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Gingerbread with Milk Chocolate
Gingerbread with Milk Chocolate
By Estelle Birenbaum @ 3:35 PM :: 2196 Views :: 181 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Holidays
Food Editor's Notes:  Julie's sister Suzy got this recipe from her friend Barbie and it has been a favorite in Julie's family for a long time.  Julie suggested it for a Chanukah dessert and so I made it in the test kitchen, with great results.  This gingerbread has fresh ginger, and thus a nice clean spicy flavor, but it is tempered with the creamy sweetness of the milk chocolate.  The cake has less molasses and dried spices than other gingerbreads.  This results in a lighter texture and color and leaves the ginger flavor to shine through.  Make sure the ginger is very fresh – you want yellow, moist flesh without any strings.  I made this with milk chocolate chips, which sunk to the bottom of the cake – this wasn't a problem for me, but if you want the chocolate more evenly distributed, then do use chocolate chopped into smaller pieces.  This cake lasts well – it can sit on your counter for days, but will probably be gone before that.  I've been grabbing pieces on the run, but to serve as a dessert, top with a spoonful of whipped cream, maybe some vanilla ice cream, or just a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
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Ginger Pumpkin Bread
Ginger Pumpkin Bread
By Jamie Stolper @ 3:33 PM :: 5501 Views :: 752 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Holidays, Pareve

This is a moist, easy-to-make bread with the distinct flavor of pumpkin.  Kids will gobble it up as it is soft and colorful and a bit sweet.  But not too sweet, and therefore perfect to serve with dinner, as well as breakfast and snack time.  Have it plain or with a spread (try maple butter), or drizzle it with a simple sugar glaze for dessert.  Double the recipe to use a whole 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree and make two loaves!

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Fresh Strawberry Pie
Fresh Strawberry Pie
By Jamie Stolper @ 3:22 PM :: 2465 Views :: 124 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Holidays, Passover, Pareve

This is a wonderful dessert for spring, when strawberries are at their peak.  We tested this recipe as a Passover dessert, as a friend of mine said she makes two of these every year for her seder and everyone looks forward to them.  All our tasters loved the flavor and texture of the filling, fresh and fruity, but not overly sweet.  The recipe below is a variation of the one in New Kosher Cuisine for All Seasons, contributed by Sena Yamuder of Izzy's Kosher Catering in Rhode Island.  Try different crusts to vary the taste, such as the butter crust in Judy Rosenberg's Raspberry Cream Cheese Tart or Apple Rustica, or the macaroon crust in Suzanne Weixel's Cheese Cake.  This pie is delicious, but the glaze and the crust don't hold up well for more than a day.  It's best to prepare the pie crust, glaze, and strawberries ahead of time and then assemble shortly before serving.  For Passover, assemble the pie just before sitting down to the seder and pop it into the fridge to stay cool and firm.  Make sure the whole strawberries used in the pie are of top quality for the best presentation and taste.

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Etrog Marmalade
Etrog Marmalade
By Melinda Strauss @ 3:11 PM :: 9083 Views :: 288 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Holidays, Passover, Pareve

Etrog, or citron, has a distinctive taste, and this recipe uses less sugar than jam recipes so that the taste comes through.

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Dried Cranberry and Sour Cherry Filling (Hamantaschen)
Dried Cranberry and Sour Cherry Filling (Hamantaschen)
By Lois Nadel @ 3:05 PM :: 3333 Views :: 168 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Holidays

Food Editor's Note:  This is a variation of a recipe in Marcy Goldman's book, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking (Doubleday, 1998).  This filling is both sweet and tart and will be a refreshing change in hamantaschen.  It is a thick fruit puree and can be used as is in cookie-dough hamantaschen or butter cookies; thin it out a bit with water to use in yeast-dough pastries.  This keeps in the refrigerator for two weeks; if you have extra, freeze it for a future use.

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Doughnut Holes
Doughnut Holes
By Judy Rosenberg @ 3:03 PM :: 4124 Views :: 331 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Holidays, Dairy, Pareve
I bow to no one in my love of doughnuts. Not the fancy-shmancy ones, mind you, but your basic, old-fashioned doughnutty doughnut that's crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside - like these doughnut holes. My family devours them in bulk at Chanukah, when tradition calls for doughnuts (for any fried food, actually) to commemorate the oil that miraculously kept the Temple's sacred light burning for eight days and nights. Even divine intervention wouldn't keep these doughnut holes around my house that long, so it's a good thing that they're quick to prepare.
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Double Chocolate Brownies
Double Chocolate Brownies
By Karla Hailer-Fidelman @ 3:01 PM :: 4185 Views :: 265 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Dairy, Pareve

I like this recipe for a lot of reasons. First, it makes a really nice rich brownie that holds up well as a base for brownie sundaes or on its own. Second, I can do it all in one 3-quart saucepan, which cuts down on clean-up time. It’s also easy enough that kids are able to help make this – of course, for them, that usually means licking the spoon clean.

