funfetti macaroons

Sup, homies! Happy spring and also happy snow day (!) which leaves us with the best case scenario: a beautiful wintery day where the sun stays up long enough to enjoy it on the drive to (and maybe even from) the gym. These kinds of days are delicious because you get the coziness of the snow and the energy of the extra light, and the light has that perfectly diffused snowy quality that is all fluffy and cloud like. Is there a name for this type of winter weather that seeps into spring? Like Indian Summer, but for winter? And don’t say something like Annoying Winter, that’s not the point of this exercise. 

Speaking of exercise, I’ve been on a remarkable health kick, spawned by a sudden urge to eat kale four times a day. I’ve been eating kale and eggs for breakfasts, kale grilled cheeses for lunches, kale tacos for snacks, kale salads for dinners, I’m definitely going to get sick of it really soon but for now I’m riding it out and feeling excellent. The Adventures of Kalegirl and Eggboy!! Also, World Championship Ice Skating is on! Which is great, obviously, but did you also hear about the 13-year-old Russian figure skater in Junior Worlds who became the first female to land two quads in a program in competition??? Bonkers! The future is now! Additionally, I’ve gotten into so many awesome books recently, like Alon Shaya’s new cookbook, Jessica Merchant’s new cookbook, Stephanie Izard's Gather and Graze, and Call Me By Your Name, so if there was a sunny side of the street to be walking on right now, and if I actually walked anywhere, I'd be there. That's what's going on in my world!

But enough about kale and books, let’s talk about sprinkles. I feel a little funny that I’ve never funfetti’d macaroons before. I don’t know why it took this long but the other day a giant box of sprinkles from Beautiful Briny Sea arrived and I immediately felt compelled to fold them into egg whites, condensed milk, and coconut to make the first macaroons of the season. They were so tasty! Crisp on the outside, rich and moist on the inside. And how do you make a tasty thing tastier? Dip it in chocolate. It felt like the right thing to do, and then it felt more right to coat the chocolate with sprinkles. Eggboy said it was too many sprinkles! Can you believe he let those words exit his mouth?! I was stunned. I love the extreme amount of sprinkles because they add a fantastic crunchy quality that you don’t often find on a macaroon. And they’re fun to look at. And sprinkle flavor is good!! These ones are at least. (Use sprinkles you’d want to eat by the spoonful because you’re essentially doing that here.) I used these chocolate sprinkles in the batter and these rainbow sprinkles on the bottom.

All general funfetti rules apply here: do not use sanding sugar in the macaroon mixture because the colors will bleed and use clear imitation vanilla for that nostalgic birthday cake flavor that will also keep your batter bright white. As with almost all of the macaroons that I make these days, these are based on Danny Macaroons' delicious basic macaroon recipe. And speaking of macaroons, I wrote a little piece about them for this cool new huge Tablet feature that you should check out, 100 Most Jewish Foods

Happy almost Passover!


funfetti macaroons

makes 16

ingredients

1 c (283g) sweetened condensed milk (reserve the rest of the can to add to your morning coffee!)

2 tsp clear imitation vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 (14 oz) bag sweetened shredded coconut

2 large egg whites

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 c (48g) rainbow sprinkles, plus about 1/3 c (63g) more for topping and dipping

3 oz (85g) chocolate (any kind!)

clues

preheat oven to 350ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

in a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, vanilla, and almond extract. mix in the coconut and set aside.

in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. 

fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture and then gently fold in the 1/4 cup of sprinkles. spoon lightly packed 2" balls of the mixture onto the baking sheets, 1" apart and sprinkle the tops with more sprinkles.

bake until golden brown; begin checking for doneness at 18 minutes. remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the pans. transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

place the remaining 1/3 cup of sprinkles in a shallow dish. melt the chocolate in a microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, or in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often. dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate, scrape off any excess, and then dip the chocolate in the sprinkles. place back on the parchment paper and let cool at room temp or in the fridge. enjoy!

these can be kept at room temperature for about 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week.


salt & vinegar knishentaschen

It’s like the last day of camp, I can’t believe that the Olympics are over :( It’s so sad. I made a list of things to look forward to now so I wouldn’t be tempted to just be a sad couch blob who does nothing but eat dry granola and watch slow motion replays of Jocelyne Lamoureux’s game winning goal over and over while I get nostalgic and cry. (But seriously, if you have the NBC Sports app, go look up their epic slow motion videos, they’re so cool.) Ok, here’s my list of things to look forward to:

Mackenzie’s Baby Shower! Emily and I are throwing Mackenzie a brunchy baby shower next weekend and there’s gonna be so much cute shit like fruit skewers and tiny smoothies and Eggboy’s building a bagel wall for it. You know, like a donut wall, but it will hold bagels.

