Sufganiyot (Hannukah Donuts)

IMG_5482.jpg

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).

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

IMG_5476.jpg

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.

IMG_5483.jpg

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

IMG_5477.jpg

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

IMG_5478.jpg

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

IMG_5479.jpg

Then flip them and fry for another 30 seconds.

IMG_5480.jpg

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.

IMG_5481.jpg

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

IMG_5286.jpg

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.

IMG_5285.JPG

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

IMG_5284.jpg

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

IMG_5283.jpg

Add to food processor and pulse until just combined.

IMG_5282.jpg

Fold in chocolate chips if using.

IMG_5291.jpg

IMG_5289.jpg

Transfer batter to loaf pan.

IMG_5281.jpg

Bake for 60 minutes.

IMG_5280.jpg

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.

IMG_9904.JPG

Mandelbroit

IMG_5153.jpg

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.

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

IMG_5145.jpg

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.

IMG_5148.jpg

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

IMG_5146.jpg

Add to mixture and mix until just combined.

IMG_5150.jpg

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.

IMG_5152.jpg

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

IMG_5147.jpg

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

IMG_5154.jpg

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.

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

IMG_4834.jpg

A non-dairy pumpkin spice loaf to wow any house guest. Great for a crowd, this fall dessert is a perfect go to with a quick clean up and very little effort.

If you wanna prep in advance to make this even simpler, you can create a pre-packaged Pumpkin Spice mixture (in a ziplock) to quickly throw into the bowl next time.

IMG_4828.jpg

Ingredients:

3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup olive/grapeseed/coconut/canola oil
4 eggs
2 cups pure pumpkin puree
3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

Process sugar, oil and eggs until well combined.

IMG_4829.jpg

Add pumpkin and process again. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

IMG_4830.jpg

Add to the pumpkin mixture alternately with water. Pulse until just combined.

IMG_4831.jpg

Pour batter into the 2 loaf pans and bake for 65-70 minutes.

IMG_4832.jpg

Aside from being healthy and colourful, pumpkin is very easy to use in many baked recipes. Be sure to use “pure pumpkin” and not pumpkin pie filling which has added sugar and other additives. A great loaf to serve for Sukkot/Thanksgiving or any time in the fall/winter.

Science Fact of the Week:

Since we’ve already spoken about the health benefits of pumpkin, we thought it was important to talk about the choice of oil in this recipe. By using an oil base we can replace butter, making this non-dairy and a lighter alternative. Grapeseed oil contains Vitamin E, which as an anti-oxidant has been tied to lower risks of cancer, heart disease and other chronic illness. Olive oil, coconut oil and regular canola all work well for the recipe, feel free to use whichever you have on hand.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Loaf

IMG_4692.jpg

IMG_4682.jpg

Ingredients:

¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. olive/grapeseed/coconut/canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ cups peeled and finely shredded zucchini (about 1 medium) –use fine shred blade on food processor

IMG_4683.jpg
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips tossed with 1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Place first 4 ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until well blended. Add applesauce and pulse until combined.

IMG_4685.jpg
3. Combine flours and the next 4 ingredients in a separate bowl.

IMG_4684.jpg4. Add flour mixture to processor and pulse until just combined.

5. Add the zucchini and pulse until just combined.

IMG_4687.jpg6. Add in the chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula.

IMG_4688.jpg
7. Transfer batter to 9- x 5-inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray.

IMG_4689.jpg

Bake for 55 minutes.

IMG_4691.jpg

What a great way to use zucchini in a low-fat chocolate cake. Shout out to Arielle W. for the suggestion to include this in the blog. This low fat cake is a great way to sneak a vegetable into a dessert. I’ve been making this for years but brought back, tweaked a bit and now results in delicious perfection.  Freezes well.

Science Fact of the Week:

Zucchini is low in calories and is actually classified as a fruit! Also called a courgette, it keeps you full while being very low in calories. It may also protect the cardiovascular system. It is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant and it contains Manganese, which is an essential mineral.

