Brookie Squares

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Brownie on the bottom, chocolate chip cookie dough on top. Say no more.

Ingredients:

For the cookie dough:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted pareve margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided

For the brownie batter:

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted pareve margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

To make the cookie dough, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the margarine and sugars until light and fluffy.

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Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.

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Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined.

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Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips and fold in. Set aside.

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Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9-x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper lined with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray.

In a double boiler, combine the chocolate and margarine and stir until completely smooth and melted.

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Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add the sugar followed by the eggs, and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

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Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined.

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Transfer the batter to the baking pan.

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Dollop the cookie dough over the brownie batter and cover the brownie batter using an offset spatula.

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Bake for 45-50 minutes.

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Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over the top, gently pressing into batter, and return the pan to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove and allow to cool before slicing.

Crispy French Bread

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This recipe came from life as a strawberry and was an immediate hit. Next time I’ll make it with 1/2 multigrain flour and see how that turns out.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 warm water (about 100˚F)
1 1/5 tsp kosher salt
2 1/5 cups bread flour

Directions:

Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water in a mixer bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
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Add kosher salt.

Add flour a little at a time and mix with a dough hook until combined.

Lightly flour all sides and turn it over inside the mixing bowl to cover. Cover and let rise for 1 hour until dough has doubled in size.

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When dough has risen, lightly flour a large cutting board. Pour dough (carefully) onto cutting board and shape into a round loaf by pulling in the edges and flipping over.

Flour a mixing bowl and place the loaf seam side (folding side) down. Allow bread to rise for 30 minutes.

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While bread is rising place an empty Dutch Oven with lid on into the oven and heat to 460˚F.

When oven is hot, take the Dutch Oven out and carefully put a trimmed piece of parchment in. Place the dough seam side up in the Dutch Oven carefully. Place the Dutch Oven back in the hot oven (using oven mitts) and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until crust has browned.

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When done use a spatula to lift the bread out and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

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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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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).

Jordana’s Bubby Shell’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This amazing chocolate chip cookie adapted from Max’s friend’s grandmother can be done in one bowl in a food processor.  You can’t have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes in your repertoire.

2 ½ sticks unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup demerara brown sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. kosher salt

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together the margarine and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

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Mix until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.

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In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt.

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Add the flour mixture to the bowl and mix until just combined.

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Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

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Chill the dough for 2-24 hours.  Use a small ice cream scoop to form portions of dough into round balls.

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Bake for 10 minutes.  Makes approximately 56 cookies.

Alternative method: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the margarine, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Process until well combined, approximately one minute.  Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and pulse until just combined.   Mix in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Chocolate Crinkle Sprinkle Cookies

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These fun cookies are from Jessica Merchant’s book, “The Pretty Dish.”  I doubled the recipe as she suggested because I knew that two dozen cookies wouldn’t last long in my house.  They are oil, rather than margarine-based, allowing the use of several types of oil. I used “Sweetapolita” Sprinkle Medley to make them even more fun.

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Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup coconut/grapeseed oil
4 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ cup assorted rainbow sprinkles

Directions

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Beat together the cocoa, sugar and oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

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Add the eggs, one at a time followed by the vanilla.

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Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Batter will be sticky.

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Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

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Place the sprinkles into a small bowl.  Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Using a 3 cm ice cream scoop, form the batter into balls, then dip into the sprinkles.

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Bake for 12 minutes and allow to cool.  Makes 46 cookies.

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Science Fact of the Week:

Grapeseed oil is often used in baking and cooking because it has a higher smoke point. Compared to olive oil, it can be heated to a higher temperature before smoking. Try using it as a replacement next time you fry anything!

Margarita Granita

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Today’s recipe requires little effort and should be made for any celebration (or for margarita Mondays).

Ingredients:

1 cup tequila
1 cup cointreau
Juice of 5 limes (~1/2 cup)
Juice of 1 lemon (3-4 tbsp)
3-4 cups ice

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender. Pour blended margarita into a 9×13 pan and freeze. At this point you can drink some of it as a celebration for making it this far.

After 3 hours, remove the pan from the freezer and “grate” the frozen margarita with a fork. Spoon into a glass and serve.

Science Fact of the Week:

Alcoholic beverages have a freezing point below that of water (below 0 degrees C). As such, the granita remains partially liquid, because of the alcohol content.

The Best Blueberry Muffins

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These muffins are the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever had. I know this is a serious statement, but I’m not one to say it lightly.