Eggboy’s Trombone Concert! He’s playing in the town trombone choir for the premiere of a piece by Eric Ewazen, who was both of our music theory teachers at one point. IDK if he’ll remember us but we definitely remember him and his Jell-O impressions. I wanted to make him a Jell-O salad but Eggboy said no because Eggboy is no fun. 

~Whistler~ I’m busily getting all of my ducks in a row for my Passover cooking demos at Pesach on the Mountain, and also trying to put together some fun skiing lewks so that when I suck at skiing, I’ll at least look stylish. 

World Ice Skating Championships! Haha! You didn’t think that ice skating was over for the season right???? I’m looking forward to a Nathan Chen short program repeat of his Skate America magic, and just being able to watch Papadakis and Cizeron again. 

Yogurt Book Launch! In the last week we’ve gone from planning one local event to three! Two of them are in Fargo, one is yoga related (because who else occasionally calls yoga “yogurt?”) and all three are going to be so much fun. Keep an eye out on my events page for details.

Purim!!! I love a good Purim celebration and also I love Hamantaschen because they are like dumpling cookies and just so darn pretty. And I love seeing all of your sprinkletaschen this year!!! Keep the pics coming, please.

This year I have gone savory!!! And combined my Hamantaschen with a Knish to make a Knishentaschen. I mainly just wanted an excuse to make knishes because it’s been too long since I strolled the Upper West Side eating a Zabar’s sweet potato knish and I couldn’t stop looking at these Zak the Baker beauties on Instagram. And with both a knish and a hamantasch being filled baked goodies, the combination of the two was inevitable, right??

In my knish dough research, I came across a super easy dough in The Gefilte Manifesto, originally from Mrs. Stahl’s knishery in Brooklyn. Flour, oil, salt, water, essentially the same as the simple and satisfying Amy Thielen-inspired cracker crust pizza dough that we make all the time for Friday pizza. So guess what I did? I doubled the dough, made knishes for lunch and pizza for dinner. 2 in 1 dough, what more could you ask for?

The filling here is salt and vinegar potatoes for an acidic twist on your basic potato knish. Love an acidic twist. If salt and vinegar is not your flavor, first of all, gtfo, but also know that you can forego the vinegar here and still get a mighty tasty mashed potato knish. A heavy pile of parmesan rounds all of this out, but you can definitely switch up the cheese or omit it for a dairy-free option. If you omit, sprinkle some flaky salt or other herbs and seasonings (everything bagel seasoning???) on the outside to give it an extra somethin. The bottom line is, these aren’t rocket science and you can play with these fillings as you see fit, you can even add spinach. In the end you will have a hearty, carby handful of delight with soft potato innards and a chewy satisfying crust. 

And I like these with ketchup. Obviously. 


salt & vinegar knishentaschen

makes 12

dough adapted from mrs. stahl's knishery, by way of the gefilte manifesto

potatoes adapted from epicurious

ingredients

for the dough:

1 3/4 c (224g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 c (50g) vegetable oil

1/2 c (118g) water

 

for the filling:

1 1/2 lb (680g) russet potatoes, diced (3/4”)

1 c + 2 tb distilled white vinegar

Kosher salt

2 tb (28g) butter or olive oil or vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

Black pepper

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 oz (113g) shredded parmesan

Fresh chopped chives, for topping

Ketchup, optional, for serving

clues

Preheat the oven to 400º. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set them aside.

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the oil and water and stir to combine. Turn onto a work surface and knead for 5-7 minutes, dusting with flour as needed, until smooth and slightly sticky. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rest at room temp while you prepare the filling. 

To make the filling, place the potatoes in a large pot with 1 cup of the vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt. Add enough water to cover the potatoes by an inch. Bring to a boil and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until very soft. Drain and pat dry. Meanwhile heat the butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat, add onion and a good pinch of salt, and cook, stirring, until softened and browned. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, additional salt to taste, a bunch of black pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar in a bowl and mash coarsely.

On a work surface, divide the dough into 12 balls. Roll them out into 4" circles and brush them with a thin layer of egg. Top with a pile of cheese (leaving some to go on top of the knishes) and a big scoop of potato filling. Fold the edges up and over the filling to form a triangle shape, overlapping the corners and pinching them to seal. Transfer to the baking sheets an inch or so apart, brush the outsides with egg wash, sprinkle with remaining cheese, more black pepper, and a few chives, and bake until lightly golden; begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes.

