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Chana's Top Picks

The Secrets Come Out...

Mini Trifle Bowl Mousse


BrowniesMini Trifle Bowl Mousse.jpg
1 cup cocoa
3 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 eggs
1 cup oil
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

1 pound praline paste
3 sticks margarine
1 pound white chocolate
1 tbsp coffee (dissolved in a drop of hot water)
4 eggs – separated
15 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar

2 10oz cartons whipping cream
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Optional garnishes:
Viennese crunch

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Grease and flour an 11 x 14 inch baking pan.
In a large mixer bowl, mix the first four ingredients well.  Add eggs and oil and mix on a low speed.  Add the baking powder and salt and mix again.
Pour into pan.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until cake is set.  Cool in pan, and cut small pieces to mush into the trifle cups, fill each cup 1/3 with brownie.

Melt the first four cream ingredients in a double boiler.  Set aside. 
Beat the egg whites with the sugars on high speed until peaks form.  Add the yolks and combine with the chocolate mixture.  Mix until smooth.
Spread a layer of cream on top of the cake in each cup – make sure the sides stay clean.
Beat the whipping cream on high speed until stiff.  Add confectioner’s sugar and mix.  Spread an even layer on top of the cream in each cup or squeeze through a pastry bag.  Garnish with chocolate shavings or crushed Viennese crunch, or make designs on parchment paper with melted chocolate and transfer the hardened chocolate on top of the mousse.  Serve with mini spoons or forks.

Bakery Style Rugelach

These rugelach are a snap to make, but require an ingredient that is not found in Montreal - sorry!  If you are in NY, make sure to stock up on the liquid marble chocolate.

IngredientsBakery Style Rugelach.jpg
Pastry dough
Baker's Choice Liquid Marble Chocolate

2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups icing sugar
5 tsp cinnamon
5 tsp instant coffee
1 cup cocoa

extra icing sugar for coating
semisweet chocolate, melted - optional

Defrost pastry dough.  When soft, flatten it out and completely cover with liquid marble chocolate.
In a separate container combine  the sugars, cinnamon, coffee and cocoa.  Make the coffee into tiny crumbs using your fingers.  Mix well to incorporate and pour over the chocolate. 
Cut the dough into tiny pizza slices and roll them up.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until light golden. 
Drizzle chocolate on top and roll in confectioner's sugar when hardened, or just roll in confectioner's sugar without the chocolate - either way is delicious!

This recipe makes a lot of rugelach.  You can make the mixture once, and keep it in an airtight container in the pantry, and use it as you need it.

Lemon Chiffon Cake

This is a delicious cake on it's own, or cut in half and filled with lemon pie filling to add a taste of heaven!  For Spa for the Soul, I baked a sheet cake instead of a bundt, and covered the little chiffon squares filled with pie filling with fondant and mixed whipped cream and pie filling for the glaze.

Ingredients:Lemon Chiffon.jpg
1¾ cups sugar
8 egg WHITES
7 egg YOLKS
¾ cup oil
2 cups sifted flour 
3 tsp. sifted baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup orange juice
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Beat ¾ cup sugar and egg whites — making “snow” and set aside. 
Blend 1 cup sugar, egg yolks, oil, flour, baking powder and salt.
Add orange juice  and lemon rind and mix.
Gently fold the two mixtures together.
Bake at 375° for 1 HOUR in an ungreased tube pan.

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Any chocolate and mint lover's dream!  For Spa for the Soul, I covered the brownies with fondant for a more elegant, petit-four look.  Usually it's made as a sheet cake and cut to serve.

