and are great to give as gifts. I have also made this recipe in three 8 x 4 ½” loaf pans. The 9” or 10” angel food pan makes for a very pretty presentation and Marcy Goldman’s favorite choice. Finally you can use a 9×13” sheet pan. This is pretty versatile if you ask me.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. For tube or angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. In a separate bowl, mix the warm coffee with the brown sugar. This helps the clumps you can sometimes get. Then add all of the wet ingredients plus the sugar and mix together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon the batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top). Hmmm… I somehow missed this step, but they came out perfectly when I baked them on one cookie sheet, or directly on the oven rack.

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes. The minis only took 30 minutes. If you are using throw away aluminum tins, the bake time will be a little less for all of the above.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan and enjoy!

 

Honey Cake Biscotti/Mandel Bread with Chocolate Chips


Full disclosure, I spent more time trying to figure out the title for this post than I did baking the actual cookies! In the end, all I know is this Honey Cake Biscotti Mandel Bread with chocolate chips is super delicious!

I first saw this recipe in Paula Shoyer’s cookbook The Holiday Kosher Baker, and knew I had to try it. Paula calls them honey cake biscotti but after I tasted them, I felt the texture was really more like mandel bread. Just a quick mandel vs. biscotti clarification…  While most people are familiar with the more popular and sexy Italian biscotti made in a myriad of flavors which are crisp and dunked in coffee, the mandel is a traditional Jewish cookie and something your bubbe (a Jewish grandmother) enjoys with a glass of tea and bakes enough to share with everyone she knows – and I mean everyone! When you look at them side by side, they resemble each other and taste similar. The main difference is mandel is usually a little softer than, and not as dry as biscotti because it contains more oil. Biscotti are always twice baked whereas mandel can be sliced and served as a softer cookie or twice baked.
With the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve been spending time trying new recipes to share with family and friends (just like the bubbe!). I’m lucky to have a nice support system of taste testers! When I sent some to my son last week he said “I don’t know how you did it, but you somehow managed to make mandel bread taste just like honey cake.” I told him I couldn’t take all of the credit for that but thanked him just the same. I am really glad I tried this one; it’s a winner. They really taste like honey cake, it’s amazing! Thank you Paula Shoyer!

The original recipe calls for shaping them and baking them right away. I found the dough too loose so I put it in the refrigerator for an hour. This is how I prepare my mom’s recipe so I’m sure it’s just second nature for me to do it that way. You can also leave the dough in the bowl and place it in the fridge, then mold it into logs after you take it out. If it seems firm enough for you to skip the refrigerator, go for it and get it in the oven.


When baking with honey, here is a good tip… A trick to help the honey slide out of the measuring cup is to measure the oil first. Then when you put the honey in, it won’t stick to the glass. I love this trick! This is also good when using molasses, corn syrup or any other sticky liquid.

My mother’s mandel recipe has chocolate chips added, so I figured why not try adding chocolate chips in these – it was a good decision! Honey and chocolate are a nice marriage. You could also add white raisins and walnuts which are equally as delicious or leave them plain. This recipe is a great start to a sweet new year! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon*
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I like to grate it fresh)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 extra large eggs (at room temperature)
½ cup extra light extra light olive oil
½ cup honey
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup warm coffee (regular or decaf)
½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top

Optional version: You can also make this with raisins and walnuts by using ½ cup white or black raisins and ½ cup chopped walnuts or make them plain. This recipe is adapted from Paula Shoyer’s Honey Cake Biscotti recipe.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and sift together. In another bowl add the oil, honey, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla, coffee and whisk together well. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently to incorporate. If using chips or other addition, add in at this time.

Divide the dough in half and shape it into a rectangular log about 10 to 12 inches long by 4 inches wide. I placed mine in plastic wrap which helped to mold them and put them in the fridge for an hour.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once the dough is chilled, place on the cookie sheet leaving 2 to 3 inches in between the loaves. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the loaves are set and a little browned on the bottom. Slide the parchment onto a cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes. Place back on the cookie sheet and slice to the thickness you like. I like a thinner cookie so I sliced mine ½” but you could easily make them ¾ – 1” if you want them thicker like biscotti. If you want a softer mandel, don’t double bake them. If you want them crunchy, bake them a second time. Lower the temperature of the oven to 300. Place the cookies cut side down. Bake for 8 minutes take them out and turn them and bake them another 5 – 8 minutes until crisp. Let the cookies cool on the pan. Store them in an airtight container for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

This recipe yields 30 to 40 pieces depending on the size you slice them.

