Tag Archives: dessert

Milk Chocolate Butterscotch Monster Cookies

Yield:
3 dozen cookies

Halloween is almost here, did you know? Hard not to notice with pumpkins, spiders and candy corn everywhere.

And Halloween actually falls on Shabbat later this week, which for some people, I know, will be problematic. Some Jews don’t think we should celebrate Halloween at all. And some Jews think American Jews can and should embrace the celebration.

Milk chocolate monster cookies

I fall into the camp of celebrating and I just love making fun treats, especially now that I have a daughter to share in the fun. And last week I made cookies that are equal parts fun for kids and delicious for adults. I brought a batch of these cookies to my share with family this past weekend, and by Sunday, they were totally gone; even all the skinny, dieting women in my family devoured them.

I love baking with dark chocolate usually, but these milk chocolate and butterscotch cookies are seriously delicious. The dark cocoa powder sets off the sweetness of the milk chocolate. I also like to add a pinch of thick sea salt before baking, which really elevates the flavor.

Want to add the candy eyes? They are made by Wilton and you can easily order them on Amazon. Another tip: I swear by using Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder.

milk chocolate monster cookies

This recipe is based on Martha Stewat’s Milk Chocolate Cookie Recipe, which can be found in her cookbook Martha Stewart’s Cookies: The Very Best Baking Treats to Bake and to Share

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Milk Chocolate Butterscotch Monster Cookies

Posted on October 27, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

S’mores Brownies

Yield:
6-8 servings

It’s no great secret that I hate pareve desserts. Or perhaps I should more accurately say: I hate bad pareve desserts. Some might even say I have made it my mission in life to dream up pareve desserts that don’t suck. And this brownie recipe is one of those.

While I generally prefer boxed brownie mixes (gasp!), this brownie recipe is nearly a match. But if you would rather use a boxed mix in this recipe, you can and should. No one will know you didn’t whip it up from scratch. If you do make it from scratch, you will be surprised how easy this recipe is to throw together, even at the very last minute.

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I love enjoying these brownies with a relaxing cup of tea after dinner, with a glass of milk as an indulgent afternoon treat and they are especially delicious if you store them in the fridge so they are cool and fudgy. Did I mention these brownies are great when made nondairy? Your guests won’t even know they are pareve.

This recipe is based on Martha Stewart’s recipe for Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

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S'mores Brownies

Posted on October 14, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Pumpkin Spice Babka

Yield:
3 babka loaves

pumpkin babka

Everyone loves pumpkin these days, eh? Every cafe carries their own version of a pumpkin latte and pumpkin-themed candies overflow on supermarket shelves this time of year. ‘Tis truly the season of pumpkin, and I am not really complaining.

I love finding news ways to cook and bake with pumpkin including white pumpkin cheddar ale soup, pumpkin pizza and pumpkin corn ricotta enchiladas, which is a perfect dish this time of year when pumpkin is first coming into season and fresh corn is still in abundance at local farmers markets. Some other fun pumpkin recipes to try? Pumpkin Flan, pumpkin challah and of course some classic pumpkin bread.

pumpkin babka

As with many recipes I dream up, I was merely staring in my fridge when a leftover can of pumpkin puree sparked the idea: pumpkin babka!

Well, I whipped up a batch of babka dough, impatiently let it rise, and filled it with pumpkin puree, brown sugar and cinnamon. After 35 minutes of baking, my apartment smelled like a perfect piece of autumn heaven, and a new pumpkin recipe was born.

This babka is perfect to serve at your Yom Kippur break-fast, brunch gatherings or just with a cup of coffee for breakfast. Because you can use canned pumpkin, you can make this recipe year-round, so you can enjoy a little slice of pumpkin spice even when pumpkins aren’t in season.

