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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Chanukah Desserts Part 1-Homemade Souvganiot

Happy Chanukah! The first night of Chanukah was on Tuesday night.  On Monday night, I received a personal lesson by a former student's mom who is from Israel. She taught me how to make homemade souvganiot!  Souvganiot is the hebrew work for jelly doughnuts. Jelly doughnuts are a traditional treat for the Chanukah dessert table, since on Chanukah, it is a tradition to fry all foods in oil to remember the oil that burned in the temple for 8 days.

If you want to make your own souvganiot for Chanukah, here are the ingredients you will need:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tbsp baking powder
vegetable oil for cooking
strawberry jam
icing sugar

Below are the utensils/items you will need:
-a large mixing bowl
-stand mixer
-two spoons
-tall pot
-candy thermometer
-squeeze bottle
-sifter/metal strainer
-paper towel
-cookie sheet

Combine all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixed attached with the paddle attachment. Mix all ingredients until just combined and dough has formed. Cover with a towel and set aside for about 15 minutes.

Fill a pot about one and a half inches high with vegetable oil. Turn on the burner just past medium, until the heat reaches between 350-360 degrees. This temperature will  create the perfect golden brown coloured doughnuts.

Using two spoons, spoon out the dough from the mixing bowl, forming a round ball.  Drop the dough into the hot oil and watch it sizzle!

Once the first side reaches the perfect golden brown color, flip the doughnuts over to cook the opposite side. (About 4 minutes per side.)

Test a few doughnuts initially by cutting them in half to see if the insides are completely cooked through.  This doughnut was not ready.  As you can see, it was still raw inside.

Once removed from the hot oil, set on a cookie sheet lined with layers of paper towel. This will absorb some of the oil. Use a knife to poke holes in each doughnut.  This will make it easier to fill the doughnuts with strawberry jam.

Stick the nose of the squeeze bottle directly inside the hole of the doughnut. Squeeze a fair amount of strawberry jam into each doughnut allowing a dollop to show on the outside of the doughnuts.

Garnish with icing sugar.
Arrange on a plate and enjoy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cake Pop Bouquets for my Sister's Engagement Party

My sister, my mom and I had a blast creating the "edible centerpieces" for my sister's engagement party a few weeks ago.  They were original, creative and delicious! 
To make these centerpieces here are the items you will need:
-all of the ingredients to make basic cake pops
-a mix of longer and shorter lollipop sticks
-Fiskars X-Large Easy Squeeze Punch (The link is similar to the one I bought but not exactly the same.)
-tear drop hole punch (pictured below)
-"Save the Date tags" (that I created myself and so can you!)

-vases of some sort or planter (My sister bought these adorable, purple planters at IKEA)
-styrofoam balls (which I found at Dollarama)
-rocks (also bought at Ikea)

To begin, I created two different "save the date" tags on the computer and printed them at Staples on cardstock. The firmer paper allowed them to slide through the lollipop sticks without ripping. I used my newly purchased scalloped squeeze punch to cut out all of the tags.  This was a lot easier than cutting circles by hand!
I had to make sure that I left enough space above and below the design to punch teardrop holes in order to slide the stick through the tags.

Aren't the tags cute?
My sister just loved them!
I didn't manage to take pictures of the 8 cakes that my mom and sister baked or the huge mess that we made in my mom's kitchen the day after she had a cleaning lady at her house! Nonetheless, the centerpieces turned out very well.  See below for some pictures.
My sister was thrilled that she bought crystal sprinkles to add a little character to the top of the pops. If you choose to do the same, be sure to sprinkle them onto the pops immediately after they are dipped in the candy melts, as the candy melts dry very quickly.

Adrienne very neatly arranged each pop into its place in the planter.  The styrofoam allowed the sticks to set right into place without moving.

Mazel tov Adrienne and David!