Sweet Challah Rolls with Apple Currant Filling

Sweet Challah Rolls by Beth A Lee

Recipe excerpt from:
The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook
by Beth Lee

Dairy-free, Nut-free, Pareve

Prep Time: 40 minutes Inactive Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 27 minutes

Challah rolls filled with apples and currants are the ideal sweet baked good for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I originally developed this recipe for a High Holidays cooking class, but these little gems are perfect all year round. Ready faster than a traditional challah recipe, these rolls are also versatile: Leave the filling out, make one loaf instead of individual rolls, or double the recipe and freeze some for another day. Makes 8 rolls

For the dough

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (7 grams/1 packet) active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 3 ½ cups (438 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • ¼ cup (47 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (235 grams) warm water (105°F to 115°F)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

For the filling

  • 1 cup (118 grams) chopped and peeled sweet firm apple
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (36 grams) currants or raisins
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For egg wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. Mix: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the yeast, flour, and sugar. Add the warm water, egg, oil, and salt.
  2. Knead: Using the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, knead on medium-low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, making sure the dough is thoroughly combined and scraping down the sides as necessary. Once kneaded, the dough should be smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is overly sticky, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as necessary.
  3. First rise: Remove the dough from the bowl, form it into a round, and place it on a sheet of parchment paper. Use your finger to poke a 1-inch hole through the center of the dough. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Make filling: While the dough is resting, in a medium bowl, combine the chopped apple, lemon juice, currants, cinnamon, and sugar. Set aside.
  5. Prep: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Fill and shape: Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Flatten a piece into a roughly 6-by-4-inch rectangle and spread a heaping tablespoon of filling down the center. Close the dough up around the filling and gently roll it out with your hands to a roughly 9-inch rope. Loosely coil the rope, tuck the end under, and pinch to seal. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough to create 8 rolls. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Second rise: Loosely cover the challah rolls with a kitchen towel, set in a warm location, and let rise for about 30 minutes, or until the dough slowly springs back when poked with your finger.
  8. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  9. Egg wash: Whisk together the egg and water. Use a pastry brush to coat each roll with the egg wash, getting into all the nooks and crannies.
  10. Bake: Bake the rolls for 5 minutes at 375°F, then lower the heat to 350°F and cook for about 22 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Five Spice Old Fashioned

Five Spice Old Fashioned Cocktail by Nancy Chen

Recipe excerpt from:
101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon
by Nancy Chen

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tsp of honey (or add more to taste, can use simple syrup or maple syrup as well)
  • ⅛ tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2.5 oz whiskey (I like Japanese whiskey)
  • 3 segments of mandarin orange
  • 1-2 dashes of orange bitters
  • 2 dried star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
  • Ice

Directions

  1. Combine orange, whiskey, five spice powder, and sweetner and muddle together.
  2. Top with ice and star anise, then use a cinnamon stick to stir and garnish. Enjoy!

Chinese Chili Oil

Chinese Chili Oil by Nancy Chen

Recipe excerpt from:
101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon
by Nancy Chen

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • ¾ cup crushed red pepper flakes (I recommend Sichuan chili flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups grapeseed oil
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

Directions

  1. Mix the sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Mix the oil, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, peppercorns, and ginger in a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat.
  3. Once you see the oil bubble, turn the heat down to low. You want to avoid burning the oil and spices, so if you have a thermometer, make sure the temperature is between 200°F and 225°F.
  4. Simmer the oil for 30 minutes. It should be slightly bubbling the whole time; adjust the heat slightly if it’s not.
  5. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture over the bowl with the sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  6. Stir well and let cool. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Little Drummer Boy

Bartender: Dan Tapia
Courtesy of DineLBC

1.5 oz Pecan Infused Rye Whiskey (instructions below)
4-6 oz California Clementine-infusion, piping hot (instructions below)
1 Tb Cinnamon/Nutmeg Compound Butter (instructions below)Little Drummer Boy Cocktail by Dan Tapia
salt to taste

Pour whiskey into mug. Ladle clementine infusion on top. While mug is still steaming hot from infusion, add one tablespoon of compound butter to the top. Toddy should be hot enough to melt the butter to form a delicious layer on top, and the spices will diffuse into toddy as well as remain on the butter layer. Throw a pinch of salt on top of you like the butter to come out a little more, don’t if you like the spices to dominate.

Pecan Infused Rye Whiskey
For rapid infusion, take a 1L cream whipper and add 750 ml of rye. Fill to top with pecans, allowing enough space in the whipper for the gas cartridge, about a cup’s worth. Charge whipper and give a little shake. With whipper standing upright, release the gas as rapidly as possible (the rapid change in pressure is what creates most of the infused flavor). Whiskey may also shoot out, so put a jar or bottle over the business end of the whipper.

Clementine Infusion
Cut 8 clementines in half, and squeeze juice into 1.5 L of water. Add the rinds into the water as well and bring to a boil. This is probably the hardest to do behind a bar, but I imagine a clementine squeezed into a French press with some hot tea water should do the trick nicely.

Compound Butter
Here’s where the magic happens! Soften 500 g  sweet cream butter to where it can easily be whipped in a mixer. Add 300 g light brown sugar (dark brown works well too, it’s all about taste. If you like it a little more on the molasses side, use dark. Have fun, this is boozeplay), 20 g ground cinnamon, and 10 g ground nutmeg. This can be easily scaled, and kept in a deli container for quite some time.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake by Chef Elizabeth Whittby Chef Elizabeth Whitt

Makes one 9 or 10 inch cheesecake or 1  9×13 dish

For Filling:
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin (canned or homemade see below)
1/4 sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
5 eggs

For crust:
10 whole graham crackers, crumbled
1/4 cup pecans
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp. melted butter

For Topping:
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup candied or regular pecans, chopped

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare crust in a food processor. Pulse graham crackers until crumbled evenly, then add nuts, sugar and salt and pulse a few times. Pour in melted butter slowly while pulsing. Transfer to a 9-inch spring form pan and evenly smooth crumb mixture, leaving about a one-inch space between the crumb mixture and top of pan.  Bake for 10 minutes in center of oven on a rimmed baking tray. Remove from oven.

Filling: Cream the room temperature cream cheese together with the sugar in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment on high speed for about 1-3 minutes until smooth scraping down the sides frequently. Next add pumpkin and mix until combined. Add sour cream, spices and vanilla and mix until combined. Add in eggs one at a time and do not over mix, just until combined. Pour into crust.

Bake for 10 minutes on a rimmed baking tray at 350 and then reduce oven temperature to 325 F and bake for another 1 hour. Turn off the oven and open the oven door.  At this point the center should jiggle but not be soupy. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door open or ajar for 15 minutes, remove and let cool at room temperature until cool.  Refrigerate 4 hours before serving. Pour sweetened sour cream and pecans over the top just before serving.

Homemade pumpkin puree: Use a 3-4 pound sugar pie or baking pumpkin. Cut off stem and cut in half carefully using a rocking motion. Remove seeds and keep to toast or discard.  Sprinkle with some salt and place cut side down on a parchment covered baking tray. Bake in oven at 350 F for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let sit for an hour or two.  When cool, scrape flesh from the skin and mash with a fork until smooth or place in a food processor.