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Peanut Butter Buckeye Hamantaschen

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that I’m not big on baking. I love to cook, but baking is just too scientific for me. You can’t just be creative and throw in a little of this and a little of that (trust me, I’ve tried!). Every year, I come up with such fun hamantaschen ideas, but I dread testing them. I push it off until I can’t anymore, and then I test batch after batch after batch until it’s just right.

With hamantaschen dough and the filling, there’s just too much margin for error. You’ve got to get the cookie to be soft, but crispy too. You can’t fill them too much, and you have to make sure they don’t open when you bake them. Just thinking about it makes me want to insert the eyeroll emoji.

After testing six batches of mamoul hamantaschen dough this year, I decided I wanted to come up with a no-bake hamantasch that people are going to want to eat. It had to be some sort of candy, but also a riff on a particular style – so I went with BUCKEYES, ‘cuz who doesn’t love peanut butter?!

Buckeyes are basically a peanut butter cup – except the peanut butter filling is rolled into a ball and only partially covered in chocolate. Basically it’s got peanut butter and chocolate and it’s addicting. Case in point: when my daughter came home to a platter of these on the table, she gave me a hug and told me I had invented the best recipe on the planet. “How did you turn the peanut butter into a dough?”, she wanted to know. Turns out, it’s pretty simple. And I can do simple.

Hello NO-BAKE hamantaschen and goodbye to the tricky scientic process of baked hamantaschen. Who’s with me on that?!

Of course you want to make sure you use good quality chocolate in this recipe, so I rely on my fave – California Gourmet. Their new mini’s melt SO quickly, plus the 51.3% cocoa content make them rich and easy to work with.

Enjoy this last taste of Purim here on BIB. I’m sure you’ll be making these in traditional buckeye shapes after the holiday too. Chag Sameach!


This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Related Recipes:

no-bake date and almond hamantaschen
peanut butter bars
peanut butter mousse
peanut butter fudge ice cream pie

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Ma’amoul Hamantaschen

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

If I had one word to describe these hamantaschen, it would be #proud. Yes they’re melt-in-your-mouth delicious, super buttery and also crispy, but the word I would use to describe them has nothing to do with how they taste. It has to do with how they make me feel.

I’ve always felt that food does so much more than nourish us. It connects us to our past, our present and our future. Traditional food, especially, has the power to bridge generations. Preparing the same dishes that my mother made, and my grandmother before her, allows me to pass on the flavors and smells of my childhood to my children in a way that nothing else can.

That’s why these hamantaschen mean so much to me. Not only do they reflect the traditions of my Ashkenazic heritage, they also represent the flavors and culture of my husband’s Sephardic hertitage.

While my husband is Ashkenazi like me, his mother was born and raised in Argentina, but her roots trace back to Syria. She grew up eating ma’amoul, rosewater-scented cookies filled with either date or walnut filling. When I got married, ma’amoul always made an appearance at parties and simchot and their interesting shape always intrigued me.

Traditional ma’amoul is molded into different shapes using a special cookie press. The cookie is shaped differently, depending on the filling. My mother in law always used tweezers to decorate her ma’amoul, which I found really interesting. When I came up with the idea to fuse the classic hamantasch with Syrian flavors, I went to my husband’s aunt, Esther, for a cookie baking class.

Esther is a cook after my own heart. She likes to do things simply, without fancy tools or supplies (which explains the tweezer method!). She mixed up the ma’amoul in no time, while I attempted to measure her pinches of spice and sprinkles of flour. She expertly shaped the dough faster than I could follow and before long, they were out of the oven and covered in a snowfall of powdered sugar.

Of course I went back home and it wasn’t all that simple. For starters, traditional ma’amoul dough does not have egg, so it wouldn’t hold as a hamantasch. I was determined to make it work, and 6 batches later, I struck gold (or should I say rosewater?!). These ma’amoul hamantaschen are the perfect blend of buttery and crispy, thanks to the butter and semolina, respectfully. I’m super proud of this Sephardic-Ashkenazi fusion and I hope I’ve started a new trend in my family tree.

