Monday, February 23, 2015

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Puff Pastry Hamantaschen

If you read any Jewish food blogs these days, you're likely inundated with recipes for hamantaschen - the traditional three-cornered treat for the holiday of Purim. All sorts of fantastical fillings wrapped up in a cookie crust are on offer. But why just play with the filling? Who says the crust must be cookie dough? Nobody, that's who. So if you're in for an adventure and a twist on tradition, try these puff pastry hamantaschen - store-bought dough, delicious no-bake filling, pure bliss. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gooey Crispy Chocolate Braid

People often ask me why I bake more than I cook. (Though volume-wise, that might not be true, I do have more of an excitement for the pastry arts). There are many reasons, but part of it is the element of aesthetics: Though savory food can be beautiful, there's something about desserts and pastries and all things baking that has even more visual appeal. The oohs and aahs over something that looks like it took hours are always fun sounds to hear. So this recipe - that looks super fancy but is really effortless and simple - is the perfect one to keep in your back pocket. And with Valentine's Day coming up, another chocolate recipe is never a bad idea. 

I take the cheater's way out with store-bought puff pastry, which makes things really quick and easy. Just make sure to defrost your puff pastry well in advance - stick it in the fridge the night before you want to use it, or leave it for several hours on the counter. Don't be like me, and end up aiming a hair dryer at the still-frozen log as time slips away!