I tried a new technique with this cake and it came out really great! I hand painted the fondant with thinned out gel food coloring. I thinned the food coloring with Everclear which is has a super high alcohol content and evaporates quickly. I wanted this cake to be light and feminine. I used light blues and greens to get the watercolor effect. The tiers needed a border, they were looking a little bare so I added some hand formed marbled gray stones.
I used a youTube tutorial by the Cake Dutchess to make this super cute tree frog. Not bad for my first try! I’m pretty sure I used fondant, but I also could have used gum paste or a mix of gum paste and fondant. I’m not entirely sure since I made this a while ago-I’m way behind on sharing. Just wanted to share this one quickly, let me know if toy have any questions!
I have made a few doctors cakes (here and here) and even a nurse cake. But this cake was to celebrate the company’s 10 anniversary. I kept the cake very simple. I used an extruder to form long red ropes of fondant and placed them on the bottom tier to look like blood pressure. Then I draped a stethoscope down the side of the cake. The top of the cake had the company logo cut completely out of fondant. I used a shell border mold to add the blue border around the cake. Simple, cute, and perfect for the occasion. Congrats on 10 years!
This is such an easy, quick, yet super cute cupcake display for a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” themed party. I baked some vanilla cupcakes and swirled some frosting on top. I made a bright lime green buttercream and a bright yellow buttercream. I placed both colors into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and piped simple swirls. This is my favorite and signature frosting application. For the face, I rolled out red fondant and cut it into an oval. I cut out yellow, green, and black fondant pieces to decorate the face. I allowed the face to dry for a few days so it would hold up once placed on the cupcake. The topper was much bigger than the cupcake it was placed upon, but it was a perfect, and simple. It was a lot easier than baking a small cake and covering it in fondant. I wish I had made these to go with my son’s Very Hungry Caterpillar cake, it would have been perfect!
This year I wanted to come up with a simple flavor, nothing too crazy and I thought that cinnamon sugar aka snickerdoodle hamantaschen would be perfect! I had never heard of this take on the classic so what do I do first? I google it and…it’s not original! Town and Cooking shared a recipe just last year. Instead of getting completely bummed out, I used the recipe posted as an inspiration.
The dough I used is a soft sugar cookie recipe. I made this dough 4 or 5 different times until I got it just right. I wanted the texture to be crisp on the outside and a bit softer in the center to mimic a snickerdoodle. But it wasn’t that simple because I also needed them to keep this perfect triangle shape without puffing too much. Phew, glad it worked out! I adapted the filling recipe from Town and Cooking, and I think I made it even better! Some of their filling seemed to be leaking out, but I had no issues like that. After forming the hamantaschen, I dipped them in cinnamon sugar before baking to a light golden brown. Don’t overbake these or they won’t be soft and tender!!
Enjoy my simple, dairy-free, printable recipe below.
Having trouble forming your hamantaschen just right? Check out my picture tutorial here and my YouTube video below the recipe.
I am so overwhelmed by this post right now I don’t even know where to start! A cookbook review, a new recipe, a huge giveaway…aaah! First of all, Susie Fishbein, a kosher cookbook legend and one of my personal idols, is back with her final installment of the Kosher By Design series. Kosher By Design Brings It Home: picture-perfect food inspired by my travels (affiliate link) is the grand finale, if you will, and it is filled with recipes and stories inspired by Susie’s travels around the world.
What I love about this cookbook already (…and I’ve only seen a preview!) are the gorgeous color photos that accompany each recipe. I love seeing these photos because not only do I know what my dish will look like, but just thumbing through a gorgeous cookbook is enjoyable! To me, cookbooks are more than just a resource, they are a work of art, and this cookbook series proudly sits on my bookshelf!
Another thing I love about Susie’s cookbooks is that although her recipes are delicious and perfect for presentation, she makes the cooking process accessible and easy to understand. Many of her recipes are quick an easy, some are for the more seasoned chef, but there is something for everyone. In her most recent cookbooks and especially in “Brings It Home”, there are new and interesting ingredients introduced from around the world. Susie introduces new ingredients through dishes that sound exciting and will have you running to to the store to sample those new flavors.