Chocolate mint brownies.jpg
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick margarine - softened
4 eggs
1½ cups chocolate syrup (do NOT use Nesquik - it's too runny!  Make sure you buy the Jewish brands)
1 tsp. baking powder

Peppermint Filling:
2 cups icing sugar
1 stick margarine—softened
1 Tbsp. water
¼-½ tsp. peppermint oil—to taste
Few drops of green food coloring

Chocolate Topping:
¾ stick margarine
8 oz. semi sweet baking chocolate

Combine all cake ingredients and mix well.  Grease a cookie sheet (use the baking sprays with flour added).  Pour batter into cookie sheet.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.  It might look a little wet.  Let cool.
Mix all filling ingredients together and spread over the cake after it cools.
Melt frosting ingredients in a double boiler.  Mix until smooth.  Pour over the peppermint filling on cake and spread evenly with a spatula.
Refrigerate to harden.


Chocolate Truffle Cups

Chocolate cups.jpgIngredients:
1 15oz. bar of baking chocolate
1 bag of white chocolate chips
1 16oz. can of praline paste
Viennese Crunch
Mini cupcake holders - the firm metallic ones work best!  (Packs of 72 at destination dollar)

Melt the baking chocolate in a double boiler.
Once it is totally melted, pour the white chocolate chips inside and let them melt.
Once it is totally melted, pour the praline paste inside and let it melt.
Once it is all melted, pour some into a plastic cup.  Squeeze the two sides together, so that it should have a little spout.  Pour the chocolate mixture into the mini cupcake holders.
Crush the Viennese Crunch and sprinkle on top.
Place in the freezer until right before serving.

Chocolate Chews (aka Turtles)

I've never heard of Turtles, but everyone who tried them at the Spa for the Soul III dubbed these chews - Chana's Turtles.  chocolate chews.jpg

2 bars baking chocolate
1½ cups light corn syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups icing sugar — sifted
1 box raisins
1 300 gramcontainer of roasted, unsalted peanuts

Melt chocolate and corn syrup in a pot.  When melted, remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
Slowly mix in the sifted icing sugar, mix well with a wooden spoon.
Pour in the raisins and peanuts and mix them in as much as you can.
Gently grease your hands (pam works great) and shape the chews into flat balls and place on a pan covered with wax paper.  Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to harden.
Store in refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thanks to Shainy Blau Edelman for this amazing cookie recipe!  Delicious anytime, any size - featured are the mini cookies from Spa for Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.jpgthe Soul III.

1 cup margarine
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup granulated brown sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 packet instant chocolate pudding
2 eggs
12 oz chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients.  Shape into cookies.  Bake at 375˚ for 8 - 10 minutes (don't over bake) 
Yields 4 dozen regular sized cookies

Variation: I've used vanilla pudding with equally yummy results!

Classic Hamentaschen

Good to the last crumb, on Purim, or anytime...

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
½ cup oil
juice from 1 lemon
(2-3 tablespoons)
rind of 1 lemon
(about 1 tsp grated)

mohn (poppy seed)
prune lekvar
ovenproof jams

Preheat the oven to 350°.
Prepare the lemon rind by peeling the rind (only the yellow part of the skin) off of the lemon.  Place the peelings in a food processor/blender with a little bit of sugar (between 1/8 and ¼ teaspoon for the rind of one lemon), and grate until you are left with very fine grains of rind.  Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar.  Add the rest of the ingredients to form dough.  Place the dough on a floured board and roll it out until it is about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut 2 ½ - 3 inch circles out of the dough with a glass or round cookie cutter.  Place 1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon of desired filling in the middle of each circle.  To shape into a triangle, lift up right and left sides, leaving the bottom down, and bring both sides to meet at the center above the filling.  Bring the top flap down to the center to meet the two sides.  Pinch edges together.  Place on greased cookie sheets 1 inch apart and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

To make your own homemade ovenproof jam, grind an apple (Macintosh works best) together with 2 tablespoons of your favorite jam.

If you would like your hamentaschen to have a glazed look, brush with beaten egg before baking.

If baking in a dairy oven, instead of using one of the fillings, place chocolate chunks or chips (regular and white) in the hamentaschen and allow them to melt.  Eat while hot.

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