Cooking with Love

Friday, November 30, 2007

Chocolate Crinkles


I'm at home. All day. Haven't left the house. No long walks on the beach. Too windy.
So - I baked cookies. There is something very comforting in cookies. And chcolate. They definately go together. The aroma of chocolate can bring childhood memories on one hand or carry you into a seductive dreamworld on the other hand. I love chocolate. Both on the childlike aspect and that of a grown woman with the knowledge that chocolate is not only M&M's....
But today my cookies were totally for tea...


Chocolate Crinkles

100 grams butter
60 grams bittersweet chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. cocoa
1/2 tsp soda powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt butter and chocolate. Let cool.

Mix together the melted cooled chocolate mixture, sugar, egg and vanilla until creamy. Add the Flour, soda and cocoa. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least two hours.Preheat oven to 175 C and cover two cookie pans with parchement paper.Make nut sized balls from the chocolate mixture and roll in the powdered sugar till covered completely. Bake in oven approx. 8-12 minutes until cookies just begin to spread.

Remove immedietely and cool completely.

Spicy Oatmeal Crisps


Thin. Tasty. Crispy. Easy. Yummy. Spicy. Pretty. Even Healthy.

They are great.

I made them for the cookie swap. I brought some to work....Even those who aren't crazy about oatmeal cookies loved them. This is a rcipe that I will save and make again.

And finally - a cookie that is NOT a chocolate chip cookie.

The recipe has pepper as optional - don't skip it. It accents the other spices and kind of gives this cookie "pazaz"


Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1 cup packed brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup regular oats
Cooking spray

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (flour through pepper) in a medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat well. Stir in flour mixture and oats.
Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until crisp. Cool on pan 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.

Thumbprint Jam Cookies

These are really tasty melt in your mouth type cookie.
I I wasn't crazy though about how they look... I think next time I may just freeze them after I roll them into balls and then bake them. Maybe then they won't spread as much.
They are not the type to send as a gift as they crumble so easily.
Freinds at work rated them a complete A+

Viola's Thumbrint Cookies

200 grams butter, room temp.
400 grams all purpose flour
100 grams confectioners sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 150 C and line cookie pan with parchment paper.
Mix all ingredients and form a soft ball.
Roll into size of walnuts and "thumbprint" them in the middle.
Bake approx. 15 -18 minutes until golden.
Fill the thumbprint with jam or nutella. I think Dulce de Leche would even work!

Breakfast

This is our typical Friday morning breakfast, as Friday is our off.

No Knead Bread

Fresh vegetables, avocado guacamole (NO onion or garlic in the morning - just avocado, lemon, salt&pepper and fresh coriander), black olives and hard boiled eggs.

Chocolate Chip Nutella Cookies

I am still working on the cookie swap. I have it all put together and carefuly decorated. I will post a picture only after I give the cookies to a special person. I had to make cookies thatare not fragile and won't arrive in crumbs. A cookie that everyone likes. A cookie that is very homey - what better than chocolate chip cookies? But with a hint of nutella - everyone loves nutella and I found out that November has a Nutella day! Hurray for Nutella (I wonder - is there a peanut butter day??)

These are great with a cup of coffee or even better - a glass of cold milk.

Chocolate Chip Nutella Cookies
100 grams butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup nutella
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
200 grams chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchement paper.

In an electric mixer mix the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and the egg and mix. Add the nutella and continue mixing until creamy.
Sift the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Add the chocolate chips by mixing with a wooden spoon.

Spoon dough with teaspoons onto sheets and bake 8-12 minutes. The cookies are done when they get crispy on the outside but look still doughy in the middle.
The cookies do spread.
Cool completely!

Soup

Its jus one of those days that are so windy outside. You can't go anywhere.
And I just know a cold is coming on...so what else is there keft to do...

Vegetable Soup

I chopped up whatever veggies I had - anything goes.

Onion, leeks, carrots, parsley root, celeriac, jerusalem potato, yams, chick peas

I added salt, pepper and tumeric - I love the color. It just accents everything.

The great thing is yoy can play around with any spices you like.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Turkish Bagels




AFAM - A Fruit A Month - DATES

Has announced this months fruit - DATES!!

