babka straws

Happy Tuesday, friends!! We had a very delightful, very chill weekend at home which I am going to tell you about in list form:

-Watched Whip It, an under-celebrated movie! I was really craving a teen-y bopper early-2000s movie and this hit the spot.

-Visited the New Flavors Food Truck, which had a new chef on board who was cooking up the tastiest Mexican food. Our big yellow town food truck makes me the happiest.

-Engaged in my favorite Saturday routine of Gym and Jimmy Johns, which is something I haven’t been able to do that much with all of our traveling this past month! It was perfect in every way. I listened to Radical Face cover “Jolene,” lightly dipped my toes back into jogging, brainstormed new recipes, and then got cheese and mayo on my regular Turkey-Tom-With-Onions-And-Mustard. Really living life on the edge. 

-Made a brunch for some fronds, which included recipes that I am testing for Unglued Camp: a kale and swiss sourdough strata and a party breakfast sandwich. You know, like a party sub from Subway but a breakfast sandwich. It’s going to be so good!!!! I can’t wait for camp. I will definitely be posting both of those recipes soon. Also, Nile straight up brought a Jell-O salad with sour cream to brunch. We Midwested so hard.

-Supported Eggboy’s Tour de France fanboyness. He really put his all into watching the cobblestone stage and woooooooweee, was it stressful. That’s all. 

-Went on a bike ride with our friend Keith and saw a bunch of spots in Grand Forks that I had never seen before!!! There were beautiful parts of the Red River, cool new houses, and the butt of the golf course which is apparently about to employ a beer drone delivery service?! I love living in the future. We also kept getting whiffs of everyone grilling outside so the whole ride smelled like a burger. Afterwards we had two options: rush home and try to catch my judginess on Food Network Star or go eat burgers at JL Beers. We chose a combination of both and facetimed our friend Zach who held the phone up to his TV so we could watch it from the parking lot of burgers. 

-Saw Girl Meets Farm for the first time in real time on the TV! It was so much fun. I loved reading your posts, comments, and questions about the episode as they came in on IG and Twitter, it was like we were all hanging out!!! A+ Sunday morning, totally worth waking up way earlier than I normally wake up on a Sunday. 😜

Ok so one of the things I served at brunch was a new brilliant invention from the brain of my friend Chani. Yes, Chani of hasselback salami fame!! I’ve long known she was a genius but when I opened up her new book, Millennial Kosher, and found the Malawach Egg-in-A-Hole, I heard a mic drop, all the way from Brooklyn. And then I flipped further and found these babka straws which are absolutely perfect because if I had a dollar for every time I wanted babka but did not have the patience to make a dough, knead the sucker, and let it rise, I would have enough money to charter an airplane directly to Russ and Daughters.

Babka straws use store-bought puff pastry and are covered with crumbly stuff!!! Like an avalanche of crumbly stuff. Inside the pastry is a super simple and delicious chocolate spread which I feel like could be improvised upon if, like, you wanted to stir in tahini or peanut butter or add nuts or--wait for it--sprinkles. The options are endless. They take less than an hour to make and when they’re all baked up, they’re crunchy, flaky, and not too sweet, which I feel like is an under-appreciated characteristic of babka: it’s distinct not-too-sweetness that leaves you wanting more. 

Also, bonus: they freeze well! I made some a while ago, froze them for a few weeks, and then defrosted them and they were perfect!

So bottom line, make these any time you need a quick babka fix or an easy cute dessert or want to experience a crunchy flaky babka. And buy Chani’s delicious book!!!! I am giving away a copy over on Instagram later this week too :)


Babka Straws

yields 4 dozen

from Chani Apfelbaum’s Millennial Kosher

Ingredients

for the chocolate filling:

1 c (120g) powdered sugar

1/2 c (40g) cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp cinnamon 

pinch sea salt

1/4 c (50g) canola oil

3 tb water

 

for the sweet crumbs:

1 c (130g) flour

1 c (200g) sugar

1/2 c (100g) canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

 

2 sheets (490g) puff pastry, thawed

1 egg + 1 tb water, for egg wash

Clues

line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper (work in batches, if necessary). set aside. preheat oven to 375°f. 

prepare the chocolate filling: in a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, oil and water. stir until creamy.

prepare the sweet crumbs: in a second bowl, combine flour, sugar, oil, vanilla, and salt. mix until crumbly.

prepare the babka straws: working with one sheet of puff pastry at a time, roll the dough out to form a large rectangle, about 12x17 inches. with the short side facing you, spread half of the dough with the chocolate filling; fold uncoated half over chocolate side.

using a pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 1/2-inch strips. twist the ends in opposite directions to give the straws a spiraled look. transfer each strip to one of the baking sheets, spaced an inch or so apart. refrigerate for 10 minutes. while straws are chilling, repeat with second sheet of puff pastry and the remaining chocolate filling.

remove pans from the fridge; brush straws lightly with egg wash. sprinkle with sweet crumbs.

bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.

note: if the dough becomes too soft to twist, place into refrigerator about 10 minutes to firm up.


