Crunchies Update

Hi Crunchie lovers,   I’ve been getting tons of comments and requests for my Crunchies recipe (traditional South African Oatmeal Cookies)—some nice and some well, umm, not so nice.   The reason I had to pull the recipe was that I had an opportunity for manufacturing my Crunchies and therefore had to remove the recipe from my site. (I’m sure you can understand!)   However, since it has caused such upheaval (I guess there really isn’t another great Crunchies recipe out there…?!) I’ve decided to not only repost my recipe—the traditional recipe and a healthier version—but also to make a YouTube clip of it in my brand new kitchen (COMING SOON – yippee!!!!).   I’m planning the re-launch of my website with all this—hopefully within the next few months. (Fingers crossed for a smooth remodel 🤞)   Stay tuned! (And stay happy 😉)   xoxo  ...

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Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies
Sep15

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

This is the ultimate, chewy sugar cookie—and you don’t even need a mixer! The browned butter and brown sugar gives them a rich, toffee taste, and a delightful chew that kids and grown ups alike will LOVE. And they’re super easy and fun to make. What you will need. Weighing ingredients is more accurate and makes for easy cleanup. Melting the butter makes for a chewier cookie than the usual creaming method. The only tricky part is getting the brown butter just right. I bust out my fancy All-Clad saucier pan, but you can use a 10-inch skillet. Don’t use non-stick because the dark finish makes it hard to judge the color of the butter. Swirl the pan constantly until the butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. There’s a fine line between brown enough and burned, so don’t take your eye off it for a second!   Transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Carefully add remaining butter so it doesn’t splatter and stir until completely melted.   Mix brown sugar and salt into cooled butter with a wooden spoon, squishing any remaining sugar lumps with the back of your spoon. Add egg and yolk and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.   Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons dough) and roll into balls. Place on prepared sheets, spaced 2 inches apart Kids will love to roll them in the sugars! Bake 12 – 14 minutes until browned and edges have begun to set, but centers are still soft. They will look underdone, but will develop out of the oven; if you leave them in too long they will get crisp and hard. After 5 minutes, transfer to wire rack to cool completely Cool Tools Salter Aquatronic Glass Electronic Kitchen Scale Oxo Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop Parchment Paper Sheets Brown Sugar Cookies 2013-09-15 17:34:07 Yields 28 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for one cookie Write a review Save Recipe Print 154 calories 24 g 22 g 6 g 1 g 4 g 36 g 73 g 17 g 0 g 2 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 36g Yields 28 Amount Per Serving Calories 154 Calories from Fat 53 % Daily Value * Total Fat 6g 9% Saturated Fat 4g 19% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 22mg 7% Sodium 73mg 3% Total Carbohydrates 24g 8% Dietary Fiber 0g 1% Sugars 17g Protein 1g Vitamin A4%Vitamin C0% Calcium2%Iron1% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on...

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Apricot Squares
Sep02

Apricot Squares

Grating the dough gives these tasty squares their good looks, and wonderful, crumbly texture!   The smell wafting out of my oven right now takes me right back to my childhood, when my older sister, Sharon, often made these delicious “farfel biscuits.” I’ve fleshed out the simple recipe from The New International Goodwill Recipe Book (which every young Jewish girl in South Africa got when starting out) with detailed instructions and pics. I hope you’ll give them a try, because they’re really easy, and you’ll probably find all the ingredients in your pantry! What you will need  Since this is a jam-centric recipe, buy a good quality jam. I’m partial to Bonne Maman, which is smooth and has a lovely taste, and most importantly doesn’t contain corn syrup. You can find it at most supermarkets these days—even Costco carries the Apricot Preserves, so you know they must be good! Spray baking sheet and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang for easy removal Grate half of the chilled dough directly onto the prepared pan Spread the jam evenly on top Grate the remaining dough on top Bake 20 – 25 minutes till golden; after 5 minutes carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely Cut with a sharp knife into 2-inch squares Apricot Squares 2013-09-01 20:58:35 Yields 35 Write a review Save Recipe Print 184 calories 30 g 25 g 7 g 2 g 3 g 52 g 31 g 15 g 0 g 2 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 52g Yields 35 Amount Per Serving Calories 184 Calories from Fat 57 % Daily Value * Total Fat 7g 10% Saturated Fat 3g 17% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 25mg 8% Sodium 31mg 1% Total Carbohydrates 30g 10% Dietary Fiber 0g 2% Sugars 15g Protein 2g Vitamin A4%Vitamin C3% Calcium3%Iron2% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 1 cup butter, salted, room temperature 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 large eggs, room temperature 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 4 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt vegetable cooking spray 2 1/4 cups apricot jam, room temperature Instructions Lightly coat an 11 x 17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; line the bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Spoon jam into a bowl, and beat with a rubber spatula to smooth out; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt to combine. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with...

