Category Archives: Holiday

Hamantaschen You’ll Look Forward To

Be honest with yourself. Are hamantaschen something you look forward to all year round? Probably not.

Sure, they’re fun to make. And it’s tradition – so we eat them every year on Purim. But if you’re going to tell me you look forward to biting into that over baked, crumbly cookie with not enough filling in it.. I am just not going to believe you.

But I’m not here to rain on your Purim parade – I know you love making hamantaschen. After all, someone taught you just how to perfectly pinch each corner when you were a little girl (or boy). And pictures?? People love taking pictures of their hamantaschen. If you don’t make hamantaschen, but you buy from the store – I am seriously sorry for you. Any hamantaschen recipe is 10x better than store-bought. Unclear as to why, but it seems all kosher bakeries got together and decided to slack on hamantaschen baking.

If you have yet to bake your own hamantaschen – read below

And if you already have a recipe for hamantaschen – I promise you, this one is better.

Here it is – originally from Kosher.com (now JoyofKosher.com):

Ingredients  

  • 1 Stick plus 3 tbs margarine
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 3 Tbs. Orange juice
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • about 2 3/4 Cups of flour

Directions

  1. In an electric mixer, beat margarine until smooth – gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in egg.
  3. Blend in orange juice, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.
  5. Wrap in saran wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.
  6. Once chilled, remove from fridge, split in half, and roll out until dough is 1/4 inch thick on piece of parchment paper.
  7. Using a round cookie cutter or cup opening, cut out circles of dough. 
  8. Fill with about 1 tsp of filling.
  9. Pinch or fold the dough the way you were taught. 
  10. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake on 375°F for 10-12 minutes – or until the bottom is slightly golden.

 

Filling Suggestions (in order of delicious to ‘really?’):

Chocolate, Brownie, Apricot jelly, Raspberry jelly, Strawberry jelly, Prune filling, poppy seed filling, Halvah

My mom told me that last year, she took the sweet ingredients out of her dough and added vegetable and potato fillings – this sounds great. I don’t have time for it, but you should definitely try it! 

BTW: 

Are we in agreement that chocolate filling is the best?

no?

That’s because you fill your hamantaschen with chocolate chips. Am I right? They just don’t melt properly in the oven.

Instead, fill your hamantaschen with a mixture of Israeli chocolate spread (elite or hashachar) AND chocolate chips – it really makes for the perfect filling texture. If you make your hamantaschen dairy (who makes their hamantaschen dairy??) for sure use Nutella. For more information on how to cut, fill, and close your hamantaschen – see below.

[the best looking [Holtzman kitchen] hamantaschen of 2012]

Hope you are having an easy fast!

Chag Purim Sameach!!  

– Li-or 

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Late Night Latkes

It’s the seventh night of chanukkah, and I haven’t found the time to make latkes…until now. It was 8:30 PM when I started peeling, but it was well worth it, because Ari’s doing the dishes, and who would object to a fried latke dinner no matter what time it was? I know most people eat latkes as a side dish, or grab a few at an annual chanukkah party…but I don’t care much for balanced meals, and if there are enough latkes to fill me up – why the hell not??

Needless to say, latkes are one of the most traditional chanukkah foods, and one of the best chanukkah foods (if made correctly). I was never in charge of making latkes growing up, but once I was married, it was fun to experiment, and no one was telling me not to eat as many latkes as I wanted for dinner. I think our first chanukkah together we had latkes for/with our dinner 8 nights in a row. Well, we’re passed that, but it wouldn’t be channukah without some good ol’ traditional latkes – so here’s my recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 Medium red potatoes, peeled and cut the long way twice (a lot of recipes call for Yukon gold or russet potatoes, but I use red potatoes for everything.. because they’re a lot better)
  • 6 Eggs
  • 3 Small onions, halved
  • 4 Tbs flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Canola oil

