Monday, May 21, 2012

Cherry Cheese Danish Braid

When I want to make a new recipe, I almost always never forget about it. Except once in a blue moon, I do forget....enter: Pinterest. But generally these types of things stick to my brain. So when I mentioned cheese danishes and lattes a few weeks ago, that combination bounced around in my cerebellum just waiting for the right oppurtunity to come out into this world. And so folks, without further ado:
Danish Dough
This recipe is a copycat recipe of Pillsbury Crescent dough. Since I am not sure if it is kosher, and if it is, it is most likely dairy (my Cholov Yisroel dilemma,) I was really eager to try this recipe out...Pinterest is chock full of cool looking recipes that call for Pillsbury Crescent Dough. Since I can't tell you what the original tastes like, I don't know if it tastes the same, but I was really happy with the results. I am sure if you are short on time, you can use a sheet a puff pastry dough, but cold pastry dough is just really *ick* (no other way to describe it) and this dough has a lot more substance and flavor then regular puff pastry (not to mention, less grease). If you want to try making the dough non-dairy for other recipes, I am sure you can substitute the butter with margarine.  Also, one recipe of this dough equals one tube of store bought dough. 

2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
6 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 large egg
2 tablespoons shortening
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Combine yeast, warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, until yeast is foamy. Add in remaining ingredients, in order. If using a stand mixer, knead for 5-10 minutes, until dough is smooth. If mixing by hand, use a spoon to mix until ingredients form a ball, and then knead by hand for 5 minutes, until dough is smooth. Cover bowl with a towel, and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. 

1-8 ounce package cream cheese, whipped or solid
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla 

1 cup cherry pie filling

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Combine cream cheese and sugar in a small bowl.Using an electric mixer, beat until creamy. Add vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. Roll out risen dough into a 13x7 rectangle. (Do not punch down the dough before rolling, it makes it harder to roll out if you do.) Spread the cheese filling in a line down the length of the middle of the rectangle. Carefully spoon the pie filling over the cheese filling. (It's tempting to dump the whole can of pie filling over the middle, but its really too much. One cup is more than enough cherry flavor.) Using a sharp knife, cut diagonal strips down each side of the filling, about one inch apart.
I was too lazy to take pictures at this point, so here's my super cool diagram I made for you on Paint. 

No snide jokes regarding my drawing talents please. My talents like to stay in the kitchen where they are welcome, thank you very much.

Fold over the top of the dough and the bottom of the dough to prevent the filling from leaking out. Starting at the top, fold opposite strips of dough over the filling to create a braided affect. Brush entire braid with melted butter. Sprinkle sugar on top. Bake at 375°F for 23-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before slicing. 

I plan on freezing this, so if you are wondering if you can, I am sure it will be fine. But since I have not tested it out yet, I cannot say for sure. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

And back to the boys...

Upsherin cakes!! 
As much as I wax poetic about girls' cakes- there is something that is just so much fun about making a boy's upsherin cake (customary celebration when a Jewish boy turns 3 years old). While girls are frilly and floofy; boys are bold with bright colors, and of course the mandatory train:
And now for some frilly...
....and some floof with a little class:

Now go have yourself a nice week, ok?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Banana Oat Pancakes

So today there is good news and bad news:

The good news: I have a lot to say today.
 (Of course that is debatable as to whether or not that is good news, but bear with me here.)

The bad news: I left the recipe for today's post and my water bottle at home. Hence, the lack of recipe (which I shall post later on tonight) and my extreme thirst.

So let's get started, shall we?


The little devils. They are tiny edible hypocrites. See the problem is, pancakes are universally accepted as a breakfast food. And that's great, you know? Pancakes for breakfast? Awesome. Whoever gets up early enough to make pancakes from scratch deserves a standing ovation in my book. Seriously. I will stand up and clap for you. But let's take a closer look: Pancakes= Pan + Cakes. In other words, little cakes that are made in a pan. How am I the only person in the world who has noticed this phenomenon. Listen, you want to have a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast, I will be the last person to stop you. But who in their right mind would call chocolate cake a breakfast food?! And yes, I am aware of the famous Bill Cosby rant on chocolate cake. But let's get real here. If you are going to blow your diet to the East River, please tell me you are fressing on cheese danishes and lattes?! Because really, as amazing as pancakes are- are they really worth it?
Wow, I did a really good job of selling you this recipe today, haven't I? The truth is, I love pancakes, but I never eat them! So instead, I lovingly prepare these delicious little hyprocrites for my darling Monkeys. Because thankfully they aren't counting carbs. And its slightly possible I snuck one, or two, or five. But that's only a slight possibility. If you've stayed with me this long, my point is: these are amazing. They taste like little banana muffins in pancake form. And in true Bill Cosby philosophy, they do contain eggs and milk, and that's gotta count for something, right!?

Banana Oat Pancakes
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cups instant oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 1/3 cup milk (rice or soy works too!)
1 cup mashed banana (approximately 3)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons oil

Combine the dry ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk together until evenly combined. In a separate bowl, add remaining ingredients. Mix together using a hand mixer or blender to ensure there are no chunks of bananas. (Unless you like banana chunks, then you can mix by hand.) Pour oil into a large frying pan, enough to coat the bottom of the pan, plus a little bit more. Heat oil for a few minutes until it is hot, but not burning. Drop batter by large spoonfuls. Lower heat to medium-low, and let cook until bubbles begin to form in the center of the pancakes. Carefully flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Serve with maple syrup. Fried pancakes freeze great! Just stick them in a ziploc bag and zap in the microwave when hunger overtakes you. Enjoy!
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