*I first tried Vietnamese cinnamon at my mother-in-law’s house several years ago and have never used another cinnamon since! It is strong, rich and sweet, just the way cinnamon should taste. It has a higher oil content helping it disperse more thoroughly in baked goods. If you love the taste of cinnamon, you must try it! It’s a little more expensive than what you are currently buying, but well worth the money and a little goes a long way. I find it at spice shops, Sur La Table, and  specialty groceries. Here is a link to purchasing it online.  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/vietnamese-cinnamon-3-oz

King Arthur Flour – You had me at Babka!


King Arthur Flour… you had me at babka! For me, a chocolate babka is tied for first place with crumb cake. Both are delicious Eastern European coffee cakes making them even more delicious by the addition of a cup of coffee. Both have ample crumb topping and both quintessentially New York. So let’s talk babka! It’s been over 20 years since the Seinfeld episode “The Dinner Party” aired bringing this little coffee cake into the mainstream of pop culture. I could probably recite verbatim the scene when Jerry and Elaine are waiting in the bakery to buy a chocolate babka. Can’t you hear Elaine saying “YOU CAN’T BEAT A BABKA – they’re gonna be heroes!” Let’s face it, she’s right – you can’t beat a babka, especially chocolate! Plus, while perfect anytime, it is especially perfect to enjoy during your weekend brunch.

The month of April was the King Arthur Flour chocolate babka bakealong. If you don’t know about the King Arthur bakealong, join the club. I stumbled upon it accidentally on Instagram. Each month they announce a new recipe for us to try, with tips and step-by-step instructions on their blog. After you have created your delicious masterpiece, they invite you to share a photo of your final product tagging it with #bakealong.

I found out about this at the most inopportune time; it was during the week of Passover (which was a couple of weeks ago). Passover is a holiday when Jewish people celebrate their freedom from slavery. It is also a time when we don’t eat bread (or babka for that matter!), instead we eat unleavened products like matzo. Here I was, smack in the middle of Passover, a holiday I love by the way, enjoying my matzo (LOL) and everyday there were beautiful photos of babka being posted on Instagram. Since then, I have had babka on the brain! Which, if you know me is not so unusual! What’s a girl to do? My only challenge was blocking out 5 hours or so to make it. Don’t be frightened; it’s only about 45 minutes hands-on time, other than that it’s just waiting for it to rise.

Coming in just under the wire, as tomorrow is the last day of April, I finally found the time and have been noshing on it all week! While keeping the integrity of the recipe I still managed to put my splash on it. I noticed in the photos posted by other bakers it seemed there was a higher cake to chocolate filling ratio. I’m all about the filling so I made twice the recipe called for. Being a self-proclaimed babka connoisseur, and crumb topping lover, I doubled that as well. I also rolled mine a little thinner so there was a denser chocolate marbling.


It was an easy recipe to follow and yielded a perfect and delicious babka. If I had one comment, it felt like there was too much dough to fit in the two 9” loaf pans. I ended up trimming the excess and made muffins out of some of the extra dough. These are the times when I hear my mother’s voice… “having too much babka dough should be the biggest problem you have in your life!” Next time I will make 3 instead, wishing I could share one with her.

Once in the oven, my babkas took on a life of their own which I took notice of when they were rising. I placed the loaf pans on a lined sheet pan before I put them in the oven and boy I’m glad I did; there was a bit of crumb spillage over the edges. Overall, the outcome was perfect and I loved the recipe.  The flavor is really what you expect this delicious coffeecake to taste like. The chocolate was luscious and rich, the cake very tender, and the crumb topping added just the right contrast. The extra crumb topping and chocolate filling really hit the mark. There is no better way to enjoy a weekend than with a piece of chocolate babka and a nice cup of coffee!

The recipe which follows is adapted from the King Arthur Flour blog post from their April bakealong challenge. The recipe makes two very large loaves. They suggest keeping one, and giving one away, (which I did and it got rave reviews). One person said it was the best babka she ever had. King Arthur got inspiration for their recipe from Maggie Glezer, and her book, A Blessing of Bread. I recently checked it out of the library and am in the middle of reading it now. Of course I will have to try her recipe as well. I was excited to learn the word babka in Polish means grandmother! When I have grandchildren, if not Bubbe, I’ll be Babka! Enjoy!

