Israeli Style Granola

This granola is based on a recipe from Macheneh Yehuda in Jerusalem.  Once you have tasted this granola, you probably won’t make it any other way.  Tastes great on its own as a snack, and of course, goes well with yogurt.  This recipe can be gluten-free by using gluten-free oats.


½ cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup date honey
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
6 cups rolled oats
2 cups each of whole raw almonds and hazelnuts
1 cup large flake coconut
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup each of pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried currants


Preheat oven to 325F.  Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  Combine oil, sugar, honey, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves.


In a large bowl, combined oats, almonds, hazelnuts, coconut, cashews, and pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds.


Pour sugar mixture on top and stir well. Spread on the two baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes.  Flip mixture, add cranberries and currants and bake for another 20 minutes or longer until golden brown.



Science Fact of the Week:

This granola uses tons of natural ingredients to make a delicious granola with many flavours. The almonds in this granola have healthy fats, fibre, and protein, leading this to be a nutritious snack. Throw this on top of some yogurt for a delicious and nutritious breakfast.

Texas Sheet Cake


This large rich and delicious chocolate cake is a nut-free version of the pecan covered Texas sheet cake which has been made in the U.S. for years. One unique feature of this recipe is that the frosting is warm when spread over the hot cake immediately after it comes out of the oven. The frosting and cake blend together into one layer as the cake cools.

For the cake:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup nondairy sour cream (Tofutti)
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp. unsalted pareve margarine (1/2 stick)
¾ cup grapeseed/olive/canola oil
¾ cup water
½ cup cocoa powder

For the Icing:

1 stick unsalted pareve margarine (8 tbsp)
½ cup Nutriwhip
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp. corn syrup
3 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract


For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 18×13 –inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.  Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a large bowl.


Whisk the eggs, yolks, vanilla, and sour cream in another bowl until smooth.


Heat the chocolate, margarine, oil, water and cocoa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 3-5 minutes.


Whisk the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture.


Whisk the egg mixture into the batter.


Pour into the prepared baking sheet.


Bake for 18 minutes.


For the Icing:

About 5 minutes before the cake is done, heat the margarine, Nutriwhip, cocoa, and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth.


Off the heat, whisk in the icing sugar and vanilla.


Spread the warm icing evenly over the hot cake. Cover the cake with any type of sprinkles.


Let the cake cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until the icing is set, about 1 hour longer.

Science Fact of the Week:


Sour cream is considered an odd ingredient to put in baked goods, however is is considered a standard ingredient for Texas sheet cake. It provides extra moisture and creaminess to the cake.

Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pies


A much easier way to make lemon meringue pie…adapted from Smitten Kitchen, there are 3 easy steps and the final product is quite impressive.  This gluten-free dessert can also be made for Passover by substituting the Nutriwhip with a Kosher for Passover whipping cream, and by omitting the cream of tartar.


3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
2 lemons zested
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 large egg yolks
5 tbsp. unsalted pareve margarine
2 cups Nutriwhip


Preheat oven to 250F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until they hold soft peaks.

Very gradually add the sugar, then the salt, beating the whole time, and continue whipping the whites until they hold thick, glossy peaks.


Spread the meringue to about a ¼-to-1/2-inch thickness on the prepared sheet.


Bake for 90 minutes, until the meringue slab is dry and firm but not browned on top.  Let the slab cool completely at room temperature.


To make the lemon curd, combine the sugar and zest in a bowl of a double boiler and use your fingertips to rub them together to release the flavour from the peel.


Add the lemon juice, egg yolks and margarine, and set the bowl over an inch of boiling water.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to gel or thicken slightly.  Remove from the heat, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.  Place plastic wrap directly over the lemon mixture and refrigerate until ready to use (up to one week in advance).


Whip the “cream” until it holds soft peaks in the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.


To assemble, crumble a little of the meringue into each of 9 glasses, dollop with whipped “cream,” and top with a spoonful of the lemon curd. Repeat the layers and then top off with a little crumbled meringue.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Science Fact of the Week

When you beat egg whites, you are mixing air into them. Meringues are light and airy desserts, and it is important not to over whip the egg whites. It is commonly said to whip the egg whites until they have stiff glossy peaks. Beyond this point the eggs can be over whipped, creating a grainy and dull texture.

Raisin Bran Muffins


These muffins are simple to make and freeze nicely. Make a big batch and stick them in the freezer for a quick breakfast or snack on the go.




1/3 cup olive/grapeseed/canola/coconut oil
2 cups wheat bran
1 ½ cups raisins
1 cup prune juice
1 cup nondairy sour cream
1/3 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt


Preheat oven to 375F and line a 12 muffin tray with paper liners.
Combine oil, wheat bran, raisins, prune juice, sour cream, molasses, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.


