National Chocolate Chip Day – May 15th

National Chocolate Chip Day celebrates and enjoys sweet, tasty chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are a great invention, and certainly deserve a little recognition. After all, where would chocolate chip cookies, cakes and muffins be without the chocolate chip!?

NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® chocolate chip cookie

Everyone loves NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate chips are popular in cooking and baking, for a wide variety of breads, cakes, and cookies. There is an almost endless number of recipes. They are also used in decorating. Have you ever had chocolate chip pancakes? How about chocolate chips in trail mix? If you’ve never had these, then you’re leading a sheltered life.

Rare is the leftover chocolate chip. If you don’t use the whole bag, you and/or your kids will likely eat them as a snack before they make it to the storage container.

 

Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ruth Graves Wakefield of Massachusetts, invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1938. This is the original recipe she made. The name of the cookie was altered a bit over the years, and is now formally called “Nestle’s Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie”. Other than the name, the recipe is the same as it was in 1938, when Ruth first made it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup(2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Note: If you substitute margarine for butter, you are not re-creating the original recipe.

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 °.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  6. Bake in oven for 9 to 11 minutes, or until a golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes.
  8. Remove cookies from baking sheet, and place on wire racks until completely cooled.
Advertisements

Butterfinger® Cookies Recipe

Yield: 48 Servings/4 dozen

Butterfinger Cookies

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1-1/4 cups chunky peanut butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Butterfinger candy bars (2.1 ounces each), chopped

 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg whites. Beat in peanut butter and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in candy bars.
  2. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls and place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  3. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

 

Nutritional Facts
1 each: 96 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 83mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.

 
Originally published as Butterfinger Cookies in Taste of Home June/July 1998, p67

 

Tips to Celebrate Purim

JDate’s Jewish holiday Hamentaschen recipe

Yield: 48 cookies (1 per serving)

Hamantaschen

Celebrate Purim

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Prune, Apricot or Plum, or Poppy Seed Filling

Directions: Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in large bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix lemon peel, vanilla extract and eggs.

Stir into flour mixture until dough forms a ball. (Use hands to mix all ingredients if necessary; add up to 1/4 cup additional flour if dough is too sticky to handle.)

Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

*Prepare desired filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll half of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Spoon 1 level teaspoon filling onto each round. Bring up 3 sides, using metal spatula to lift, to form triangle around filling. Pinch edges together firmly. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Prune Filling: Heat prunes and enough water to cover to boiling in 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes; drain well. Mash prunes. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Apricot or Plum Filling: Mix jam, almonds, lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir in just enough bread crumbs until thickened.

Poppy Seed Filling: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.

*Filling options: Prune Filling

  • 1 (12 ounce) package pitted prunes
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Apricot or Plum Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups apricot or plum jam
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (about)

Poppy Seed Filling

  • 1 cup poppy seed
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg white

NOTE: To speed up the making of these Jewish holiday cookies, use canned apricot or poppy seed filling.

Click here for more Hamentaschen recipes.

Check out JDate’s Tips to Celebrate the Holiday

Party Purim style!

Over this Jewish holiday, celebrants are commanded to eat, drink and be merry! According to the Talmud, a person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai” and if you’ve read the story that’s a big leap. At JDate they celebrate Purim every year by throwing nationwide Jewish holiday parties across the U.S. and Canada where we invite all JDaters to imbibe ‘til they can’t tell the difference between Mordechai and Haman.

Note: One should not drink so much that they violate other commandments or become ill. Also if you’re a recovering alcoholic or can have adverse health risks due to alcohol, you’ll have to sit out this part of the Jewish holiday.

Dressing up for Purim

One thing that perfectly complements the drinking commandment of the Jewish holiday is the carnival atmosphere that often accompanies a Purim celebration! It’s said that Purim has Mardi Gras meets Halloween feel and many parties encourage participants to masquerade as their favorite characters in the Purim story or any other fun outfit befitting the Jewish holiday. Costumes are used for participants to hide themselves, much like Esther hid her Judaism from King Ahasuerus, Mordechai hid his knowledge of foreign languages to uncover the plot on King Ahasuerus’ life or when Haman was once mistaken for Mordechai in the streets in Sushan by Haman’s sister. But the one who is truly hidden behind the events of the Purim story is G-d. Many believe that the miraculous events of the Purim story stem from divine intervention and although there is no mention of G-d in the Book of Esther, Jewish philosophy believes that the reason for His omission is to emphasize the very point that G-d remained hidden, but was nonetheless present and played the largest part in the Jewish holiday story.