Now that we’ve got the Purim party started, stay tuned for lots of other exciting holiday recipes, coming soon!

Related Recipes:

baklava hamantaschen
date and almond hamantaschen
healthy thumbprint hamantaschen

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Marzipan Date Truffles

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

I must. must. must. discuss these beautiful photos!!! After much deliberation, I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to a new full frame sensor camera, the Canon 6D. Do I even need to tell you how amazing the full frame sensor is, or should I just let the photos do the talking (all unedited, straight out of the camera!)?

I know most of you are not here for the photography. OK maybe you enjoy the mouthwatering food, but you can do without the technical jargon. Let me just say that the camera sensor is what lets in the light and a bigger sensor = more light and more light = beautiful photos. That being said, my “studio” is in a pretty dark room with limited light so a larger sensor is really important for me. The full frame sensor also allows me to fit more into the frame of a photo so you get a wider view.


Sensor aside, the 6d also has wifi capability so I can set my camera on a tripod and connect to it via Canon’s app to take hands free photos! Taking photos on a tripod removes any possibility of camera shake so you get crystal clear, sharp photos. I’m so in love!

Speaking of which, I am also very much in love with this healthy, raw, vegan, 4-ingredient (if you don’t count the salt!) snack that’s become a staple in my house. Marzipan is one of my favorite flavors (hello 3-layer rainbow cookies!) and the pure almond extract really brings out that flavor in these guilt-free chews. With Tu B’shvat around the corner, they are just the thing!!

Related Recipes:

Tu B’shvat truffles
date and almond hamantaschen
cowboy cookie dough bites
gingerbread truffles

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Funfetti Raspberry Palmiers

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Aaaahhhh!!!! You guys!!! I can’t believe that it’s 2017 and I have been blogging since January 19th, 2011 when I posted this chicken breast with port wine cherry sauce. It’s crazy how much has changed since that very first blog post!

First up, I gotta give myself a big pat on the back. I have NEVER started a hobby that I actually stuck to until THIS. ALL. HAPPENED. And for 6 whole years I posted once to twice a week without EVER. TAKING. A. BREAK. I even birthed two beautiful children along the way (thanks to my amazing blogger friends who filled in with some guest posts during that time!). What is it about blogging that just stuck?

I’ll tell you. Honestly, when this blog started, I had just had my third kid, and I had always worked for a few hours a day because I like to keep busy. It was time to move on so my husband suggested that I start a blog (he came up with the name!) and the rest is history! I wasn’t a big cook back in the day and honestly my photography was TERRIBLE. But the spark was lit. I got so much amazing feedback, and I just wanted to keep sharing. I went to culinary school along the way, took a photography class, and just kept honing my skills. Like a flower in bloom, my passion for cooking blossomed into something beautiful. I feel truly blessed to absolutely LOVE what I do.

Of course like every human being, I get sick of cooking sometimes. And once in a while, I’m just so not in the mood of photo editing or writing, but I always come back. Because the passion is a fire that burns that you just can’t extinguish! And for that I have YOU to thank – my readers! You are the fuel to my blogging fire. Your comments, emails, messages and photos are what keep me going. They make me want to continue to share and push myself to create amazing things.

Of course when my first blogoversary came, I never imagined I’d celebrate many more, but each year I posted a little something to mark the date of my first post. I didn’t have a specific theme, but when my funfetti cake went viral on my 4th blogoversary, I decided I would stick to the funfetti theme from then on. My friend Melinda always goes red velvet for her Blogoversary and I loved the idea.

Last year, I continued the funfetti theme with some homemade pecan turtles because they’re pretty much my favorite candy, and because I really wanted to challenge myself to make homemade caramel for the first time! It took a couple of tries but my no-corn-syrup caramel recipe has been a huge hit ever since!

