Tag Archives: cookies

Flourless Chunky Monkey Brownie Cookies – Bring. It.

29 Jan

cookies 9

There’s an understanding in the general outside world that Jews don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Rather, religiously observant Jews don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.  And this is true though, again, I’m speaking in general.  My husband and I aren’t big on it.  What with the whole “St.” Valentine thing and whatnot, it’s just generally accepted as something the ‘goyim’ do.  However, I grew up ‘celebrating’ and loving Valentine’s Day and to be honest, I still do.  I have rather fond memories from elementary school that have all kind of become jumbled in my head as one big heart-shaped, pink doily.  By the time I reached high school, being a nerd and all, I’m pretty sure Valentine’s Day was spent with my beloved girls friends.  We probably went to our local Chili’s and drowned our love-sorrows in sweet tea and queso dip all the while saying how we didn’t need a boyfriend but secretly wishing we could at least experience ONE Valentine’s Day with a boy.  I do have vivid memories of a Valentine’s Day spent during my senior year with my dear friend, Allison.  I believe we had dinner at La Madeleine (Do those still exist?!) followed by a romantic viewing of Lethal Weapon 4 (I had a thing for Mel Gibson in high school all thanks to a kilt, a Scottish accent and some blue face paint—shalom, Braveheart. Of course that crush was quickly squelched after the whole Passion of the Christ incident). What can I say? We lived large.

flourless brownie cookies kosher jewhungry

As high school came and went and I entered college, Valentine’s Day got kicked up a notch.  There was this one Valentine’s Day my Freshman year when I went to a fancy restaurant with a very sweet guy who proceeded to shower me with gifts so obviously I dropped him the next day.  Dating ineptitude-aside, I honestly have to say that my favorite Valentine’s Day memory involves my first real boyfriend.  We were together for 3 years and our first Valentine’s Day together he got me the usual–roses, chocolate, etc. But the piece de resistance came in the form of a homemade card that had pictures of my favorite neo-soul/hip-hop artists from that time on it (read: D’Angelo and Q-Tip) wishing me a happy Valentine’s Day.  I mean, he nailed it with that one.

flourless brownie cookies kosher jewhungry

But my husband didn’t grow up with Valentine’s Day and so we just don’t get on the Valentine’s Day-train.  Now, that being said, it doesn’t mean I still don’t love the hearts, the doilies and, of course, the fact that food plays a very big role in the celebration of the day.  It also doesn’t mean that, one day, if my beloved husband decided he wanted to come home with roses or, you know, diamonds on Valentine’s Day I’d turn them away.  It just means that we share our love for one another each and every day (OK, maybe not EACH and every day) and if it happens to be on a day dedicated to St. Valentine, then so be it.

Presto, change-o: 15 minutes later you have yumminess

Presto, change-o: 15 minutes later you have yumminess

flourless brownie cookies kosher jewhungry

Try them with some milk, perhaps?

Ok, this recipe. This recipe! It’s quick.  It’s flourless.  It’s easy.  That being said, because it’s flourless, they do become a bit crumbly over time so do try to eat them within a few days of baking, which shouldn’t be a problem because they are that good.

Just so we’re clear . . .

Flourless Chunky Monkey Brownie Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar (use gluten-free if you need)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup banana chips

How:

1) Preheat to 350°. Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in egg whites and egg; fold in chocolate chips, banana chips, and walnuts. Spoon batter by the tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart.

2) Bake, rotating sheets once, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and set just around the edges, 14–16 minutes.

3)Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cookies cool on pan (they’ll firm up).

Orange Peel + Poppy Seed Cookies: The Love Continues

3 Sep

I invite you to know Ali Brand Stern, today’s guest blogger for our Love Stories series, which, if you’ve been following the series, you are realizing has moved into September. Yep, forgot to account for the obligatory Rosh Hashanah posts so our Love Stories were interrupted. However, we are back and still in love.