Let cool slightly and enjoy with ketchup, if desired. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a few days and then reheated in the microwave or oven.


-yeh!

P.S.

 

Have you pre-ordered Short Stack Yogurt yet?? Get to it! 

new year's cookie cereal!

Hi! It's Molly of last week here, Molly of the present is on holiday break and not allowed to open up her computer until January 3. (There is a piece of washi tape holding it shut.) Present molly is definitely opening instagram every five seconds though. And, like, sitting on her couch eating cheese and butter sandwiches, getting them all in before the clock strikes 2018 when suddenly there is a little guilt in the air about eating bread, but shut me up, that’s all I’m saying about New Year’s diets. 

Molly of the present might be a little bit tan from a two day skip down to the great American Southwest, very full on pizza from a pizza party at Melissa’s (!!!! Omg past Molly is so excited), and awaiting results from her 23 and me test since she got one for herself and one for Eggboy to put under the Chrismukkah bush. Just for funsies! I know I’m half Chinese and part Hungarian but one time at Thanksgiving someone from my mom’s side said something about having Polish ancestors and maybe even some Spanish ones (!!). I can’t wait to find out. 

Also, we celebrated our third anniversary yesterday!! Hooray!!!!!! I think we went to IKEA. That’s the plan at least. And now that I think about it, I think that my favorite hidden talent of ours as a couple is confidently maintaining a perfect track record of never fighting in an IKEA. That’s pretty good, right??? It’s maybe either a testament to our level-headed reasoning skills or to the fact that as long as I get Swedish meatballs in my belly the world could end but I’d still be smiling. Either way, I am extra excited to spend the day looking at Hemneses and Vördas with my cool husband. 

Enough being mushy now! Let’s get crispy.

As you may remember, I spent a large portion of my February stamping out macroscopic heart shaped cookies to make valentine’s day cookie cereal:

This was a long repetitive process but extraordinarily satisfying. So I did it again only this time with a festive holiday/New Year’s day approach! The only real differences from the valentine’s day version are that the cookies have ground almonds instead of hazelnuts (as well as sprinkles to be like new year’s confetti), and the meringues are swirly and colorful. It’s all very almond-forward because that’s the flavor of the holidays and if you make it now it will definitely still be good by the time that New Year’s morning rolls around and you simply cannot be bothered to make a brunch or wait for a table at the Walker Brothers, but you still want something celebratory. 

I used a large round piping tip to stamp out my circles. I also added dried cranberries and cherries and pecans and marcona almonds but feel free to change those up based on what you have on hand. The only thing you really need to pay attention to is making sure the cookies and meringues are really good and dry before taking them out of the oven, that will help this cereal keep for a while and not get smelly when you bag it up and gift it to the person you forgot to give a gift to. 

Omg, see you in 2018!!!!!


almond cookie cereal

makes about 18 servings

ingredients

1 batch mini almond cookies, recipe below

1 batch mini meringues, recipe below

1 c chocolate chips

1 c toasted coconut flakes

1 c toasted almonds, coarsely chopped (I also threw in some pecans!)

1 c dried cherries or cranberries

milk, for serving

clues

gently combine all of the ingredients. 

serve in a bowl with milk!

keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. cereal should keep for a couple of weeks.


mini almond cookies

ingredients

1/2 c almond meal

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

3/4 c sugar

3/4 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

sprinkles

clues

preheat the oven to 350ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment.

in a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, flour, and salt.

using an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until it is pale and fluffy. add the vanilla and egg and beat well to combine. with the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating until combined.

turn the cookie dough out onto a lightly-floured surface. using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick, sprinkle the top with sprinkles, and then continue rolling until it is 1/4" thick. use a cookie cutter or large round piping tip to cut out tiny circles. place the circles on the baking sheets (they can be pretty close together), and bake until they're lightly browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes. re-roll scraps and repeat.

once all of the cookies are baked, reduce the oven to 250ºf and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes to really crisp them up. let cool on the pans.


ingredients

120 grams (or about 1/2 c + 3 tb) sugar

2 large eggs whites

1/4 tsp almond extract

2-4 colors of gel food coloring

clues

preheat oven to 400ºf. distribute the sugar in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown. while sugar is baking, crack your egg whites into a stand mixer. 

