Special Edition Easter Post

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Adapted from janespatisserie.com, eggs appear in two ways in this festive delight. There are eggs in the cookie dough batter as well as Cadbury Mini Eggs folded in and as a decorative topping.

Ingredients:

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. corn meal
2 sticks unsalted pareve margarine or butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 ¾ cups Mini Eggs, divided
¾ cup white chocolate chips
¾ cup dark chocolate chip

Directions:

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Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine/butter. Add the sugars and mix until the sugars are dissolved.

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Remove from the heat and add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and corn meal.

Transfer to the saucepan and fold until completely moistened.

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Fold in 2 cups of Mini Eggs and the white and dark chocolate chips.

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Press the batter down into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining ¾ cup Mini Eggs over the top and gently press down.

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Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool before slicing into squares/bars.

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Ginger Molasses Cookies

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These spiced cookies smell and taste great any time of year.

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup molasses
½ granulated sugar, to roll the cookie dough in

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 375F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combined the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the margarine and sugar until creamy.

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Add the egg, vanilla and molasses and beat, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

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Add the flour mixture slowly and beat on low speed until just combined.

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Chill the dough for 1-24 hours.

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Using an ice cream scoop, form balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Bake for 10 minutes.

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Special Purim Edition: Hamentashen

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Here are two easy ways to bake hamantaschen cookies for Purim. Fill them with jam, chocolate chips, chocolate spread, prune/apricot or poppyseed filling. The first recipe is from kitchen-tested.com and the second is a cake mix hack with a unique taste from naomi_tgis. The folding technique is from toriavey.com. The latter site has multiple filling recipes from scratch.

Cake Mix Hack:

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Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines classic yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1 stick unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¾-1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cake mix, eggs, margarine and vanilla until well combined.

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Add the flour and mix until the dough begins to come together.

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Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness.

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Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to roll out rounds and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Spoon not more than 1 tsp. of filling into the center and fold into a triangle.

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First, grasp the left side of the circle and fold it towards the centre to make a flap that covers the left third of the circle.  Grasp the right side of the circle and fold it towards the centre, overlapping the upper part of the left side flap to create a triangular tip at the top of the circle.  Grasp the bottom part of the circle and fold it upward to create a third flap and compete the triangle.  When you fold this flap up, be sure to tuck the left side of this new flap underneath the left side of the triangle, while letting the right side of this new flap overlap the right side of the triangle, creating a “pinwheel” effect.  Pinch each corner of the triangle gently but firmly to secure the shape using your fingers which you can lightly moisten with water. Bake for 13 minutes, rotating the racks halfway through.  Makes approximately 24 hamantaschen after the dough scraps have been rerolled as necessary.

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From scratch:

Ingredients:

2 eggs
½ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla until well combined.

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Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and transfer to the food processor.

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Pulse until the dough begins to come together.

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Proceed as per the previous recipe with rolling, filling and shaping.

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Bake at 350F for about 15-16 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through.  Makes approximately 20 hamantaschen.

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Lemon Crinkle Cookies

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Adapted from How Sweet Eats/Jessica Merchant, these cookies both look and taste great.  A terrific combination of tart lemon and sweet sugar.
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Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup grapeseed oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
Powdered sugar for coating

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil and sugar until smooth.

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Add the egg, egg yolk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and lemon extracts and beat until well combined.

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In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Transfer the flour mixture to the mixer and blend until just combined.

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Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.

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Preheat oven to 325F and form 21 cookies by using a 1 ½-inch (4cm) ice cream scoop and shaping into balls. Coat them in the powdered sugar then bake on 3 baking sheets covered with parchment paper for 12 minutes.

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Coffee Cake

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This is an adapted nondairy nut-free version of a recipe from a late patient of mine from many years ago, Mrs. JB, who was a kind, sweet, nurturing Bubby to her adoring family.  I always think of her when I bake this cake.  In addition to being called Bubby B’s Coffee Cake, it also became known as the Anniversary Cake when I was able to help “save” my friend BF on one July 1 many years ago when he did not have a gift in hand for his very special wife until I pulled one of these out of the freezer.

Ingredients:

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¾ stick unsalted pareve margarine (6 tbsp)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup Tofutti sour cream
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups cake and pastry flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Filling:

½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9-x by 5-inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the margarine and sugar until creamy.

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Add the eggs, one at a time and scrape down the bowl.

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Add the sour cream and vanilla and blend again until well combined.

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In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

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Add the flour mixture to the mixer and blend on low until just combined.

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Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and cocoa in a small bowl.

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Place half of the batter in the loaf pan and sprinkle with half of the filling.

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Cover with the rest of the batter and then cover this with the rest of the filling.

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Swirl the batter gently with a sharp knife.

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Bake for 55 minutes.

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Quadruple Almond Biscotti

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Adapted from Bonnie Stern’s Triple Almond Biscotti, this recipe uses almond paste.  The combination of almond paste, almond extract, Amaretto and slivered almonds provides a delicious nutty flavour. Perfect to dip in your morning cup of (almond flavoured) coffee.

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Ingredients:

7 oz. almond paste, coarsely grated using a box grater (I used Solo brand, purchased in US)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure almond extract
1 tbsp. Amaretto
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups slivered almonds, toasted and cooled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the grated almond paste, sugar and margarine until well combined.