I met Ali, whose love story is written below, and her husband at the same place I met the previous guest blogger, Stef. I met them all at the glory that is The Pardes Institute of Judaic Studies. I knew I wanted to be friends with Ali during the obligatory opening introductory ‘get to know you’ circle that opens every first year of school at Pardes. There were roughly 60 – 70 people in the room and everyone’s not-so-secretly trying to prove just how smart they are when they introduce themselves. And then it’s Ali’s turn. Ali stands up in the Beit MIdrash, introduces herself and proceeds to tell everyone she just got married and, rather than try to prove her brain power, which is pretty powerful, she continues, “So, sorry ladies and gents, but I’m taken”, and then proceeded to sit right back down as if she didn’t just tell a room full of rabbis, Torah scholars and the like that she’s off the market. Yes. Please. Ali is one of the funniest and most genuine people in the world. When I was trying to wrestle with leaving my single life behind and marrying my husband, it was Ali whose wisdom and open-mind I sought out. She is someone whom I believe truly lives her life to the fullest and I admire her so much. Ladies and gents, here’s Ali. xoxo, Whit

Ali and I representing our class at our friends' wedding.

Ali and I representing our class at our friends’ wedding.

Thirteen years. That’s how long my husband and I have been partners. When I tell people our dating history, I follow it up by saying that I met my husband, Noam, when I was a fetus. That’s not actually true, but it sometimes feels like it. I don’t know many other thirtysomethings who have been with their better half for the better half of their life.

Talking about the beginning of our “love story” is like talking about the day I realized I had a left arm. I can’t recall when, but I’m sure there was a day when I said to myself, “I have another arm? This is awesome! This will help me accomplish so many more things in my life!” That’s sort of how I feel about my husband. I can’t really remember a time when he wasn’t there.

I met Noam three weeks before my 17th birthday while we were attending a summer program at Brandeis University called Genesis, which was a glorified nerd camp for Jews. Are there summer camps for Jews that aren’t also nerd camps? No, probably not.

Noam was the first Orthodox Jew I ever really met. He was sweet (still is), short (still is) and wore an over-sized, severely faded Pearl Jam t-shirt (which I later made him burn for fashion reasons. I have nothing against Pearl or her delicious jams.) Noam sat down across from me during the first Shabbat dinner at Genesis. My actual thought when I saw him was, “That one. I want that one.” Although full disclosure, I thought the same thing when they brought out cake for dessert.

Having never attended Jew camp before, I didn’t know any of the songs that everyone else started to sing at the end of the Shabbat meal. Actually, I could barely read Hebrew. I felt like an idiot. And there is nothing more painful than being a 16-year-old girl sitting across from a super cute little yid and feeling like an idiot. But because Noam is who he is, he quickly caught on that I was just silently mouthing the world “watermelon” over and over again, trying to look like I belonged. Noam got everyone to sing the only song I knew (which could very well have been Dayenu, complete with hand gestures. I don’t remember.) Noam stuck by me the rest of the night. And that was it. That was the night I met my left arm.

Ali and Noam in Jerusalem, 2013

Ali and Noam in Jerusalem, 2013

We fell for each other quickly, in a totally PG-summer camp sort of way. During one of our many night walks through the deserted college campus, Noam asked me if I was a fruit, what kind of fruit I would be. I told him I would probably be an orange because I have a layer that you need to get past in order to really know me (Leave me alone. I just finished reading Ralph Waldo Emerson that summer and had even underlined a few passages in a vintage fountain pen, so clearly, I was really, really deep.)

A few days later, on my 17th birthday, Noam gave me a gift. It was an orange, partially peeled. He told me that he hoped he had gotten past part of my “layer”, and was looking forward to getting to know more about me.

At the end of the summer, I went back to Boulder, CO and Noam went back home to Maryland. We said our goodbyes and left our relationship as “two people who cared a lot about each other, but lived super far away.” We didn’t want to label ourselves and what we had. Dan Savage would have been proud. I never thought I would hear from Noam again. I cried a lot. Had there been Facebook when I was 17, I’d like to believe that I wouldn’t have posted thousands of very meaningful and totally poignant song lyrics from all of the Lilith Fair albums. But I would have. Because I was that awesome.

