Hello! Summer has officially arrived at Jewhungry! If you follow me on Instagram (and I hope you do — check out the sidebar to see all the fun you’re missing in case you aren’t), you’ll know that a few weeks ago, I posted what turned out to be a popsicle fail. I was so thrilled to be asked to join in on the my first ever #popsicleweek by the incredible Billy Green (of Wit and Vinegar). I was all excited to join in on the popsicle fun but then my husband went out of town for two weeks, summer school started and I fell waaaaaay behind on posts. You see, unlike actual seasoned food bloggers, I do not and cannot plan and execute my posts weeks in advance cause I just don’t have the time. My posts usually come together last minute on a Sunday that I’ve blocked out 3 days prior to a deadline. It’s not the MOST effective way to work but 9 times out of 10 it actually works. Two weeks ago, however, it did not.

So, like I was saying, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll remember that I posted a melted mess of a chocolate and vanilla creamsicle that I was hoping would have made it in time to actually be included in my first ever Popsicle Week. But, alas, it did not. Well, 5 days later, husband finally came home from being gone for 2 weeks and helped me make my Black and White Creamsicle dreams come true. And while they didn’t get done in time for Popsicle Week, they still got done in time for summer and you can find the recipe and some thoughts on the power of the Black and White cookie over at Interfaithfamily.com. Click HERE for the recipe! Happy Summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello and happy (almost) Purim! Can you believe that it’s almost Purim time? I seriously feel like it was JUST yesterday that I was making cheddar Sriracha latkes on The Feed Feed and now I’m making hamantaschen? How can this be? My waist line is not ready for all the holiday hamantaschen baking! Blargh!

 

 

 

I’m back from my little jaunt to exotic Dallas, Texas for the BBYO International Convention. I was there giving two separate presentations — one on food sustainability through the kosher lens plus a joint session with my girl, Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat. Amy and I had a session up against Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live and while our workshop was heavily attended, I’m not convinced that the majority of our audience weren’t students who weren’t able to get into the Aidy Bryant workshop. But that’s OK! They got to learn about food blogging so ha! Suckers! Ya learned something new!

I had SUCH an amazing time with Amy and meeting so many teens who frikkin’ love their Jewish selves. It was a bit of  a mind-trip to be at a BBYO conference as a 36 year-old mother of two. My days as a Jewish high school convention-attendee were so much fun but also so incredibly awkward (here’s to being a teen in the mid-90s). It felt crazy to be walking around this convention with the confidence that a grown woman should have while my 16 year-old self was screaming out, “Look at me now! I’m a grown a** woman. Now watch me lay in bed for an hour and read before turning out the lights for a sensible bed time of 9pm!”

But these hamantaschen! Oy! These hamantaschen. I did some research on Pinterest to get some inspiration for this year’s hamantaschen flavors. I have another flavor combo in my back pocket for the next week but for now, I’m really loving on the intensity of the chocolate in this dough and the realness of the fluffy middle. My official taste-tester for these was my husband as he ate enough Oreo/Hydroxy cookies as a child to consider himself an Oreo/Hydroxy expert and he swears it tastes like the real deal. Only, be warned, this chocolate dough is chewy and soft, the way I prefer my hamantaschen. You MUST be vigilant with your refrigeration/freezing of dough. Do not skip these parts of the process. They are vital. But, in case you do miss a bit and end up with wonky-shaped hamantschen, just delicately squeeze some filling over it and no one will ever know!

busy licking the spatula

 

a journey through Amy and Whitney learning how to pose for a picture.

 

(Heads up, this is NOT a hard cookie dough. I am not a fan of hard cookies so I made a soft, chewy cookie dough. See narrative and notes in the directions on maintaining the dough’s form while baking. Happy eating!)

Ingredients for Cookie

Ingredients for Cream Filling

Directions for Cookie

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using handheld mixers), beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add egg, milk, espresso or coffee, and vanilla until mixed thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Slowly add dry mixture to wet mixture until incorporated. (Note: if the dough is too soft, increase flour amount by 1/4 cup of flour until firm – see notes written in narrative regarding the chilling and softness of the dough).

Shape dough into a disk, wrap in saran wrap and chill for AT LEAST (I chill mine overnight) an hour. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the center. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness. With a 2 3/4-inch round cutter, or wide-rimmed drinking class, cut out circles; place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gather scraps, chill while previous cookies are baking, and repeat with your roll-out and cutting until all dough is used.

Whisk together remaining egg and 1 teaspoon water in a bowl. Brush circle edges with egg wash; pinch seams together. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 1 sheet at a time, about 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before adding filling.

Directions for Filling:

Using a mixer, cream the butter and shortening until fluffy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. I used an icing bag with a small, round tip for filling centers of the cookie. You could just as easily ‘ice’ the centers with a knife or spoon but I do not think it will be as easy as using an icing bag and tip.

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate and Tahini Sauce

 

I swear this blog is not turning into a dessert blog. I also swear this blog is not being sponsored by a tahini company (though I wouldn’t be opposed to it . . . hint, hint tahini companies). Anyway, like I said, this blog is not necessary a dessert blog it’s just that with the holidays approaching, my husband finishing his PhD and Winter Break officially beginning, we’ve got a lot to celebrate and plenty of reasons to bake!

My crazy sous chef.

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate and Tahini Sauce

 

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate and Tahini Sauce

I call this recipe, “Siona’s Vanilla Cake” for two reasons. 1) It’s so easy to make that when I need to bring a quick dessert for a Shabbat dinner or potluck, she and I grab our matching Jewhungry aprons and within minutes, we’ve got ourselves a cake baking in the over and 2) this kid LOVES vanilla cake. Most cake she actually just eats the frosting off of and then doesn’t actually eat the cake but this cake? This cake she’ll devour. The additional chocolate sauce and sprinkles helps too.

I love baking with this kid. It started a couple years ago when she and I had just moved to LA and the hubby was still in Miami finishing his PhD work. I needed something for us to do on Sunday mornings and we just naturally fell into the habit of baking together. She has mastered the scrapping down of the bowl in between mixing and can sift flour like a pro-baker. Let’s not forget, she’s 4. Baking together has become such a normal part of our weekends that she actually has turned down the opportunity to watch a movie in favor of baking together. Seriously. Hashtag parenting win.

 

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate and Tahini Sauce

 

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate and Tahini Sauce

I can’t express to you how easy peasy this cake is to make. The chocolate and tahini sauce aren’t a necessity but, I mean, come on. It’s chocolate and tahini sauce so yeah, it’s a necessity. It also dresses up the cake so if you do bring it to a potluck, folks will be all, “OMG! Did you make that?! It’s gorgeous”. And you’ll be all, “Hell yeah I did. Who’s the Cake Boss now, Buddy!?”

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate and Tahini Sauce

 

Ingredients for Cake:

1 cup margarine (I use Earth’s Balance) at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)
2 tablespoons clear imitation vanilla extract (this is what gives it that old timey cake flavor).

Chocolate Sauce recipe HERE

For tahini sauce:

1/4 cup raw tahini
4 tbsp of hot water

Directions for Tahini:
Combine ingredients and stir until well-combined.

Directions for Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a Bundt pan with non-stick canola oil spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. With the mixer on law, add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Add in the flour mixture, and then the sour cream and vanilla. Beat well until combined. The batter will be thick.

Spoon the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. (Mine took 45 minutes but every oven is different and due to the density of this batter, you will want to make sure it is clearly cooked in the middle.)

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack and continue to cool to room temperature.

Once completely cooled, artfully drizzle the chocolate sauce onto the cake followed by the tahini sauce. Add sprinkles at your leisure.

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