Prep:  25 to 35 minutes
Bake:  50 to 60 minutes
Total:  5 to 6 hours 15 minutes
Yield:  2 loaves is what the original recipe states, but I suggest 3

Dough
1 to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (more if needed)
2 large eggs
6 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk (I used Carnation)
2 tablespoons instant yeast, SAF Red or SAF Gold instant yeast preferred (I used Fleishmann’s Yeast)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (I melted it)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Egg wash

1 large egg beaten with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar until well-combined

Filling (below is already doubled)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa, Triple Cocoa Blend, or the cocoa powder of your choice, Dutch-process or natural (I used Hershey’s Cocoa powder)
1 teaspoon espresso powder (I omitted)
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips, mini chips preferred (I used 1 heaping cup Ghirardelli mini semisweet chocolate chips)
2 cup diced pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired (I omitted)

Topping (below is already doubled)
8 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


Directions
Combine all of the dough ingredients (starting with the lesser amount of water), mixing until everything is moistened. Add additional water if necessary to enable the dough to come together. I started with larger amount of water and added another ½ cup. It was very dry dough. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Then mix/knead it until it’s soft and smooth.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and cover the bowl. The dough is going to rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it’s quite puffy.

Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half (or thirds). Set the pieces aside, covered, while you make the filling.

To make the filling: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, and espresso (which I omitted). Stir in the melted butter. The mixture will look grainy and slick; that’s okay.

Shape each half of the dough into a 9″ x 18″, 1/4″-thick rectangle. If the dough “fights back,” let it rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten, then stretch it some more. Don’t be fussy about this; 19″ or 20″ is as good as 18″.

Smear (if you’re Jewish, schmear!) each piece of the dough with half the filling, coming to within an inch of the edges.

Scatter half the chocolate (you’ll make a thin layer), half the nuts, and half the chopped chocolate/chips over each piece. If using standard-size chips, process them in a food processor first, to create smaller bits of chocolate and a less chunky filling.

Starting with a short end, roll each piece gently into a log, sealing the seam and ends. Working with one log at a time, use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to cut the log in half lengthwise (not crosswise) to make two pieces of dough about 10″ long each; cut carefully, to prevent too much filling from spilling out. With the exposed filling side up, twist the two pieces into a braid, tucking the ends underneath. Repeat with the other log. Place each log into a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. (In addition to spraying the pans, I lined them with parchment paper. This made it much easier to take out)

Brush each loaf with the egg wash. Mix together the topping ingredients until crumbly, divide it in half and sprinkle the topping over each loaf.

Tent each pan with plastic wrap, and let the loaves rise until they’re very puffy and have crowned a good inch over the rim of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 300°F.

Bake the bread for 35 minutes. Tent lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes (for a total of 50 to 60 minutes); the loaves should be a deep-golden brown.

To ensure the loaves are baked through, insert a digital thermometer into the center of one loaf. It should register at least 190°F. (I used a cake tester and it came out clean. Baking time was just about spot on.

Remove the loaves from the oven, and immediately loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Let the loaves cool for 10 minutes, and then turn them out of the pans onto a rack to cool completely.

Slice the babka and serve it at room temperature; or rewarm individual slices briefly in a toaster, if desired. Store any leftovers, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

 

How about an Everything Bagel Salad to get you through the week?


For days when you are missing your weekend bagel, how about an everything bagel salad to get you through the week? It’s getting close to the weekend and you’re craving an everything bagel with cream cheese. What’s a girl to do? Turn it into a salad of course! Why an everything bagel salad? There are a few reasons: I love everything bagels, I love salads filled with everything but the kitchen sink, it gets me ready for the weekend without all the guilt of a bagel on a weekday and I happen to have a jar of everything bagel seasoning in my house impatiently waiting to be sprinkled on EVERYTHING!

Here is how it all started… I was in Trader Joe’s a couple of weeks ago scanning their new food section for a great new find. If you are a Trader Joe’s junkie like me, you totally get this. There on the shelf was a jar of Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend (try to say that 5 times fast!). First of all, the label was adorable and really caught my eye. Second, I don’t know why I got so excited, but I did; ideas were flooding through my head on what to use it on. I bought 2 jars and posted a photo on Instagram immediately proclaiming my excitement for this new and wonderful treasure I found. Since then, I have topped challah rolls with it, used it on salmon before grilling, sprinkled it on green beans and of course my husband added it as a booster to his already everything bagel with lox and cream cheese! Ooh, I just thought of how great it would be on avocado toast – I’m so going to have to try that!


