dessert

A Classic Treat - At Home

Bring homemade oreos to your next event - and be the life of the party!

Jewish Week Online Columnist

For a long time Oreos were a no-go for kosher consumers. Its lard-filled filling was just not going to be on the table for most observant Jews. But in the mid 1990s Nabisco finally replaced the lard, rendering Oreos available for all Jews.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
Cookie:
9 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Filling:
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cheesecake, Fully Loaded

This Shavuot, embrace all-out decadence for 48 hours.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

I try to eat fairly healthy a good chunk of the time, but cheesecake is a major weakness of mine. Though I avoid it most of the year, when it comes to Shavuot I feel fully justified in giving in.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
For the Crust:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter, melted
For the Filling:
20 ounces (2 1/2 packages) cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup mini peanut butter cups, roughly chopped
For the Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Chocolate ganache, for serving (optional)

Chocolatey Brownies, Gluten Free

You won't miss the flour in these gooey treats.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

My cousin and her daughter suffer from Celiac Disease, so whenever I spent the weekend with them I try to bring gluten-free treats that they can enjoy as well. These cookies have proved very popular, but I'm always looking for new recipes. Problem is, when I look around online, most gluten-free recipes call for a complicated mix of flours, from brown rice flour to sorghum flour and tapioca starch, that are expensive, not readily available in Israel, and not practical for someone who only bakes gluten free every few months.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
Brownies:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
18 ounces (or 500g) semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225g) sugar
4 eggs plus one egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup cornstarch
Heaping 1/3 cup cocoa powder (about 45g)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Frosting:
6 tablespoons (85g) butter or margarine
Heaping 1/3 cup cocoa powder (about 45g)
2 2/3 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-4 tablespoons milk or soy milk

A Lemony Passover Treat

These frozen meringue desserts will have you forgetting all about chametz.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

There's nothing worse than finishing up your seder with a cake that tastes like... matzah. But when it comes to Passover baking, that's often the case: Matzah meal replaces the flour, leaving desserts that are heavy and dense, with that unappealing flavor. No more! This delicious gluten-free dessert forgets all about matzah, using only natural ingredients for the perfect light, sweet end to your seder.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
Meringue:
4 egg whites
1 cup (200g) superfine sugar
2 teaspoons potato starch
Filling:
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (100g) superfine sugar
zest of two lemons
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream or non-dairy cream

Layers Of Goodness

Tuck one of these peanut butter-topped brownies into your Purim packages this year.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That saying probably wasn't meant to apply to the heavenly combination of peanut butter and chocolate, but it works just the same. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were invented in 1928, and the combo has simply stuck around.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
150g semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs plus one egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
175g semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped OR 1 cup chocolate chips

Celebrating Citrus, Winter's Seasonal Fruit

Dip lime and coconut cookies in white chocolate and find bright flavor in a dark season.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

In these cold winter months, its still possible to get bright pops of flavor in your food in the form of citrus! Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes all have sharp, delicious flavors that are perfect in a variety of baked goods (see lemon curd linzer torte, orange chocolate tart or coconut grapefruit cupcakes).

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups sugar
zest of one large lime
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Celebrate fall with these fun, kid-friendly cookies.

Online Jewish Week Columnist

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
Cookie:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter or margarine, melted
2 cups packed light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups (about 1 15-oz. can) canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (OR 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups flour
Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine or butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Orange, Meet Chocolate

Wow your guests with a luxurious chocolate orange tart.

Online Jewish Week Columnist

As summer turns to fall and winter approaches, bright, colorful berries are replaced with flavorful citrus on supermarket shelves. And I love baking with citrus - particularly the peel, since it is just so jam-packed with taste. Lemon, orange, lime and grapefruit all pack a powerful punch in just a little zest.

This recipe, which I first learned in pastry school, is a wonderful vehicle for citrus's bright flavors, paired with rich chocolate. It's a bit technically advanced, but if you've been cooking and baking along with me all this time, I think you can do it.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
Dough:
330g (2 2/3 cup) flour
28g (1/4 cup) cocoa, sifted
225g (1 cup/2 sticks)butter
115g (1/2 cup) sugar
2g (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla
57g (one extra large) egg
Filling:
180g (3/4 cup) heavy cream
60g (1/4 cup) sugar
zest of one orange
170g (about 8-9) yolks
100g semisweet chocolate
30g (3 tbsp) brandy

Sweet Fruit Tarts: Make Them, But Don't Bake Them

Fruit tarts with buttery crust, pastry cream, and fresh, unbaked fruit are just what summer called for.

Online Jewish Week Columnist

I love making pies and tarts. You can find one cooling on my kitchen table almost every Friday throughout the summer months, filling the room with the aroma of peach, apple, strawberry, cherry or any other rich fruit filling. But recently I've found a fun and exciting new method to serve fresh fruit desserts, one without any cooking or added sugar, just the natural sweetness of the fruit.

Enter these mini tarts filled with sweet, rich pastry cream and topped with diced fresh, unadorned fruit.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
For Tart Dough:
2.5cups (300g) flour
1 cup (200g) butter or margarine
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 large egg
For Pastry Cream:
2 cups milk
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1.5 tsp vanilla
3.5 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
Fresh strawberries and kiwis (or fruit of your choice), sliced
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