Tag Archives: baking

the fast of esther and the feast that follows

17 Mar

I was quite organized this week so I got all my baking orders for Purim and deliveries out of the way.  Today, Tannis Esther is a nidcheh (pushed off) as it is usually a day before Purim (Shabbos this year), and we do not fast on Shabbos unless it is Yom Kippur.  So that leaves me with a free day to make what I’d like for the breaking of the fast tonight, and for Purim.  My plan today is to make hamantashen, which I have only made once in my life when I tried it in a dairy variety, dairy chocolate bobka and rugelach and Aranygaluska.  Wikipedia defines Aranygaluska as Hungarian sweet dumplings.  In actuality, it is balls of a rich yeast dough dipped in oil and rolled in ground walnuts.  It is then layered and baked in a tube pan and traditionally served (at least in homes of Hungarian background) on Purim.   We always had a (slightly overbaked ;)) Aranygaluska straight out of the oven on Purim.  It is similar to monkey bread which is a pull apart type of round shaped bread.  When I googled Aranygaluska, I saw a picture of one which had lekvar (prune jam) filling in each ball.  Although not authentic in my mother’s home, I think I will make it that way today since I love the lekvar filling and look for opportunities to use it.  I think the best option would be to freeze it raw and then thaw and bake it fresh on Purim morning.

This is a recipe that was printed in the Family First Magazine in March 5, 2008.  I tried it that year and must have been in one of my organized moments, because I found it just where I thought it would be and in a protective plastic sleeve. I am glad I was able to find it now.

 

ARANYGALUSKA

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 cups (2lbs + 4 oz) or 1 Kilo flour
  • 1 cup margarine or butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice (use milk if making it dairy)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

TOPPING:

  • oil
  • 3 cups choppped/ground walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar

Directions

Place the flour, margarine, and sugars into a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, pour the lukewarm water over the yeast and wait 2-3 minutes.  Add this to the flour, along with the apple juice, egg yolks, and salt.  Mix together until it forms a dough.  The dough should be soft and pliable.  Tranfer the dough to a bowl sprinkled generously with flour.  Cover and let the dough rise for 45 minutes.

After the dough is risen, transfer it to a work surface and roll it out gently to a 1/2-inch thickness.  Use a glass with a 3-inch rim and cut out circle.  Cover the circles and let them rest for 15 minutes.

Prepare two bowls.  Pour some oil into the first; in the second one, combine the walnuts with the sugar and vanilla sugar.

Lightly grease two tube pans with removable bottoms.  Working quickly, dip the dough circles into oil and then coat them with the nut/sugar mixture. Put the coated balls inside the pan to form layers.  Sprinkle additional nut mixture on top of each completed layer, until you have three layers in all.  The cake should reach about 3/4 of the height of the pan.  Repeat the same process with the second pan.  If using lekvar filling, put a teaspoon or two of the jam in the center of each round.  form into a ball, enclosing the filling.  Then dip in oil and nuts and described above.  Rise 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Let cool.  Use both hands to carefully remove the cake from around the tube.  Serve whole on a cake plate, and expect the balls to be pulled apart for eating.

yield: 2 cakes

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homemade granola

14 Mar

My good friend, Sarah Lasry of Tastebuds’ fame, introduced me to homemade granola as I know it today.  Before she opened her cafe in 2003, she had an intimate gathering around her dining room table for the purpose of tasting the dishes to be served at the restaurant.  I was one of a select few people chosen, whose criticism and approval she sought.  One of the items Sarah served us was this homemade granola with just enough plain yogurt on top to moisten and hold the ingredients together.  In the restaurant, it was taken to a new level with fresh sliced strawberries, fresh blueberries and perhaps a few slices of banana on top.  The granola was always in high demand in the store and was sometimes sold in gourmet bags to go.  Here is the original recipe as printed in Sarah Chases Nantucket Open House Cookbook.  Sarah Lasry printed it with a variation in her Dairy Gourmet Cookbook.

Granola is one of those things that are easy to make and a treat to have on hand for those occasions that you need a little extra something on hand.  It’ll dress up a breakfast, a shalosh seudos and even an impromptu visit by a friend for coffee.  I usually do not add the dried fruit to the granola.  I like to decide what I want to add with regard to dried or fresh fruit when I am serving it.  This recipe makes a large amount but freezes well.  I have given this for mishloach manos once or twice and received great feedback! 

HOMEMADE GRANOLA

Ingredients

  • 9 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 4 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups whole hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups slivered or sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates, optional
  • Other diced fruit like apricots, figs, prunes can be added or substituted.

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss oats, coconut, and nuts in a large roaster pan or cookie sheet.  Whisk honey & oil in a small bowl.  Pour over oats and mix till coated.  Bake 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, till golden.

Remove from oven and aerate by mixing several times while it’s cooling.  Add dried fruit, if desired.

Note: I’m not sure if you want this information, but at one point, I figured out the calorie content of this recipe.  I included 1 cup of raisins and 1/2 cup of dates in the nutritional facts.  The results were as follows: there are 770 calories per cup of granola which translates to 48 calories per tablespoon.  The total fat per cup is 41g, sat fat 11g, carbs 90g, fiber 12g, sugars 33g, protein 17g

 

Ina Garten has a granola recipe which was inspired by the one above.  It is equally delicious and of a lesser quantity.  I also prefer the dried cherries and cranberries to the raisins, which you can switch in the above recipe as well. You can see it here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-granola-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup good honey
  • 1 1/2 cups small diced dried apricots
  • 1 cup small diced dried figs
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the oats, coconut, and almonds together in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil and honey in a small bowl. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add the apricots, figs, cherries, cranberries, and cashews. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.