Not familiar with the everything bagel (click here to find out more)? The only thing you need to know about an everything bagel is it is the quintessential NY bagel. Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, minced onion, minced garlic and coarse kosher salt – that’s it. Five simple ingredients become a game changer to the average bagel; in this case the average salad. There must be a lot of fans out there for type of bagel since it has its own jar of seasoning mix on the shelf. I found it at Trader Joe’s, but King Arthur also has a great mix you can buy online. I’ll also share my recipe at the end so you can make your own at home. Every now and then you will come across an everything bagel with caraway seeds – I’m not a fan and think it should stay in rye bread where it belongs!

Here’s my favorite way to eat a bagel… Unless it’s fresh and hot out of the oven (which only happens in NY) I lightly toast it and then scoop it so there is less bread and you can add more toppings. Then of course there is the cream cheese, but not just any kind of cream cheese, for me it has to be vegetable cream cheese (follow this link for my recipe). Lox is a perfect addition and a couple of thick slices of a crisp tomato. Is your mouth watering yet?


Now for the salad… I love a really good salad and I’m hooked on making salads fun and interesting. For me, a salad is at its best when there are a lot of goodies in them other than an overwhelming amount of lettuce. I like to think of the lettuce as the bread or bagel in this case, which holds a sandwich together. The lettuce will be the anchor here.

When I first set out to make the salad I thought of all the components from toppings to the base.  I knew the calories and carbs would be a fraction of what you get from a bagel, plus I wanted to keep all of the satisfaction. The fun of it is you can customize it to what you like on your bagel i.e. salad! If you love whitefish, buy smoked whitefish or smoked trout and top your salad with that. If you like capers, hard-boiled eggs, and onions, throw them in too.


For this salad, I deconstructed the vegetable cream cheese and made the ingredients the toppings: radishes, carrots, and scallions. Of course, I had to include salmon in some way but didn’t think lox was the way to go, but if you try it, let me know how it is. I’m more of a baked smoked salmon girl anyway, which is difficult to find in Columbus. I decided on a piece of fresh salmon. I topped it with everything seasoning then seared it in a pan. Hard-boiled eggs also make an appearance in my salad for a few reasons: I love them, they are perfect on a bagel, and they go great in a salad!

It’s a very quick salad to put together as well. As the salmon was cooking, I assembled the other ingredients. I shredded some romaine lettuce, crushed up some everything bagel chips, added some goat cheese for that cream cheese texture and really good flavor. It was all coming together and I couldn’t be happier.

There you have it, a salad to get you ready for the weekend and for you diehards, a salad you can bring to work on Monday. Enjoy!

Ingredients for one salad
1 ½ cups shredded romaine lettuce
8 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 carrot grated (½ cup)
1 to 2 perfect hard-boiled eggs cut into quarters
2 to 3 radishes sliced very thin
2 scallions sliced into thin rounds
1 ounce goat cheese
8 everything bagel chips broken into pieces
Dill (optional)
4 ounce salmon filet
everything bagel seasoning

Lowfat ranch dressing of your choice

Directions
In a medium bowl, combine the shredded romaine and next 8 ingredients. Arrange it nicely in the bowl by layering it, or placing the vegetables together.

For the salmon, rub it with about a teaspoon of olive oil, sprinkle the everything seasoning on both side then place it in a hot pan on medium heat. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes per side or until your desired doneness. Then add the cooked salmon on top of the salad.

For the salad dressing, I used a package of Concord Foods Ranch dip (which I find in the produce area of my grocery) mixed with a container of Breakstone’s reduced fat sour cream (nonfat plain Greek yogurt would work as well) plus one tablespoon of Hellman’s mayonnaise. Then I add water until is pour-able but not too thin. I am always on the lookout for a good ranch dressing in a bottle, but they all have msg in them. I like this brand because it does not contain monosodium glutamate (msg) and I can use a very low fat base. And yes, I do know this is a lot of dressing for one salad, but I think you’ll be making it again and again, so you might as well have dressing on hand! Of course, you can buy any kind of creamy dressing you like for this. Pour dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

How to make your own everything bagel seasoning (feel free to play around with this ratio)
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds*
2 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon minced dried onion
1 tablespoon minced dried garlic
1 to 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (this is optional if you don’t like salt, omit)

Mix it all together and store in a small jar until you are ready to use it.