Fast forward 8 years. Fast forward through hundreds of long distance phone calls and emails. Fast forward through my parents flying Noam out to be my high school prom date. Fast forward through that time when I was a freshman in college in Seattle and Noam was studying in Israel during the height of the Second Intifada, and he called to tell me that the café across the street just blew up, and it was terrible, but he was okay and he loved me. Fast forward through me not being able to tolerate the long distance anymore and finally transferring colleges to be with Noam at Brandeis.

Fast forward 8 years to the afternoon at Walden Pond when Noam got down on one knee and took out an orange, almost entirely peeled. Fast forward to when he told me that he wanted us to spend the rest of our lives getting to know each other better.

Newly engaged; peeled orange and all.

Newly engaged; peeled orange and all.

Two weeks after our wedding, we ran away together to Israel, where I met Whitney. Our year-long-honeymoon-adventure in Jerusalem turned into five years living in Israel. Living abroad was the greatest gift to our marriage. We dodged rockets and killed cockroaches. We walked towards each other religiously and spiritually and built ourselves a happy little home somewhere in the middle. We made each other laugh, and we drove each other completely insane in ways that only your partner can. We helped each other up when we fell down. In 2011 when I lost my dad to cancer, Noam stayed at my father’s bedside reciting Psalms, serving as my father’s spiritual guardian. Noam is so much more than my left hand; he is my spare soul.

Noam and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this July. On our wedding day, we stood in front of our family and friends and pledged to spend the rest of our lives helping each other peel back our layers. I think we’re off to a good start.

Ali's Orange Peel and Poppy Seed Cookies.

Ali’s Orange Peel and Poppy Seed Cookies.

Ali’s Orange Peel and Poppy Seed Cookies:

Ingredients

– 1 tbsp orange zest

– 1 egg (room temperature)

– 2/3 cup sugar

– 1/2 cup butter/margarine

– 1 tbsp poppy seeds

– 1 1/4 cup flour

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions

Blend butter and sugar. Add egg and orange zest. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (except seeds). Slowly add dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg/zest mixture. Add poppy seeds. Bake at 360F for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday Round-up: Cookies and Question

11 Feb

This month’s Kosher Connection challenge asked us to make ‘something that you’d put in a mishloach manot bag.  I mean, what popped in my head was cookie . . . .cookie, cookie COOKIE! Now look, e’rybody has a hamentaschen recipe so I wasn’t going to attempt to reinvent the wheel plus, this past week was super stressful and there are no signs of stopping.  After parent/teacher conferences, a larger amount than usual of 6th grade girls coming to my office to sob like a babies talk things out, and a few heart-breaking conversations with parents dealing with divorce, I wasn’t really in a creative frame of mind.  I coudn’t tap into that part of me that gets jazzed for some cooking/baking and it was getting frustrating but more on that later.

Siona will eventually get Uncle Dave's nose

Siona will eventually get Uncle Dave’s nose

The biggest thing on my mind over this shabbat was connection.  As you know if you’ve read this blog before, I’m a school counselor for a Jewish day school.  I love my job and I take it seriously.  The biggest part of my job that I wish I had more time to cultivate is my work with connecting girls with Judaism.  I’m getting really frustrated (oy, apparently I need a vacay.  I’m getting frustrated a lot this week) with the lack of opportunities for connection for our girls.  If I hear one more girls program on tzniut I might scream.  It’s nice that there are programs for Jewish girls to connect via challah-baking and mikveh-visiting but this can’t be the only way we offer our girls connection, right? But what is that within the Orthodox community? What does that connection and the subsequent programming look like? I feel very strongly that the message we’re sending our girls is that their place within our community lies solely in home-making and child-rearing and sometimes educating but even that education is within a box.  We don’t invest the time and energy in educating our girls about how to daven and why we daven like we do with our boys. I want to inspire girls to love their culture, community, and religion but I’m not sure how to do that.  When I think back about what inspired me so much of it was self-directed but of course, came from the home.  My mom was very involved within our Reform synagogue and I was involved with our area youth group but what brought me to being more observant and more appreciative and knowledgeable about Judaism as an adult was education, inspiring female educators and a partner who loves his religion. So what does that inspiration look like for middle and high school girls?  What inspires/d you? I’m truly looking for help and guidance and would love your opinion.

