Carrot-Cake Cookies

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Before being filled, the cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. The filling can be made ahead and chilled for up to five days.

Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Makes 18

2 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup packed, finely grated, peeled carrots
1/3 cup dried currants

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat until combined. Cover; chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make cookies: In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, and egg yolk. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until combined. Mix in oats, carrots, and currants.

Drop dough by level tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake until edges are crisp, rotating baking sheets halfway through, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Turn half the cookies over, bottom side up; dollop each with about 1 teaspoon chilled cream-cheese filling. Top with remaining cookies, pressing gently to spread filling to edges. Serve immediately.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}


Saturday, September 11, 2010


3/4 cup warm water (about 110-115 degrees (F))
1 package active dry yeast
1 tbl. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tbl. oil
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3 cups flour
2 tbl. water

Mix warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt, egg and 2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. and beat well with a wooden spoon.

Add a little flour to your hands and a flat surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour as necessary. The dough should be smooth.

Place the dough into a greased bowl and turn it over. Cover and place in a warm place to rise.
When the dough has doubled in size, press it down and cut into 4 sections.

*Here is where I stopped following the original recipe and switched to the weaving round challah tutorial on*

Take your risen dough strands and roll them out gently as long as possible. Do this with four pieces of dough until they are all about the same length. Lay the pieces out in front of you, tic-tac-toe style.


Each strand should be placed in opposite directions; one side is over/under, the next row is then under/over. There should now be 2 sets of 2 strands each coming out from the four sides of the woven middle, one under and one over in each set.

From each set, pick up the one that was "under" and pull it over its partner, thereby placing each of these "unders" over their corresponding partner, in a clockwise rotation. Practically speaking, this means that the left piece of each set will be placed over the right piece of each set.

When this rotation is done, work in the opposite direction, clockwise. What was formerly the right piece, will now go over the left piece in the counter clockwise direction; the pieces are not yet next to each other as they are still apart from the first rotation; pull them close to each other and bring the right piece, i.e. the one you did not touch in the first rotation, over the left piece of the neighboring strand.

After this second rotation is done, do a third one, now going back in the other direction. Do one more opposite rotation if you have enough dough left.

To finish, pinch each set of two ends together firmly, then bring all four sets together towards the center.

Now comes the really fun part: carefully flip over your challah and look! You now have a beautiful, woven, round challah.


Leave to rise on a large baking tray that has been lined with parchment baking paper. Cover the challahs loosely with disposable plastic tablecloths while rising. After 20 minutes of rising, turn on your oven to preheat at 400 F/200 C, as most ovens take 20 minutes to reach full temperature.

After the full 40 minutes of rising time, glaze your challah with egg glaze and place them directly into the hot oven, for optimum baking results. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top and bottom are golden.

{recipe via Jewish Recipe Trader and weaving tutorial via Chabad}

Artichoke Gratinata

Thursday, September 9, 2010

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Marsala wine
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Warm the olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the artichoke hearts, parsley, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until the artichoke hearts are starting to brown at the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer the artichoke mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.

Melt the butter in the same skillet used to cook the artichokes. In a small bowl mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan and top the artichokes with the bread crumbs. Bake until the top is golden, about 10 minutes.

{recipe and image via Food Network}