Pareve Pumpkin Cheesecake

credit:foodnetwork.com

This is a nice change from the typical pumpkin pie.

Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (it’s even better if you can use ginger snap crumbs)
5 tablespoons margarine, melted

Filling:
2 (8-ounce) packages tofutti cream cheese, softened
1 cup tofutti soup cream
1-¼ cups sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350° F. To make the crust, mix the ingredients and pat into a 9-inch spring form pan, forming the crust along the bottom and slightly up the sides. Set aside in refrigerator. To make the filling, in a mixer, beat the tofutti cream cheese, tofutti sour cream, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the pumpkin purée and the spices and blend. Add the eggs one at a time and blend again until mixed. Pour into the pan over the crust. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the center is almost set.
Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool. Refrigerate for several hours, until the cheesecake is completely cooled. To serve, run a knife or metal spatula around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, and remove the pan.

Kosherfest

This week was Kosherfest! The largest kosher food show in America where thousands of people come to see what is going on in the kosher food world and of course GKC was there, meeting with dozens of kosher vendors, some old friends and some new and exciting ones – more on that later. There were cookbook authors, new products for the kosher consumer, and eating, lots and lots of eating – This week KosherFest, next week the gym!

First stop was visiting some of our favorite cookbook authors. And that means no better place to start than the amazing Susie Fishbein. Susie’s cookbooks have become a staple in most kosher kitchens, and why not, they’re so beautiful and imaginative. It’s remarkable what Susie has contributed to the elegant kosher kitchen. GKC found Susie demonstrating easy delicious desserts that she created for Kolatin (A company GKC told its readers about in past blogs!). Susie thanked me and told me how great the GKC readers have responded to her new book (check out all your great comments and enthusiasm in the GKC comments section) and why not? It’s a great and really fun cookbook!

Next, GKC good friend Jamie Geller was there in her classic Jamie high energy tons of fun way… Jaime is going to be joining us soon, for a personal Q & A about her new book, Meals in Minutes (submit your questions to Jamie here). I have to say it is so great to watch Jamie light the kosher world, on fire and to bring the joys of kosher cooking to so many women who might not otherwise be cooking with a smile. I have known Jaime for years and remember her as a powerhouse professional and guest at my Shabbos table, and now watching and enjoying her energy in the kosher world is just wonderful. After spending time with Jamie, GKC got a few minutes in with Estee Kafra from the new Kosher Inspired, the new kosher food magazine published by Mishpacha magazine. I saw the first one and it’s full of great articles, recipes, photos, and entertaining ideas – check it out, lots of fun.

GKC shared lots of fun web ideas with Lois and Roberta from koshereye.com and let me tell you, those ladies give new meaning to southern hospitality and charm! I want to go to Atlanta for Shabbos just so I can spend more time with them. Afterwards while I could still stand, GKC met with our good friend Jodi Samuels from metroimma.com Jodi is spending her time doing what she does best, helping Jews stay in touch with each other!

Throughout the day, GKC received the best VIP treatment (meaning extra snacks and samples!) from all of our great partners from Royal Wines, Osem, Streits, Mehadrin, Zelda’s, and more. We loved meeting with the mashgiach from the White House, Rabbi Segal, who was so kind to give GKC great recipes from the White House kitchen!

Now, lets talk food. What was good you ask? Here are a few of our favs.