I love dates. Anything tat has to do uth dates - is an automatic favorite of mine....and Israel, as you know is the land of milk & honey...and dates. Of-Course.
The best dates are Mahajoul dates. They are soft and as sweet as can be. You can find the best dates either in Jericho or by the Kinneret.

So - back to this month AFAM.
Tjis is one of my favorite recipes I found on the TAPUZ forum. The recipe was given quite a while ago by Akavishon. Since then I have made it a million times. And nobody dislikes them. They are eaten in a scond.

Rolled Date Cookies

Dough:
200 grams soft butter
200 ml vegetable oil
200 ml water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
5 cups all purpose flour

Filling:
400 grams date spread
100 grams walnuts, chopped
dash cinnamon


Mix all the dough ingredients together in a mixer until dough is soft and pliable.
Heat oven to 180 C.

Divide dough into 4 parts.
Roll each part into a thin rectangle.
Spread date spread, sprinkle nuts and cinnamon. Roll tightly and put on parchment paper. Slice 1" slices - but only 3/4 away.
Bake 20 minutes until golden. Cool a bit and slice all the way. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Keep in airtight box.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Peanut Butter Cookies


There are so many raves about these cookies....But I really don't understand why.....


I guess one of the positive sides about this cookie is that they have no flour and you can substitute the sugar with splenda. It still has a lot of calories due to the peanut butter though...
1 egg
1 cup sugar (or splenda)
1 cup peanut butter - I used crunchy
Mix together. Roll into nut sized balls and flatten a bit. Bake about 8 minutes at 170C.
Cool.


Garlic Rolls




Monday, November 26, 2007

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

I had to make biscotti. First of all because I think they are cool to have with your coffee. Second I am organizing a cookie exchange on my favorite forum. So I have a ton of biscotti recipes but decided to try these from Cafe Lynn Lu's blog. She uses cherries...I had none. But I did have cranberries...and guess what?????

I DIDN'T FORGET THE SUGAR!!


Isn't this a great picture??
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar (4 3/4 oz)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 drops strong cherry flavor(optional)or 1 tsp vanilla ( I used vanilla that I make)
1 cup chopped pistachios
(4 1/4 oz)1 cup sweet or sour dried cherries (Iused dried cranberries)
(5 oz)2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I used local brand flour)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet (18x 13-inch) with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, baking powder, and vanilla or cherry flavoring until creamy looking. When properly beaten, the egg/sugar mixture will be thick and lemon colored and drop in a ribbon from the beater.Lower the mixer speed and add the flour beating gently until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and shape into a rough log about 14 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide and about 3/4 inch thick. Smooth the top of the dough with a wet dough scraper.
Bake the dough for 25 minutes. With dried fruit and nuts, it may be necessary to bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on pan from 5-25 minutes. I let mine cool about 15 minutes. Spray with the water as in pointer step 1. Let stand 5 minutes. This will soften the crust to make slicing easier.Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Wait 5 minutes, then cut the biscotti on the diagonal into 3/4 inch slices using a serrated knife and straight up and down motions. If you slice the biscotti wider at the top than the bottom, they will topple over while baking the second time.Set the biscotti upright on the prepared baking sheet 1/2 inch apart so the air can circulate. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container to preserve their texture. If the biscotti aren't as hard as you like, store uncovered overnight to continue drying. Biscotti can be stored at room temperature for two weeks; for longer storage, wrap airtight and freeze. Yield 14-16.

Snickers Brownies (and oooops, I forgot the sugar)

Brownies...before

I really really really wanted to make yummy brownies.
I'm not a brownie freak. But I am a snickers freak I do love chocolate. I mean - I even adore chocolate. I even eat diet chocolate now and it isn't that gross. But I wanted to make to die for brownies just the way I crave.
So I took a whole lot of recipes. Decided to "play around" with them. But instead of writing down one full recipe to my liking I had like 3-4 recipes in front of me....Only after my daughter tried a bite and made a weird face it hit me.....I forgot the sugar!!

Brownies right out of the oven

Brownies....or at least what is left
But she liked them. Even took them to school. Isn't it great that teenagers pretty much eat anything!
They are pretty easy to make (and probably taste wonderful if you remember the sugar..)