This recipe is originally from Smitten Kitchen, however I swapped a few ingredients to make the recipe non-dairy and doubled it (to make 12 XL muffins). You might think it’s insane to add a teaspoon of sugar to the top of each muffin, but I swear its worth it. Don’t worry about the dough being too thick, it is supposed to be (similar to cookie dough) and feel free to use frozen blueberries.

I used bakery style (fluted) muffin liners which allowed me to overfill these muffins.

Ingredients:

1 stick and 2 tbsp (10 tbsp) margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 and 1/2 cup tofutti sour cream
2 eggs
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
12 tsp turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)

Directions:

Heat oven to 375˚F and line a muffin tin with 12 liners.

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Put melted margarine, sugar, zest, tofutti sour cream and eggs in a bowl and mix well.

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Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour, mix well.

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Fold in blueberries.

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Divide batter between muffin cups (let it be a lot) and add 1 tsp turbinado sugar to the top of each muffin.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tops are perfect, crunchy and golden brown.

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These freeze very well and are a great go to muffin recipe. Serve to a crowd or throw them in your lunch to brighten up your day.

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Science Fact of the Week:

Tofutti sour cream is made with a mixture of different types of soy including tofu and don’t any contain dairy. However, it still contains a very similar texture to dairy sour cream because of its products such as carrageenan gum, inulin and rice starch.

Multigrain Challah

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Now it’s my turn to have my hand at the Challah game. This one is adapted from Norene’s Prize Winning Challah. I started making this challah in my second year of university, and it has been a hit! It is super forgiving and doesn’t require any fancy machinery.

As for the flour, this can be done with regular best for bread flour however I prefer multi-grain to give it some extra nutrients. I originally found this multi-grain flour (Best for Bread Multigrain by Robin Hood) at Walmart. However, my local Walmart did not have it in stock. After getting a tooth implant the day prior, I spent 2.5 hours hunting around grocery stores and eventually (after calling) found it at Real Canadian Superstore.

I reset my phone after making this recipe and lost some of the progress pictures. I apologize for the trouble! Now, for the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115°F)
1 package quick rise yeast (1 Tbsp)
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups of multigrain best for bread flour
2.5 cups of white best for bread flour

For the egg wash:

1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tsp water
1 tsp honey

For the Topping:

Option A: Sugar Crumb Coating:
4 tbsp. margarine, semi-melted
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar

Option B: Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

Option C: Sesame Seeds

Directions:

Dissolve sugar and honey in warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave for 10 minutes before mixing.IMG_5557.jpg

Add oil, warm water, sugar, salt, eggs, and the multi-grain flour. Beat well. Gradually add the remaining flour. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes (or mix all ingredients in the electric mixer with a dough hook) until smooth and elastic. I find I have to add quite a bit of flour to prevent the dough from sticking.

Grease a large bowl with canola oil and turn over the dough so all sides are lightly greased. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm dark place for 1.5-2 hours (I like to use an oven that has been off for at least a couple hours).

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(Dough may also rise in the fridge; and will last 3 days before shaping and baking).

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The dough can be divided in half to make two challahs (3-piece braid), or one large challah (6-piece braid)

To shape (6 piece bread): Divide dough in half, then divide each half into thirds. IMG_5533.jpg

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Roll out each dough ball into a long strand.

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Join all strands together at the top and weave the far right strand over the next two strands, under the third and over the last two.

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Once shaped it can be placed in the fridge overnight. If you chose to do this, take the dough out of the fridge and let rise for 3 hours before baking. Or if you are baking the same day:

Preheat oven to 400˚F

Transfer to parchment paper and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for 1 hour.

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Prepare topping (for streusel mix all ingredients in a bowl). Brush challah with egg wash and then sprinkle with topping.IMG_5546.jpg

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cover with foil for the last 5-10 minutes if it is browning too quickly. (If two smaller challahs, 25 minutes.) Dough will sound hollow when tapped with your fingers

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This recipe is easily doubled and and is great for a shabbat dinner or regular Wednesday night (as I had made this challah for).

Science Fact of the Week:

Multigrain bread is made from more than one grain. This flour contains whole grains which is important to consider for their added health benefits. Whole grains are a source of dietary fibre. This extra fibre (compared to white bread) can help lower blood sugars and aid digestion. Whole grains also contain many added minerals and nutrients.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Loaf

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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Bake for 55 minutes.

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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.