The idea for this recipe came to me after reading a recipe for a caramel-date pudding cake. I wanted to make something sweet and indulgent to serve at my Yom Kippur Break-Fast, but instead of a cake-y texture, I wanted more of a fresh toast texture. The dates are cut into tiny pieces and end up melting into the bread-pudding, adding sweet stickiness (no one will ever know the dates are in there!). Imagine golden, toasty challah, in a warm, creamy custard, that's drizzled with homemade caramel. Oh by the way, it's pretty easy to make too. Perfect for dessert, for brunch or whenever you feel like a real treat.
Sticky Date & Caramel Bread Pudding
1 cup pitted dates, (I found pitted dates at Costco)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large challah, cut into small cubes or slices
6 eggs 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup cream or half and half
pinch of kosher salt
For the caramel
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Preheat the oven 350. Chop the date sin to tiny pieces. Bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add the dates, baking soda and vanilla. Cook on medium-heat for 10 minutes until all is softened and combined. Set aside. Place the sliced challah into a rectangular pyrex dish, you can place the slices in layers or just throw them all in. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, butter, cream and salt until foamy. Pour the date mixture into the eggs and stir to combine. Pour evenly over the challah. Use your hands to push the challah down into the liquid, to ensure all of the challah pieces are immersed. Set aside while you prepare your caramel. In a small stockpot, combine the cream, butter and brown sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until a caramel is formed. It should stake about 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the caramel or yourself! Drizzle the caramel over the challah. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. May be made ahead an frozen. Thaw and reheat before serving.
I'm not a honey cake type of a girl. Never have been, never will be. For me, everytime I try honey cake, the only thing I taste is: dry or burnt. Is it just me? Still, this time of year, I tryy to keep with tradition and serve a honey-inspired dessert. Then I came up with these. Based on a classic Italian cookie (traditionally made with honey and almonds), I combined ground hazlenuts, whole hazelnuts and golden honey to created the most addictive, perfectly sweet, and delicious biscotti- only its not a biscotti, because it is baked just once. What do I love about these beauties? They are easy to make, freeze well, and make the most lovely rosh hashana gifts- you know I am all about gifting food.
Hazelnut & Honey Joy Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, roasted and skinned
2 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
Seeds from half a vanilla bean pod OR 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven 350. Use an electric mixer to combine the sugar, both hazelnuts, flour, baking powder, baking soda, honey and water. Stir in the vanilla. Use your hands to form into 2 seperate mounds. Roll one mound out onto a table, so it resembles a snake, about 12-inches long and 2-inches wide. Repeat with the second mound. Place both "snakes' on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 3-inches apart from one another. use your fingertips to press down on the dough to flatten it so it is more rectangular in shape than round. Pinch a trail of cinnamon all along the center of the dough as pictured below. Bake in oven, about 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to slice the logs horizontally into biscotti. No need to bake a second time. They are ready to enjoy!
There's no doubt that if you're hosting Rosh Hashana this year, you've already started to planning your menu. It doesnt hurt to work woth recipes that can be made ahead of time or even frozen. This recipe for slow-cooked beef ribs in red wine and fig sauce works perfectly for the holidays. One of those, "throw-it-all-in-one-pan-and- go" recipes we all crave. It's a seasonal and sophisticated approach to an all time, finger-licking favorite. Even if figs arent usually your thing, I highly recommend trying this recipe, as the figs really melt into the sauce, creating a robust, flavorsome gravy. You may prepare this recipe ahead of time, and cool completely before freezing. Or make it on the day of, and enjoy as the rich, sweet aroma fills your home just before your guests arrive.
STICKY BEEF RIBS WITH DRIED FIG WINE SAUCE
Serves 4 to 6 (recipe may be doubled)
5 pounds beef spare ribs
1⁄2 cup honey
1⁄2 cup ketchup or tomato paste
1⁄2 cup soy sauce
1⁄4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup dry red wine
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 cup dried Turkish figs, stemmed and halved
Place the ribs in a large roasting pan. Combine the honey, ketchup, soy sauce, olive oil, wine, garlic, rosemary and figs in a small bowl and pour over the ribs. Cover tightly with foil and marinate in the refrigerator overnight and up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the ribs, covered, for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for 2- 2.5 hours more, until the ribs are sticky on the outside and soft on the inside. The figs will likely melt into the rib sauce. The ribs can be made in advance and frozen in the marinade for up to 1 month, or refrigerated overnight and reheated in a 300°F oven the next day.
