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Fruit-Filled Hamantaschen
Submitted by: LisaW
Fruit Filling
3/4 cup pitted prunes
1/3 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup shelled walnuts
1/4 apple with peel
juice and rind of 1/4 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
Dough
2/3 cup pareve margarine or butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
Making the Filling:
Simmer the prunes and raisins together in the water, covered, for 15 minutes or until the prunes are softened but still firm. Add the nuts, then put the mixture through a grinder or chop in a food processor with the apple. Add the lemon juice and rind and sugar and mix well.
Making the Dough:
Cream the margarine or butter with the sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and continue creaming until smooth. A food processor is great for this. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Process until a ball of dough is formed. Chill for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.
Making the Hamantaschen:
Taking one fourth of the dough, roll out on a lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut into 2 1/2-inch circles. With your finger, brush water around the rim of the circle. Drop 1 teaspoon of filling in the center. Then bring the dough around the filling and press 3 ends together. Bake in a preheated 375F oven on a well-greased cookie sheet for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tips are golden. Yield: 36 cookies.

Ginger Snaps
Submitted by: LisaW
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mace or cloves
vegetable cooking spray
Cream margarine. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, beating at medium speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg, beat well. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Gradually add to creamed mixture, stirring until well blended. Divide dough in half; wrap each portion in plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes. Shape each portion of dough into 26 (1-inch) balls, and roll in remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from sheets. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 52 cookies

Loukoumades
(Fried Honey Puffs, also known as Bimuelos)

Submitted by: Barbiel
Batter:
1 packet (2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup warm (105 to 115 degrees F.) water, divided
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose white flour, preferably unbleached
1/4 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil to fry
Honey Syrup:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Garnish: ground cinnamon
For the batter, mix together the yeast, 1/2 cup of the warm water, and the sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Let the yeast mixture rest for about 5 minutes, or until it is foamy. Stir in the remaining batter ingredients (including the remaining 1/2 cup water) until smooth. The batter should be very loose and sticky. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let the batter rise for 1 hour. (If necessary, the batter can be stirred down at this point and allowed to rise for another 30 minutes). While the batter is rising, prepare the honey syrup. Mix together all the ingredients in a 2-quart or similar saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat slightly and boil the syrup, uncovered and undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. When the batter has risen, stir it down. Put enough oil into a large saucepan or a wok so that it is about 1 1/2 inches deep. Heat the oil until it is very hot, about 375 degrees F. Dip a teaspoon into the oil, and then use the spoon to scoop up a small portion of the batter. Gently drop the batter into the oil. (Keep your opposite hand moistened, in case you need to nudge the batter off the spoon. The batter will not stick to wet hands). The dollop of batter will quickly puff up to almost twice its original size. Make more puffs in the same manner, but do not crowd the pan. Fry the puffs, turning them occasionally with a slotted spoon, until they are browned on all sides and very crisp. Drain them briefly on paper towels or on the rack that attaches to some woks. Then drop 1 or 2 at a time into the cooled syrup (see Note). Use a different spoon or tongs (so the syrup will not get oily) to turn the hot puffs in the syrup until they become completely coated with it. Lift the puffs up, and let the excess syrup drain off. Put the puffs on a large plate. Repeat the frying and dipping process until all the batter is used. Then sprinkle the puffs generously with cinnamon. For best taste and texture, serve them as soon as possible. While the batter is rising, prepare the honey syrup. Mix together all the ingredients in a 2-quart or similar saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat slightly and boil the syrup, uncovered and undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Yield: about 36 honey puffs.
Note: If desired, the honey puffs may be fried in advance, and coated with hot syrup just before serving. Some Sephardic cooks prefer to stir about 1 teaspoon cinnamon into the syrup, and then let each guest pour a bit of syrup over his or her own serving of puffs. In some households, purchased pancake syrup is used. Another easy alternative is 1 cup honey mixed with 1/4 to 1/3 cup water, heated just until blended and hot. Use while warm to drizzle over the puffs.
About this recipe: This is the most traditional Hanukkah treat for Sephardic Jews who come from Greece and Turkey. Bimuelos (or burmuelos) is the pastry's Judeo-Spanish name, loukoumades (or loukoumathes) is its Greek one, and lokma is its Turkish one. Sephardic Jews actually use the name "bimuelos" for a number of foods in addition to this one. For instance, it can also mean pancakes or fried patties, or even a type of baked muffins.

To submit your favorite recipes to be included in the Garden of Friendship Recipe Book, please email them to Barbiel

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