once the sugar has been in the oven for a few minutes, begin beating the egg whites in a stand mixer on high until they're foamy. reduce the mixer and gradually sprinkle in the warm sugar. once all of it has been added, add the almond extract. beat on high for a few minutes, until the meringue is stiff, glossy, and cold.

reduce the oven to 225ºf.

prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment. fit a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8" or 1/4" round tip and use a paint brush to paint vertical lines of the food coloring inside of the pastry bag. (for a video tutorial, see my IG story highlights!) Fill the bag with your egg white mixture, pipe tiny dollops onto the parchment, and bake for about 20 minutes, until the mini meringues are no longer shiny and they're crispy all the way through. let cool on the pans.


-yeh!

saffron baked marzipan

I witnessed the most Minnesotan thing in the world this weekend: at our lil hotdish Hanukkah party, there were just enough pigs in a blanket to take us until the last hour or so. And then for the last hour there sat exactly one pig in a blanket in the center of the tray. Nobody would take it. I couldn’t believe my eyes: the best food in the world was left there out in the open and no one was taking it, but of course, this is how things go here. In any other situation I would have taken it, obviously, but I was curious to see how long it would go and also I had already had like a million, so I just watched it for a while as I sipped my vodka-y hot chocolate and thought about how you would never ever in a thousand years find one single pig in a blanket all by itself at a party in New York. Am I right??? Here, there’s this system. Someone might come over to take half of it and then someone else would come over to cut off half of the remainder and then another person would cut off half of that, etc., etc., to infinity until nothing but a microscopic dot of a pig in blanket was left. This pattern, the non-finishing of a dish by many people who refuse to have the last bite, is one truly charming phenomenon of Midwestern party food.

[Finally I opened my big mouth and addressed it so that we could discuss this single pig and then Ben From Wisconsin bit off half and handed it to me. I bit off half of that and then handed it back, excited that this was about to become a thing, but then because apparently he was feeling sassy and in the mood for a laugh he popped the rest in his mouth, just like that. People cheered, I frowned.]

Which is all to say that we threw a lovely party, complete with fireside chats and lefse, old friends and new, and I didn’t even have a headache the next day. 

Who all is ready for a holiday break?? I am! Not in like a burnt out way, just in the way that I would kind of like some time to binge Mrs. Maisel and fold laundry. I would also like more time to make boxes of colorful cookies as that’s become one of my favorite holiday things in the last few years. This season I’ve been filling boxes with a lot of sandwich cookies and wreath cookies and of course there always has to be marzipan in some form. 

So today I have for you something that’s inspired by three different cookies: these almendrados, a chewy baked marzipan that Alana and I had by a pool in Malta a long time ago, and the marzipan balls from Breads Bakery that look like they’re going to be boring but taste freaking fantastic. Usually when you think of marzipan you think of kind of a raw dough situation but imagine now that it has a crisp exterior shell and a little more chewiness, thanks to some quick time in the oven. So satisfying! I love these little guys, you can just pop them in your mouth or pile them high into a cookie box because they are so sturdy. 

Making them is a very simple process: whereas most homemade marzipan recipes call for blending nuts into oblivion in a food processor, this recipe skips that step and uses Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour, which is just blanched almonds blended into a fine meal. So no need for a food processor. (If we were making marzipan cake decorations we would want to go the food processor route since the end result is a much smoother dough but in this case, the slightly coarser texture works beautifully.) Saffron adds a bit of very special saffron-y-ness, and they’re actually not complete without a swim in some sprinkles. Sprinkles aren’t optional, you need that extra sweetness and crunch for these to be at their height of tastiness. If you’re fresh out of sprinkles, a coating of turbinado or granulated sugar will be fine too. 

saffron baked marzipan

makes about 50 little balls

ingredients

1/8 tsp saffron, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 c (224g) bob’s red mill almond flour
3/4 c (150g) sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 large egg

sanding sugar or other sprinkles, for topping

 

 

clues

in a small bowl, combine the saffron, hot water, and almond extract and set aside to steep.

in a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. add the egg to the bowl with the saffron and whisk to combine and then pour the egg mixture into the dry mixture and mix together to form a dough. It might seem like there isn't enough egg mixture to bring it all together at first but just keep on mixing. 

Press the dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll heaping teaspoons of the dough into balls and dip them in sugar. Place on the baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the bottoms of lightly browned. Let cool and enjoy!

-yeh!

Thanks to bob's red mill for sponsoring this post!