I've got to say- all the technology that has been invented and evolved in the last 10 years makes me really uncomfortable. I know that I have to be part of this technological age, but I totally don't fit in. There are a few reasons for this, number one being that I suck at it. I call my 12 year old niece and nephews everyday for technological help. And, let's just say my IT guy and web designer are losing money having me as a client. I am that incapable. People have asked why I don't post on my blog more often- I mean, it takes me 2 days to upload the photos, so I guess I'm doing something wrong. The truth is, all this social media and blogging has been imperative to the growth of my business- I have been connected with people I otherwise would never have the chance to connect with if not for today's technology. So, what does any of this have to do with food or cooking, right? Well, about a month ago, I received an email from one of my instagram followers, she calls herself @Cookinginheels. Over the last year, she has been posting really kind comments about my cookbook, The Modern Menu. @Cookinginheels was writing to ask me for some advice about the world of cookbooks. We had a nice email exchange, emailing back and forth like old friends. I really wanted to help her if I could. I told her everything I learned writing my cookbook, and warned her about all the mistakes I made a long the way. I tried to tell her everything I wish someone had told me! And, when it was all said and done, I thought to myself: "I should invite her over- we should get together and eat."
From that light bulb moment on, I started thinking about all the kosher foodies I had exchanged with over the years- emails, texts, tweets, instagram comments, facebook messages… So many of these talented food bloggers have written about my cookbook, given shout-outs to my recipes, 'liked' my pictures. I thought it was so crazy that we don't really know each other, for G-d's sake, I didn't even know any of their real names!! Yet, even without knowing each other personally, only in this virtual world, we had supported one another, we had cheered each other along. We had helped each other.
So, I had this simple idea, to invite them all over for a #kosherfoodiepotluck and celebrate our successes. I emailed them each personally and asked them if they wanted me to invite anyone else that they thought may like to join…I hoped one or two would bite. The response was amazing.
Each and every woman was so excited to be part and everyone knew someone who should be invited. (At a certain point I had to draw the line with invites, as the space wouldn't allow for it!) There started to be some buzz around the #kosherfoodiepotluck. I received calls from various media outlets asking to write about the event, and several food companies asked to sponsor the event. We decided to hold a contest on Instagram that would offer 3 seats at our table to our fans. Hundreds of fans competed in the contest- there were Instagram quarrels over who should win!! Everywhere I went, it seemed people were asking about the potluck. I received phone calls and emails from fans begging to pay for a seat at our table ( I of course, turned them down). I just couldn't believe how excited people were getting over this idea. Everyone kept asking: "What are you making?!"
Last Thursday night, we all met on a rooftop in midtown Manhattan (my husband's office has a gorgeous outdoor space that has never been used)- the night was spectacular, the weather was perfection. One by one the women trickled in, each carrying the most gorgeous dishes I had ever seen. The common thread was the simplicity of each dish (except for the cronuts made by @chefchaya- those were from another galaxy!) We had jewel-like fresh figs stuffed with ricotta and topped with fresh mint, fish tacos made with pickled onions & key limes, stuffed eggplant, malawach cheese pastries, outrageous chili, summer vegetable gratin, spelt bread, goat cheese & spinach tart, Asian quinoa lettuce wraps, exotic fruit pavlova, homemade caramels, chocolate chewy-gooey cookies, and specialty ice pops...just to name a few!! All of the ladies went home with goodie packages, or as they like to call it, swag.
The wine was flowing, as was the food. We sat around a long table talking and laughing the night away. We shared our ambitions, experiences and advice. Everyone was salivating over the next person's dish. 13 women gathered around a table- many of us were from different places, different worlds, and have different ways of observing Judaism. I could not help but think how empowering it was that 13 women, all in the same industry could come together to celebrate one another. And what I knew all along became even more apparent to me- that supporting each other is far more rewarding than competing with one another. It was an unforgettable evening. Thank you, ladies.