I had to bake with Siona attached to me, which meant that sneaky little foot kept getting into the pictures.

I had to bake with Siona attached to me, which meant that sneaky little foot kept getting into the pictures.

Anyway, ok, so back to cookies. COOKIES!  We had a dear friend of my husband come and visit this weekend.  He lives in LA and is doing the struggling actor thing.  I’m convinced that he will be famous one day but in the meantime he’s doing whatever he can to make a paycheck.  One thing he’s doing to make ends meet is a ‘before and after’ muscle-building program complete with protein shake powder that smells like hot chocolate powder.  The bag of it sat on our counter all weekend, which meant all weekend I was craving anything with cocoa powder thus, the double chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  So when someone asked me to make something I’d want in my mishloach manot bag that answer will always be cookies . . . cookies and cash but you know, I can’t really ‘make’ cash.

Cocoa and flour in harmoney

Cocoa and flour in harmony

How!?

  1. 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
  2. 3/4 c granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  7. 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1/4 tsp salt
  10. 2 c old-fashioned oats
  11. 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

How’s That Now!?

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients ( flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt ). Set aside.
  2. Place butter and both sugars in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer or hand-mixer and cream until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and mix just until combined.
  4. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cookies sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out the dough into a tablespoon size balls and place on prepared sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of space between cookie balls. They will spread!
  6. Bake 9 to 11 minutes. Cool on a sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack.
A li'l something special for your mishloach manot this year

A li’l something special for your mishloach manot this year

 

 

 

 

 

**(Updated Recipe!)** Red, Pink and Chocolate Chip

6 Feb

Scalloped hearts from youngheartslove etsy.com shop

**Recipe is being revised. Please check back soon! 10/26/13***

Something is happening to me in my old age. I’m loving colors I never really responded to before. Has that ever happened to you? I once asked my husband, the scientist, if there was any correlation that he is aware of between mood-levels and color-affinity. For example, I used to loathe the color red. I mean really and truly hate. I’m not sure if it was the excessive use of red, black and white in 80s home decor (please don’t even try to lie to yourself right now. You know you were a part of that ‘situation’). Maybe it was the excess of red leather jackets, also occurring in the 80s, that rubbed me the wrong way? Maybe it was just the 80s in general and what they did to color? Who knows but what I can tell you is that immediately after our wedding I started L-O-V-I-N-G loving the color red. Someone got us a set of red Fiesta ware plates for our wedding and I couldn’t stop using the mug. I was so drawn to the color. It just made me so happy so I figured, well, I am so happy in life so maybe red is the color of happiness? From there I started wearing red shoes and started the search for the perfect red lipstick (I am still, in fact, on that search) and my red obsession hasn’t stopped.