IMG_0879.jpgWhisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.


Stir dry ingredients into the bran mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.



An absolutely delicious bakery-style bran muffin loaded with fibre and with no added sugars. Feel free to top with turbinado sugar if you want to increase the sweetness factor. These freeze well for 2 months if sealed well in a plastic bag.

Science Fact of the Week:

These muffins are packed with fibre and contain prune juice as a hidden ingredient. Together these are great for constipation, and make these muffins a natural health alternative to treating tummy troubles. As well, it is packed with essential vitamins and nutrients that make this muffin a quick and easy breakfast.

Poppy Seed Cookies


Another one of my mother’s classics…I found the handwritten recipe without specifics such as amount of vanilla, salt and lemon juice, baking temperature and time, etc.  So that’s where The Science of Baking got to work…



3 large eggs
¾ cup olive/canola/coconut/grapeseed oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Juice of one lemon
3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. poppy seeds


Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Process eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor until well combined.

Add flour, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds, and pulse until just combined and the dough starts to form by wrapping around the blade.

Divide dough in half.   Shape one half into a round disc and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.


Shape the other half into a log and wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for one hour.


Roll out the disc to ¼-1/2 inch thickness on a counter dusted with flour, and use cookie cut-outs (I used a star shape) to shape the cookies.


Bake the cookies for 13 minutes or until slightly golden on the edges.


Slice the log into ½-inch thick cookies and bake for 14-16 minutes.



Science Fact of the Week

Poppy seeds go beyond a classic bagel decoration. Seeds come from the dry fruit pods of the poppy plant. They contain anti-oxidants, dietary fibre and many nutrients and minerals such as B-vitamins, iron, copper, zinc and magnesium. Added to these cookies they not only provide texture and flavour, but some nutrition as well!

Peppermint Mocha Meringues

Nothing “tastes like winter” quite like these Peppermint Mocha Meringues. We’ve even heard they taste like Christmas (thanks CS for the confirmation)!



6 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. white vinegar
½ tsp. pure peppermint extract
4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. ground espresso powder


Preheat oven to 200F.  Beat the egg whites with the wire whisk of an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl until foamy.


Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until the beaters start leaving a trail through the whites.

In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.


Slowly add the sugar mixture into the egg whites, beating on high speed until they hold stiff, glossy peaks.


Add the vinegar and peppermint extract and beat again.  Sift the cocoa and espresso powder over the mixture and fold in the dry ingredients.


I used a large ice cream scoop to drop the meringues on to 2 large baking sheets covered with parchment paper.




Bake for 120 minutes, then leave oven door halfway open for another 30 minutes, allowing cookies to dry.  Makes 18 large meringues.

The original recipe for these was a peppermint meringue, but the addition of espresso powder gives these a unique flavour that reminds you of keeping warm on a cold winter day. Feel free to top with whipped cream, fruit, chocolate sauce or any other add ons.

Science Fact of the Week:

Like me (Max) you may be asking, what on earth is cream of tartar. It is a byproduct of wine and grape juice processing (sadly no, it is not alcoholic). It is added to meringue to stabilize whipped egg whites since it is an acidic salt. Quoted from “Added to the whites before whipping begins (typically at a ratio of ⅛ teaspoon per large egg white), the acidic powder lowers the pH of the albumen. This changes the electrical charge of the proteins, making them more sensitive to denaturation, so the egg whites promptly begin to foam. The cream of tartar also increases the mixture’s hydrogen ions, which prevent the protein molecules from bonding too tightly. With the proteins aligned but not jammed together too tightly, the structure keeps the water and air bubbles in place, and therefore is stronger and more secure.” Some people even suggest adding it to any recipe that uses egg whites. Now we know!

Halva and Tahini Brownies


Happy Holidays!

This recipe is originally from Bonnie Stern in the National Post. We tried this for the holidays and instantly fell in love so we thought we would share it with you.


1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
½ cup strong coffee at room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
4 oz. halvah, diced into small cubes
½ cup raw tahini, stirred until smooth



1) Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-inch by 13-inch. baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
2) In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process oil, sugar, eggs, coffee and vanilla.


3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, powder and salt.

4) Add the dry ingredients to the processor and pulse until just combined.

5) Add the chocolate chunks and halvah and fold in with a rubber spatula until just combined.
6) Transfer the batter to prepared baking pan. Drizzle tahini over the batter and swirl with the tip of a knife.

7) Bake 28-33 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature then transfer to refrigerator in order to slice once chilled.