How to roll babka

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Pumpkin Spice Babka

Posted on September 29, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Sour Cream Apple Coffee Cake

When the nice folks at The Nosher asked me to share my favorite Rosh Hashanah recipe, I knew exactly what I wanted to share. And it made me realize that there are meals and desserts, that – no matter how delicious or well-loved – I only make at specific times of year. This cake is a perfect example.sour-cream-apple-cof-cake-3

Moist and tender, not overly sweet, and laced with a heavenly streusel topping and filling, this coffee cake has got it all. And it’s super easy too.

sour-cream-apple-cof-cake-5Yet I only trot it out during the New Year. Sometimes it’s a Rosh Hashanah dessert, sometimes it’s served at break fast. But I never make it at any other time. I think that’s what makes it extra special. You can fill this cake with sliced pears, peaches or apples – but I use the apples, in keeping with the tradition of the New Year. And if I’m feeling extra cheeky, I’ll use Honey Crisps. As this cake also freezes beautifully you can make it in advance, saving a little work when preparing your holiday meal.

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I hope you enjoy it – maybe it will become a holiday tradition for you too (but I won’t judge if you make it in January….).

This recipe is adapted from The Cake Bible. You will need a 9 inch springform pan to make it. 

Sour Cream Apple Coffee Cake

Posted on September 2, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Best of Summer Ice Pops

Even though Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah seem like they are just around the corner, summer isn’t quite over yet and so there are still plenty of cool treats to enjoy.

Forget ice cream – ice pops are definitely the new ‘it’ treat. Like ice cream, the flavor combinations are endless. But unlike ice cream, it’s much simpler to make a quality ice pop than to make ice cream with great flavor and the right consistency.

All you need is an ice pop mold, a great recipe and just a little patience. Try any one of these beautiful, delicious ice pop recipes and take your summer up a notch, that is, before it really is over.

iced coffee ice pops

Iced Coffee Ice Pops from Sheri Silver

Root Beer Float Pops from Sheri Silver

strawberru coconut pops

Strawberry Coconut Pops from Gluten-Flee

Homemade Fudge Pops from Brown Eyed Baker

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Halva Popsicles from Molly Yeh

Watermelon Ice Pops from Jeanne Benedict

Strawberry Lemonade Greek Yogurt Pops from Naomi Sugar

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Posted on August 14, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Very Berry Shortcake

Yield:
10-12 servings

Berry season is a very happy time of year for me and my family. Both my daughter and I adore fresh berries and for the second year in a row our family enjoyed picking strawberries from a local New Jersey farm together. Of course my daughter does far more eating than picking, but that’s all part of the fun.

While we mostly enjoy eating the strawberries with breakfast, in smoothies or as a snack, I was hankering for a special berry dessert this year.

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I grew up eating traditional strawberry shortcakes, made often with Bisquick mix and lots of freshly whipped cream.

But my own preference is for moist, spongy CAKE. So my version of berry shortcake includes a triple layer of simple white cake, made from my dear friend Brittany Wayne’s recipe. Layered with macerated strawberries and simple whipped cream and the result is a taste of summer indulgence at its finest. Who cares if it isn’t quite traditional; to me it’s even better.

berry-short-cake-3

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Very Berry Shortcake

Posted on July 2, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Strawberry Lemonade Greek Yogurt Pops

Yield:
8-10 popsicles

After living in New York City for nearly nine years I rarely sigh and complain with the refrain “only in New York.” Most of the time the hustle and bustle of NYC is music to my ears. And many days I walk down the street in awe of this city, it’s rhythm, energy and totally unique personality. But last summer, I had one of those “only in New York” experiences.

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I was walking to pick up my little one from daycare when two adorable siblings caught my attention with their home-made lemonade stand. These kids were excellent salespeople, and since I cannot resist homemade lemonade, I opted for a cup (for more than a dollar, hello New York!) and asked the kids what they were doing with the money. In my day, we either donated the money to charity, or bought a fun, new beach toy. Not these kids. They were on the fast track to Harvard. Filled with pride, the precocious 10 year old told me she is planning to donate her portion to pediatric cancer research (amen, sister) and her younger brother (all of six or seven years old) was saving up for his college education. Good for them. A combined age of 17 and these kids were doing it right. They had created a complete brand for their lemonade sale, were strategically placed, and not afraid to tout their business and fundraising plan. Well played, kids, well played. Alas, only in New York is lemonade more than a dollar, and a literal investment in a child’s future.

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These popsicles are a hybrid of my childhood memories, and also my NYC surroundings. They are sweet, tart, refreshing and just a touch more sophisticated than your average popsicle.