Honey Crumb Apple Cake

IMG_4485.jpg

This honey crumb cake is another fall staple. Delicious for a crowd this makes a great addition to any event. The alcohol in this recipe gives it a unique flavour and depth.

Ingredients:

For the Honey Caramel:

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. water
6 tbsp. cold vegan margarine, sliced
¼ cup Nutriwhip
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. bourbon/whiskey/honey liqueur

For the Apples:

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. vegan margarine
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice/apple pie spice or combination of cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg (equal parts)
1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

For the Cake Batter:

½ cup vegan margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¾ cup vanilla almond/soy milk
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. baking powder

For the Crumb Topping:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup demerara brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup vegan margarine, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9-by 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

To make the honey caramel, in a medium-sized saucepan, bring sugar, water and honey to a boil without stirring.  Let mixture boil until it becomes amber in colour.  Immediately turn off heat, and whisk in margarine (mixture will bubble up).

IMG_4476.jpg

Add Nutriwhip and salt.  Whisk well until smooth.  Add bourbon last, whisking well.  Pour into a clean bowl and allow to cool and thicken slightly.

IMG_4477.jpg

To prepare the apples, saute apples, margarine and spices in a large saute pan over medium heat until slightly softened, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Add half of the caramel mixture and 1 tbsp. of flour to the apples.  Toss together and set aside.

IMG_4478.jpg

For the cake batter, cream margarine and sugar in an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 3-5 minutes until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until well incorporated.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add milk on low speed.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer and beat on low speed until combined and smooth.

IMG_4479.jpg

Pour mixture into prepared pan, spreading in a thin layer.

IMG_4481.jpg

Top with caramel-apple mixture.

IMG_4482.jpg

For the crumb topping, combine the ingredients in order of list (flour through melted margarine).

IMG_4483.jpgSprinkle evenly over apple layer in pan.

Bake for 50 minutes then cool completely.  Cut into squres and serve drizzled with remaining caramel sauce.

IMG_4484.jpg

Though this recipe has a long list of ingredients and four major components to it, the results will be worth it.  We enjoyed this cake for Rosh Hashanah but of course it can be made any time of year.

Science Fact of the Week:

Our science fact of the week is actually busting a myth! While it is commonly believed that baking removed all alcohol, some ethanol actually remains in the desserts. It can take up to 3 hours to remove all traces of alcohol (ethanol) in a dessert. In the case of this cake, such a small amount is added so it should not be a concern, but it is important to note when cooking and baking with alcohol.

Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins

FullSizeRender 29.jpg

With summer coming to an end we thought we would share another blueberry recipe to make use of the delicious local produce. This is a newer recipe, but is a delicious healthier muffin that can be made year round. Off season, feel free to swap out the blueberries for frozen.

FullSizeRender 30.jpg

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups large flake oats
1/4 cup demerara style brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened almond  or soy  milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup olive/grapeseed/coconut/canola oil
1/2 cup pure honey
1/2 cup blueberry pomegranate juice, reduced (see note below)
2 cups blueberries
large flake oats and raw/turbinado style sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F.  Combine first eight ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

FullSizeRender 33.jpg

In an electric mixer, combine next six ingredients and beat until well combined.  Add juice and beat again.

FullSizeRender 31.jpg

Slowly add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Then fold in blueberries and mix.

FullSizeRender 34.jpg

Fill 15 paper liners in muffin tins.  Optionally, sprinkle each muffin with approximately 1/4 tsp. each of large flake oats and raw/turbinado sugar.  Bake 16 minutes or until golden brown.

Note:

FullSizeRender 32.jpg

“Reduced” juice in this recipe refers to the process of bringing 1 cup of blueberry pomegranate juice (such as Pom brand) to a boil and reducing it down to half the amount.  The juice becomes more dense and imparts a richer flavour with half the volume while sweetening the muffins.   Along with using applesauce as a sweetener, this allows the muffin to have a lower sugar content but still allows a delicious taste.  The taste is reminiscent of a Starbucks-style muffin but is of course, homemade.  The muffins freeze well and can be enjoyed year round.

