Snickerdoodles

I never got on the snickerdoodle bandwagon. Once I learned that the cookies had no actual Snickers in them, I wasn’t interested. Why would someone ever choose a sugar cookie with a little cinnamon on top over a chocolate chip cookie? And furthermore, why hasn’t anyone baked a cookie with actual Snicker bits in it? I’ve got to get on that. I decided to be an equal opportunity cookie lover and baker and give snickerdoodles another shot. As I sampled a warm snickerdoodle straight our of the oven, I honestly felt like someone was giving me a warm hug. Delightful. Buttery. The perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar. I’m not saying it’s better than a chocolate chip cookie- that’s blasphemy. But, snickerdoodles, you won a place at my table and in my heart.

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Snickerdoodles

From Smitten Kitchen

2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks room temperature butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Form balls of dough with your hands and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about two inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after five minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

 

Sticky Buns

Sticky buns are one of my favorite breakfast pastries. What’s not to love? Ooey gooey brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon in a delectable bun form. This recipe is like baby babka bun’s floozy cousin – easy, sticky, and fun. Frozen puff pastry sheets make this recipe a cinch to throw together – perfect for a brunch or an impromptu weekend visit with friends. Next up on the bun bucket list: cinnamon buns. It’s going to be a fun winter.

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Sticky Buns

Recipe from Ina Garten. Yields 12 buns

12 tbs butter, at room temperaturephoto 4

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted

For the filling:

2 tbs melted butter

2/3 cup light brown sugar

3 tsp cinnamon

1 cup raisons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick baking spray. In a mixer, combine 12 tablespoons butter with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place a tablespoon of the butter/sugar mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup. Sprinkle pecans evenly on top of the butter/sugar mixture.

Lightly flour a cutting board and unfold puff pastry dough with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with melted butter. Sprinkle on 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 cup raisons. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the pastry up, finishing the roll seam side down. Cut the log into sixths. Place each piece, spiral side up, into each muffin cup. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry. Bake for 30 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then flip over onto a cooling rack. Spoon leftover filling and pecans onto buns with a spoon.

Granda Rosen’s Hamantaschen

These are not your grandmother’s hamantaschen. In fact, these are nothing like your grandmother’s dry, sugar cookie dough-filled triangles. These are my grandmother’s hamantaschen; made with sour cream, butter and yeast. Three ingredients that scream deliciousness.  More flaky breakfast pastry than dry, prune-filled biblical villain cap, this recipe is a family classic. Every year, my mom, my brother Micah and I would roll up our sleeves and make these. While my mom and I produced perfect three-cornered pastries, Micah’s resembled unidentifiable shapes more octagon than triangle. But, he turned out OK, despite his baking deficiency. While this recipe requires a bit of forward thinking and planning (the dough needs to rise overnight),  it is well worth the time and effort and the results will blow your friends and family away. They will never feel the same way about Purim again with these hamantaschen in their lives. I went with the classics on filling; apricot, cherry and poppy seed (the Justin Bieber of filling and my personal favorite), but feel free to get creative and use whatever filling you love. This recipe makes A LOT of hamantaschen, which is slightly problematic as my hamantaschen to friend ratio is pretty disproportional. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to eat more… Happy Purim!

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Grandma Rosen’s Hamantaschen

3-1/2 cups flour
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1/4 cup sugar


1 tsp salt


1 cup room temp. butter (2 sticks)


3 egg yolks (save whites)


1 cup sour cream


3/4 oz cake yeast OR 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast 

1/4 cup warm water


Eggs whites mixed well


Fillings of your choice (I used apricot preserves, poppy seed and cherry pie filling)

Chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix flour, sugar, salt and cut in butter until crumbly. In a separate bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (air on the hotter side water temp wise) and set aside for about 5 minutes until frothy. In a bowl, separate the whites from the egg yolks and put the egg whites in the refrigerator.  Mix the yolks with sour cream and combine and add in the yeast mixture. Now add that to the flour mixture. Knead dough until spongy and springs back. You can knead by hand (Punch it for like 20 minutes, great rage reducer) or you can use the dough hook attachment of a stand mixer on speed 2 for about 10 minutes. Dough should not be super sticky. Cover with a piece of parchment of wax paper and refrigerate overnight.

Next day: take dough pieces about the size of a walnut and roll out into little circles with a floured rolling pin. Fill with about a teaspoon of filling.  Dip in egg white and then chopped walnuts if you want. Or just brush with the egg whites for a nice sheen. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

Filling hot tip: My Grandma Marge added a little honey, golden raisins and a touch of milk to the poppy seed filling and a little bit of lemon juice and golden raisins to the apricot filling. #grandmaknowsbest #littletouches
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