Snickers Brownies - my way
200 grams butter
200 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Melt in a medium pan (I melted over the oven and not in the microwave. Don't like the microwave) and add
1 2/3 cups sugar (DO NOT FORGET THE SUGAR!!)
Mix vigourously.
Add 3 eggs while mixing (I use my whisk)
Add
1/4 cup cocoa
2/3 cups all purpose flour
and mix gently
Stir in 1 cup roasted peanuts and 1 cup chopped caramels
Line pan with parchement paper. Fill with mixture and bake at 170 C for approx 20-25 minutes. When it seems the edges are fully baked - is the time to take the brownies out of the oven. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Keep in closed box - or freeze

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wanna Play??

I saw this on Abby Sweets blog - I really liked the idea - here is what she posts:

Pay it Forward
Today, I am going through some of my Daring Baker's friends blog and came across The Feast Within, who got this idea from someone who got it from someone, and I thought I would become involved. I have only been a "blogger" for a couple of months now and I am intrigued by how many people you meet, and all the swaps, challenges that you can become involved in..so here it is:"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, which is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.”If you would like to join in, just leave a comment. It should be a ton of fun, and I am curious to see how long it will continue to go!


so - the first three that respond will of course get a gift from me - they in return - post on their blog and pay it forward...I think its cool....
So let see you roll.......

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Ima!!


It's my moms birthday. Mazel Tov!

She's climbing the Massada now with my sister. They started at 0500 am and took them 45 minutes. Its awesome to see the sunrise from Massada.

I made her this scrapbooking box. My first one. She always gets my first handcrafts (unless I throw them away first). I think I'll fill it with biscotti. Haven't decided which yet....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!
May all your wishes come true!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hungry...

I forgot to take lunch to work. Yes. We have a cafeteria. In fact we have 3 cafeterias...maybe even 4. I'm not sure. I stopped going after I found this really big caterpillar in my salad. It's not that I keep kosher. Its not even that I am a vegetarian. I'm just not crazy about eating something that I can't look in the eye.

So I was hungry. Serves me right for forgetting to bring a salad (no caterpillars). What do I do when I'm hungry. I fantasize....nothing x-rated (hey - I'm at work, remember??)

I surf the food blogs in search of a picture that will take my taste buds to heaven - at least in my imagination.



I came across Just Hungry.com....and saw these amazing home-made pita bread...Not only amazing but whole wheat, and if I haven't already won the jackpot - I didn't even need to use the oven. Just my electric pan.

And....They are great. Easy to make, no fuss, no mess. Ans they are as good as they look and smell probably even netter than anything I have made lately.

I say - go for it!!

http://www.justhungry.com/home-made-whole-wheat-pita-bread-no-oven-needed

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Onion Soup......

It's getting cold. Winter is finally here. Rain. Winds. Thunder & Lightning. Sweater. Boots. Scarf. Mittens. Coat. Onion Soup.
How is the best way to eat onion soup? In a bread bowl of course!!
It's really easy.

Bread Soup Bowl:

1 kg flour
1 TBS salt
1 TBS fast acting yeast
2 1/4 cups warm water
Mix all ingredients until incorporated. The dough will be on the dry side. Divide into 4-6 balls. Make sure these balls are smooth. Put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Leave in warm open place at least till doubles in size. No need to cover the balls.

Preheat oven to 220C and bake for 50 minutes.

Let cool. Once cool. slice tops off and spoon out inside bread. (I make bread crumbs from the inside - so don't throw away).

Fill with soup of your liking (best with onion, minestrone, pea, mushroom barley and goulash).

Onion Soup



3 white onions sliced thin
3 red onions, sliced thin
3 leeks, white part only, slices thin
3 TBS butter
2 cups white wine
1-1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 cup apple cider
salt
pepper
Sharp cheese of your liking


Sautee onions in butter till golden.
Add wine, cider and broth, salt & pepper.
Cook approx. 45 minutes on medium heat.
Add cheese.
Serve in bowls and cover with a slice of cheese.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Just felt that I have to give in my share to the festivities. I remember my grandfather Dobby cutting the turkey with the electric knife and I would watch in total awe at how he cut ecery piece precisely as if he himself were a sculpture carving into his masterpiece.

