Baking, Esq.

30th November 2013

Post with 1 note



I was afraid the first time I made homemade latkes.  I am not very comfortable with anything that is fried and must be flipped.  Things get sloppy, things fall to pieces, things burn on one side because I am worried that they will be gooey in the middle.  So a pancake made out of shredded potato was scary. 

(Hehehehe Andrew made a vine! Click it!  Click it!)

My beautiful Smitten Kitchen cookbook has a recipe for Big Breakfast latkes.  And my husband loves latkes.  He looked at me with pleading eyes and said, please would I make them.  Please?  

And so I did.  And they came out really well.  And were actually… kinda… easy!

So here is my Chanukah gift for you all.  An easy and delicious homemade Latke recipe.  


From The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook 

1 - 2 large potatoes (I peeled them once and left them unpeeled another time - I really couldn’t tell a difference)

1 small onion, very finely sliced

1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

a few grinds of pepper

1 egg, beaten

oil to fry in (I used olive oil and a lot of it)

Optional toppings of fried eggs or applesauce or whatever you please.

Wash your potatoes and peel or not as you see fit.  Honestly, since I noticed no difference, I am not gonna peel from here on out because I am lazy like that but if you are worried about the cosmetics, by all means peel. 


You can use a food processor, but I actually find a good old box grater to be best, and most fun, so grate your raw potatoes into strips.  



Collect the shredded mass into either a cheese cloth or clean lint-free towel and wring out your potato.


Yes, this is weird.  But I was amazed at how much liquid I got out of my potato!


Set it aside for about two minutes, then… wring it out again.  We want this potato dry!

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. 


Add in the beaten egg and sliced onion.  Mix it up.


Dump in your now well-wrung-out potatoes and stir until all the potato is coated in the flour egg mixture.


Heat up about two tbsp of oil in a good pan.  I should have used my cast iron skillet.  Let’s just all pretend that I remembered to use my cast iron skillet in these pictures.  And if you have an iron skillet, and if you remember, use that.  If not… well, a good old non-stick works too. 

IMG_7415 (Not an iron skillet. Sigh.)

I like my latkes a little on the large size so I use about 1/4 of the potato mixture for each (and thus get four latkes).  Feel free to make yours smaller (or larger) if you like; just adjust the cooking time as needed.  For mine, I scoop out 1/4 of the mixture into the pan and carefully press it out into about a 4 in circle.  


Fry on both sides for 3 minutes until golden brown.




If you want to make them ahead you can pop them into a 210 degree oven for up to 2 hours and they will be delicious.


Happy Chanukah!


Tagged: LatkeschanukahpotatodeliciousI should be a vine star


25th December 2011

Post with 4 notes

Happy Chanukah/Merry Christmas!!!!


Its nice that the two holidays are coinciding this year so I can actually attend my fiancé’s family Chanukah get together instead of hearing about it while I am sitting for an exam. 

The crazy thing about the two holidays coinciding… all the cooking!!! So this weekend in honor of the two holidays we have two recipes.  A Kugel (though not really a traditional Jewish Kugel, we heard) from Andrew and Chocolate Slide cookies from my family’s traditional Christmas cookies.


The Kugel

(Andrew’s mother couldn’t find her cookbook so Andrew went to his one-true-culinary-love Alton Brown for the recipe


All pictures are courtesy of Andrew’s favorite uncle, Jeff Diamond. 


8 ounces lasagna noodles (9-10 noodles - hmmm…we used 11 because I wanted the pretty pieces)

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, cooled and divided 

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

8 ounces sour cream at room temperature

4 eggs

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp kosher salt

6 ounces dried apricots coarsely chopped

4 ounces raisins


For topping

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp nutmeg



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8 by 8 inch baking dish and set aside. Mix together the sugar and nutmeg for the topping and also set aside.



Cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain.  Cut the noodles into 1 inch wide strips (we used a pizza cutter but I think a good pair of kitchen scissors might have been easier). 


Toss the noodles with 1 tbsp of melted butter.



Beat the remaining butter, cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until thoroughly combined.  



Mix together the cream cheese mixture, the buttered noodles, and the dried fruit. 


Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared pan and sprinkle with the sugar/nutmeg mixture. 



Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 15 - 20 minutes until the pudding is set, golden around the edges, and slightly  puffed.  


Cool for about 15 minutes before serving. 




Chocolate Slides

Ok warning: these cookies make me crazy!  I will only make them once a year.  Not because they aren’t delicious—they really, really are!-but because they are a frustrating dough to work with.  But they are really, really good.  Great special occasion cookies.


3 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking powder (yeah, it’s baking soda in the picture… I grabbed the wrong one… ignore that)

1/4 tsp salt



2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

6 ounces of chocolate chips (I tend to add a few ounces more… chocolate is good!)

Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional and I leave them out)


lots of confectioners sugar



Start by mixing your dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder and salt, in a bowl and set aside.

This recipe is a cream cheese instead of butter base so you are creaming the sugar and cream cheese exactly like you would cream butter. 



My friend Melissa pointed out that I have never actually explained how to cream butter here and its kinda the name of the blog.  Have your butter (here cream cheese) at room temperature and place in a bowl with the sugar.  Using a good wooden spoon or a mixer, beat the butter and the sugar together until they are completely incorporated and the mixture is kinda fluffy looking.



After creaming the cream cheese and the sugars, add in the egg and vanilla and beat well. IMG_3374 Add in the flour mix and stir until a soft dough forms.   This dough manages to be both crumbly and sticky (told you: frustrating cookies!) so it will need to be chilled.



Break the dough into four pieces.


Wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour. 



After the hour is up make your filling by melting the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips.  Keep it warm so that you can handle it easily, but not so warm that it will melt though the dough.



Carefully roll out one of the sections of the dough to form a rough rectangle. 


Pour 1/4 of the filling in the middle of the dough.


Fold the two sides up to make a sealed envelope.  Mine always sticks and rips here.  Dip the spatula you are using to powdered sugar to help. And don’t worry if they aren’t beautiful, you can cover up all the less-than- perfect spots after the cookies are baked.



Carefully move the filled cookie log to a greased baking pan and repeat with the other pieces of dough.



Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until just golden brown around the edges.


Allow to cool on the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks.  While still warm, cover the entire bar with powdered sugar, being sure to get the bottom and sides.  This is where you get to cover up any tears or problems from the forming stage.



Let the bars cool completely.  Slice into about 1 in cookies and consume. 

IMG_3413 IMG_3411

Tagged: ChristmasChanukahCookiesdessertdinnerholidaysside dishes