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Mario Batali’s Brutti Ma Buoni Cookies
Mar15

Mario Batali’s Brutti Ma Buoni Cookies

I first saw these Italian Meringue Cookies (translation: Ugly But Good) in a Weight Watchers Magazine, many years ago.   I finally made Mario Batali’s version from Foodnetwork.com—my go-to recipe resource—and they were simply divine. And the best part is they make a fantastic Passover Dessert and are low points to boot! (Weight Watchers PointsPlus value coming soon.) I’m not usually a fan of meringues, but these light, crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside, nutty puffs are delicious. I think the name is misleading because they are actually quite cute! The perfect sweet treat following a heavy holiday meal. In my humble opinion, most Passover Desserts are not worthy; not of the time to make them nor the calories to eat them! Since no flour or leavening agents are permitted, many recipes substitute Matzo Meal for flour. The best options are recipes that naturally don’t contain flour—like Flourless Cheesecake. And these cookies! Enjoy! Let me know how you like them. Freeze well. How to Whip Egg Whites Adapted from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America Make sure there are no traces of fat in the whites themselves or on the equipment. (no yolk) Egg whites should be at room temperature when whipped, but are easier to separate while still cold. (Let rest 10 – 15 minutes after separating.) Begin whipping at a slow to moderate speed, until the whites loosen and become foamy. Add sugar gradually with mixer on moderate speed, then cinnamon, salt and vanilla, and increase speed to high. As more air is beaten into the whites, the texture becomes very smooth and the foam thickens enough to mound slightly. When you see the whisk start to leave track marks in the egg whites you are at the “soft peak” stage; the foam is still very glossy and moist, and when you pull the whisk out of the bowl and turn it upright, the whites slump over to one side in rounded peaks. As you continue to whip egg whites, they reach the “medium peak” stage. You will see distinct tracks left by the whisk or beater as you whip. The peaks formed when the whisk is lifted retain their shape longer, but are still glossy and smooth. This is the ideal stage for foams to be folded into batters. Maria Batali’s recipe calls for butter and sugar for greasing the cookie sheet, but I find it easier to just use parchment paper instead; and this makes the cookies non-dairy or pareve. I forgot what a huge quantity of cookies this recipe makes, and had to run out to pick up my toddler from preschool right in the...

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Cinnamon Sugar Figure-Eight Cookies
Mar12

Cinnamon Sugar Figure-Eight Cookies

Your kids will love to make—and eat—these simple but delicious cookies! My toddler, Aja, has been nagging me all day to let her make her favorite Cinnamon Roll Cookies all by herself. A little too advanced for a three year old!  Click here for Orna’s Cinnamon Roll Cookies recipe >> I remembered these Cinnamon Twists, fondly referred to by Sam (hubby) as Mrs. Sniderman Cookies—after the sweet family friend, Audrey, in his home town of Calgary, Canada, who thoughtfully sent a care package of his favorites with his parents, when they visited LA. Brilliant! Kid-friendly, and no need to soften the butter or buy ingredients. Aja had a blast mixing, rolling and shaping the cookies “all by herself.” This was a great exercise for me in completely giving up control.     Now that Nana and Zaida live nearby, Aja can take over from Mrs. Sniderman making daddy’s favs! (As if he wasn’t already smitten.) I forgot that she likes to eat cinnamon sugar by the spoonful. That apparently still wasn’t enough sugar for her, because she still insisted on icing the cookie with the only (chocolate) frosting I had in the pantry. (Note: This is not recommended by me!) As I was posting this recipe, I was happy to discover that it originated from Norene Gilletz—well-renowned Canadian cookbook author, of whom I’m a huge fan. She has been very supportive of my blog, and is always quick to answer my cooking and baking questions on Norene’s Kitchen—her fabulous Facebook group. Click here to see Norene’s Kitchen on Facebook—a place for foodies, bakers and cooks >> Cool Tools Small Cookie Scoop, Parchment Sheets Cinnamon Sugar Figure-Eight Cookies 2013-08-06 15:26:50 Yields 48 Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 30 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 45 min Prep Time 30 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 45 min 100 calories 10 g 12 g 6 g 1 g 1 g 21 g 8 g 4 g 0 g 6 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 21g Yields 48 Amount Per Serving Calories 100 Calories from Fat 54 % Daily Value * Total Fat 6g 9% Saturated Fat 1g 3% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 2g Monounsaturated Fat 4g Cholesterol 12mg 4% Sodium 8mg 0% Total Carbohydrates 10g 3% Dietary Fiber 0g 1% Sugars 4g Protein 1g Vitamin A0%Vitamin C0% Calcium1%Iron1% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 3 large or extra-large eggs 1 cup granulated sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed 1/2 - 3/4 cup...

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