This year, I needed something easy because I’ve got a 5 month old who loves my attention, so I came up with these stunners! With Valentines Day ahead, as well as Purim not too far off (ducking now!), I thought these would be the perfect little bite to show my LOVE and APPRECIATION to you all for making BIB what it is today.

Palmiers, also known as elephant ears, are a French pastry that’s traditionally made with puff pastry and sugar. The puff pastry is covered in sugar, folded in layers and sliced thin. The sugars caramelize during baking and you’re left with a buttery cookie that’s crispy from the sugar and oh so pretty!

I decided to ditch the sugar in favor of sprinkles and fill the dough with raspberry jam to resemble hearts. The jam ends up caramelizing under the cookie, and the sprinkles add a nice crunch, so these make a great variation on the original. Plus they are super beautiful and versatile!

Thank you so much for following and making BIB the success that it is today. To many more Blogoversary’s to come!

 

Related Posts:

5th Blogoversary} Funfetti Pecan Turtles
4th Blogoversary} Funfetti Cake
3rd Blogoversary} La Brochette Blogoversary Dinner
2nd Blogoversary} BBQ Brisket
1st Blogoversary} Mulled Wine

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Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

I’m super excited to introduce Sina Mizrahi from The Kosher Spoon today! I’ve been a huge fan of Sina’s since she started her blog (give THESE MUFFINS a try, they’re a family favorite!) because I love that her recipes are healthy, Middle Eastern inspired, and her photography is just. so. beautiful. Sina’s not pretentious about blogging [lets face it, we all know how bloggers can be ;)], she just quietly flies under the radar, doing her thing. She blogs when she has time for it, but I’m always there following her amazing talent – stalking her blog, following her Instagram feed for her Erev Shabbat posts, and reading her columns in Binah Magazine.

When I asked Sina to guest post on my blog, she was more than happy to, even with a move and a baby of her own. I can’t thank her enough! And of course she made my favorite food of all time – COOKIES – and of course they involve almond butter because they’re great for nursing moms – and of course they are healthy and Paleo – because, like I said, this girls is AWESOME. And of course the photography is so simply stunning because THIS GIRL HAS TALENT. Welcome Sina!

I am certain a chocolate chip cookie must be every pregnant lady’s close companion. I know that when I’m expecting I can never turn one down; the craving is strong and the willpower low. Thankfully constant exhaustion keeps my habit at bay, being that baking turns into an afterthought not worth pursuing. I’d rather skip dirty dishes even when the sweet tooth beckons. And in all honesty only a homemade cookie has true merit. But then the sweeter, intoxicating smell of a newborn comes and I crave healthy foods again. With my own baby still being under one, I remember being elated when my friend Rina gushed over these Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. First, she’s a real foodie who can chatter on about pressure cookers and coconut oil, and second they don’t need a mixer and can be made in one bowl (the small bowl for the egg is minimal, k?)

These cookies turned out to be everything I needed come baby. Healthy, pleasantly sweet, and easy. I threw in some ground hazelnuts for a deeper flavor. You might be tempted to envision a Nutella-ish taste because chocolate plus hazelnuts, but they are not at all. The hazelnuts add a depth and nuttiness to the cookie that balances the sugar and chocolate. It’s not something I’d skip. If I were in Brooklyn, this is what I’d bring Chanie, the perfect treat for her and Rosie.

 

Thanks Chanie for having me on your blog! Follow along the kosher spoon as I’m off on a new adventure I’ll tell you all about soon.

 

Related Recipes:

cowboy cookie dough bites
sesame cookies
oatmeal cookies
chocolate olive oil crinkle cookies

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Torah Cannoli

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Holy Cannoli! Someones gonna have to bring me a slice of humble pie because I’m on a bit of a high from how cute these Torah Cannoli are! (by the way that’s not a typo – the plural form of cannoli is cannoli…a little Wikipedia for you!)