* Matzel Toff. We mentioned this one last Pesach and it made the show this year. Really scrumptious chocolate covered matzah with caramel and sea salt. It’s hard to image that matzah is really in this product. I’d eat it year round!
* Jack’s Gourmet Sausage. Don’t fall down. My friends know that I am no sausage eater but WOW! I was impressed. Incredibly flavorful without that overly salty, hyper-smoked taste. These are rich, smooth, and upscale. I would definitely have a fleish eggs, onions and sausage breakfast if these were included.
* Zelda’s caramel popcorn. I just love it. Covered in sweet caramel, crispy and crunchy. The extra snack bags didn’t make it home, I snacked on it all the way.
* Belgian Crepes. How fun is that idea? Prepared soft, thin crepes, in a vacuumed packed bag, ready to eat. I love the idea of instant crepes Suzette, or a crepe with strawberries in it for breakfast, or Nutella for dessert.
* Dr. Praeger’s buffalo nuggets. This is no kiddy chicken nugget and it certainly does not taste pareve. Healthy, quick and full of flavor. Try them.
* Tishbi Fig Cabernet Preserve. I loved it before I even tasted it. How cool is that name and the packaging is so wine snob… black, elegant, refined. And the taste, yum, sophisticated, slightly sweet with wine overtones. Perfect with Brie and crackers, or a scone.
* Lily Bloom’s Kitchen Gourmet Macaroons. These are no ordinary macaroon. New to the show and new on the market, I loved the white chocolate raspberry and the chocolate. Super rich but small so they leave you wanting more. Boxed like fine chocolates they make great gifts except your guests will finish them before you arrive for the meal.

Stay tuned for more from Kosherfest over the next few months. We can’t wait to bring you information about all.

Kosher by Design TEENS and 20-SOMETHINGS

My family got really lucky this week. In anticipation of reviewing Susie Fishbein’s new cookbook, I had to test out some of the recipes. I tried the New Tuna-Noodle Casserole. Although “gourmet chefs” usually turn down their noses at tuna casseroles, this one was particularly delicious. (Important disclaimer: I don’t consider myself a gourmet chef and can be peacefully content with chocolate chip cookies made from the most basic of recipes!) Everyone in the family enjoyed the tuna dish; the proof being that there was none left when I tried to have some for lunch the next day! I also made Ellie’s Onion-Crusted Chicken which was really, really good. I couldn’t find any horseradish sauce so I just mixed some white horseradish with mayonnaise and it worked out perfectly. I also tried the Big Dogs in Blankets. I was less successful with this. I couldn’t quite get the beans and sauerkraut inside the slit in the hot dogs so we ended up with just having big “pigs in blankets” with beans and sauerkraut as the sides. No one complained. I was looking forward to trying out some more but I was knocked out by a virulent form of bronchitis and retreated from contact with the kitchen and food prep! I’m sure we would have enjoyed the rest of the recipes- I plan to make the Layered Mushroom Ziti when I return from my quarantine. I definitely believe that you can never have too many kosher cookbooks and certainly not too many of those created by Susie Fishbein.

As a special thank you to gourmetkoshercooking.com, readers receive a 10% discount on Teens and 20-Somethings and free shipping (in Cont. U.S.) on their entire ArtScroll order when they enter the coupon code KBDBLOG at checkout. Please use the link http://www.artscroll.com/linker/kbdblog/link/kosherbydesign/ to help find the right page. For most recipes and updates, visit their blog (http://www.kosherbydesignblog.com/) or follow them on twitter (http://twitter.com/kosherbydesign).

Homemade Snack

School has finally started and most of us are back to a routine in our homes – work, lunches, snacks, dinner, homework, errands, activities and more. GKC is back too and focused on your feedback and the features that you have requested. Many readers have asked for homemade snack recipes. It is often challenging to include tasty, nutritious, and easy snacks that kids will be excited about. It’s hard to compete with those ketchup chips!! Even the Obamas are working on this issue. Try some of these suggestions or submit what you make at home. We would love to share them with our readers!

White House Fruit and Oat Bars from the White House chef Bill Yosses
Easy Healthier Brownies
Crunchy Cereal Trail Mix
Perfect Homemade Cheese Popcorn

Fruit Kebabs: Way more fun than just mixed fruit

Crunchy Cereal Trail Mix

1-½ cups puffed rice
1-½ cups puffed wheat
1-½ cups Wheat Chex cereal
1 cup puffed millet or muesli
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the puffed rice, puffed wheat, chex, puffed millet, oats and coconut on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the honey, cinnamon and salt. Pour the mixture over the cereal mixture and gently stir with a rubber spatula. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Perfect Cheese Popcorn

Easy

Serves:
3 1/2 to 4 quarts

Ingredients
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 ounces popcorn kernels, approximately 1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions
Place the oil, popcorn and salt in a large, 6-quart, metal mixing bowl. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife.