Science Fact of the Week:

Tahini is made of sesame seeds and is rich in vitamins and minerals which may promote healthy cell growth and prevent anemia. Tahini is high in healthy fats and amino acids, providing many nutritional benefits.

Sufganiyot (Hannukah Donuts)


This was the first attempt at a Chanukah delicacy and it worked!  Uniquely made with a bread machine, these homemade Israeli style donuts need very close supervision (don’t step away from the pot).


2/3 cup slightly warmed unsweetened vanilla almond milk
¼ cup water at room temperature
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted pareve margarine at room temperature
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 cups bread flour
2 ½ tsp. bread machine yeast
Peanut/canola oil for deep frying
Jam/Nutella for filling
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Add to bread machine pan all of the ingredients in the order listed above from milk through yeast.  After 2 hours, remove dough from pan.


Roll out the dough to ½ -inch thickness and cut rounds using a standard drinking glass dipped in flour.  This should make 32-36 rounds.


Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a dish towel for one hour.


Using a thermometer, fill deep pot with approximately 2 inches of oil and bring to 375F over medium heat.


Carefully place 4 donuts in oil for 1 minute until golden brown


Then flip them and fry for another 30 seconds.


Remove from pot and place on cookie sheet lined with paper towels.  Continue to deep fry the donuts while the temperature remains at approximately 375F. Feel free to dust with icing sugar or “inject” with jam/Nutella/filling of your choice.


Science Fact of the Week:

For this recipe we used peanut oil! It has a high smoke point and as such can be heated to a high temperature. These are fried for a short period of time, keeping the oil absorbed to a minimum.


The Best Banana Bread


Simple and delicious; after many tweaks and adjustments in the lab, one of my most favourite recipes to prepare.   I have attached a photo of my late mother Pearl’s original recipe.


I like to think that Max and I are lucky enough to have inherited some of my Mom’s and Bubi’s baking genes.


3 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
¼ cup canola/grapeseed/olive/coconut oil
¼ cup orange juice/soy milk/almond milk/coconut milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. kosher salt
OPTIONAL-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips tossed in 1/8 cup any flour


Preheat the oven to 350F and line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper, sprayed with cooking spray.

Place bananas, eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. IMG_5283.jpgProcess until well combined.


In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.


Add to food processor and pulse until just combined.


Fold in chocolate chips if using.



Transfer batter to loaf pan.


Bake for 60 minutes.


This banana bread freezes well and is a great use for overripe bananas. If you have bananas sitting on your counter use them to make this banana bread.

Science Fact of the Week:

Bananas are inexpensive and great to keep on hand. As they ripen they release ethylene gas, which is a natural part of the ripening procedure of most fruits and vegetables. If you have a couple unripe bananas and one ripe one, throw them together into a brown paper bag to speed up the ripening process. This also works to soften an avocado. Put a ripe banana with an avocado in a brown bag overnight and it speeds up the ripening process.




This delicious recipe has been tried and tested for many years in our household. Give it a try for a delicious addition everyday snack. Great on their own or to dip in coffee.


¾ cup olive/grapeseed/coconut/canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
½ tsp. pure almond extract
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups each whole wheat flour and unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups Vector/Special K Protein/Fibre 1 cereal, coarsely crushed
1 cup toasted blanched slivered almonds
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. cinnamon + 4 tsp. granulated sugar, combined for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Beat oil, sugar and eggs in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.


Add almond extract and vanilla and beat again.

Combine flours and baking powder in a separate bowl and slowly add to mixture.  Mix until just combined.


Combine cereal, almonds and chocolate chips in a separate bowl.


Add to mixture and mix until just combined.


Chill batter in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for 2-24 hours.

Divide mixture into 4 equal parts and shape into logs approximately 7- x 2-inch in size (approximately 1-inch thickness). Place onto cookie sheets.

IMG_5151.jpgBake at 350F for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.


Slice into ½ inch slices and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture.


Bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Can be stored sealed at room temperature for several weeks.


Makes 4 dozen mandelbroit.

This is the “Jewish” version of biscotti.  These cookies are also twice baked but because of their oil content, they are more crumbly and do not have to be dipped in coffee in order to be enjoyed.  I have worked on this recipe in the “lab” for several years and they are hopefully perfected.  Definitely one of my most favourite cookies both to bake and to enjoy!

Science Fact of the Week:

Our fact relates to the choice to use cereal in this recipe. In addition to adding some extra crunch, cereal adds many health benefits. In our house, we use Vector, which is low in fat, high in protein and fortified with vitamins and minerals. However, as with many cereals, beware of added sugars.