Running a grocery store now means that we get the busted up fruits and veggies at the end of every day. Today’s invention:

1 ear roasted corn
7 cups peeled chopped tomatoes (like Roma #2’s!)
1 chopped Iberian Chile (spicy and sweet! substitute 2 jalapenos for heat, but nothing replaces the fruity sweetness of these)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup white or cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 Tbsp kosher salt

Add all ingredients to medium saucepan, simmer for 20 minutes, and pack into jars. Preserve in water bath for 15 minutes. I ate some leftover from this batch over jasmine rice with cilantro, excellent! I plan on pulling out jars for little tastes of sun in February.

Tomorrow: we figure out what to do with 2 lbs of softy bruisy plums!


Better late than never, no? I’ve been baking a lot of bread this year and what better way to close Bread Month than with the least leavened of all breads?  After scouring the interwebs and cookbooks, I settled on Peter Reinhart’s recipe for Whole Wheat Matzo- not a Jew but a darn good baker nonetheless!

Laugh all you want but the best Passover snack this year comprised of this matzo, homemade horseradish, gefilte fish and charoset. All best washed down with a large bloody mary, first plague style: extra bloody.

Whole Wheat Matzo
or Lila’s Bread of Affliction/Liberation (Depending your level of Jewish guilt that day, I guess.)

1 3/4 cups (8 ounces or 227 grams) whole wheat flour*
1/2 teaspoon (.14 ounces or 4 grams) salt
3/4 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) water

additional whole wheat flour for adjustments

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C) with a baking stone (or use an inverted sheet pan.)

2. Combine the flour, salt, and water in a bowl and mix to form a coarse, soft dough. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface, dust the dough with more flour, and knead for approximately 3 minutes, adding more flour as needed to make a firm but tacky dough. It should not be sticky. Let the dough rest for 3 minutes and then resume kneading for another minute, adjusting the flour or water as needed. The dough should feel soft and satiny, not sticky, and only a little tacky.

3. Divide the dough into 8 to 10 pieces (the more you practice rolling matzo, the larger you can make these pieces), round each into a tight ball, and let them rest for 3 minutes. On a work surface (use minimal flour, if any, on the surface and the dough), roll out each piece of dough into a disk or rectangle until it begins to shrink back, dusting the pieces with flour if you need to stack them.

4. Return to the first piece and, starting from the center, roll it out to the edges into a disk or rectangle 1/8 inch thick. Dust the work surface with flour only if necessary.

5. Lightly flour a baking peel (or the underside of the sheet pan) and transfer the first piece to the peel. Dock** the entire surface, then slide the dough onto a baking stone and bake until the matzo begins to turn a rich brown, caramelizing on both top and bottom; this could be anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes, depending on how thinly the dough is rolled. Remove the matzo from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and continue baking the other pieces, rolling out the remaining balls of dough while the earlier ones are baking. The matzo should be crisp and snap easily after it cools. If not, return it to the oven briefly to crisp it.

* I used half whole wheat and half white bread flour.
** You can dock the dough with a fork, but a better choice is a roller docker. A small roller with many studs sticking out of it, it looks like a Medieval torture device but is useful for pie dough, naan, and for any dough that is not supposed to blister or have large air pockets. A crimping roller (often used to seal raviolis) can be used to run perforation lines similar to what you see on commercial matzo. That all being said, i used a fork.

You also might notice with the given times from Reinhart, that it is not possible to bake off the entire recipe from start to finish in 18 minutes or less, deeming this recipe not kosher! I did manage to roll out and bake the first piece under the deadline, so I’ll forgive him.


the anti-bagel

Saturday kicked off cookie week here at The Brooklyn Kitchen.  Every day, a different treat.  I feel like I am in a perpetual sugar hang-over.  I’m either hyperventilating or falling asleep.  Well, maybe not that bad but I’m just not used to this much white sugar in the morning.  Caffeine yes, toffee/ginger bread/chocolate, no.  Our manager, Al, says this is what it feels like to be Christian.  I think I prefer coffee and pickled fish.




2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour or 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each cloves and nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup water
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk (leftover from when we made butter at work! we should blog about that.)
1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger (optional)


1. Grease and flour a 9″ square pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
3. Melt the butter in a heatproof measuring cup. Add the molasses to the cup, and pour into the dry ingredients in the bowl, mixing to moisten.
4. Add the water, stirring until everything is moistened. Whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Stir into the batter until it’s evenly combined. Stir in the crystallized ginger.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake just begins to pull away from the edge of the pan.
6. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes before slicing; gingerbread is best served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.


Hazelnut Toffee (previously posted)

Maple Walnut Brownies

Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yield: sixteen 2″ brownies.