Place the bowl over medium heat and shake constantly using a pair of tongs to hold the bowl. Continue shaking until the popcorn finishes popping, approximately 3 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat and carefully remove the foil. Stir in any salt that is on the side of the bowl.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Slowly drizzle over the popcorn, while spinning the bowl. Serve immediately.

Try adding some flavors like grated parmesan cheese or smoked paprika to make cheese or smoky popcorn.

White House Fruit and Oat Bars

Adapted from Bill Yosses, White House pastry chef

Time: About 50 minutes, plus time for cooling

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil, plus extra for brushing pan
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups mixed dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, apricots, papaya, pineapple and cranberries (at least 3 kinds, cut into small pieces if large)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, letting a few inches hang over side of pan. Brush with oil.

2. Spread oats and seeds on another baking pan and toast in oven just until golden and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes, shaking pan once.

3. In a saucepan, combine oil, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Stir over medium heat until smooth and hot. In a mixing bowl, toss together toasted oats and seeds, dried fruit and cardamom. Pour hot sugar mixture over and stir until well combined.

4. While mixture is warm, transfer to prepared pan, pressing into pan evenly with an offset spatula.

5. Bake until brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool completely. Using the overhanging foil or paper, lift out of pan and place on a work surface. Cut into bars, about 1-1/2 inches by 3 inches.

Yield: 2 dozen bars.

Easy Recipes

GKC is excited to announce its new section: Easy Recipes. Isn’t that what you’ve been waiting for? Especially after all the cooking for the holidays?! Along with our regular weekly and Shabbos offerings we will now present the Easy Recipe of the Week. In addition, all easy recipes on the site will soon be marked with the easy recipe icon so that you can find them…easily!! Here are some quick recipes, new and old, to get you started. Enjoy


Easy Recipes


Tomato Salad
Chocolate Mousse
Chicken with Duck Sauce
Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispie Brownies
Spicy Black Bean Soup

Tomato Salad

Easy

4 garden-grown or hot house tomatoes, chopped (you need very fresh, flavorful tomatoes since they are the main ingredient and not cooked)
1 small red onion, diced
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vinegar
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, depending on the size of the tomatoes

Mix all ingredients together and let stand at room temperature for ½ hour to allow flavors to blend.

Chocolate Mousse

Easy

¾ cup nondairy creamer
4 cups miniature marshmallows
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into ½ to1-ounce pieces
¾ cup pareve whip
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine nondairy creamer, marshmallows and chocolate in a medium pot. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly. When mixture is smooth, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Beat whip and vanilla together until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture until completely incorporated. Refrigerate.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispie Brownies

Easy

1 Duncan Hines pareve brownie mix for 13 x 9-inch pan
1 package miniature marshmallows
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon margarine
1-1/2 cups Rice Krispies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownies according to package directions. Bake for 30 minutes and remove from oven. Sprinkle marshmallows over top and return to oven for 5 more minutes. In the meantime, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and margarine. Stir until melted and smooth and then stir in Rice Krispies. Cool for a few minutes and spread over marshmallow layer. Chill before cutting into bars and serving

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Easy to make, with just a little kick!!

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1 (29 ounce) can whole tomatoes with their juice
½ cup salsa
2 (19 ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 (32 ounce) boxes pareve chicken soup
4 tablespoons lime juice
tortilla chips

In a large stockpot, sauté the onion, garlic and spices in oil. Pour in tomatoes, salsa, beans and soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Allow soup to cool. Stir in the lime juice and puree the mixture with an immersion blender. Serve with tortilla chips. Serves about 12.

You made it!

You made it! 20 delicous yom tov meals. It’s time for a break. GKC needs one too but stay tuned, we will be back soon with more great recipes, an improved index, your own recipe box, a restaurant guide, and tons of great Q & A.

We hope you all had a wonderful Yom Tov season and GKC thanks you for your support, amazing feedback and terrific emails.