I think what I realy loved about Thanksgiving was cranberry sauce. In my honest opinion - thats really the whole reason Thanksgiving was invented. I could (and I did) eat cranberry sauce almost all year round, homemade, canned, from a restaurant...whenever I could get my hands on it. And NEVER, EVER in all my life did I eat it with Turkey! God Forbid!! Just cranberry sauce...YUMMMY....

So - back to the pumpkin. I was planning on making pumpkin carrot soup which I love...but then decided on trying something new...so searching for the perfect recipe (perfect meaning I had all ingredients) I finally mixed and matched a whole bunch of recipes to create this:

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (of course there are cranberries in it!)

2 cups self rising flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash nutmeg

Stir in bowl.
Mix together in the mixer:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vgetable oil
1/2 cup honey or silan (date honey)

Add 3 eggs one by one

When all is incorporated add 1 1/2 TBS. freshly grated ginger
15 oz pumpkin
flour mixture

Mix with a spoon 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup cranberries

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.






After completely cooled I drizzled 2 TBS Ricotta cheese mixed with 100 powdered sugar ans 1-2 TBS milk


Monday, November 19, 2007

Daddy, this one's for you - Hummus - phase 1

Tommorow I would like to make Hummus.


First step is to soak 500 grams dried chick peas in water. Every few hours strain and change water.



Tomorrow after work - I will cook the chick peas in water for about 3 hours.

See you then...

Hummus - after 3 hours cooking.....added tehina, lemon, salt and water

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Sambosak" with Chick Peas

These little pastries are usually made from blanched flour and are fried. In my constant search to feed my family healthy nutritious foods instead of junk I am always trying to modify recipes.

This one caught my eye.
Hope you like it too.


Sambosak Chick Peas from Whole Wheat Flour
Filling:
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
300 grams cooked chick peas (can be canned)
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon ( I omitted)


Dough:
3 cups whole wheat flour (420 gram)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. anis seeds
10 grams (2 tsp) baking powder
1 tsp. active yeast
100 grams olive oil margarine, cold and cut up
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water


Filling:
Saute onion in olive oil until golden. Put chick peas and spices in a food processor and add onion. Pulse until smooth.
Set aside.
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)
Dough:
Stir together in a food processor - whole wheat flour, salt, anis seeds, baking powder and yeast.
Add margarine, water and oil and pulse till incorporated and dough turns into a ball.
Lightly flour a surface and roll dough into a 1/2 centimeter rectangle. With round cookie cutter make as many circles as possible. Fill each one with teaspoon of chick pea filling. Close and press
margins so they don't open during baking.
Place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle sesame seeds or sunflower seeds.
Bake 20 minutes till golden.
Serve warm.
Can easily be frozen and defrosted in oven. DO NOT Microwave.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ricotta Buns

I'm invited to dinner tonight and as always - its a pot luck. I always try to bring something new that I haven't made before. Since the weather is so beautiful I really didn't want to spend my afternoon in the kitchen so i decided to try the Ricotta Buns - "Shablulei Ricotta Ve'zeitim"
from Tofifi & Husband at Catering Pecan. Of-course I didn't have any olivesand definately did not want to go back to the market on a Friday... so I decided on using the dried tomatoes spread my neighbor gave to me (thanks nice neighbor) and I have basil growing on my window-sill which smells like an exotic perfume and this is the wonderful result....
Ingredients
1 TBS. fast acting yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 TBS. sugar
mix together and set aside for 10 minutes.

Knead together into a ball:

500 grams all purpose flour
1 large egg
50 grams melted butter
1 TBS salt
1/2 cup warm milk
yeast mix

Set aside. Cover with towel and let rise till doubles in size.













Punch dough to let out air.
Roll out to a 1/2 centimeter thick rectangle.

Spread filling made of: 250 grams ricotta cheese, 3 heaps of sundried tomatoe spread (pesto will work too) and grated parmesan. Any hard aromatic cheese can work - whatever you like. I cut up a few basil leaves and added those too

Ricotta, tomato spread and Parmesan
does look kinda gross



Roll the dough as shown and slice into approx. 1 centimeter rolls. Place on cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cover and let double in size.

I soooo love this picture


Bake at 150 C for approx. 20 minutes till golden.