1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (5 5/8 ounces) brown sugar
1/3 cup (3 1/4 ounces) maple syrup
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon maple flavor (i omitted this and it was plenty maple-y)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (my addition)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (my addition)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped walnuts, toasted.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ square pan. I used the Baker’s Edge! With great success!
2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
3. Toast the walnuts in a small cast iron skillet, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 1-2 min.
4. Melt the butter and brown sugar together in the microwave or over a burner; remove from the heat and stir in the syrup.  I used my new roux whisk here. Huzzah! Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm. Stir in the eggs one at a time, then the maple flavor.  Stir in the dry ingredients, and finally the walnuts.
5. Pour into the prepared pan, and bake for 25 minutes, just until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven, and cool before cutting and glazing.


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Peppermint Oreos

This recipe was originally for regular ‘oreos.’ The result was of course delicious but it was also an incredibly fool proof and easy to handle dough, so much that I’ve reinvented the recipe a few times over. Peppermint works here, as I would imagine coconut extract, coffee extract (with brown food coloring for a ‘mocha’ effect) or even a peanut butter based frosting. These cookies taste good at room temperature but I think they’re better the next day out of the fridge- the frosting congeals a bit and tastes more like that classic oreo filling. Holla!

The thinner you roll the dough, the more crispy and wafer-like the cookies will be. Keep them thicker for ‘chewier’ oreos. They’re pretty rich cookies, so I keep them small and crisp- just squish them flat with the palm of your hand after you drop them onto your cookie sheet.

Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees.
2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.

Vanilla Filling
Note: This frosting recipe was written to make enough for one 3-layer 9-inch cake. I quartered it for the cookies with almost none left over.


6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for peppermint: 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 1/2 tsp. peppermint. i also added drop or two of green food coloring.

1. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface (to prevent a skin from forming) and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
3. Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Use immediately-ish.


Pinwheel Rugelach




Brown Sugar Shorties


Peppermint Brownies

Buckwheat Challah

Buckwheat Challah

I got up in the rain this morning, and rather than go to the gym I made bread.

I ran out of AP Flour in the process and substituted in 1 cup of Buckwheat flour I had on hand.

Turned out quite good.

the master recipe is here.

Another toddler-friendly recipe from the vault.  The secret?  Saltines!  Who knew?!  (not me.)

Chocolate Hazelnut Toffee
* you can use any nut you like!  (sliced almonds and macadamias work nicely, too.)


1 stack saltine crackers (fits a standard half-sheet pan)
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 small bag of chopped hazelnuts, toasted
sea salt, to taste


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
2. Line a half-sheet or jelly roll pan with tin foil.
3. Place saltines, salt side up, on the bottom of the cookie tray.
4. Bring butter and sugar to a boil then stir for approx. 2 minutes until it becomes thick &  creamy and turns the color of caramel.
5. Pour this mixture over the saltines and spread evenly (a heat proof spatula works well here.)
6. Toast nuts in a very hot, dry cast-iron skillet (or with a bit of butter). Stir constantly until toasted and fragrant, about 2 min. Set aside.
7. Bake for approx. 12-13 minutes or until you see it beginning to brown.
8. Remove tray and sprinkle chocolate chips over the saltines and spread gently (it will appear at first like the chocolate is not melting, as you begin to spread it, the chocolate will continue to melt and spread evenly.)
9. Sprinkle with nuts and sea salt.
10.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.
11.  Break into pieces. Enjoy!

A store favorite, these treats could only be described (upon Harry’s first bite) using four-letter words. Tsk tsk!

Have you ever bugged someone forever and ever and ever for a recipe, convinced it came from some magical place that required slight of hand, specialty skill and a secret password to get it right?  You can imagine my surprise when my mother finally came clean with her macaroon recipe.  Apparently, it was part of a pre-school project from when I was a wee tot… like, four years old.  The idea was to make a recipe that a four-year old could handle- hence the number of ingredients and a consistency comparable to Elmer’s glue.  Yet, despite the over-simplicity and the sticky mess you’ll make, my mother found it worthy to hold on to 20-some years later and rightfully so.

The “grown-up” details- like baking on the top rack and using parchment paper seem minor but make all the difference.

Lila’s Super Secret Macaroons
Yield: A lot. Depending how big you make them, about 50.


1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 14-oz bag good quality shredded sweetened coconut
1 tsp. each almond and vanilla extracts
pinch o’ salt


1. pre-heat oven to 325 F.
2. thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
3. using wet hands, roll teaspoon size balls onto a parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheet. you’ll have to rinse and re-wet your hands as the batter will begin to stick to your hands.  bake on the top rack for 20 minutes or until golden brown. allow to cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet.

popcorn recipe coming soon.  maybe.

I’ve recently been thinking quite a bit about long cooking times. Either overnight or all day, great meals can be made without a lot of fuss and active time.


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