Menus for Succot

It’s hard to believe that we are all planning menus again. Although, I am also a little overwhelmed by the amount of time required in the kitchen this Yom Tov, I am also very excited about Succos. I love Succos and Succos food, warm soups and comfort desserts, lots of company, and special time with the kids. Here are a few of the menus I am planning. We love hearing from you and especially love hearing your feedback and comments. Good Yom Tov and Bon Appétit!

Great Night Menu
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Succulent Ribs
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sesame Green Beans
Mississippi Mud Cake

Dairy Menu
French Onion Soup
Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Pizza
Caesar Salad
Honey Glazed Salmon

White Hot chocolate

Biscotti
Baked Apples

California (it’s still hot here)
Black Bean Cakes with Gazpacho
Glazed Corned Beef
Grilled Vidalia Onion Salad
Slimmed Down Corn Pudding
Chocolate Cookies and Cream Cake

Another Meat Menu
Tortilla Soup
Grandma Tilly’s Brisket
Indian Eggplant
Red and Yellow Beets with lemon tarragon vinaigrette
Banana Betty in Individual Ramekins

Yom Kippur: Before and After the Fast

Although we don’t have to cook for Shabbos this year, we still need hearty meals before and after the fast. When we were first married and living in the Old City in Jerusalem, I made an elaborate dairy meal before the fast. Then, one of my husband’s rebbeim told him that since it was a seudas mitzvah, we should be eating meat. I ran to the markolet, grabbed a frozen chicken (if you have lived or live in Israel you know the ones I mean!) and spent Erev Yom Tov desperately defrosting and cooking it. I won’t make that mistake again. Our family “tradition” is have Oven-Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and another mild vegetable. Watermelon is our dessert of choice – juice and refreshing without the thirst-inducing danger of sugary treats.

Oven-Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes

After most fasts I made a pareve minestrone soup to which my kids love to add grated cheese. But after Yom Kippur, you need something more. It hasn’t just been a physical effort but a tremendous spiritual one as well and our bodies need rejuvenation. Try this hearty soup to replenish your energy.

Rich Mushroom Barley Soup with Flanken

Oven-Fried Chicken


Easy
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups panko
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 chickens, cut in 1/8th’s
¾ to 1 cup canola oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place rimmed nonstick baking sheet on lower rack of oven. Place the eggs in one bowl, the panko in one bowl, and the flour mixed with garlic and cayenne in a third bowl. Dredge chicken in flour, then egg and then panko. Pour the oil onto the baking sheet and roll the chicken pieces in it. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/3 cup non-dairy creamer
1/3 cup tofutti cream cheese
2 tablespoons margarine
1-2 teaspoons salt

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over a high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain completely and mash, adding non-dairy creamer, tofutti cream cheese, margarine and salt as you go.

Rich Mushroom Barley Soup with Flanken

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, wild and regular (it will work with just regular if you like)
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, sliced
4 teaspoons minced garlic
3 to 4 pounds flanken (short ribs)
4 quarts water
3 tablespoons beef broth powder
1 red pepper, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
1-3/4 cup barley
1 (15 oz) canned crushed tomatoes

Preparation:
In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions and sauté for about 15 minutes. Add celery and garlic and continue to sauté a few minutes longer. Brown short ribs and then add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Menu Ideas for Rosh Hashannah

So many great recipes and so many meals, but what to make and when? Here are a few menu suggestions from recipes available on GKC. Remember to mix and match whatever you like and make extra to freeze for Succot. What are you making? Anything to share?

Easy Menu
Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder
Rosh Hashannah Salad
Simple Elegant Short Ribs
Sweet Tzimmes
Curried Rice
Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Menu 1
Pumpkin Challah
Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
Brisket Braised in Pomegranate Juice with Onion Confit
Best Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Apples
Roasted Baby Beets with Truffle Chive Vinaigrette
Mango and Cranberry Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
White House Honey Cupcakes

Menu 2
Curried Apple Soup
Chicken & Fruit Fricassee
Corn Pudding
Roasted Asparagus
Apples, Cranberries and Almonds Salad
Chocolate Caramel Bread Pudding

Menu 3
Onion-Poppy Seed Challah
Pumpkin-Coconut Bisque
Rare’s Signature Sea Bass: Sea Bass with Balsamic Reduction and Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Apple Coleslaw
Roasted Baby Vegetables
Pomegranate Sweet Custard Tart

Menu 4
Apple Challah
Chilled Melon and Tomato Salad
Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine
Soda Meatballs
White Rice
Sweet Tzimmes

Simanim

On Rosh HaShanah, it is customary to eat symbolic foods that express our hopes and aspirations for the new year. As we take a bite, we pray for, among other things, a sweet new year (the famous apple in the honey), the destruction of our enemies (this requires more than just one food!) and an increase in both our individual merits and those of the Jewish people.