RECIPE: BACON BUNS

ok let's not draw too much attention to how i just spent an entire morning drawing photoshop faces on bacon buns {but molly what is it you do during your days? he said over fried squid and pho. well when i haven't got a glockenspiel part to prepare and when i'm procrastinating that article, it's this.} but i'm well happy i got around to it because if at the new music bake sale i charged people one dollar for just asking for this recipe, i would have doubled my earnings.

it's a swell little recipe, methinks. one that i've made since i was a wee one {only for the longest time my family used roasted chickens}. i think the bacon adds a nice little bite. and with these you don't really need an external dipping sauce of sorts because it is all up in the filling already.

-yeh! 

survival, day one


what i am eating this hurricane weekend is entirely homemade,
unless you count an end-of-the-world journey to korea town at around 4 in the saturday morning. 
{thighs + me @ kunjip, eating what could have been our last meal ever}
because when the subways are shut down, and it is simply too windy and unsafe to ride the molly mobile, why not stay inside all weekend and make shit?
for breakfast day one, i made two little breakfast sandwiches:
herby ricotta + cherry/bluebee/strawbee jam + rosemary
{and}
a slow poached farm egg + garlic butter
{atop}
whole wheat english muffins
english muffins are such a sad situation because i feel like for most people, the extent of their english muffin knowledge comes from those thomas' thingies. but if as much care was put into them as any other of their breakfast bread brethren, like say the bagel, english muffins could shine, too. sarabeth's and m. wells make yummy house-made ones, but nowhere can you sit by the stove waiting for a hot and doughy one to flip off the pan {save for your own kitchen}. these set the cooking standard extremely high for hurricane weekend. 
{recipes}
cherry/bluebee/strawbee jam{in a saucepan, simmerin} cherries + bluebees + strawbees + water + salt --> 1/2 cup sugar --> 1/2 cup sugar + lemon juice 
herby ricotta: heat whole milk + heavy cream to 180 degrees, add lemon juice, strain. add herbies.
slow poached farm egg: go to the market, get an egg, put it in 145 degree water for an hour. using your engineering skillz, don't let it touch the bottom of the pan.
garlic butter: shake up heavy cream until it separates, wash it, add crushed garlic.
english muffins: use alton brown's recipe and substitute 1/2 cup of all purpose flour for whole wheat flour. and don't fret if you don't have powdered milk, i substituted that and the hot water for 1 cup of hot milk.
 for a snackee, some dippy things were in order:
mustard lentil dip
{and}
chili mango jam
these were both inspired by trader joe's things. the lentil dip is because i wanted to make tj's masala lentil dip. but i don't have masala spices... and i do have mustard, you know. even though it's barf colored, it tastes reeeeally really good. and it is healthyful.
the chili mango jam was inspired by tj's chili spiced mangos, which are what i tell the friendly cashier to leave out of the shopping bag so that i can have a commute munchie {but actually on friday i didn't even get to the cashier before opening them because of the apocalyptic checkout line of people buying 100 jars of peanut butter}. both the jam and dip are good on crackers or muffins or... with a spoon, sitting on the couch, in your underpants. 
{recipes}
mustard lentil dip: lentils + water + tahini + honey & whiskey mustard + garlic dijon mustard + lemon juice + sugar + salt + pepper + cayenne + paprika + garlic --> blend {you can probably use any mustards... i recommend having one of them be dijon}
chili mango: {in a saucepan, simmerin} mango + water + salt --> sugar + cayenne + paprika --> more sugar + cayenne + paprika --> lemon juice --> blend
and for the dessert to my snackee {i hope that a lot of people do that}:
lemon rosemary cupcakes
i sort of donked these. they were an attempt at cupcaking this delicious lemon loaf that my mum makes {that, you would never know it, but is from one of those healthfood whatever cookbooks weight watchers extravaganza things}. but either i kept them in the oven too long, or the recipe is just not meant to be cupcaked... and they are all dry and sad pandas now. but, hey! isn't that plate pretty? i made it at camp.
dinner day one was, are you ready for this? 
homemade ramen! 
{hello, poached egg-u!}
lucky peach [issue 1] has a recipe for alkaline noodles where the first step is baking baking soda for an hour and then mixing a ton of it with flour and water. and what baking soda becomes after it's been baked is totally bizarre, make my mouth feel like i'm glad my roommate put that poison control hotline sticker on the fridge. i'm thinking maybe the amount in the recipe was wrong, or i'm just an alkaline noodle newbie. oh well. the texture was super great though. and they were placed in a soy saucey broth with squash and beet greens... and for garnish i added some of the really yummy seaweed that my korean ex-roomie left behind, chopped up jalapenos, and a slow poached 140ish degree egg. and the egg had a sriracha face. face!

anyways. i have officially slept through and survived the premature irene, my first hurricane. but all of my sunday plans are going to remain cancelled so that i can continue hurricane weekend food-making fest. stay tuned for survival, day two...

-yeh!!