FullSizeRender 28.jpg

Science Fact of the Week:

Flaxseeds are a great source of nutrients. Flaxseeds may assist with weight-loss, and as well may reduce blood pressure due to their alpha-linoleic acid, fibre and lignan content. They may also be a contributing factor in reducing breast cancer risk. Flaxseeds are great in muffins, but can also be added to oatmeal, cookies or delicious foods to increase their nutritional value.

Raisin Bran Muffins

FullSizeRender 18.jpg
These high fibre muffins were actually the first thing that I ever baked many years ago.  I was looking for a recipe that was “healthy” and tasted great without all of the preservatives and less nutritious ingredients that store bought muffins tend to have. Over the years I’ve modified the recipe, but these muffins are still lovingly referred to in our house as “Poo Muffins” because of their high fibre content.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup natural wheat bran
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup All-Bran Buds
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk/soy milk/buttermilk
1/2 cup orange/apple/pomegranate juice
1 egg and 1 egg white
1/2 cup demerara style brown sugar
1/4 cup olive/grapeseed/canola oil
1/8 cup fancy molasses
raw sugar/turbinado sugar and large flake oats (about 1/4 tsp. each per muffin), optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.

1) In a large bowl, combine wheat bran, oat bran, All-Bran, flours, baking soda, salt and raisins
FullSizeRender 17.jpg
2) In a separate bowl, stir together remaining ingredients and mix well.
3) Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir together until just mixed.
FullSizeRender 19.jpg
4) Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins and sprinkle muffins with  raw sugar/turbinado sugar and large flake oats.
FullSizeRender 16.jpg
6) Bake for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched.   Makes 12 muffins.
FullSizeRender 20.jpg
You can make extra batter and keep it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before baking off more muffins.  These freeze well in ziploc type bags.

Science Fact of the Week:

Dietary fibre has been shown to have numerous health benefits. There is a reason we call these “Poo Muffins”. Beyond keeping you regular, these muffins may decrease inflammation of the gut and help reduce symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

Blueberry Peach Crisp

As the Patriarch of the family, I was told I should take the lead for this first post. I opted to post a staple in this household: Fruit Crisp.

FullSizeRenderdone

We make seasonal variations of this crisp year round. In the winter, apple-pear, and in the summer, blueberry-peach.

Always a crowd pleaser, this crisp is easy to throw together in a pinch.

Ingredients:

For the fruit base:

8 peaches, peeled and sliced into large chunks
2 dry pints (approximately 4 cups) fresh blueberries, washed
1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup large flake oats
3/4 cup demerara style brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 sticks vegan margarine, cold, cut into cubes (eg. Earth Balance)

Directions:

FullSizeRender

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix fruit base ingredients into large bowl and transfer to a 9×13-inch pyrex dish.

FullSizeRendersewd

Pulse the flour, oats, sugars, nutmeg and cinnamon in a food processor until well mixed.  Add the margarine and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

FullSizeRender 3

FullSizeRender

Top the fruit with the mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes until fruit is bubbly.

FullSizeRender 2

This is our family’s traditional Friday night/Shabbat dessert in the summer when peaches and blueberries are fresh.  The crisp can be kept covered with foil and warmed until it is time to serve.  It also is a great Sunday evening cottage finale.  The topping can be made up to 2 days before and refrigerated in a large ziploc type bag.

Recipe can also be adapted to be made in individual ramekins. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

To make this gluten-free: You may substitute the all-purpose flour with a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour and swap the oats for gluten-free oats.

Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2-3 days and served cold or reheated.

Science Fact of the Week:

Blueberries are rich with anthocyanins. In fact, anthocyanin levels are significantly higher in blueberries compared to other berries such as strawberries and raspberries. Anthocyanins can be considered antioxidants, and may be linked to a decreased risk of cancer and lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.