These foods can be served raw or cooked and presented creatively. My good friend Debby used an artist’s palette last year to display her treats.

Here are just a few possible recipes that make use of the simanim and get us fully involved in the blessings they invoke. We’d love to know what you use.

Leek Patties with Meat
Pumpkin Tarts
Coconut Date Balls

Extraordinary Chocolate Babka for Holiday Company

Two weeks ago I spent an amazing Shabbos in East Hampton NY. Yes, it is all its cracked up to be, magnificent mansions, beautiful architecture, gorgeous beaches, and super beachy glam. Additionally we had the good fortune of meeting some really interesting and diverse Shabbos guests including a Chihuahua with pink painted toe nails, the man behind GossipCop.com (a website that verifies the accuracy of celebrity news – or as we called him, the Hollywood lashon hara fact checker) but best of all was meeting my new friend and fellow foodie – Lee.

I first heard about Lee, Shabbos morning when my wonderful host and very dear friend Yael told me she had a special treat with our morning coffee. Now Yael has been a member of GKC since day 1 and she knows how much I love something sweet and delicious. So, when Yael says “I have a treat for you” she means it, and boy was she right! Yael gave me a piece of babka (already on the right track!) and said, “Enjoy”… I did! Wow! It turns out my new friend Lee had adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart and the results are delicious. The amazing thing was when I pictured the woman behind this babka I didn’t picture a beautiful young woman with a demanding career as a TV producer, but when I met her later at lunch that’s exactly who she turned out to be. Since then Lee and I have shared lots of great recipes and have bonded over our love of all things epicurean. Lee’s babka was twisted and rolled in a way that yields a beautiful layered and ribbon like appearance. The chocolate inside was so thick that the slices were clean and mouth watering. Turns out, Lee’s babka is easy to make and the chocolate layering is almost as pretty to look at as it was delicious to eat. The crumble on top gives it a perfect finish. Needless to say Shabbos was Yum!

Try it and let us know what you think. It’s become a GKC favorite.

Thanks Lee!

Chocolate Babka
by Lee Kushnir

When shaping the babka, twist dough evenly throughout the length of the roll a full 5 to 6 turns. The babka can be prepared up to step 8 and frozen for up to a month before baking. When ready to bake, remove from freezer; let stand at room temperature for about 5 hours, and bake.

This makes two full-sized and four miniature ones.

1 1/2 cups warm soy milk, 110 degrees
2 (1/4 ounce each) packages active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups plus a pinch of sugar
3 whole large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) margarine, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus more for bowl and loaf pans
2 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped*
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon soy milk
Streusel topping (below)

1. Pour warm milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over soy milk; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. In a bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and egg yolks. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture, and beat on low speed until almost all the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Change to the dough hook. Add 2 sticks margarine, and beat until flour mixture and margarine are completely incorporated, and a smooth, soft dough that’s slightly sticky when squeezed is formed, about 10 minutes.

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few turns until smooth. Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

5. Place chocolate, remaining cup sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in remaining 1 1/2 sticks margarine until well combined; set filling aside.

6. Generously grease three 9-by-5-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pans; line them with parchment paper. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon soy milk or pareve milk; set egg wash aside. Punch back the dough, and transfer to a clean surface. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut into 3 equal pieces. Keep 2 pieces covered with plastic wrap while working with the remaining piece. On a generously floured surface, roll dough out into a 16-inch square; it should be 1/8 inch thick.

