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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AjaBakes (and Outtakes)
Feb04

AjaBakes (and Outtakes)

My four-year-old, Aja, was “helping me” make bulkas (traditional South African Cinnamon Buns) the other day, and said, “mommy record me.” So I whipped out my iPhone, and she proceeded to describe how to make bulkas—totally impromptu and with no coaching whatsoever by me. (If it was planned I would’ve cleaned up the messy kitchen!) Introducing AjaBakes (50 second clip)     I wish it would flow out of me so easily!   Please don’t report me for bad parenting when you see the outtakes! I was trying to distract her and make light of it—never dreaming it would happen again. For the third and final take (above), she was on her sturdy, pink, princess step. (The collapsible Bed Bath & Beyond step stool has been banished from the kitchen forever!)   The Outtakes   Take One (12 seconds) The step stool collapsed, and she went flying!     Take Two (36 seconds) Almost made it to the end and then bam… poor kid went down, again!      If you’d like to make these delicious buttery buns with your little ones, click here for my How-To YouTube Clip. (Not nearly as smooth or polished as Aja’s!) Of course hubby has already registered AjaBakes.com 🙂   Click here for the recipe, with pics and step-by-step instructions >>   Hope you had a good chuckle.   xoxo...

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Crunchies — Traditional South African Oatmeal Cookie Bars
Oct02

Crunchies — Traditional South African Oatmeal Cookie Bars

This is my most searched/shared/requested recipe (It has been pinned SIX THOUSAND times!!!) There is NOTHING better than a Crunchie and a cup of tea in the morning!   Kids of all ages will love to help you make them! (Note: mini rolling pin and blankie) And they’ll love to find one in their lunchbox! Fill an Oxo Cookie Jar with fresh Crunchies for a hostess gift.   Crunchies were my favorite “biscuit”—the South African term for cookies. They are to South Africa what Chocolate Chip Cookies are to America. Imagine: Mini-homemade-granola-bar meets chewy-oatmeal-raisin-cookie… but better! There’s something soooooo satisfying about biting into these sweet, a-little-crunchy-and-a-little-chewy, toasted-oat-and-coconut squares of goodness! So now you’re wondering, where the heck’s the recipe??? Well… ummm… I’m working on an even better, healthier version, so stay tuned! If you don’t wanna miss the new recipe, make sure to sign up for my newsletters (and/or follow OrnaBakes on FB, Instagram and YouTube!) NEW RECIPE AND YOUTUBE CLIP COMING SOON! (Click here for an update >>) xoxo  ...

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Cinnamon Bulkas (Traditional Yeast Buns)
Sep26

Cinnamon Bulkas (Traditional Yeast Buns)

These soft, buttery buns, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, are just sweet enough, but not too rich—so you can enjoy them anytime! I like that these don’t look like the Cinnabon type cinnamon bun—the more common way to make them—and I love the satisfaction of peeling each layer apart. (Mmm… makes me salivate just thinking about it!) They’re heavenly warmed up for breakfast! Growing up in South Africa, it was our family tradition to break the fast on Yom Kippur with a warm Cinnamon Bulka (a/k/a Boolke). Waiting in anticipation to bite into Auntie Phyllie’s delicious, fresh-baked Bulkas made the fast all-the-more torturous! When I moved to Los Angeles, my friend’s mom, Rita—who took in all the stragglers for the holidays—gave me a taste of home with her mouth-watering Cinnamon Bulkas, passed down from Bobba Skuy, who grew up in little shtetl called Varklan, near Riga, Latvia. Nothing gives you more satisfaction than sitting down with a warm Bulka that you made from scratch! That’s why I went the extra mile to make these easy enough for anyone to enjoy making them. Watch the YouTube clip and see how simple it is. The highlight was making “bilkas” with Aja! It seems that no matter what you do to this dough they are still edible! (Well, to an almost-four-year-old, anyway!) I baked hers off in the toaster oven and she was in heaven! What you will need. Melted butter mixture. Yeast before proofing. Beautiful bubbled up yeast! Kneading the dough (Love this pic!). Smooth ball of dough. Set aside in a warm place to rise. Dough doubled in size. Dough has doubled in size when indentation remains after tips of fingers are pressed lightly and quickly into dough. Work with half the dough; refrigerate the rest. Divide each half into sixteen pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. With the craggy side up, flatten into a round. Keep rounds covered. Butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and slit from the centre to the edge. Form a triangle. Combine on one baking sheet, about an inch apart. Cover loosely and allow to rise for 20 – 30 minutes. Brush with butter and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar. Bake until golden brown. Transfer immediately to cooling rack. Sit down and enjoy a warm bulka and cup of tea/coffee/milk! Cool Tools Parchment Sheets Bench Scraper Silicon Pastry Brush Instant Read Thermometer Cuisinart 5 1/2 Quart Stand Mixer Resources The New Food Processor Bible by Norene Gilletz The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum  Cinnamon Bulkas (Traditional Yeast Buns) 2013-08-03 18:26:23 Yields 32 Special Cinnamon Buns that kids and grown-ups will love to make and eat! Write a review...

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