Kidding Around in the Kitchen

I’m a big believer in getting kids started in the kitchen at an early age. Even though it’s much faster and far less messy to do it yourself, baking teaches them so much—math skills, dexterity, creativity—and most of all, they’ll have fun! These easy chocolately sweets are perfect for Chanukah and great for gift-giving. Let’s bake up some mm-good memories!

Reproduced from The Silver Platter: Simple Elegance by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz, with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Shaar Press Publications, LTD

The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Brownie Cookie
Adapted from The Silver Platter: Simple Elegance by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz (ArtScroll/Shaar Press)
Yields 15 cookies

A rich, fudgy brownie taste—only in cookie form—these are just as delicious hot from the oven as they are straight out of the freezer.

2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup flour (or gluten-free flour with xanthan gum)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chunks

1. In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, mix until well blended, 1–2 minutes. Stir in melted chocolate chips.
2. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks. Cover; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Using a large cookie scoop, drop golf-ball-size mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
5. Bake for 11–13 minutes, until set. Let cool on baking sheets. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Norene’s Notes:
Double Batch: When baking two pans of cookies at the same time, place oven racks so they divide the oven evenly into thirds.
No Cookie Scoop? Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup and cut each mound in half.
Freeze with Ease: Scoop out balls of dough; place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1–2 hours. Transfer frozen cookies to a resealable freezer bag. Bake them straight from the freezer, increasing baking time by 1–2 minutes.

 

Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies
Adapted from The Silver Platter: Simple to Spectacular by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz (ArtScroll/Shaar Press)
Yields about 18–20 large cookies

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour (or gluten-free flour with xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)
1 cup dried cranberries

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla on medium speed until light.
2. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed, just until blended, 30–60 seconds.
3. Add chocolate chunks and cranberries; mix just until combined.
4. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes, until chilled. (The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Using a large cookie scoop, drop mounds of dough the size of golf balls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
7. Bake for 12–14 minutes, until golden. Let cool on baking sheet. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Norene’s Notes:
Brown or White? Brown sugar has a higher moisture content than white sugar. Using more brown sugar produces softer, chewier cookies. Using more white sugar produces cookies that are flatter and crispier.
Chill Out! If you chill your cookie dough before baking, the cookies will spread more slowly during baking. That’s because the heat sets the cookie while it’s still thick, producing a denser, chewier cookie.
Cool Tip: For chewier cookies, cool cookie sheets between each batch. If your cookie sheets are hot when you add the cookie batter, the cookie will spread more.

 

Reproduced from The Silver Platter: Simple Elegance by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz, with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Shaar Press Publications, LTD

Chocolate Mounds
Adapted from The Silver Platter: Simple Elegance by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz (ArtScroll/Shaar Press)
Yields about 2 dozen

1 bar (14 oz/400 g) semisweet  chocolate, broken into chunks
3 cups chow mein noodles
2 cups mini marshmallows

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Pour about 1 inch of water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer.
3. Place chocolate into a large, dry, heatproof bowl wider than the saucepan. Place bowl over simmering water. Melt chocolate, stirring often. Cool for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in noodles and marshmallows. Using a large cookie scoop, form mixture into golf-ball-size mounds. Arrange mounds in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
5. Refrigerate for 45 minutes, or until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Norene’s Notes:
Melting Points: Make sure that no water gets into the chocolate when you melt it. If water mixes with the chocolate, the chocolate will not melt properly. Also, it’s important to cool the chocolate before adding the marshmallows in, or they will melt and disappear!
Variation: Add colored mini marshmallows instead of white ones. Add 1 cup shredded coconut to the melted chocolate when adding the other ingredients.

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
Adapted from Healthy Helpings by Norene Gilletz (Whitecap)
Yields 12–15 servings
Icing yields enough for a 9-inch square or 7×11-inch oblong cake, or 12–15 cupcakes

Cake:
3 large, very ripe bananas (1 1/2 cups mashed)
1/4 cup pareve tub margarine (see Norene’s Notes, below)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini chips work well)
Colored sprinkles or chocolate chips

Banana Icing
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)

Chocolate Icing
1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
1/4 cup soft butter, margarine or shortening
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk (regular or non-dairy)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 7×11-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. Insert the steel blade in the bowl of a food processor. Cut bananas into chunks. Puree them in a food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds. Measure 1 1/2 cups of puree.
3. Beat margarine, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the food processor until light, about 3–4 minutes. Blend in bananas.
4. Add baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Drizzle orange juice over flour mixture. Process with several quick on/off turns, just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake at 350ºF for 45–50 minutes, until golden brown and cake tests done when you insert a cake tester.
6. While the cake bakes, make the icing of your choice. For either flavor, combine all icing ingredients in a large bowl or food processor and beat until smooth and lump-free.
7. Cool cake completely before frosting. If desired, top with colored sprinkles or chocolate chips.

Norene’s Notes:
Going Bananas? When you have lots of ripe bananas, puree them in the food processor (or mash with a potato masher). Measure 1 1/2 cups puree into each container and freeze for future use. Freezing makes bananas taste sweeter.
Oil Right! Canola or vegetable oil can replace butter or margarine in most baking recipes, but you may notice a difference in the texture of baked items. Here’s a quick trick: If you freeze the oil before combining it with the sugar and eggs, the final texture will be similar to using butter or margarine.
Cupcakes: Any cake batter may be baked in muffin pans. Line compartments of muffin pan(s) with paper liners, filling them two-thirds full before baking. Bake in a preheated 400ºF oven for 18–20 minutes. When baking cupcakes or muffins, fill empty compartments one-third full with water to prevent the muffin pan from discoloring or burning.

 

Fast Fudge
Adapted from The New Food Processor Bibleby Norene Gilletz (Whitecap)
Yields about 1 1/2 lbs or 25 squares

1 cup walnuts, almonds, pecans or cashews (or pumpkin seeds)
2 cups chocolate chips
2 ounces (60 g) unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
14 ounces (398 ml) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Insert the steel blade in the bowl of a food processor. Process nuts with quick on/off pulses, until coarsely chopped. (Alternatively, place nuts in a resealable bag, seal tightly and crush them coarsely, using a rolling pin.)
2. Combine chocolate chips, chocolate, butter and sweetened condensed milk in a 2-quart microwaveable bowl.
3. Microwave on High for 2 minutes; stir well. Microwave 1 minute longer, until melted. Mixture should be smooth and shiny.
4. Stir in nuts and vanilla extract.
5. Spread mixture evenly in an 8-inch square pan that has been coated with non-stick spray. Refrigerate until firm.
6. Cut into small squares. Serve in small paper cupcake papers.

Variations:
Rocky Road Fudge: Stir 2 cups of cut-up or miniature colored marshmallows into fudge along with chopped nuts.
Fudgy Mounds: Drop mixture by mounded spoonfuls into paper cupcake papers instead of spreading it in a pan. No cutting required!

Norene Gilletz, the author of twelve kosher cookbooks, is also a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, cookbook editor and a podcaster. Norene lives in Toronto, Canada.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
This article was featured in Jewish Action Winter 2018.
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x