 

I’ve also tried variants on the flavor by using different extracts, such as orange or mint, instead of vanilla. They give a nice subtle change to the flavor, but we tend to stick with the traditional vanilla extract around my house. I’ve also made these as “negative chip” brownies, using traditional semi-sweet chocolate chips for the base and mixing in half a bag of white chocolate chips instead of the rest of the semi-sweet chips.

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Creme Brulee French Toast
Creme Brulee French Toast
By Amy Silverstein @ 2:58 PM :: 5094 Views :: 286 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Entrees / Main Courses, Holidays

Just a few notes on the recipe:  It is an adaptation of a recipe in The Kosher Palette (Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Kushner Yeshiva High School, Livingston, New Jersey).  The original recipe calls for the challah slices to be placed directly in the baking dish.  Because I was feeding a crowd, I cut the challah slices into cubes to make it easier both to serve and to eat.  Also, I didn’t have the Grand Marnier called for in the original recipe, so I substituted Amaretto.  If you cook this about 8-10 minutes longer than specified, the caramel gets darker and a bit crunchier.  I like it this way and discovered this version because I got distracted and left it in the oven too long!  My son likes it soft and cooked as indicated in the recipe.  I recently cooked and served three dishes of this French toast to a crowd for a Sunday brunch.  On Thursday I cubed the bread and kept it in the fridge in a plastic bag.  On Friday, I prepared the caramel mixture, poured it into the dishes, and put them in the fridge, covered, overnight.  Saturday night I prepared the egg mixture, poured it over the bread, and again stored it in the fridge overnight.  All I had to do on Sunday morning was take it out of the fridge and pop it in the oven.  I loved the fact that the different steps could be spread out, minimizing the last-minute crunch.

Food Editor’s Notes:  Amy is my sister-in-law, and I tasted this wonderful dish at a brunch at her home the day after my nephew’s bar mitzvah.  All the guests raved about it and asked for the recipe, including me.  It turns out that Amy’s version is based on a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Kosher Palette, which was given me by my dear friend and amazing cook Adele Bacow.  Amy adapted it for the brunch by cutting the challah into cubes instead of using the slices as is.  When I made this at my home, I made some further changes (not incorporated below).  First of all, I was making this at the last minute, so I didn’t let the challah soak in the egg mixture overnight – I just poured it over and popped it in the oven.  Second, I didn’t bother to trim the crusts off the challah.  Third, because the original version was a bit on the sweet side for me, I used an extra slice of challah which, together with the crusts left intact, provided more bread for the same amount of “sweet.”  Also, I thought I had both Grand Marnier and Amaretto, but in fact had neither, so I just used a teaspoon of orange extract in its place.  The end result was beautiful and delicious, a perfect dish for a special breakfast or brunch.  All of which goes to show that this recipe is incredibly easy and foolproof.  When the final product comes out of the oven, it is puffed up to about three times the height of the baking dish (be sure to remove the racks on top before baking) and looks absolutely smashing.  Time it to be done when people are sitting at the table or just lining up for the buffet and you will get loads of “oohs” and “aahs” as you present this dish.  It sinks quickly, but will still taste marvelous

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Cranberry Orange Bread
Cranberry Orange Bread
By Jamie Stolper @ 2:55 PM :: 1997 Views :: 90 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Holidays, Pareve

This is a wonderful cranberry bread recipe!  First of all, it is mostly about the cranberries, full of sweet-tart flavor that is enhanced by the orange, and no nuts so that all can enjoy (but you can certainly add some walnuts or pecans if you prefer).  Second, it is beautiful to behold, with more than the usual amount of the colorful berries.  And third, this is possibly the easiest bread to make, just sift and stir – you don't even have to chop the cranberries.  This will become a fixture at your Thanksgiving dinner, but is also wonderful toasted for breakfast or tea.  Make it a day or two in advance of serving, as the flavors intensify with a little time – although it will definitely be hard not to steal a slice as it is cooling!  Cutting will be easier with a serrated-edged knife.

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Cranberry Orange Angel Food Cake
Cranberry Orange Angel Food Cake
By Jamie Stolper @ 2:54 PM :: 5655 Views :: 446 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Holidays, Vegetarian

This is a great cake to make when you want something different and festive, yet not too heavy or rich.  The white angel food cake, with the red whole cranberries and flecks of orange zest throughout, looks beautiful.  This is a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving, to augment the usual pie offerings.  Your guests watching their weight or their cholesterol – or those who have consumed too much turkey! – will be grateful.  The glaze is decorative and very sweet; for something more simple, just sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar.

 
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