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March 05, 2009 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-03-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Health & Fitness

FOOD

Chag Purim!

Beyond the golden triangle.

Annabel Cohen
Special to the Jewish News

p

urim is around the corner - cel-
ebrated on 14th of Adar and, in
Jerusalem, as in all walled cites,
it's celebrated on the 15th as well (Sushan
Purim). That's means this year you start
celebrating the evening of March 9.
One of Judaism's
loveliest traditions
has to do with giving.
Purim's delicious tra-
ditions include the giving of
food to other Jews.
This obligation of
bestowing at least two
misloach manot (or
salach manot or
manos), food gifts,
is widely prac-
ticed world-
wide. Each
gift should
include two dif-
ferent food items that are ready to
be eaten immediately.
Most gifts include homemade goodies
such as hamentashen, cookies and candy.
But creativity of content and packaging is
always appreciated.
Gifts can be uncomplicated - paper
plates with cookies or a gift bag with a
candy and whole fruit - or wonderfully
excessive, with fancy homemade treats
and store-bought delicacies.
The following recipes are all something
a bit different and they all contain accents
of healthy and delicious nuts.

Low-Fat Walnut
and Lemon Biscotti
The difference between mandelbread and
biscotti is one of fat. Because biscotti usu-
ally have little or no oil or butter, they're
not tender, but extremely crunchy and
"hard." They're meant for dipping, after all,
in wine, coffee or warm milk.
2 cups flour
3 /4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 /4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 tsp. grated lemon zest or peel
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

A34

March 5 • 2009

Preheat oven to 300E Line two large
baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
Sift together in a large bowl the flour,
sugar, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer,
beat the eggs, zest, juice and extracts. Beat
in the flour mixture and nuts until a thick
batter is formed.
Combine dry
ingredients and set
aside.
Using wet hands,
form the batter into
the shape of two flat-
tened logs nearly
the length of the
baking sheets.
Bake for 45-50
minutes until the
log is lightly golden.
Remove from oven and
cool for 30 minutes. Using
a sharp, serrated knife, slice
the biscotti into the width you
prefer - 1/4-inch to 3/4-inch thick.
Arrange the slices, cut sides down, back on
the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes
more. Turn the slices over and bake for 10
minutes more.
Allow to cool completely before serving
or packaging. Makes varied amounts.

Sweet and Salty
Glazed Pistachios
Other than the "good fat" in the nuts, there
is no added oil in this recipe. This is a
variation of my favorite glazed nuts recipe.
Added salt adds another dimension to
these favorites.
I like to use all one kind of nut (in
this case pistachios), but feel free to use
a different nut variety or a combination.
If you'd like, mix the glazed nuts with
roasted, salted pistachios, chocolate chips
or chocolate-covered raisins.
Nuts:
3 /4 cup sugar
1 /4 cup water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 cups shelled pistachios
Topping:
1 /4 cup sugar
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 300F. Spray a baking
sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set
aside.

In a large bowl, combine all the nuts
ingredients and toss with your hands to
coat.
Spread the nuts in a single layer on the
baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes,
turning the nuts with a spatula twice dur-
ing the baking. Remove from oven and
immediately sprinkle lightly with sugar
and salt. Allow to cool completely before
breaking up the nuts with your hands and
packaging. Makes 1 quart of nuts.

Whole-Wheat Pita Crisps
To make these sweet, change the oil to
regular olive oil (or vegetable oil) and
change the toppings to sugar, cinnamon
and sesame seeds.
1 pound package whole-wheat
pocket pita bread or lavash
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing.
pitas
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Granulated garlic to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper to
taste
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese to
taste, optional
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, any variety
Preheat oven to 350E
Use your fingers to gently divide each
pita into two rounds. Brush the insides of
the rounds with olive oil. Stack a few of
the pitas and cut them into wedges (about
8).
Arrange the pita wedges on baking
sheets (do not overlap them). Sprinkle
the wedges with salt, garlic, pepper and
cheese, if using, and sprinkle with the
sesame seeds.
Bake for 10 or more minutes until the
wedges are toasted. Remove from the oven
and cool completely before packaging.
Makes varied amounts.

Chocolate-Dipped
Pretzel Rods
Large pretzel rods become extra special
dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprin-
kles. They are festive and travel well. For
more delicate portions, use smaller (about
three-inch-long) rods or "twigs".
1 package (10-16 oz.) pretzel rods
24 oz. (2 packages) semi-sweet
chocolate chips
Assorted sprinkles, chopped nuts,
mini candy decorations, garnish
Line a couple of large baking sheets
with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.

Melt chocolate in the top of a double
boiler over simmering water, stirring fre-
quently until smooth. Keep the chocolate
over the hot water to keep melted.
Roll or dip the rods in the chocolate,
leaving at least 1-inch of the rods uncoat-
ed. Shake the rods gently to remove excess
chocolate.
Roll or sprinkle the pretzels with top-
pings of choice and lay them on the pre-
pared baking sheets so that they do not
touch each other. Repeat with all the rods,
chocolate and decorations.
Allow to set before removing from the
baking sheets (if the room is warm, you
may wish to chill these for a few min-
utes to speed up setting). Makes varied
amounts.

Caramel and Chocolate
Water Cracker Crunch
This is a variation of one of my favorite
Passover recipes (I use matzah or matzah
tams for Passover). For variety, try making
these with graham crackers.
3 boxes (about 4.5 oz. each) water
crackers (such as Carr's)
1 1 cups butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups semi-sweet or
milk chocolate
1 cup chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 400E Line a large
baking sheet with parchment. Arrange
crackers on the baking sheet, overlapping
slightly so that they are covering the sheet.
Set aside.
Combine butter and brown sugar in
a medium saucepan over medium-high
heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium and cook the
mixture for 3 minutes more, stirring fre-
quently.
Pour this mixture over the crackers.
Sprinkle the nuts over all.
Place the baking sheet in the oven,
reduce heat to 350F and bake for 15 min-
utes. Allow to cool completely.
Place the chocolate chips in a micro-
wave-safe bowl and microwave on high
heat for 2 minutes. Stir the chocolate until
smooth (if the mixture is not smooth,
microwave for 30 seconds more).
Drizzle the chocolate over the crackers
and allow to set completely before break-
ing up crackers into smaller-sized pieces.
Makes varied amounts.



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