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Breakfast is one of my favorite meals because every dish has a comfort food vibe. For Yom Kippur, I love preparing a “break fast” meal with some family favorites like noodle kugel and bagels and lox. We makeÂ dishes that are easy to digest and gentle on the stomach after a day of fasting. I also like to add in something new every year. Pumpkin spice craze is here to stay so I decided to take a classic monkey bread, which is also known as Hungarian coffee cake, and pumpkin spice it up! If you have any Hungarian roots in your family, this is a great time to add your heritage to the celebration of the Jewish New Year. This recipe uses pre-made biscuit dough for ease and speed, but you can also use your own scratch recipe.
Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread with Apple Sauce Glaze
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a small loaf pan or 6-inch square baking dish.
2. Mix the sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin spice.
3. Melt the stick of butter and add in the maple syrup.
5. Place each ball into the baking dish until you have one layer of sugar and pumpkin spice coated balls of dough. If using a smallÂ loaf pan, you will have two layers of dough balls and will cook for longer.
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the dough has risen and is a deep golden brown.
7.Â While the pumpkin spice monkey bread is baking, peel and grate both apples. Cook the apples in a covered saucepan until soft and fragrant.
8. Pour the apple sauce into a bowl and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar.
As Hanukkah and Christmas overlap this year, itâ€™s a fine time to share my beloved recipe for rugelach. Before I became Jewish, I had always loved the Christmas cookie baking traditionsâ€”from the aromas that filled the house to all the flavors and textures of the different cookies. And all the sampling, of course. Celebrating my first Hanukkah made me yearn for a sweet little bite to bake for the holiday. Hanukkah-themed sugar cookies fell way short, as did a few other strategies. Then I came upon rugelach (the name for which likely comes from the Yiddish word for â€śroyalâ€ť). These American-Jewish delicacies that are part cookie and part pastry captured my baking heart, and Iâ€™ve made this recipe every year since. It beautifully combines a delicate texture with the comforting flavors of cinnamon, pecans and a kiss of apricot. Rugelach would go well on any cookie tray and a tin full of these makes a wonderful gift.
Cream Cheese Rugelach with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar
Reprinted with permission from â€śMeatballs and Matzah Balls: Recipes and Reflections from a Jewish and Italian Lifeâ€ť by Marcia Friedman
1. Cream the cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth and light. Add ÂĽ cup granulated sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir in the flour until just combined. The dough will be very sticky. Add a little additional flour if needed to make it cohesive.
2. Divide it into four equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place one ball on a large piece of plastic wrap, gently press into a disk shape, and then enclose in the plastic. Repeat with the other three balls. Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 20 minutes.
3. Make the filling by combining 6 Tbsp. of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, Âľ tsp. cinnamon and the pecans. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
4. Remove one disk from the refrigerator; unwrap and place dough on a floured surface. Gently roll into an approximate 9-inch circle. Spread a generous Â˝ Tbsp. of the apricot preserves over the dough to about ÂĽ inch from the edge. Sprinkle evenly with a scant Â˝ cup of brown-sugar filling and gently press. Cut the circle into 12 wedges. Starting at the wide edge, roll up each triangle. Place the formed pastries seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes or freeze for about 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Make the topping by combining the 1Â˝ Tbsp. granulated sugar and the Â˝ tsp. cinnamon.
7. Brush each pastry with the egg and milk mixture, and sprinkle lightly with sugar-cinnamon topping. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until well browned. Remove from oven, and let rest on the cookie sheet for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring rugelach to a wire rack. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Yield: 48 rugelach
Note: Assembled pastries can be frozen and baked at a later time. Defrost partially before placing in oven, and allow extra time for baking.