7. Brush edges with reserved egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of the reserved chocolate filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Refresh egg wash if needed. Roll dough up tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch ends together to seal. Twist 5 or 6 turns. Brush top of roll with egg wash. Carefully crumble 2 tablespoons filling over the left half of the roll, being careful not to let mixture slide off. Fold right half of the roll over onto the coated left half. Fold ends under, and pinch to seal. Twist roll 2 turns, and fit into prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of dough and remaining filling.

8. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of streusel topping over each loaf. Loosely cover each pan with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place 20 to 30 minutes.

9. Bake loaves, rotating halfway through, until golden, about 55 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until babkas are deep golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from oven, and transfer to wire racks until cool. Remove from pans; serve. Babkas freeze well for up to 1 month.

* After chopping the chocolate into moderately sized chunks, use the food processor to pulse the rest of the chocolate in two batches to small bits. It saves a lot of time!

Streusel Topping

Makes 3 3/4 cups.

1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted margarine, room temperature

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and margarine. Using a fork, stir until fully combined with clumps ranging in size from crumbs to 1 inch.

Rosh Hashannah

Yes, its true…Rosh Hashannah is really early this year (is it ever on time?), and GKC is ready to help you get ready. First, check out the amazing all new recipes perfect for your Yom Tov tables. Then bring extra gourmet dishes to your table with the famous restaurant recipes sections. See what the professional chefs from some of our favorite restaurants make at home and see how easy it is to cook like a pro. Next, submit for the great giveaways (we will have one EACH week!). Don’t miss out on the amazing gifts from honey and honey dishes to challahs and artisan glass. Of course, we will include wine recommendations, health articles, crafts, and more new recipes and features each week. Send us your cooking questions and any recipes you would like us to share with our readers. GKC wishes all of our readers a very sweet New Year.

Poppy Seeds

the_poppy_seed
I think I was born in the wrong generation. One trivial reason is my love of poppy seeds. They seem to be associated with my great aunts and my buby. Who else buys poppy seed danishes or strudel or hamantashen? My kids go for the chocolate-filled ones or even better yet, the chocolate-peanut butter. But I’m a traditionalist and, as mentioned, a big fan of poppy seeds. I like them in hamantashen, in danishes and strudels, in cakes and cookies. There are worse ways of being old-fashioned…Here are a few of my favorite recipes incorporating poppy seeds: some cookies, a cake based on a cake mix (always good when the craving needs to be satisfied now!) and a scratch cake. Pick one or try all three. You can join my poppy seed fan club.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Cookies become classic for a reason.

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
½ cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¾ teaspoon lemon extract
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
⅓ cup poppy seeds

Cream together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon extract and vanilla. On a low speed, add the flour and poppy seeds and beat until well mixed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half and roll out one piece on a lightly floured surface. Cut out cookies in the shape desired (can just be plain round ones if you like) and place on greased baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, until just barely brown around the edges.

Yellow Cake with Poppy Seed Filling

1 package Duncan Hines Classic Yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla instant pudding
1 cup orange juice
½ cup oil
4 eggs

Filling:
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all cake ingredients in a mixer and beat until blended and lumps have disappeared. Pour half the batter into a greased 10-inch tube pan. Stir together filling ingredients. Drop half the filling over the batter and swirl with a knife. Add remaining batter and repeat the process. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

DSCN0223

Poppy Seed Cake with Tofutti Cream Cheese Icing

Cake:
1 cup nondairy creamer
½ cup poppy seeds
2 cups flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup margarine, softened
1¼ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 egg whites

Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package tofutti cream cheese
¼ cup margarine, softened
2½ cups powdered sugar

Microwave nondairy creamer until hot and stir in poppy seeds. Set it aside. Place flour and baking powder in a small bowl or measuring cup. With mixer on low, gradually beat in dry ingredients alternating with the milk-poppy seed mixture. Cream together the margarine, 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the liquid, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. In a clean bowl beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Beat in remaining ¼ cup sugar. Fold into batter. Pour into greased 10-inch round bans and bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan. Cool completely before frosting.
For frosting, cream together all ingredients and speak across bottom layer and all over top and sides of cake.