If you have leftovers (which I did) try filling the ice cube tray and popping it in the freezer. This way, you have tiny little treats whenever you want – they’re the perfect size for toddlers, and a delicious addition to your morning cup of orange juice.

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Strawberry Lemonade Greek Yogurt Pops

Posted on June 24, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Egg Cream Float

Yield:
1 egg cream

A fond memory of my childhood is the New York-style egg creams my dad would whip up for me on Sundays during lunch. Sundays were the most relaxed day of the week in our home and I suppose a home-made egg cream was a sign we could all enjoy ourselves just a tad a more.

Egg creams are light, refreshing but still somehow a little rich. Chocolatey. Sweet. And according to my dad (and many other egg cream aficionados) MUST be made with Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup. My dad also taught me that the ratio of milk to chocolate syrup is very important for a good egg cream.

egg-cream-float-1

I had been thinking recently that adding a scoop of ice cream to an egg cream would be a great way to really take it to the next level. But why stop with ice cream? You could also add a shot of Baileys or Kahlua to make a more “adult” version.

Want to make it non-dairy? Use vanilla almond milk, or leave out the milk all together and add a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream.

But my favorite touch to this updated egg cream was the colorful sprinkles. An extra touch of whimsy had me traveling back to the Sunday lunches of my childhood.

egg-cream-float-4

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Egg Cream Float

Posted on June 12, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Pineapple Coconut Coffee Cake

Yield:
8-10 servings

Like so many of my peers, Jewish summer camp played an integral role in my Jewish identity. It’s where I developed my appreciation for Israeli dancing, a deep respect for my surroundings in nature, and not to be outdone, my love of Shabbat breakfast. Every Saturday morning, before all the campers joined for services, we’d convene in the dining hall for a plentiful feast of crumbly and perfectly spiced coffee cake. It wasn’t elaborate, but it sure was special, and it was certainly on the list of things I looked forward to year after year as I awaited summer’s arrival. If I ever longed for a little taste of home while I was at camp, I just had to wait until the end of the week, since the combination of cinnamon and sugar in the crumb topping would remind anyone of home. Because of this experience and because it only gets better the day after it is baked, to me, coffee cake is synonymous with Shabbat morning, summer vacation or not.

Pineapple-Coconut-Coffee-Ca

Of course, as an adult, summer camp is no longer really in the cards for me anymore. These days, when we get through hiking the trails of all the nearby national forests, my husband and I long for a more tropical getaway. Since our next vacation seems light years away, I came up with a recipe inspired by my Cuban heritage that will be sure to satisfy until we can get ourselves to the nearest island.

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With its taste of the tropics, my Pineapple Coconut Coffee Cake hits the spot for a Shabbat morning treat. It has the cinnamon and sugar that I always remember from my camp days, but its layer of crushed pineapple adds a mild zing and just the touch needed to keep this cake moist for days. The coconut added to the crumb layer, suggested by my friend Dolly, acts as a tropical kiss and adds a nice crunch.

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Next time you’re in the mood for a reminder of Shabbat mornings at camp, or you’re longing for a quick getaway, try a bite of this coffee cake, and you won’t be disappointed.

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Pineapple Coconut Coffee Cake

Posted on June 10, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

Yield:
8-10 servings

When I look at rhubarb, it reminds me of some sort of alien plant. It’s not really appealing, and yet it is so coveted for spring cooking. I will admit: it does some wonderful things when cooked despite its unusual appearance.

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Others may say that this simple vegetable has genius qualities and a beautiful color. Which is does of course. On its own it can be bitter, but when paired with fruit, especially springtime strawberries, it balances perfectly in many combinations.

Since rhubarb has been in abundance at my local farmer’s market, and because I love trying new things, I decided it was high time I conquered my apprehension around rhubarb. Also my husband loves it, so it’s an easy way to shut him up for a bit.

rhubarb-cheesecake-1

Shavuot…rhubarb abundance…it was clear a strawberry rhubarb topped cheesecake was only natural for this time of year.

Some of my other favorite strawberry rhubarb recipes to highlight?

Strawberry Rhubarb Blintzes from Leah Koenig

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream from Naomi Sugar

Rhubarb Rugelach from Tamar Fox

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Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

Posted on May 30, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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