*Use 2 tablespoons of white sesame seeds   if you can’t find, or don’t want to use the black.

 

 

 

Hamantashen Ice Cream Sandwich… It’s A MATCH!


Hamantashen + Ice Cream = The most delicious Hamantashen Ice Cream Sandwich… IT’S A MATCH! Everyone calm down, I’m not a real matchmaker; I’m more of a food matchmaker. I guess I could start with a corny joke like a hamantashen and a scoop of ice cream walk into a bar, yada – yada – yada… ba dum bump! But I can feel my family start to twinge, so I’ll put my comedic career on hold for a little while.

Yes, you heard me right and oh yes I did put ice cream in the middle of my hamantashen! I hear you all out there judging me, with your “Oh no you didn’t.” But, oh YES I did. I know hamantashen can be a rich cookie with it’s pie filling, and chocolate but when you stop and think about it for a minute, it really sounds good doesn’t it? We put ice cream on pie. Isn’t hamantashen just a triangular little pie? Plus, didn’t 2016 bring us the babka ice cream sandwich from Russ and Daughters? And, what about the black and white cookie ice cream sandwich I recently saw on Instagram? If you ask me, hamantashen was just waiting for its turn to be asked to the dance. Hamantashen and ice cream, let’s tango!

So how did I decide to make an ice cream sandwich using hamantashen? This happy union came about after trying a new hamantashen recipe this year. On Tuesday, the hamantashen softened up a bit because of the cherry pie filling. When I ate one, something just screamed out “HEY, HOW ABOUT A LITTLE ICE CREAM WITH THAT?” See what I did there with the caps? Obviously the trick is to have the right dough and filling for it. If you read yesterday’s post, you know I have tried quite a few different recipes in my time so you can trust me on this. For example, I make a cream cheese dough which tastes similar to rugalach, ice cream would not be a good match for that.

This recipe is adapted from the 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook. It’s a hamantashen that definitely stands alone. When it is first baked, it is crisp on the outside and tender on the inside and is absolutely delicious. On the second day, when it softened a bit, the addition of ice cream put it over the edge. Plus, I don’t know about you  but I absolutely love anything with almonds in it, and this has a double dose. I hope you will try this with your favorite ice cream and let me know what you think!  Happy Purim everyone! Enjoy!
The recipe makes 4 dozen cookies using a 3” round cookie cutter, or 24 ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup finely ground almond flour* (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
3 extra large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 stick softened unsalted butter (or margarine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
sanding sugar
egg wash**
Cherry pie filling (or other pie filling of your choice)

Good quality ice cream
Sliced almonds (I used honey toasted almonds from Trader Joes)
Chocolate or caramel sauce (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

Directions
In a large blow, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add the almond flour and mix well then set aside.

In another large bowl, cream sugar and butter with mixer until blended. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix well. Add the almond and flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides. If the dough is sticky, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your fingers. I did not do this step; I found the dough fine and then wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. The original recipe says you can bake it without refrigerating first.

When you are ready to bake, position the racks to the upper and lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Roll the dough to a thickness of about 3/16”. My trick is to use paint sticks you get at the hardware store. I cover them with plastic wrap and use them as guides. I like that better than the rings you can put on your rolling pin. Using a 3” round cookie cutter, cut circles of dough and place them on the cookie sheets.

When all of the dough has been cut place about 1 ½ teaspoon of filling in the center of the circle. Brush the perimeter with the egg wash or a little water. Now you can either use the pinch method as I do and pinch 3 corners together, or use the folding method where you flap one side, then the next two till you form a triangle.

Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash. I sprinkled mine with some sanding sugar for that extra sparkle and crunch. Bake the hamantashen for 18 to 20 minutes (checking after 15) or until the cookies are golden brown. To ensure even browning, rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back. When done, remove from the oven and let them rest for 2 to 3 minutes on the cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack.

Now to make the match… Place one hamantashen bottom side down, add a scoop of ice cream of your choice, top with another hamantashen top side up so you can see the beautiful topping and eat it carefully. Of course you can place it bottom side up as well – make it your own. It’s so yummy it won’t last long! If you want to plate it, dress up the plate with some chocolate sauce, maybe some whipped cream, and almonds. However you choose to eat it, it’s a match made in heaven!

* I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour which I found in my local grocery. King Arthur makes a great one as well which you can purchase online. You can also make almond flour in a food processor, here is a how to link.

**For the egg wash I use the whole egg and put in a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and a splash of water.