All done and ready to go


I can tell you this - it smell wonderful...

Now I am off to making Challa - the Sabbath Bread

Beet Salad


Boil 3-4 beets - Do NOT peel the beets (you can also bake them for about 90 min. at 350 but I haven't tried that yet) until tender. The peel will just slip off. Cool and cut as you like (I julienned). Add salt, pepper about 1tsp sugar, 3-4 TBS. vegetable oil and 2 TBS. vinegar.
I chopped some parsley for garmish.
Serve chilled.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cookies & Kisses



I have had my eye on this recipe since the day I got this wonderful cookbook "Chocolate". Just the name of the book causes my blood to turn brown and my sugar level decreases ( just so it can increase with some chocolate intake).
But for some reason I have never really had the time. I am definately not the meringue type person. I even dislike meringue. So what better time to make these cookies than when on a diet?? And to be specific - the South Beach one...Ha I have noted that since on this diet I have turned into a type of masochist - since I have baking endleslly. Making all these wonderful sweet recipes that I wouldn't dare make on a regular day. Now I feel that NO is NO and not maybe or later...and that I am strong at sticking my tongue out at these sweets and not crumble down and indulge....ahhhhhhh strength....such power...

So here is the recipe (and mind you - my wonderful 14 year old daughter and her girlfriends finished them off even before they cooled, luckily I saved a box for a friend at work who also finished them off before getting back to her office)

Chocolate Cookies with a Kiss
Adapted from the Chocolate Cookbook

Ingredients (for approx. 100-120 bite size cookies)
120 grams cold butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup + 1 TBS. (50 grams) powdered sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 cup (150 grams) all purpose flour
2 TBS cocoa

Meringue kisses:
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup + 2 TBS sugar (120 grams)
1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar


Cookies:
  • Pulse all cookie ingredients in food processor until a ball forms. Cover dough with saran wrap and refrigerate approx. an hour or in freezer for 20 minutes.
  • With rolling pin on floured surface roll to a 1/2 centimeter thickness. With small cookie cutter (i used my vodka shot glasses) cut cookies and place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 180 C (350F) for 7-10 minutes, the cookies should NOT be fully baked.

    Meringues:
  • Lower the heat to 130 C.
  • With electric mixer on high beat egg whites till white peaks occur. Gradually add the sugar.
  • Fold in the regular sugar gently.
  • Put meringue in a decorating bag and squeeze onto half baked cookies.**
  • Bake for 20 more minutes until meringues are dry
  • Cool completelyand store in airtight container.

** This is where I altered...I made the meringue kisses seperatley and completely baked the cookies. When both cookies and kisses were cooled completely - I "glued" them with Nutella. I tried Dulce de leche - but that didn't work very well. I assume a thick ganache will work great too.

The "Comforting Coffee Cake"

Had a long hard day. The week is almost over and all I can think about is the weekend. Hiking on the beach in this wonderful weather (yep - it's still shining and warm). I just wanted something comforting. Something that will make me feel good at home.

There is a great coffee cake that I just love. Its moist and has all those homey flavour and aromas. And its really easy to make. And even better - I had all (well almost all) the ingredients.
And it smells sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!!

Comforting Coffee Cake
(adapted from Gil Hovav)

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 TBS. Vanilla
1/3 cup strong coffee (espresso is best)
200 grams butter (room temp)
4 TBS. Brandy or Cognac
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups self rising flour
1/2 cup halva, chopped (can use more if you like - I do!)
mix of: 2 TBS. sugar, 2 TBS. cocoa, 1 TBS. coffee (not crystals) pinch cardomom, pinch cinnamon (I used nutmeg as I was out of cardomom)


before baking
Preheat oven to 175 degrees and butter a bundt pan.

Yummy
  • In electric mixer beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs and continue beating.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Add sour cream
  • Add brandy
  • Mix in the flour.
  • In seperate bowl mix sugar, cocoa and spices.
  • Pour half the batter in the bundt pan. Sprinke half the spice mix and halva pieces.
  • Pour rest of the batter and cover with remaining halva and spice mixture.
  • Bake in over approx. 35 minutes - until toothpick comes out dry.
  • Cool and yummy!!!

You will love this cake all year round.