Monday, May 13, 2013

Ethnic Flavor: Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars for Shavuot

Shavout, the holiday where we celebrate receiving the Torah, is nearly upon us.    This is one of my favorite holidays, and not just because it is traditional to eat dairy foods on Shavout, but that does make it extra sweet.  One food that people love to eat on Shavout is cheesecake.  Although a plain, well made cheesecake can be delicious (and a poorly made one can be disastrous), I think cheesecake is the perfect canvas to experiment with other flavors.  This year, I decided to make these salted caramel cheesecake bars to bring to Shavuot services.  I have made them before and they were a huge hit, so I can't wait to see how people react to them on Wednesday.  They are a little bit salty, a little bit sweet and a little bit tangy with a buttery crust.  When you bite into one, the flavor just melds together in your mouth into one delicious bite.

If salted caramel cheesecake isn't your thing (and who are you??), then you can try any of these other cheesecake recipes.  

Wow, we love cheesecake on this blog.  Anyway, here is the recipe for salted caramel cheesecake bars.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Homemade Seed-uction Bread (a title that happens when Sarah forgets to put up a title)

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there! Now, I've seen a lot of people posting on Facebook today about how they have the best mom in the world, but the Baking Sisters know that that's not true, because they're not our siblings and therefore can't possibly have the best mom in the world. This article in today's Times made me think of her, because as we've noted here before, our mom is not the cooking type, but that doesn't make her any less of a mom. We may not have learned our mad baking skillz from her, but we learned pretty much everything else, and she is such an amazing role model in every way. So I'm putting the truth out there: Ruth Jarmul is the best mom in the world. And now it's on the Internet, so it has to be true.

Which brings us, in a roundabout way, to bread. What is more comforting and homey and mom-like than a loaf of fresh-baked bread? (See what I did there?)  The roots of this bread was that I wanted to make a loaf for a dinner I was hosting and I had some leftover whole wheat flour I was trying to get rid of, so I looked up a yummy-looking bread recipe on the King Arthur Flour site. As so often happens with these things, I ended up having to buy all of these extra ingredients in the service of getting rid of the whole wheat flour. Whoops.

Mostly, it was because of the Harvest Grains Blend. In typical excellent planning fashion, I decided to make the bread two days before the dinner, and there wasn't enough time to order the HGB from the KAF site, so I found this nice homemade recipe over at the Bread Virgin. So now I have a large tupperware full of leftover wheat flakes, rye flakes, flax, etc. There are worse things to put in a tupperware, especially since I really love seed bread. My favorite bread in America is called Seed-uction bread, and it's from Whole Foods, and every time I ask for it I'm unbelievably embarrassed. My favorite bread in England is called Thousand-Seed Loaf, and it comes from Derek in the market at Cambridge. So I was really excited to find an amazing seed bread that I could make in my very own home! This bread is excellent. It's rather dense and a little nutty, with that wonderful crunch inside and out. Plus, it's just beautiful to look at, and is sure to excite oohs and aahs at your next dinner party before anyone even takes a bite. Like all bread, it takes forever to make, but it's not too difficult, and totally worth it! Make some for your mom today! You can find the recipe here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

BAKED Sunday Mornings: Chocolate Peanut Butter Spread

So I might loose all my foodie cred for telling you this but I don't like Nutella. I honestly don't understand the appeal. When I saw this week's recipe was chocolate hazelnut spread I was not excited. However, I do love peanut butter and when I had the idea to replace the hazelnuts with peanuts, then I was super excited!

I urge anyone who loves the chocolate peanut butter combo to do this. It is so easy and delicious. You just whir peanuts, cocoa powder, sugar and a bit of oil in the food processor and you come out with this rich and yummy spread. 

I also used the spread to make scones, based on the Nutella scones from baked. Instead of chopped hazelnuts, I used mini chocolate peanut butter cups. Insane!

Check out what some of the other bloggers did here.

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