Thursday, 28 November 2013

Happy Hanukkah!

Kanafeh/Künefe (Sweet Cheese Pastry)


1/2 pound shredded phyllo (called: kataifi or kunefe), thawed as directed on package
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
2 cups feta (soaked in water for an hour) or goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup simple syrup or 1/4 cup apple and/or pear sauce


Break the pastry apart into one or two inch long pieces, separating the strands. (A few pulses of a food process helps with this.)
Mix the butter into the pastry with your hands in a large bowl until coated and press half of it into the bottom of a greased metal baking pan in a thin layer.
Pulse the cheeses in a food processor until the mixture reaches the consistency of a coarse meal and press it into the dough in the pan.
Press the remaining dough onto the cheese and bake in a preheated 350F oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
Serve warm covered in syrup or topped with apple and/or pear sauce.
Note: Top make the simple syrup, simmer 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar until the sugar has disolved and let cool.



2 packets dry yeast (or 2 T)
3/4 C warm water
1 C whole milk
3/4 C sugar
6 T shortening or margarine
1 t salt
2 eggs
5 C flour (or more)
1 gallon (or more) vegetable oil
confectioner’s sugar


Proof. Mix yeast with warm water and a pinch of sugar. After about 5 minutes, it will foam up.
Heat. Warm milk in a pan over low heat until it reaches body temperature.
Mix. In a large bowl, mix sugar, shortening, and salt until creamy (I used my barely-functional waiting-for-the-new-one-to-arrive mixer on low speed and it hobbled along, so you could probably do just as well the old-fashioned way). Add eggs and mix. Add yeast mixture and milk and continue to mix. Add 2 cups of the flour. Beat in the remaining flour a half-cup at a time until the dough is very elastic and no longer sticks to the bowl. I had to add a total of 6 cups.
Knead. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes. I started kneading in my mixer and then finished up the last few minutes by hand on a floured counter.
Rise. Put dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in bulk – at least an hour. I heat my oven to the lowest temperature possible (170ºF) and then turn it off and leave the covered bowl inside to rise.
Knead. Once dough has doubled, knead it again briefly.
Roll. Roll the dough out on a floured counter until it is about 1/2 thick.
Cut. Using a drinking glass to cut the dough into rounds. Re-roll the scraps and cut the rest of the rounds. These (the rounds from the re-rolled dough) will need to rise a little bit longer than the others. Keep the remaining scraps to test the oil.
Rise again. Place the rounds on a well-floured cookie sheet (ideally the kind without edges) so the dough is easier to slide right off into the oil. Let rise again until double, at least another hour. The rounds will get nice and round.
Heat. Fill a really wide pot with high sides with oil and heat over low to medium heat. Remember those scraps left over? Gently slide one into the oil. If one side browns in 1-2 minutes, the oil is too hot. If it takes more than 5 minutes, the oil is not hot enough. You’ll probably need to test and adjust the temperature a few times. The oil is perfect when you it forms a lot of teeny tiny rolling bubbles around the dropped dough. I checked the oil temperature with a meat thermometer – it was 310ºF. I’m not sure how accurate using a meat thermometer is; most recipes call for the oil to be 350ºF.
Fry! Once you’ve got the oil at the right temperature, lower the cookie sheet close to the surface of the oil and scootch your first roly-poly round into the oil. Tiny bubbles should surround the doughnut. When the first side puffs up and reaches a nice brown (a bit darker than “golden”), flip it over. It took us about 3-4 minutes per side. And we made about 3-4 per batch.
Drain. Cover your counter or a few plates with several layers with paper towels. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sufganiyot from the oil onto the paper towels and drain off excess oil.
Fill. Load a turkey baster with whatever filling you want to use. Poke it into the side of a doughnut as far as it will go. Slowly and steadily squeeze the filling into the sufganiyah while gently pulling back to the edge of the doughnut.
Dust. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top of the sufganiyot.
Eat. The sufganiyot are best fresh, but they will last about 24 hours if well wrapped.

Latkes (Potato Pancakes)


3 large Russet potatoes
1 onion, diced
2 T garlic, minced
1 t salt (or more)
a good sprinkle of pepper (we use the pepper grinder so it's not measured)
1 t paprika
1 egg
3/4 c rice flour
Oil for frying


Peel the potatoes, then grate two of them into a bowl of water using the regular sized holes (larger) on your grater and then grate the other potato using the small-holed side of the grater. Rinse the potatoes, squeeze out any excess water, and add the rest of the ingredients. Work everything in with your hands until well combined. Heat 1/2" of oil (we use a cast iron pan) and take a small handful of potato mix and squeeze as much liquid as possible out while smooshing the potatoes into a pancake. Slide into the oil, and repeat. You will be left with a gross puddle of sludge, get rid of that. Yuck. Drain latkes on paper towels and serve, sprinkling with a little salt if you wish, and try to remember to have some apple sauce or sour cream on hand too. I always forget. 



2 (.25 oz.) packages (4½ teaspoons) (22½ ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) warm water (100°F/38°C)
½ cup (120 ml) (100 gm) (3½ oz) brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup (one stick) (120 ml) (115 gm/4 oz) margarine or unsalted butter – room temperature
2 tsp. (10 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) whole wheat flour
2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) all-purpose flour
½ cup (120 ml) (50 gm) (1¾ oz) rolled oats (old fashioned work just fine!)
Additional flour for kneading (½ to 1 cup) (120 to 240 ml) (70 to 140 gm) (2½ to 5 oz)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water for glaze


In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water. Allow to stand about 5 minutes until creamy/foamy.
With paddle attachment beat 3 eggs, sugar, margarine or butter, flours and oats into the yeast mixture.
Add flours and oats and mix until it becomes difficult to mix. Switch to the dough hook.
Knead for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding flour as/if needed. By hand, this should take about 10-12 minutes.
Form dough into a round, compact ball. Turn in oiled bowl, cover with a towel. Let rise in warm area until doubled, approx 2 hours.
Once dough has doubled, punch down. Recover with towel, allow to rise again for an hour.
Punch the dough down again, divide in two. Shape each half as desired and place onto parchment covered baking trays.
Cover with the towel and allow to rise another hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush loaves with egg wash. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar/sesame seeds/poppy seeds/other topping here if desired.
Bake for 30-40 min until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

Shortbread Cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cook's Note:

Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month.


Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Wisk together flour and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sugar, and continue to beat until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of bowl, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed, scraping sides if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed with fingers.
Turn out dough, forming into 2 disks; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out 1 disk to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out shapes using desired cookie cutter, and transfer to prepared baking sheets. Reroll scraps. Repeat with remaining disk. Indent cookies with desired stamps. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. Bake until firm and golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

To get more great Hannukah recipes, check out Pinterest


  1. Wunderbare Leckereien hast du wieder gezaubert.

    Liebe Grüße

  2. Hmmmm, fantastisch gute Gerichte....ich rieche es bis zu
    Liebe Grüsse von Bea

  3. Oh wow that looks delicious!

  4. This all looks very tempting. I would love to try the Kanafeh!


Feel free to leave a comment. I try to read them all so post suggestions and ideas too!