The official release of this beautiful cookbook is Thursday, February 25, 2016 but I got a sneak preview and I’m finally able to share a recipe with you! I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy but until then please enjoy this recipe for halvah baklava reproduced from Kosher by Design Brings it Home, by Susie Fishbein, with permission from the copyright holders, ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications. You don’t have to wait for the release, you can preorder your copy right now! I made it easy for you, just follow my affiliate link and place your order asap- Kosher By Design Brings It Home: picture-perfect food inspired by my travels.
15 sheets (from a 1 pound box) phyllo dough, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
½ cup canola oil
1 cup roasted pistachios
1 cup roasted almonds
1 cup roasted pecans
1 pound halvah, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
½ cup honey
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Prepare the filling
Place the pistachios, almonds, pecans, halvah, and vanilla into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal "S" blade. Pulse until ground but not a paste. Set aside.
Prepare the syrup
Place the sugar, honey, water, and lemon juice into a medium pot. Over medium heat, bring just to a boil. Turn down to a simmer; cook for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Place a sheet of phyllo lengthwise on the work surface. Brush with canola oil. Top with another layer of phyllo. Brush with canola.Top with a third layer of phyllo and oil. Roll all four edges ½-inch inward to make a frame. Brush rolled edges with oil.
Spread a thick layer of nut filling over the phyllo. Starting with a short end, roll up, jellyroll fashion; transfer to prepared sheet. Repeat, making 4 more rolled logs. Brush the logs with oil. Using a serrated knife, cut 4 diagonal slits across the top of each log.
Bake, uncovered, for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately spoon syrup over the logs. Slice each log into 4-5 slices. Serve 2 slices to a plate. Drizzle with more syrup around the plate.
Now on to the giveaway! This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only. Giveaway will end in one week from today. Please don’t forget to enter! Do it now!
I’m pretty obsessed with this cookie style right now. I’m so obsessed that I’m posting them twice in a row!! They are basically my signature slice and bake cookie as far as I’m concerned. I first came up with the idea when I was trying to think of a rainbow dessert that wasn’t full of tons of food coloring. I’m in no way against food coloring, but sometimes you feel the need to lighten it up! So I came up with these rainbow swirl slice and bake cookies. After coming up with those I realized that these cookies would be perfect for so many occasions and holidays! I made them for Super Bowl 50 and swirled the team colors inside while wrapping the edges in matching sugar crystals. And only a week later I’m back with a Valentine’s Day version. These cookies are simple to put together but to make the process super clear, I made a video tutorial to help! So grab my recipe, and follow my pictorial or my video below.
Are you ready for some football? When I first came up with this cookie concept, I was trying to develop and simple but really pretty rainbow dessert. I used the concept of a marble cookie but instead of swirling chocolate into the dough, I swirled different colors of gel food coloring. Those cookies came out perfect on the first try and I knew I had a winner. I could not wait to use this technique again! In honor of Sundays Super Bowl, I made a batch of cookies in the competing teams colors. The Carolina Panthers are black and turqoise so I used Americolor super black and sky blue to create the swirl. I rolled those cookies in Wilton black and blue crystal sugar sprinkles. To create the Denver Broncos cookies, I swirled in Americolor orange and royal blue gel food color. Then I rolled the cookies in Wilton orange and pearlized blue crystal sugar.
I actually shared a recipe for vanilla rugelach on joyofkosher.com about 4 years ago. It is a really popular recipe because they are insanely good! But I personally haven’t baked them in a long while. My brother in law loves these vanilla rugelach from a certain bakery in town, but he recently moved away. So when I was getting ready to visit I figured I should probably bring him some, but not store bought. Homemade obviously. I started by mixing up a batch of my favorite sweet dough, the dough I use for my famous cinnamon buns. Then I pulled up my recipe on joyofkosher.com and realized that I had originally made some changes to that dough by adding some vanilla pudding mix. Whoops! I was not about to make another batch of dough so I continued with the recipe. It worked beautifully so I don’t think I’m going to bother with the other dough recipe anymore. I don’t always have vanilla pudding mix in the pantry and it’s really not worth the hassle or extra cost. Originally I was dividing the dough in half, making 32 huge rugelach. Some of the comments on the original recipe actually mention that they were quite big. So this time around I divided the dough into 6 portions. This makes 96 perfectly sized sweet rugelach.