Click here for more from JDate.com 

Celebrate Purim with Hamentaschen

Tracey R. Rich Teaches Jewish Culture with her Website

Here is an excerpt from the  Judaism 101 website:

Purim   pvrym

Hamantaschen

Celebrate Purim with Hamantaschen cookies

Significance: Remembers the defeat of a plot to exterminate the Jews
Observances: Public reading of the book of Esther while “blotting out” the villain’s name
Length: 1 day
Customs: Costume parties; drinking; eating fruit-filled triangular cookies

Purim begins at Sunset on March 23, 2016

The story of Purim is told in the Biblical book of Esther. The heroes of the story are Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her cousin Mordecai, who raised her as if she were his daughter. Esther was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem. King Ahasuerus loved Esther more than his other women and made Esther queen, but the king did not know that Esther was a Jew, because Mordecai told her not to reveal her identity.

The villain of the story is Haman, an arrogant, egotistical advisor to the king. Haman hated Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, so Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish people. 

Here’s Tracey R. Rich‘s Recipe for Hamentaschen

Hamentaschen (lit. Haman’s pockets):  These triangular fruit-filled cookies are supposed to represent Haman’s three-cornered hat.

Hamentaschen

Yield:  Approx. 20 – 24 cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (the smooth kind, not the pulpy)
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour (DO NOT substitute white flour! The wheat flour is necessary to achieve the right texture!)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Various preserves, fruit butters and/or pie fillings.

Directions: Blend butter and sugar thoroughly. Add the egg and blend thoroughly. Add orange juice and blend thoroughly. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating white and wheat, blending thoroughly between each. Add the baking powder and cinnamon with the last half cup of flour. Refrigerate batter overnight or at least a few hours. Roll as thin as you can without getting holes in the batter (roll it between two sheets of wax paper lightly dusted with flour for best results). Cut out 3 or 4 inch circles.

Proper folding of HamentaschenPut a dollop of filling in the middle of each circle. Fold up the sides to make a triangle, folding the last corner under the starting point, so that each side has corner that folds over and a corner that folds under (see picture). Folding in this “pinwheel” style will reduce the likelihood that the last side will fall open while cooking, spilling out the filling. It also tends to make a better triangle shape.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown but before the filling boils over!

Traditional fillings are poppy seed and prune. (Apricot is Tracey R. Rich’s favorite) Apple butter, pineapple preserves, and cherry pie filling all work quite well.

On her website, Judaism101  Rich writes, “I usually use Pathmark grocery store brand fruit preserves, and of course the traditional Simon Fischer brand prune lekvar. I have also made some with Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread); I find it a bit dry that way, but some people like it.”

The number of cookies this recipe makes depends on the size of the cutting tool and the thickness. Rich use sa 4-1/4 inch cutting tool and roll to a medium thickness, and gets 20-24 cookies out of this recipe.

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Variation

If on a wheat-free diet for wheat allergies or a gluten-free diet for celiac-sprue, substitute 2 cups of buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup of milled flax seed for the white and wheat flour. Reduce the baking powder to 1 tsp. The resulting hamentaschen will have an unusual pumpernickel color, but taste great.

Make sure the buckwheat flour you use is wheat-free/gluten-free.  Sometimes buckwheat flour is mixed with white or wheat flour. The Hodgson Mill buckwheat and flax  are gluten-free and have reliable kosher certification.

Find more information about Purim at the Judaism 101 website© Copyright 5756-5771 (1995-2011), Tracey R Rich

Click here for more Hamentaschen recipes.

Dairy Free – Gluten Free Buried Treasure Meringues

This recipe comes from King Arthur Flour company in Vermont, USA.

Buried Treasure Meringues

These light treats are Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free.  What makes them extra special is the drop of some dark chocolate or a candied cherry in the middle…. either placed atop the cookie or bury it like hidden treasure within the meringue before baking.

Hands-on time: 15 mins. to 25 mins.

meringue cookies

Arrgh, mateys! These treasures are sure to steal hearts on Feb. 14 or any other day!

Baking time: 1 hrs 30 mins. to 1 hrs 30 mins.

Total time: 3 hrs 55 mins. to 9 hrs 55 mins.
Yield: 20 to 24 meringues

Ingredients:
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
dash of salt
1/2 cup plus 1 TBsp. granulated sugar
Filling:
Candied cherries and/or bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chunks; King Arthur Flour bakers like Peter’s Burgundy chunks.

Directions:
1) Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (first choice), or lightly grease it.

2) In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a dash of salt.

3) Beat until peaks form, then gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

4) Pipe a base of meringue onto the sheet, using a pastry bag and star tip; place a candied cherry, or a couple of chunks of chocolate, atop the base. Pipe meringue to cover the cherry or chocolate.

5) If you don’t want to pipe meringues, simply drop by tablespoonfuls onto the sheet. Place cherry or chocolate in the center of each meringue; cover or leave exposed, your choice.

6) Bake the meringues for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the oven off, and leave them in the turned-off oven until they’re completely cool, 3 hours or more. This is a good cookie to make in the evening; they can be left in the oven (with the heat turned off) overnight.

Yield: approximately 20 to 24 meringues.