Just me and my red leather jacket circa 1983

Just me and my red leather jacket circa 1983

This brings us to pink. When my daughter was born, I felt very strongly about the color pink. Actually, let me correct myself. Before my daughter was born I felt very strongly about the color pink. In fact, I enlisted my bestie, Jackie, to send a message, not literally but rather to be a point person if need be, to let folks know that should they be looking to get us a gift, please please please, do. not. get. anything. pink. Incidentally, I also asked that there should be nothing with the words, “princess”, “queen”, “cutie”, or “sweetie” on it. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m somewhat opinionated. Anywho, the point is, no pink. Of course, the inevitable happened and it was like a pink parade. I mean seriously, there was pink coming out of our ears at her Simchat Bat. You can’t fight it. People love giving little girls pink stuff. We’ve been conditioned to do it. And I tried fighting it. I really, really did. When she was really tiny, I would dress her in as much gender-neutral color as possible while strolling her in her gender-neutral colored stroller or carrying her in her gender-neutral colored Baby K’tan and I would always get comments when we were out. “How old is your little boy?”, asked well-meaning Bubbie from across the hall. “What an adorable little boy. What’s his name?”, asked well-meaning Bubbie at Target. “Oh, your little boy sure is bald”, said well-meaning Bubbie at Winn-Dixie. For the record, little boys do not have the market cornered on bald and the color orange. Regardless, the point is. I fought it and Bubbies all across South Florida were pissed. So it came to pass that on the random occasion I dressed her in something pink. Maybe a hand-me-down from a dear friend at work (my fancy friend. Y’all have a ‘fancy’ friend, right? That one friend who wears designer clothing, drives a luxury car, goes on fancy vacations but can still hang.) who gave us a bunch of clothing from her baby girl and you know, even I had to admit that it looked cute but I was still worried about the ‘gender box’ so nothing was too frilly. But then it happened. Oh dear. It happened. My sister-in-law, Caitlin, gave us a hand-me-down of a pink polka-dot dress with matching leggings that her dad’s neighbor made and oh sweet Lord when it was on, that was it. The pink flood gates opened. Now, OK, I’m not fully embracing pink and you can tell the day care ladies are desperate for me to dress her in more pink since every time I pick her up she’s conveniently wearing all of the extra clothing I brought throughout the week that just happens to be pink but still, I love it. In fact, I’m typing this while wearing my new pink and white stripped pajamas that I got from scientist husband for Chanukah this year. Hmmm . . . I wonder if they have this in baby sizes?

Embracing our pink

Embracing our pink

So all this talk of red and pink has me excited for Valentine’s Day. And yes, we’re Jews, observant-y Jews at that so we don’t really “do” Valentine’s Day. But, I can still oggle all the pink and red hearts all over Pinterest these days and I will possibly pick up a super cute Valentine’s Day mug at Target just for myself because hey, besides my mom, I was my original Valentine. And, of course, with Valentine’s Day comes cookies. The following cookie recipe is a healthy one because I care about your heart too!

Getting There

Getting There

I recently made Paleo cookies for my friend and customer, Dana, and she actually liked them. I want to use the term “cookie” loosely here because I think they’re better described as ‘treat’. A breakfast treat at that. I used coconut flour for this recipe but I had made these a while back with almond flour and much preferred the taste and texture of the almond flour versus the coconut flour. I scoured the internet for recipes but eventually took bits and pieces of several recipes and created my own. I hope you enjoy! They’re best enjoyed in the morning with a hot cup of coffee . . . .possibly in a red mug.

Recipe Updated! — Happy Heart Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s That!?

  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 3 tbs of maple syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
A place for everyone and everyone in it's place.

A place for everyone and everyone in it’s place.

How’s That Now?!

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Melt the coconut oil on the stove for until runny
  3. In a large bowl mix together the coconut oil, syrup, eggs, vanilla extract and sea salt.
  4. Stir in the coconut flour and chocolate chips.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll out little tbs size balls of cookie dough. Place on the baking sheet and gently press down so they look pretty once baked 🙂
  6. Bake for 12-15 or until golden brown.
LET THEM COOL -- they'll harden up after a few minutes of cooling.

LET THEM COOL — they’ll harden up after a few minutes of cooling.

***Scalloped hearts photo taken from youngheartslove etsy shop. Check them out here.

Paging Nurse Latke.

14 Jan

It’s day four of quarantine.  I’ve had some nasty virus for four days and I am officially over it.  When I first started feeling yucky I thought I could pump myself full of Emergen-Cee and multi-vitamins and that that would do the trick.  Little did I know that this thing would get so fierce it would land me in the ER on shabbat so dehydrated that they gave me two bags of fluids.  The last time I felt remotely this crappy was when I went to Israel in 2008.  I landed in Tel Aviv, spent all day Friday with a dear friend and then she headed back to Chicago and I headed to Jerusalem only to be smacked in the face with what I have since self-diagnosed as dysentery.  I was rescued then by my very amazing friend, Jessie, who picked me up after a long day at Pardes and took me to Terem (Israel’s urgent care) where I was treated by a very brash and very ironically named nurse . . . Simcha Latke (Happy Latke).  I kid you not.  This nurse’s name was Simcha Latke and she could not have been more cold if she tried.  I will never forget her handing me a cup, looking at me up and down (the hot mess that I was) and saying, “You go. Make pee pee. Bring back. Now.”  Yes Nurse Latke.