The next update to the recipe to the recipe is not actually in the ingredients but how the rugelach bake. I used to space the tiny pastries on the tray, but the sugar was baking out and all over the tray. I noticed that in Israel they bake their rugelach much closer together, almost like cinnamon buns. I figured they probably know what they are doing so I packed my rugelach onto the baking tray with just a tiny space in between each one. I wanted them to have a little room to puff up and rise. This baking method is genius because the sugar has nowhere to go-keeping the rugelach sweet, moist, and gooey. The last change I made what to the sugar glaze that I brush on as soon as the rugelach come out of the oven. Instead of using simple syrup, I mixed up equal parts of clear apple jelly with water and warmed it on the stove until the jelly melts and dissolves into the water. You can certainly use sugar instead of the apple jelly, but the jelly gives the rugelach a bit of a shine and some added sweetness. These pastries are really easy to make and freeze so well! I made a quick video just to show you how I roll out, fill, and shape these rugelach.
½ cup vegetable oil or margarine, melted and cooled
¾ cup soy milk
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup margarine, melted
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup vanilla sugar
¼ cup apple jelly
¼ cup water
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add in the dry yeast, warm water, and sugar and whisk to remove lumps. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until foamy and bubbly. If it doesn't "proof" then discard and start over (the yeast is dead).
Once the yeast is alive, add in 4 cups of flour, the oil or melted and cooled margarine, soy milk, sugar, eggs, and salt.
Mix on low speed until the dough comes together and is smooth, about 5 minutes.
Once the dough comes together form the dough into a ball, rub oil all over and place in a clean oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
Once your dough doubles in size, divide it in 6 pieces and work with one piece at a time.
Melt the margarine and set aside.
Mix the sugars in a small bowl and set aside.
Roll your dough out thin on a lightly floured surface. Try to roll the dough into a round shape.
Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer all over the dough.
Sprinkle a layer of sugar over the entire piece of dough.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 16 wedges .
Starting at the widest part of each edge, roll up each wedge of dough.
Transfer the rugelach to a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure the end of each rugelach is tucked underneath so they don't open while baking. The rugelach should be placed close together on the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour.
Bake the rugelach for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Until the rugelach are golden brown.
While the rugelach are baking, prepare the glaze.
In a small pot, add the apple jelly and the water. Heat over a low flame until the apple jelly is melted.
As soon as the rugelach come out of the oven, use a heatproof pastry brush to brush the thin glaze all over the rugelach.
I rarely work with buttercream cakes, I much prefer working with fondant. But the couple getting married was having a rustic backyard wedding and dreamed of having a simple yet elegant cake to match. Making the buttercream look rustic and perfectly imperfect is so much harder than it sounds! Luckily I was able to achieve the look I wanted without too much trouble.
The top of the cake was to have a few simple flowers. Here I made three sugar peony flowers from white gum paste. I don’t make my peonies with actual instructions, I just add petals until I like the look of them. I attached the flowers to a round disk of gum paste and placed that on top of the cake. Green gum paste leaves were added in between the flowers.
The final touch was some shimmery green petal dust that I added to the centers of the flowers. It gave the flowers a bit more dimension. I love how this cake turned out, I can’t believe I was so nervous to pull this off.
I love making this cake! I have made one just like this before for another teacher retiring. I didn’t make it exactly the same as the last one, I had to change the design up just a bit but a few elements definitely needed to stay. Book cakes are fun to make and work for a variety of occasions. Here’s one to celebrate a graduation and another to celebrate a big birthday!
I had to include the edible lined paper cake topper. I cut these pieces out of thinned out gum paste. I cut them into two different sizes and added holes down one side using a round piping tip. I cut the bottoms of the pages at an angle so they would look staggered on top of the cake instead of straight across. I used a blue and red edible marker and a ruler to make the lines on the page. I made some pink rubber erasers out of pink fondant that I molded by hand. The pencils were made in advance so they would be firm enough to pop out of the cake. I know that pencils wouldn’t actually be sticking out of books, but I love how this looks! It gives great height and dimension.
The middle book cake is my favorite one because I sponge painted it to look like a black and white marble notebook. Remember those?! So classic. I also included some chalk and an eraser. The chalk was made by rolling some fondant or gum paste in a long even rope and cutting it in different lengths to give some interest. The eraser is made from black fondant that I shaped by hand. I used a corn starch duster to tap some corn starch onto the eraser to look just like chalk dust.
The cake board brings the whole cake together. I used some black royal icing and spread it all over the cake board. I used a thicker consistency royal icing for some additional texture. I used white gel food coloring and a food-safe paintbrush to paint on the message. The additional chalk dust was dusted on with more corn starch.