I always say, food is my passion but my kids are my priority. I love being a mom and I don’t ever want being a foodie, blogger, chef, or whatever it is I am, get in the way of that. SO while I try to come up with fun and sophisticated holiday dishes, I also do my best to tap into my inner child and do something fun for the kiddos too.

In the past, I’ve made Torah franks in blanks like these (photo by Tzivi Brick Jakubovic), but this year, I wanted to do something fun with my daughter’s class in honor of her 8th birthday, which is just a few short weeks before Shavuot. One night when I couldn’t sleep (I have terrible insomnia these days), these cannoli torah’s hit me and I was only too excited to make them! I used a cream cheese mousse filling instead of the more sophisticated classic ricotta filling to make it more kid friendly, and the kids went gaga!

They all took turns prepping the recipe – whipping up the cream cheese and heavy cream, folding the mixture together, and giving out the ingredients for everyone to make their own. They “glued” the cannoli wafers with marshmallow fluff and we made a few Ziploc piping bags of filling so they could all pipe their own. Needless to say, the most fun was dipping the Torah’s in the assorted toppings.

Some of the kids wrapped up their Torah Cannoli to take home, but most of them couldn’t wait it out and gobbled it down on the spot. One kid said it was the best thing she ever tasted! I knew I had a winner, I just didn’t know if it was blog-worthy so I figured I’d skip on posting. Until, I was making my rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits at a cooking demo recently, and I decided to show the audience the Torah cannoli idea with some of the leftover cheesecake mousse. After an audible “wow” from the audience (the best sound EVER when you’re giving a demo), I decided it was too good not to share with you all too.

I love to check things off my bucket list and making things like homemade goat cheese ice cream or a sophisticated dish like brie marsala pizza gives me a huge sense of satisfaction, but seriously, nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me more proud or excited, than coming up with something fun and original that my kids absolutely love!

So kiddies, this ones for you! And that classic citrus-zest-spiked filling is my little touch for the adults too :)

If you want to skip on the filling, fill it with your favorite mousse or plain-old whipped cream. The important thing is to have some fun, for the kids, and for you too! Happy Shavuot y’all!

Related Posts:

Shavuot paper napkin roses
passion fruit cream horns
rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
halva and ricotta stuffed figs

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Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!

Healthy Thumbprint Hamantaschen (Egg Free!)

Monday, March 21st, 2016

I thought I was done with hamantaschen baking this year. My corndog hamantaschen were a huge hit and that was good enough for me! Except every time I bought classic hamantaschen for the kids, my allergic toddler would watch his older siblings enviously and each time I promised myself to make an egg-free version.

I thought about making classic hamantaschen using aquafaba, that slimy juice at the bottom of a can of chickpeas. It’s said to be a great alternative for eggs in vegan baking, and I’ve used it before in muffins. Of course I got busy and my aquafaba-infused hamantaschen experiments went to the wayside.

But then this week, I had a business meeting in my ‘hood, and Chaya brought me a much needed cup of coffee with a side of crunchy thumbprint cookies. The cookies were delicious, so, like any good food blogger, I asked for the recipe. When I heard that the cookies were egg free with few ingredients, I knew I had to whip them up for my son.

I drove home dreaming about the cookies and it hit me – I wanted to make egg-free hamantaschen, so why not make egg-free thumbprint hamantaschen cookies! They had jam anyway, right?


So I got right to work on the 5-ingredient dough, which took less than 5 minutes to make, and I ransacked my fridge for all the jam I could find. I’m kind of a jam hoarder, so I wasn’t surprised to find an assortment of flavors in the back of the fridge, including, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, apricot, fig and plum (told you I was a jam hoarder! my favorite place to buy them is Homegoods!).

Would  you check out that beautiful jam filling?

The cookies taste like a crisp granola cookie, only mildly sweet, so I couldn’t help but finish them off with some melted chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better.