What makes this recips super easy is that you can use a store bought cheesecake! Just place the cake into a really large bowl. Gently stir the cheesecake, crust and all, in a stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, or by hand with a spatula, until the crust has mixed with the filling. Use a small ice cream scoop or melon baler to scoop 1-inch balls of cheesecake an roll them in your hands to shape more precisely. Insert a lollipop stick into the cheesecake and place on a parchment lined baking tray (if the cheesecake mixture seems too soft, you can freeze the scooped balls for 30 minutes before shaping and inserting the sticks). Freeze the pops for an hour, while preparing the chocolate and accents.
Dip the pops in your choice of chocolates and then dip or sprinkle the accents on at your choosing. Regrigerate or freeze until ready tto serve! You can serve them cold or frozen!
Cheesecakes in a Jar!
Similar concept to my Decomposed Smores recipe- Use your favorite no-bake cheesecake recipe. I like the one on the back of the Philadelphia Cream Cheese Packages. Use small jars or shot glasses worl really well too. Sprinkle some of the crumbs into the jar/glass, top with the cheese filling, and top with the topping of your choice.
Perhaps you'd like ot give these awesome Cheesecake Oreo Cookies a shot? I love the concept of these little ones that I found on browneyedbaker.com!
Yes, it's true. When I think about cheesecake, I think about Israel. I think back to many, many summers, sitting in my aunt's house in Be'er Sheva, drinking instant coffee with lots of milk, and eating her cheesecake out of the cake pan, with a spoon, laughing and crying. I recently read a book where the author says something along the lines of: "It's not about the cooking, it's about the eating- that's when the memories are formed." I have to agree. Israeli cheesecake is un-baked, so you don't have to worry about the complexities of over-cooking or under-cooking, or cooking it in a bath of water, as many cheesecake recipes require. I love the simplicity of it, the springiness- the fact that it's light enough to eat for breakfast. As long as you allow the cake enough time to really chill in the refrigeator (at least 4 hours), this recipe will be a success. The recipe calls for gvina levana, an Israeli creamed cheese. This can be found in Israeli markets, or if you don't have access, simply replace with regular cream cheese. We all know that cheesecakes come in different styles- you can choose your favorite: New York, Chicago, Pennsylvania, or Italian, but I will stick to the Israeli one.
And, one more thing. If you've never made a cheesecake before, this is the recipe I highly reccomend you try for the first time. It's that easy and that good.
Israeli Crumb Cheesecake
recipe from Carine Goren's "Sweet Secrets"
One 9-inch cake
Crust & Crumbs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups (1 and 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold & cubed
2 egg yolks
you will need one 9 inch springform pan, and one 9 inch cake pan (any type works, as long as you have 1 springform pan, you are good to go)
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1- 3.5 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix, if you can find an Israeli brand, go for it
3- 8 ounce packages gvina levana or cream cheese
Prepare crust and crumbs. Preheat oven 350. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla and butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the yolks and process until a dough is formed. Divide the dough in 2. Line the cake pans with parchment paper- you can buy pre-cut parchment rounds at most baking stores or online. Press one half of the dough into a cake pan, spreading the dough so that it reaches the entire base of the pan. This will be your cake's crust. It might help to wet your hands a little bit with cold water, to make spreading the dough easier. Press the remaining dough into the second cake pan, this one does not need to be as perfect, this will be used to make crumbs for the topping. Bake both pans for about 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. The crust and crumbs can be made up to 2 days a head of time, cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored until ready to use.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream, sugar, and instant powder to firm peaks. With the mixer on low speed, add the cream cheese, one package at a time, until all is well combined. Pour the filling over the crust, and smooth the surface so it is nice and even. Crumble up the additional baked crust (the not so pretty one) with your fingertips, and sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours until the filling sets. I like to make it a day or two in advance, and lightly cover with plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve cold.
Preparing the crust & the crumbs
Crust & Crumbs dough
Lining the cake pans with parchment paper
Press the dough into each pan
2 pans- one evenly pressed dough used for the cake crust, and one uneven, not-so-pretty dough used for the crumbs
The baked cake crust
Add the cream cheese and whip
Mixture should be thick and creamy, but not loose
Dollop the cheese mixture over the cake crust
Spread evenly and smooth over the top
Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the cake and refrigerate immediately OR if you prefer the crumbs crunchy, sprinkle them over the cake just before serving
I love a quick and easy side dish- and this one is a major crowd pleaser. Thinly sliced eggplant and red onions tossed together and roasted in the oven… The colors are sleek and lively, the flavors are bold and fresh. This is a prefect make-ahead dish, and works well with any variety of eggplant. The greek yogurt is a great accompanyment, not only to this dish, but to any grilled fish or vegetables. The cool silky yogurt is brought to life with fresh mint and parsley leaves, and sprinkled with crunchy, juicy pomegranate seeds. And, I can't forget to mention the golden drizzle of silan (date syrup) or honey… So good!