This time around I was rescued by my dear friend, Dina, who spent an insanely boring four hours with me at the ER and then subsequently, the local Walgreens and let me just tell you, if you need to get sh*t done and you need it done now then you need Dina in your corner.  That woman doesn’t take crap from no one.  The nurse who initially took my temperature took it incorrectly and boy, you better believe the doctor in charge heard about it.  Then there was the hour long wait at Walgreen after being told it would only take 20 minutes.  Girlfriend was not having any of that either.  Seriously, she was/is my hero and I am totally in her debt.

IMG_5480

Probably discussing Eli Manning’s abysmal 2012-2013 season.

Now being a mommy and being sick means that I haven’t left the bedroom in four days (except for aforementioned ER visit) so as not to get any of these germs around the baby.  It also means that I haven’t been able to hug and kiss my sweet little girl and that my husband has been taking care of me and the baby all by himself and let me just say, he is a rock star. Seriously, this man deserves a medal of some kind; definitely a Purple Heart.  He also definitely deserves a vacation of some sort after I’m all better, which we can’t afford but something should be worked out.  Regardless, what I’m trying to say is I am blessed with a tremendously amazing husband and since we can’t afford for him to go on vacation, the next best thing in his eyes are fresh baked cookies, lots and lots of freshly baked cookies.  The man loves fresh baked cookies so much he actually told the cookie lady in the maternity ward our baby’s name before ANYONE else knew (and before the Simchat Bat) just to score an extra cookie. The cookie lady knew Siona’s name before her own grandparents did, that’s the kind of power fresh baked goods have over my husband.  Therefore, when I get better, there will be freshly baked cookies aplenty in this apartment.  One batch will be of what he has named Kitchen Sink Cookies because I just go ahead and put everything in there except the kitchen sink.  The base is from a Smitten Kitchen recipe and the rest is basically everything we like in a cookie packed into one bite.

Butter: The classic frenemy

Butter: The classic frenemy

That's a whole lotta goodness

That’s a whole lotta goodness

Kitchen Sink Cookies

What!?

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup  light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1  cups rolled oats
1/4 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
Sea salt for topping

How’s That Now!?

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slighly less thick. Either way, heat oven to 350°F  before you scoop the cookies, so that it’s fully heated when you’re ready to put them in.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top.  Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

Sprinkle with sea salt while they are cooling

Wish I could eat them now

Wish I could eat them now

The Comfort List

1 Jan

Happy Solar New Year (us Jews following the lunar calendar, we like to clarify). 🙂

We hope everyone had a safe and yummy New Year’s Eve.

The end of one year and the beginning of another always makes me think of things I’m grateful for; those warm and cozy things/places/events/people/memories that make a person happy. A lot of people work that ‘gratitude’ list. You know, that Oprah-fueled list that’s one part mushy and one part Diabetes-inducing sweet. I applaud those people who actually keep a physical gratitude list. I personally can’t be bothered to pick up a pen and paper before bed every night and write 5 things I’m grateful for—-not because I can’t think of 5 things I’m grateful for but because I’m that lazy. And also, one of the things I’m grateful for is my big comfy bed and I like to be present and in that bed when I’m finally there so no amount of writing anything down is going to take that away (I’m very serious about my bed).

So rather than a gratitude list, we at Jewhungry wrote our own Comfort list. The Comfort List is part expected item (i.e. partner, baby, etc.) and one part indulgent (i.e. sweet, sweet, Panther coffee) because we all can’t be Oprah, right?

P.S. We stuck with 5. We coulda gone on forever with the lists but 5 seems like a nice round number.