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Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the extracts and Amaretto.  Beat until creamy.

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In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Slowly add the flour mixture to the mixer and blend until just combined.

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Fold in the almonds.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2-24 hours.

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Form the dough into 4 logs, each approximately 7×2.5 inches (16x6cm), 2 per baking sheet; they will expand.

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Bake for 40 minutes then allow to cool for 20 minutes.

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Lower the oven temperature to 300F and cut the logs on the diagonal into ½ inch cookies. Transfer the cookies cut side down to the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

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Flip the cookies over and bake for 10 more minutes.  Makes approximately 40-44 biscotti.

Vegan Date Squares

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This adapted Smitten Kitchen recipe is a great way to use dates in a dessert or breakfast square/bar. Dates are very sweet and therefore very little sugar is needed in this vegan recipe.

Ingredients:

Ingredients for the filling:

3 cups pitted dates, chopped
1 ½ cups water
Zest of a mandarin/clementine/orange

Ingredients for the crumbs:

4 tbsp. demerara brown sugar
½ cup raw or turbinado sugar
1 cup olive or coconut oil
1 ½ cups large flake oats
1 ½ cups plus 4 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. dried nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, combines dates, water and zest over low heat, simmering for 10 minutes, until liquid has absorbed and mixture has thickened.

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Set aside while you make the crumbs.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the sugar and oil together.

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Add the oats, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt and pulse until the mixture forms a coarse rubble.

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Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

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Dollop the date mixture over it and use a small offset spatula to spread the mixture smoothly over the crumbs.  Sprinkle remaining crumbs over date layer and press lightly to cover.

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Bake bars for 25 minutes, or until light brown at the edges.  Cool in pan and then cut into squares.  These freeze well.

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Espresso Banana Bread with Chocolate Espresso Glaze

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This is a large loaf cake which makes good use of leftover bananas. Definitely a pick-me-up snack with the great combination of coffee and chocolate. Freezes well when wrapped with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. instant espresso powder
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
3 bananas
2/3 cup coconut/grapeseed/olive oil
½ cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup almond/soy/coconut milk
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the glaze:

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp. freshly brewed espresso

Directions:

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Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the bananas, oil, sugars, eggs, milk and vanilla and well processed.

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Add the dry ingredients and pulse until just combined.

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Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

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Transfer the batter to the pan and bake for 60 minutes.

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Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan then transfer to a plate.

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Melt the chocolate in a microwave over 60-90 seconds. Add the confectioners’ sugar and brewed espresso and stir until it becomes a pourable glaze.

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Coat the cake with the glaze and spread over the top.

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Eva’s Apple Cake

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Ingredients:

5 large eggs
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups grapeseed oil
3/8 cup orange/apple juice
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
3 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
3 ½ lbs Spy/Granny Smith apples (approximately 9 apples), peeled and thinly sliced
3 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided

Directions:

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Preheat oven to 350F. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine eggs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, oil, juice and vanilla and mix well.

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In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt;

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Add to food processor and pulse until dough begins to form.

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The dough will be very sticky. Remove dough from bowl and place on flour-covered surface. Knead dough until it no longer sticks to surface (add flour as necessary).

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Separate dough into 1/3 and 2/3 portions.

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Roll out crust (2/3 portion) to ¼-inch thickness and using the rolling pin, transfer the dough to the bottom of 9-x13-inch pyrex pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Trim edges as necessary.

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Combine apples, ½ cup sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon in a bowl and place onto crust of pan.

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Roll out remaining 1/3 portion of dough to ¼ inch thickness and cover the apple mixture, trimming edges as necessary.

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Gently slice into 40 small squares using a serrated knife to score them and to allow for some venting during the baking process. Sprinkle the entire cake with 1 tsp. cinnamon combined with ¼ cup sugar.

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Bake for 1 ¼ hours.

I doubt that anyone will find a proper version of this cake in any traditional cookbook. Eva is a Holocaust Survivor in her 90s who is an expert cook and baker like no other on food network television shows. I watched Eva make this, took copious notes and still couldn’t make it as perfectly and as easily as she makes it look. I’ve adapted her recipe to make “extra” dough to make this experience more “forgiving.” This is a recipe that needs to be passed on from generation to generation as there is really quite nothing like this delicious homemade apple cake with a cookie dough like crust and topping. Hint: the reason to make it in a clear pyrex dish is so that you can check if it’s done by checking the bottom (Eva’s trick).

Cinnamon Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread

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Blueberries and bananas marry together in this delicious quick bread.  The cinnamon sugar sprinkle puts it over the top.  This recipe has been adapted from Giada De Laurentiis.  Makes 2 loaves or alternatively bake 1 loaf and 12 muffins.

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Ingredients:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 ripe bananas
2 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup coconut/grapeseed/canola/olive oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 cups blueberries, tossed in ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line two 9- by 5-inch loaf pans with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine bananas, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Process until smooth.

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Add flour mixture and pulse until just combined.

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Fold in blueberries.  Divide batter between the 2 loaf pans or 2 muffin tins.

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Bake for 60 minutes.

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If you use the batter for muffins, bake 12 muffins at 375F for 23 minutes.

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