Friday, February 8, 2013

Armenia Cookies (Dates and Peanut Butter)

Found these on Facebook posted by
THE ART OF ARMENIAN & MIDDLE EASTERN COOKING
 If you have any interest in Middle Eastern Cooking - I highly recommend you "Like" his page - he posts the best recipes - along with pictures !  This one looks really close to my Date/Nut roll - so I figured I'd give it a try for Valentines Day !
ARMENIAN SPICE COOKIES WITH A TWIST "

COOKIES FILLED WITH DATES AND PEANUT BUTTER

Cookie-base

2-1/2 cups A/P flour
½ cup fine semolina
¾ cup sugar
¾ tbsp baking powder
½ tsp each: ground cinnamon, cloves, mahlab, nutmeg
Dash sea salt

2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven 3250F. Prep middle rack and parchment-lined sheet pan.

Measure and add all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk together the liquid ingredients; fold wet and dry ingredients together.

Bring the cookie dough together and make a boule. Wrap in plastic wrap, allow to rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the date and peanut butter filling.

Date and peanut butter paste filling

1-1/2 heaping cups dates, chopped
¼ cup peanut butter, or more to taste
2 tbsp orange honey
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Place all ingredients in heavy duty mixer. Process until mixture becomes a pasty ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, place in refrigerator, until ready to use.

Forming the cookie
On a clean work surface, using a rolling pin, roll out the date and peanut butter paste to about 4” x 12”; set aside.
Roll out the cookie dough into a rectangular 12” x 15” or a bit larger pending on how thick you want to cookie.

Place the date and peanut butter paste roll at the closest edge of the 12” rectangular cookie dough, and roll, jelly-roll style.

Place seam-down, then cut ¾” thick slices, and place each slice face up on parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated 3250F oven for 15-18 minutes or until top is lightly golden.

Remove from oven. Place them immediately on cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before storing.

Store cookies in plastic wrap, in refrigerator.

Lebanese Ka'ak


Ka'ak can refer to a bread commonly consumed throughout the Near East that is made in a large ring-shape and is covered with sesame seeds. Kaak is the street bread that Tripolitan love more than anything else. Widely sold by street vendors, it is usually eaten as a snack or for breakfast with za'atar. Kaak is delivered to all the cart vendors throughout the city.  You buy it and they will fill it with a choice of zaatar or cheese.  




When we visit Egypt - the bread dude always comes down our street - especially when he knows we're there !  Doesn't matter what floor we're on (our family home there has 5 floors) - he'll call out until we answer.  If we are upstairs - we simply toss some $$ in a basket and lower it down to the street from an upstairs window.  He always fills the basket with way more than we've paid for!  When Ramadan comes - we make sure to give him more $$$ then it's possible to give us bread - and if he has one of his children with him, we always send one of our own kids down with money for the kids to buy sweets and a gift for his mum ! 

INGREDIENTS:

2 package active dry yeast ( if I am using 120gm of wild yeast starter I use less yeast)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 1/2 - 7 cups all purpose flour
1 egg +1 teaspoon water
3/4 cup sesame seed

PREPARATION:

Dissolve yeast in warm large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto generously flour surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 50 minutes. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched. Punch dough down to release the gas, gather again and let it rest for the second time till doubled. Be very patient and let the dough rest for couple of hours or even more... divide to 8 equal parts. Roll over some wheat or bran flour to get more authentic , and texture shape, either the shape of a round handbag, (this is what we used to call them when we were children) or into long rope; moisten ends with water. Bring ends of rope together, and pinch to form rings about 6 inches in diameter. Beat egg and 2 teaspoons water with fork. Spread sesame seed on dinner plate. Brush each ring with egg mixture; dip into sesame seed. Place rings, sesame seed side up, on large greased cookie sheets. Cover loosely; let rise until double, about 30 - 1 hour for the rings, for the rounds let them rest again, at least two hours more. Cover the baking tray with plastic to keep them moist.

Heat oven to 500F . ADD the baking trays upside down and warm them in the oven as well, When the oven is ready, lower the heat to 450F . sprinkle some wheat or bran on the trays and carefully move the kaak and Bake them for 20 to 25 mimutes or until golden brown and puffed.

a deep pan with water in it will also help crunch the kaak and give a nice golden color

suggestion on serving the kaak: open the pocket from the back and sprinkle oregano mix (zaatar) or Sumac, or mix sumac and Dakkah . Also good with Halloumi Cheese, or Cream Cheese

Recipe by Phoenician Gourme

Show Us Your Socks

Judy at Patchwork Times hosts different challenges on different days.  Thanks to her, I usually always try and get a little bit of sewing done each week, as well as try at least one new recipe to share.  This year she's also hosting a "Show Us Your Socks" day.  I don't knit .... I've tried, and I ended up with a very functional pair of slippers.  I'm assuming the yarn I used was way too thick for socks.  I've tried sock yarn, but ended up regifting it .... One day when I have the patience to sit and learn I'll You Tube enough videos until I know what I'm doing, but until then, there's Etsy!  I bought these wonderful socks for my daughter - Seahawks is her swim team.  Luckily - she didn't like them, she likes super thin socks - so now they are mine ! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Design Wall Monday

This week I don't have much to show on my design wall.  No new BOM's came this week - so I started working on Dan and Amanda's quilt.  The colors are much more subdued than my usual choice - but it's fun making something that I know will be loved by someone as special as Dan and Amanda.

These are the 4 corner blocks
These are the centers of the 12 middle blocks

I did get into the kitchen over the weekend as well.  I woke up really early Saturday morning craving scones - so figured I'd try out my new cast iron scone pan I bought last year - love it !!!  To see what others are working on, visit Judy's blog at Patchwork Times !


Friday, February 1, 2013

Getting It Done - Month Two

Judy at Patchwork Times has challenged us each month to make a list of a few items that you want to get done that month.      Here was my list from January -


  • Finish first 3 BOM for Moon Glow Quilt.  I love this BOM.  I want to stay on top of it, so that when I receive the finishing kit sometime at the end of this year, I can box up the top and ship it off to the quilters !  DONE
  • Hem Adam's pants.  As a mom that can sew, I feel terrible when my son's pants are dragging on the ground.  He's a tall boy - not real sure why his pants are so long - but I do need to get those pj's hemed !  DONE
  • Work on the color challenge from last year.  Judy from Patchwork Times also issued monthly challenges last year to create a quilt using colors from different photos.  I did one - designed it, and worked up many of the blocks, but didn't finish.  It's a quick and easy block to make up, so I'd like to at least work on it.  I'm not putting down that I want to finish it - because honestly I'm not real sure how much is left to do
  • Start designing a quilt for Amanda.  She recently got married to the man who has cooked dd#2's birthday dinner for the last 3 years in a row.  I love this couple, and need to design them a special quilt.  She likes more muted colors than I usually work with - but I'll make her whatever she wants to match her living room ! DONE

I am happy that I did get 3 out of 4 finished. I also completed a baby quilt along the way that was gifted to one of dh's friends.   As for why I didn't finish #3 - I actually began working on the quilt for Amanda - so they actually may get it this year.  I also sent out some emails looking for a long arm quilter - I think I found one that is very much like Margaret (my old long-armer)so I'm happy !  My list for February

  • Continue working on Amanda's quilt.  Have at least 8 of the main blocks completed
  • Stay caught up on both BOM's I've signed up for
  • Get the taxes ready and dropped off to the tax man
  • Use Plan to Eat more often and plan healthier menus  

Pretty good list - I really should be able to do this.  To see what others are working on, check out Judy's blog at Patchwork Times