Hamantaschen

haman1sender: my brother

subjectHamantaschen?

e-mail content: “I figured I’d make some for purim in a couple weeks; do you have any tips? I was planning on somewhat following the king arthur recipe.”

While I have not tried the King Arthur recipe, I have tried and enjoyed the recipe from the 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook, a classic for the New York Jew. Purim this year came at a very busy time of year. At the shop we are fulfilling a huge order of chocolate figures that requires most of my free time. This past weekend however I was able to spare a few minutes to make some hamantaschen for my coworkers and friends. I decided to go with nostalgia this year and make poppyseed and apricot filling. The 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook hamantaschen recipe is dairy free and the dough lasts a few days if you don’t want to make it all at once.

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Valentine’s Day Candy Buttons

IMG_4511Remember those candy buttons you used to eat as a kid? Well, I used to eat as a kid…I was thinking how cute it would be if they had Valentine’s Day themed buttons in pink and white. The more I thought about it the clearer it became to me how easy it would be to make them. Candy buttons are really just a processed form of royal icing, which has a grand total of three ingredients (four if you want to add flavoring). So this past weekend I gathered my piping tips, my powdered sugar, my mixer and…finished the whole project in less than an hour.

For your Valentine’s Day pleasure, I give you, Candy Buttons Hearts.

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Raisin Bran Cookies

Since I have been on a cookie kick lately I decided to try making compost cookies with the recipe form Milk Bar in New York City Compost is quite a fitting name as the cookies call for coffee grounds, pretzels, chocolate, butterscotch, and potato chips. The cookies are incredibly sweet but the chips and pretzels help to provide a balance. I substituted heath bar pieces for half the butterscotch because in my opinion the standard butterscotch pieces are too overpowering.

While I was at it I thought, why not throw in some different ingredients and make my own compost cookies with half of the dough. I’ve been loving raisin bran lately so I thought I’d try making a raisin bran cookie, inspired by Milk’s Compost Cookie recipe. The original compost recipe can be found here.

Raisin Bran Cookies

  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 T corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 c  flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 2/3 cups bran flakes*
  • 1 cup raisins*
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add corn syrup, egg, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and beat until just combined.
  3. On low speed mix in the oats, bran flakes, and raisins until homogenous. Chill dough in the refrigerator for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scoop cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake 15-20 minutes.

I was able to get 12 smaller cookies per sheet, 48 cookies total.

*For a sweeter cookie, try substituting raisin bran cereal

Jack Wenlock

I had been trying to come up with an Olympic themed cookie idea that is something other than rings when my friend suggested a Jack Wenlock cookie. For those of you who haven’t seen him yet, Wenlock is the London Olympic Mascot. His shape has meaning but really he is just a one eyed monster who skates around with a three tiered helmet. I wanted to get more practice with royal icing and this was definitely a challenge.

 
Since Wenlock is such a strange looking creature I had to make my own cookie cutter. I wanted it disposable so I used this tutorial here. I used the sugar cookie and royal icing recipes from Sprinkle Bakes‘ new book and both turned out great. The cookies held their form and tasted great. I also decided to use squeeze bottles instead of piping bags as they are easier to control. In the end I think they came out okay.

Well…at least he looks like a one eyed monster.

Sable Cookies

When the boss asked us to come up with ideas for what to do with hard boiled eggs my first thought was sables. The first cookie I’ve seen that uses hard boiled eggs came out buttery and sandy at the same time. And I of course jumped at the chance to bake. After reviewing a few recipes we decided to try the recipe from Anna Maria’s Open Kitchen and they came out great. The recipe is as follows:
Sable Cookies from Anna Maria’s Kitchen:

1 cup (150 gr) flour
8 tablespoons (100 gr) butter
2 1/2 oz (75 gr) sugar
2 hard boiled eggs, yolk only
grated rind of 1 lemon

Cut the butter into quarter inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients and massage them with your hands until a dough forms. This may take a few minutes but it will eventually come together. If you have ever made biscuits using the cut in method think of it like that.

Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes until firm. This helps with the rolling process.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

After 30 minutes, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters.

Move cookies to baking sheets with the help of a spatula if needed as the dough is very crumbly and falls apart easily.

Bake 12-15 minutes until cookies are baked through but have minimal color. Transfer to a rack to cool.

These cookies are reminiscent of shortbread and are great with tea.