Monday, October 27, 2008

Dor L'Dor

What a gift we have when family and friends can come together and share bread. We all know that the kitchen is where we tend to hangout. Throw in some favorite foods, drinks and stories and the memories are what is really cooking. I am blessed to have inherited the love of baking from my mother and her grandmother. Although I only remember one of my great grandmothers baked sensations, out of the oven yeast cinnamon rolls with hot chocolate, the memory of her sitting with me while I was eating it is just as important as how yummy and sticky the treat was.

There have been many people in my life who have taught me how to cook or bake using their "method" or "secret" ingredient. From time to time as I remember these people and the food we prepared together, I will share the story and the recipe.

Today I was putting away some powdered sugar and I remembered a cookie recipe, Kipfel or Crescent, given to my husband by his grandmother who was quite a baker in her day. I never had the honor of meeting her or sampling her confections but I certainly strive to master her recipes and feel great when my husband says they are just like his Nanny made. That is the ultimate compliment indeed. Hopefully I can teach my children to appreciate these recipes so they too can pass them on to their children, generation to generation.

1/2 lb sweet salted butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 lb ground almonds with skins
2 c flour
vanilla sugar*
powdered sugar

  1. Cream butter, sugar and flour
  2. Fold in ground almonds and flour with a wooden spoon
  3. Roll and shape into crescents
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes in 350 degree oven
  5. After baked dip crescent in a mixture of vanilla sugar and powdered sugar
  6. Store in airtight container. May be frozen.
* Vanilla Sugar: vanilla sugar is simple to make and keeps in an airtight container easily. Scrape the seeds of one vanilla bean with the back of a knife and place in a bowl with 2 cups of sugar. Stir well. Transfer to an airtight container and let it sit for 2 weeks before using.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a spice I use all year. However, when the leaves begin to change color and the days get shorter I definitely reach for that seed and grater more often. Indispensable to eggnog and a Starbucks® Pumpkin Spiced Latte, nutmeg is usually associated with sweet, spicy dishes.

Whole nutmegs will keep indefinitely and accompanied by a grater you can grate away anytime.

  • One whole nutmeg equals 2-3 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • Nutmeg is not a nut and people with nut allergies need not worry
  • Adding nutmeg to your recipes is suppose to improve the appetite (not an issue for me)