The true test was giving these to my son, who is prone to scraping the chocolate off anything and everything, instead of biting into it. I’m always reminding him, “Bite, don’t lick!”, but he always goes back to his chocolate (or cheese!) licking when I’m not looking.


I handed him a hamantasch and he held it in his hand and studied it for a minute or two. I thought he was going to start scraping off the chocolate, but to my surprise, he actually took a bite! He continued to eat his way through, enjoying every morsel. Success!

Purim is just two days away, so we’ll call these “last licks!” (pun intended!). If you’ve been looking for that healthy hamantaschen recipe, you’ve got it. And just in time.


Related Recipes:

cowboy cookie dough bites
healthy date & almond hamantaschen
Grape Nut coconut crunch cookies
oatmeal cookies

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Ice Cream Sundae Cookies

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

It’s been a while since I made real cookies. Well on the blog at least (chocolate chip cookies are a regular around here, who can live without them?!). So many of you loved my healthy cowboy cookie dough bites, as do I. But there is no substitute for real crispy, chocolatey, chewy cookies, am I right?!

With Purim just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to come up with a cookie that could work both in a shalach manot basket, as well as a fun dessert for the festive Purim meal. Filling the cookie dough with fun ice cream sundae toppings makes this “kitchen sink” cookie a must have for the whole family!

The only thing better than the cookies themselves might be the raw cookie dough, or better yet, creating an ice cream sandwich with my favorite Neapolitan ice cream in between. Lets not count the calories, ok??

These cookies make the most out of California Gourmet’s new mini chocolate chips, which I might just love more than the original (if that is even possible!).  I’m a big supporter of their brand because it was started by a fellow momtrepreneur who has a passion for bringing amazing quality, kosher, vegan, allergy-friendly chocolate to the masses. She is basically my hero.

So how can we support this brand? Well it doesn’t take much – eat lots of chocolate! And once you try their rich, clean flavor, you’ll never go back. Trust me.

Now California Gourmet is available in over 300 stores in the U.S. and Australia, but if you live under a rock, you can STILL get it because it’s now available on Amazon (soon to be available on Amazon Prime)! And if your local store runs out, don’t forget to ask them to reorder so there’s enough to go around for all of us.

Now back to the cookies. Crunchy. Chewy. Chock full of sprinkles, chocolate chips and sugar cones – yes please! I think they’d make the cutest mishloach manos in a little box with a tub of ice cream and a jar of sprinkles or maraschino cherries. Don’t you?

What have you got planned for shalach manos this year? I’d love to hear your ideas! Share them with me in the comments below!

And in the meantime, go buy some ice cream, because you’re gonna need it!!


This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   View the list of over 300 stores that carry the brand here).

Other Mishloach Manos Ideas:

Purim deviled eggs
Terra Stix white chocolate bark
Pretzels with raspberry honey mustard dip
Sushan sushi salad

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Corndog Hamantaschen

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

My friend recently commented to me that she is really enjoying all of the unique hamantaschen she sees popping up on her newsfeed. “Is it like a competition between you guys?,” she wanted to know. Well, no. OK, maybe a little.

It’s not a competition as much as it is a desire to come up with the most brilliant, out of the box, knock-your-socks-off kind of hamantasch that outshines all the rest. So it’s not really about the others. It’s just about yours being THAT GOOD. And it’s not just about hamantaschen either. It’s about always being at the top of your game because that’s what food bloggers do. We try to stay ahead of the trends, create cool hybrid dishes and wow our readers so they keep coming back for more.

So how did I do? Is this corndog hamantasch hybrid mindblowing enough to explode on your newsfeed?! Just wait until you taste them. They’re nice and crispy, with an amazing texture from the coarse cornmeal that’s unlike any hamantasch you’ve ever had.