Directions

  1. If you have a food processor, use the shredder attachment and shred the potatoes and onions together. If you don’t have a food processor, you’ll have to use a coarse grater and do it by hand (still well worth your time and possible cuts). If you can’t peel like a pro, place the potatoes in a bowl of cold water as you go so they don’t turn brown. Also, switch off between shredding potato and onion (so they are sort of mixed in together), because the onion also helps to keep the potatoes from browning.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and try and squeeze out the excess water over a sink.
  3. Add the eggs, flour, salt (lots), and pepper. Mix well.
  4. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat up about 1/4 – 1/2 inch of canola oil. Add a little shred of potato to the oil – if it’s sizzling, it’s hot enough.
  5. Use your hands to make the latke shape. As you do this, squeeze out all the liquid you can [back into the bowl] – this will make your latkes crispy and delicious, unlike the ones you get at synagogue.
  6. Place the latke into the oil, and allow to fry until the edges are getting crispy and golden. 
  7. Flip with a spatula and allow to fry until both sides look the same. Be patient…latkes take a while to fry… 
  8. Transfer onto a paper toweled plate to get rid of excess oil (unless you want to go all out).
  9. Dig in.

[Goes great with apple sauce, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and probably sour cream (if you’re into that)]

Chag Sameach!

Li-or

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Sufganiyot

I know I’ve been MIA this past week, but you didn’t think I was going to get through chanukkah without sharing some recipes…did you?   If you did, you’ve obviously missed something. Channukah is a time for fried food. I look forward to this all year long. Most Jewish holidays are filled with food, but chanukkah is filled with the best food. I love everything about chanukkah.. ok, not this year’s Maccabeats video, but mostly everything about this holiday is so great.

If you’ve ever spent chanukkah in Israel, you know all about sufganiyot, or fried doughnuts. If you’ve never spent channukah in Israel, go spend chanukkah in Israel. And if you’ve never been to Israel.. go to Israel during chanukkah.

Nothing really compares to Israeli sufganiyot. I’m not sure what it is, but every doughnut is perfectly shaped and fried and extremely delicious. I think while I was in Israel I must have eaten at least one a day for the entire month before chanukkah. So in light of chanukkah (pun intended), here is the best recipe I have found for sufganiyot. They’re not quite as good as the Israeli version, but they may give you an idea as to what I am talking(/dreaming) about.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups flour, plus more
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 Packet or 2.25 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Large egg yolks
  • 3/4 Cup of warm milk or soy milk
  • 2 Tbs butter or margarine at room temp
  • 6 Cups canola oil, plus more
  • Jelly
  • Confectioner’s sugar

Directions

  1. In a stand up mixer, mix the first four ingredients.
  2. Add the yolks and milk and mix with the hook attachment on medium-low speed.
  3. Add the butter/margarine and mix on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough is shiny and elastic.
  4. Grease a large bowl with oil, and transfer the dough into the bowl (use flour to help get the dough off the edges..it’s supposed to be sticky).
  5. Cover bowl with saran wrap, and allow to rise for 1-1.5 hrs (until size has doubled) in a warm room.
  6. Move dough onto a floured surface and roll until it is 1/4 inch thick. Use a two inch round cookie cutter (or a glass) to cut doughnuts out of the dough – place them on another floured surface.
  7. Cover lightly with saran wrap and allow to rise again for 30 min.
  8. In a medium pot, heat up the oil to 350° F (if you don’t have a thermometer, stick a tiny piece of dough into the oil and wait for it to start bubbling.)
  9. With a spatula (not with your hands), slowly drop 3 or 4 sufganiyot into the oil. Allow to fry for about 1 minute on each side until each side is light brown (flip gently with a spatula).
  10. Remove onto a paper toweled surface.
  11. Once cooled enough, cut a small slit in the side of the doughnut and use a tsp to spoon in some jelly.
  12. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

[I would have tried to get a better shot, but they were getting cold right in front of me..]

And if you haven’t already…Put on your yarmulke, and go listen to all of Adam Sandler’s chanukkah songs on repeat…because unlike the Maccabeats, they never get old.

Happy Chanukkah!!

Li-or

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