Jeremy’s List:

1. Sally Field, my dog

2. My husband

3. Chocolate covered matzah

4. Hillary Clinton

5. Hot baths

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Sally Field, the Dog

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Jeremy and Andy

Whitney’s List:

1. Siona and Yonz

2. Macaroni and Cheese (am I that obvious?)

3. Chocolate chip cookies

4. Coffee (starting at about 7PM every night I start getting excited about the next day’s coffee. I gotta work on that ‘being present’ thing)

5. My bestie, Jackie

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Freshly baked

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Those little girl things that are so sweet.

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No surprise here.

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We are so similar it’s a bit frightening and totally meant to be.

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Yonz davens every morning. I find comfort in him, his blessings and his rituals

What’s on your comfort list?

We’re Back . . . and just in time for a holiday devoted to cheese!

5 Jun

Hello again friends! How are you? So, May was kinda busy.  I mean, very busy.  Actually, I have no idea how it went by so quickly but luckily it did cause it was kind of a nasty b*tch.  But June, shalom to you dear, sweet June.  It’s officially beyond hot here in South Florida and what better time than the sweltering heat of June to start baking up a storm in preparation of Shavuot.  Shavuot, which translates into ‘weeks’ in Hebrew, is one of those holidays I forget I truly love.  Here is a holiday based entirely around love (love of Torah, love of Gd and love of learning) while also being a holiday based around the idea of renewal (renewal of the acceptance of the Torah, renewal of one’s love of Gd and renewal of one’s decision to keep learning).  Shavuot is the day the Jewish people renew our acceptance of the Torah.  However, like in every healthy relationship, this is no one-way street of devotion.  Oh no my friends.  Shavuot is also the day that Gd ‘regifts’ the Torah to the Jewish people so that we may renew our acceptance.  Now, please do not see the word ‘regift’ and picture Gd handing over that bizarre yogurt maker no one registered for (but somehow got anyway).  That’s not the type of regifting we’re talking about.  It’s an understanding that Gd knows the Torah and all it’s complications is truly a gift or rather, a blessing, and Gd is telling the Jewish folk, “Look, I know this is complicated and the world is rough but I trust you and believe in you so much that I have no regrets in that original Torah-giving of 3300 years ago.”  It is customary to stay up all night learning Torah on the first night of Shavuot.  This ultimate all nighter is seen as an embodiment of the acceptance.

Prepping for Cheesecake

It’s as if the Jewish people and Gd are renewing their vows together and then we get to eat a really great brunch of blintzes, cheesecake and other delicious dairy goodies.  I’m not 100% sure of where this custom came from, but some believe that since Shavuot commemorates the receiving of the Torah, which included the kosher laws, the Jewish people could not cook meat in their pots, which had yet to be kashered.  But that’s besides the point.  We’re talking about a holiday that encourages the eating of my favorite food—cheese!  Oh sweet, sweet cheese.

Cheesecake Filling

So, the first item up for Shavuot baking is actually a classic no-bake cheesecake.  Cheese-freak that I am, I’ve never made a cheesecake.  Now, because I have to make 2 days worth of meals in advance of the holiday (you can technically cook on a ‘chag’ but you can’t start a new flame so a lot of people will keep their ovens on or a flame on their store but I’m too paranoid for that business) so I opted for a no-bake cheesecake so I could also tackle some ultimate oatmeal cookies and a cauliflower cheddar soup.  See below for the cheesecake and cookie recipes (you’ll have to forgive me for not including the cauliflower soup–I got too dang tired as it was the last thing I made).

Chag Sameach!!

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

What?

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces prepared whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 prepared graham cracker crust (6 ounces)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise

How?

1. Beat the cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the sugar. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla until just combined. Fold in the whipped topping. Scrape mixture into the piecrust. (There may be some filling left over. If so, reserve it to be decoratively piped onto the top of the pie.) Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

2. Starting in the center, arrange the strawberries in a circular pattern. Pipe with extra filling, if desired.

Cookie Perfection

Not Your Bubbe’s Oatmeal Cookies

This is a half recipe. It makes a couple dozen standard-size cookies.

What?

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup raisins (I don’t like mine drowning in raisins)
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup mini morsels of chocolate chips

How?

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill

Pre-Cookie

the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slighly less thick.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

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