This recipe is super easy and you can also check out my QUICK VIDEO to see how I made this dish using 2 types of eggplant (Italian eggplant and Thai eggplant)!
Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt, Silan and Pomegranate
1 eggplant, sliced widthwise into ¼ inch slices- or any eggplant variety
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
One 5 ounce container Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
2 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
Juice from 1 lemon
seeds from 1 pomegranate
2 tablespoons silan (date syrup)
1 teaspoon chili flakes, optional
Preheat oven 425. Toss the eggplant and onions in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in oven 15 minutes, toss around, and bake an additional 10 minutes, until softened and golden. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mint, parsley, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the eggplant and onion on a serving dish. Scoop the yogurt into the center of the dish, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with silan and chili flakes.
If you love granola, you will really love granola when you make it at home. It is thaaat much better. Fresh and crispy right out of the oven, and you can personalize it to make it just the way you like it. I know I say this about many recipes, but granola actually is super-easy to make. You can save a lot of money by making your granola at home, and you can make it just the way you like it! Also, a great homemade gift idea…I made mine this morning using a variety of seeds, coconut, dark chocolate, extra virgin olive oil and raw local honey (which I got from my latest Farmigo order- if you dont know about Farmigo yet- you must click here, it's the best, easiest way to get local, organic foods delivered!) I encourage you to substitute any ingredients below with ones that you love. Remember, this recipe is just a guideline for you to follow measurements.
Kim's Dark Chocolate, Coconut & Olive Oil Granola
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar of coconut sugar
1 cup unsalted pumkin seeds, seeded
1 cups unsalted sunflower seeds, seeded
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried coconut chips
3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
Preheat oven 350. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the oats, sugar and seeds on the baking sheet. Add the vanilla, honey/syrup, oils and salt. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until the oats are well coated.
Use your hands to flatten the mixture into a single layer, evenly spread on the baking sheet. Place in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a wooden spoon to mix it up, moving the oats on the edges into the center and vice versa. Reduce the temperature to 300. Replace into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat the mixing, and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. (Granola usually takes 30 minutes to cook completely) The oats should be toasty and brown, but be careful not to burn them! Once the mixture is golden brown and crisp, remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut chips and chocolate chunks. Store in a glass jar and enjoy with yogurt, ice cream, or simply on its own! Yum. I would love to hear how you take your granola.
Place oats on parchment-lined baking sheet
Add the brown sugar
Add the seeds/nuts
Add the vanilla (I used vanilla bean powder)
Add the honey/syrup
Add the coconut oil
Add extra virgin olive oil
Stir all together
Bake for 10 minutes and stir
Bake until golden brown and crisp
Stir in the chocolate and coconut chips
Store in a glass jar
This year it's all about the filling. I went crazy with over-the-top fillings and had a lot of fun making them with my kids.
My personal favorite was a take on Ferrero Rocher; chocolate with a whole chocolate covered hazelnut in the center…But my kids went gaga for Rocky Road- Rolo chocolate, mini marshmallows and pretzel bits drizzled with melted marshmallow glaze! And, I can't forget to mention our Cookies & Cream Hamentashen, filled with broken-up chocolate and vanilla Oreos and a Hershey's Kiss, and drizzled with milk chocolate. Look, I know a lot of this sounds intense and time consuming, but here's what I will say to you: Try not to make a big deal out of this. I didn't plan on making any of these flavors. I literally opened my pantry and used whatever it was I had inside to come up with these awesome fillings. I encourage you to use your imagination, be creative. Instead of making a whole batch of hamentashen with the same filling, mix and match, and have fun with it. Look, at the end of the day, I'm an apricot-filling-kind-of-a-girl, but it's a children's holiday after all, isn't it?
P.S. If you are going to fill your hamentashen with store-bought jams or preserves, I highly recommend mixing a tablespoon of chia seeds into the jam before using it as filling. Aside from the chia being super-healthy, it acts as a thickening agent without changing the taste and prevents your hamentashen from leaking jam all over and burning.. To read more about chia, click here to check out my good friend, Alexandra's blog, where she writes all about healthy foods in a normal, realistic and non-frightening fashion that also happens to be really funny.
