09/21/11
Special To The Jewish Week
Desserts That Age Well

Cakes and cookies that keep (and improve, yet) for the holiday week.

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Next weekend is the dreaded three-day yom tov, when the two days of Rosh HaShanah meld right into Shabbat, and you spend three days alternatively sleeping, eating and bonding with family members.

With so much to prepare and cook and plan, it is nice to have some things you can make in advance. While most pastries deteriorate with age, and are best either the first or second day they are made, there are recipes that are still great the second, third or even fourth day they’re made, and some that even improve with age.

Frozen desserts are a great choice to make in advance, since there is almost never any deterioration in the freezer. Ice cream, sorbet, sherbet or even frozen chocolate mousse cups are tasty options for these still-warm months, and can be made even a couple weeks in advance. Cheesecakes can also be kept in the fridge for two to three days before eating.

Pies and tarts with stable fillings — sans fruit — can be stored in the fridge for two to three days, like chocolate custard or lemon meringue.

While many cakes and desserts with fruit need to be eaten soon after baking, this pear cake (recipe BELOW) actually improves with age. Because the fruit is grated, instead of cut into chunks, the moisture the pears bring is evenly dispersed and continues to infuse the cake with flavor over several days.

Ginger molasses cookies (recipe BELOW) store for at least several days without losing their wonderful, chewy texture. The presence of molasses in the cookies is what keeps them moist and fresh, if they aren’t eaten up within a day of baking.

For more delicious dessert ideas check out Amy Spiro’s blog at www.bakingandmistaking.com.

Pear Cake
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3 medium pears,
peeled, cored and grated
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. cinnamon

Whisk the oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Add the grated pears to the mixture, stirring to combine.
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon to the bowl and stir just until no streaks of flour remain.
Scrape the batter into a greased bundt or tube pan.
Bake at 350 F for 60 to 70 minutes, until nicely browned and tests done. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out.

Ginger Molasses Cookies
2 sticks (1 cup) butter or
margarine, softened
1/2 cups vegetable
shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
turbinado sugar for
rolling — about 3/4
of a cup

Beat the butter and shortening together until combined. Add in the sugar, and beat for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, and beat until mixed, then add the molasses and continue beating until smooth.
Add the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt, and beat until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Roll 1-inch balls of dough in the turbinado sugar until completely coated.
Place on a baking sheet, 1 inch apart, and bake at 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Last Update:

09/21/2011 - 14:57

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