People always ask me how I come up with this stuff and the answer is, I have no idea. Sometimes it hits me in the dead of night, when insomnia rears it’s ugly head. Sometimes, I’m lacking inspiration so I browse the web for ideas on popular food trends. And sometimes it’s because I’m a mom, and when I can get my kids to eat something, I go all out viral with the idea.

These particular hamantaschen did not take a lot of convincing. My kids are huge fans of Abeles & Heymann’s hot dogs and they are equally obsessed with my nondairy cornbread. I’ve only made homemade corndogs once, as a midnight snack when they were fast asleep (I may or may not have been pregnant at the time) but I often make mini corndog muffins filled with hot dog chunks. Corndog hamantaschen are definitely new in this house, but as I tested different batches of dough, they seemed to disappear as each tray came out of the oven.

What I love about this recipe is that you can easily use it for sweet applications as you can with savory hot dogs. I tested a batch with strawberry rhubarb jam and they were incredible. I’m definitely going to try it with blueberry jam too. and of course, after Purim, you can just make them into thin round cookies and forget the whole triangle thing.

But for now, the triangle thing is super fun and I already have a frozen batch to serve up for the Purim seudah! I might make a batch of baklava hamantaschen for dessert. Or, another special recipe that I’ll be sharing up on the blog soon!

What are some of your favorite creative hamantaschen to make on Purim? Or are you more of a traditionalist? I don’t think I have ever made traditional hamantaschen in my life, can you imagine? If I want apricot or raspberry hamantaschen, I just buy them at the bakery. That’s what they’re there for, right?!

In the meantime, I’ll be savoring the rest of this savory batch, if my kids don’t get to it first. Happy Purim Prep!


This post was sponsored by Abeles & Heymann

Related Recipes:

savory hamantaschen trio
hot dog eggrolls
vegetarian chili and cornbread

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Cowboy Cookie Dough Bites

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging here at BUSYINBROOKLYN for the last five years. Yes, for almost five years (my blogoversary is in January) I have been consistently posting recipes and sharing my love and passion for food. It truly blows my mind.

If you’ve been following me since the early days (and I know some of you loyal readers have), you might remember a popular cookie that was one of my very first posts, these cowboy cookies. Why these kitchen-sink-style cookies are called cowboy cookies is anyones guess, but they are popularly made with oats, pecans, coconut and chocolate chips. The chunky cookies are so fantastic, I decided to create a healthy, vegan version using medjool dates, one of my favorite things. The result? They look like cookie dough, the taste like cookie dough, and they’re all natural. You gotta love that!

Now when you’re making a raw truffle, you have to go for good quality ingredients because nothing is getting cooked. That’s why I use my favorite brand of chocolate chips, California Gourmet. There’s a reason their popular blue and red bags are now available in over 300 stores, most recently available in Illinois. The rich and chocolaty pieces really take these truffles up a notch!

Ever since my family has been introduced to a slew of food allergies, I’ve been trying to find ways for all my kids to be able to enjoy treats like cookies, without using any eggs. My eldest daughter loves cookie dough (she always picks out that flavor in the Ice Cream store) and my youngest is positively obsessed with chocolate chips. A cookie dough truffle was definitely the way to go, but I never imagined that something so wholesome would taste SO GOOD, and so much like cookie dough. My next challenge? Making an egg-free birthday cake. Anyone have any suggestions?

With the big FIVE YEAR blogoversary coming up, I’m also taking suggestions on what improvements you’d like to see on the BIB blog, and new recipes and ideas that you’d like me to post in the coming months. Share your ideas, comments and suggestions with me below!

I want to offer a huge congratulations to California Gourmet for winning the NEW PRODUCT award (in the baking category) from Kosherfest this year! You truly deserve the honor!

This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   View the list of over 300 stores that carry the brand here).

Related Recipes:

cowboy cookies
grape nut coconut crunch cookies
oatmeal breakfast cookies (oil-based!)
gingerbread date truffles

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