Basic Hamentashen Dough Recipe
Below is a great go-to hamentashen dough recipe that is dairy free. This is an oil based dough that is versatile, easy to work with, and freezes well. If you want a truly buttery, crisp recipe, click here to see the one I posted last year.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup rice bran or canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat until all is well combined. Switch to a paddle mixer (or use a spatula to fold in), and add the dry ingredients until a nice, soft, non-sticky dough is formed. Divide the dough into 5 balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until ready to roll out and form. You may also freeze the dough until ready to thaw and use.
Use a rolling pin to roll out the ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper. Use a glass or a cookie cutter to cut the dough into 4-inch rounds. Place your filling (see below for filling recipes) into the center of each circle, pinch the edges together to fold into a triangle. Pinch the seams tightly, leaving a tiny opening that reveals the filling in the center. Place the hamentashen on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Repeat, until you've used all the dough or freeze the dough for another time. Hamentashen may also be frozen after baking.
Note: There are no specific measurements for these recipes. Just eyeball it, you really can't screw it up!
Rocky Road Filling
Chocolate pieces of your choice, I used Rolo, Hershey's Kisses and m&m's work very well too
Pretzels, broken up into small pieces
Marshmallow Fluff or melted marshmallows
Mix up all the ingredients in a small bowl and combine. Place a teaspoon-full in the center of each dough round. Fold the dough into a hamantashen. Bake. After baking and cooling, drizzle Marshmallow Fluff over sparingly.
Cookies & Cream
Broken up pieces of your favorite cookies
Chocolate or peanut butter spread (something that will allow the cookie bits to stick to the dough)
Place a small dollop of your spread in the center of each dough round. Top with your broken up cookies. Fold the dough into a hamentashen. After baking and cooling, drizzle with your favorite melted chocolate.
You can use actual Ferrero Rocher chocolates here, just break each one into tiny pieces OR
Whole hazelnuts, peeled and roasted
Good quality chocolate, melted
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Dip the hazelnuts in the melted chocolate and allow them to dry a bit on a plate. Place a teaspoon of Nutella in the center of each dough round. Place a chocolate coated hazelnut in the center of the Nutella. Fold the dough into a hamentashen. After baking and cooling, dust with good quality cocoa powder.
Really. It's a thumbprint cookie kind of a day….wouldn't you say?
When it comes to baking, a lot of my students tell me there are too scared to go outside of their comfort zone. So many people stick to their tried and true, family-recipes, like chocolate chip cookies, or brownies. And, I am all about tried and true. But, once in a while, why not try something new? Something that might seem a little less straighforward than the usual- but that offers that same old, "homey" taste. The old-fashioned thumbrint cookie. These are super simple to make, and just take a few minutes longer than your regular, old chocolate chips cookies…and so delicious. In my version, I like to keep them light but nutty, using finely chopped pecans (but you can use any nut of your choice!) sweet and salty, and my secret ingredient, lemon zest, which really takes these cookies over the edge. You can fill them with any jam of your choice- I used a baby spoon to fill the center with raspberry preserves, but you can also fill a ziplock bag with a scoop of preserves, cut off a tiny piece of the bag, and squeeze…for less mess.
Try this recipe- you will be happy you did!
Kim's Thumbprint Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
3/4 cups pecans (or nut of your choice)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
zest from 1 lemon (finely zested)
1/2 cup ypur favorite jam or preserves (I love raspberry!)
Preheat oven 350. Process nuts with 1/4 cup of flour until very finely chopped. Using an electric mixer, combine the remaining flour, buttter, confectioner's sugar, and salt. Add nut mixture, egg, and the lemon zest. Mix just until combine and a dough is formed. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or so. Break off equal sized pieces of dough and shape the dough into 1 inch balls (a mini ice cream scooper works well here to get equal sized balls). Place the balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and flatten them slightly by pressing down on them. Use your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon handle to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill each cookie with a little dollop of jam. Resist the urge to use too much jam, as it will overflow onto the cookies while baking. Less is more here, people. Place into the oven, and bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden. Let cool and enjoy. They freeze super well, by the way!