In Parsha Va’eschanan there is the retelling of the 10 commandments. During the week leading up to this parsha I was lucky enough to have one of my favorite cousins in town to help me in deciding on the dessert and she was kind enough to make the dessert as well. We decided on rice krispies treats shaped as the two tablets. I love rice krispies treats and these were made with fluff which I have never done before. We made a stencil of the tablets and cut out the treats once they cooled. Yum! Recipe follows:

Ingredients:

4 tbsp. oil
4.5 oz. jar marshmallow fluff
5 cups rice krispies cereal

Method:

Over medium heat melt margarine and fluff together. Remove from misture from heat and stir in cereal. Pour into greased 13″x 9″ baking dish and cool. Cut into tablets.

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“H-shem, our G-d, spoke to us in Horeb, saying, “You have had much dwelling by this mountain.” (Devarim 1:6)

This parsha describes the different journeys and battles of the Jewish people. It mentions different mountains where different events took place. One of my favorite stories is the story we know that is briefly mentioned in this parsha. About how Og, the king of the Bashan, wanted to destroy the Jewish people so he lifted a mountain to throw onto them. Thankfully he did not succeed and ended us having the mountain around his neck and Moses stuck him in the ankle and Og died. So this week I made Mountain Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. After a very hot week here in my neck of the woods I am glad to end our Shabbos meal with a delicious and refreshing dessert. Enjoy! Recipe follows:

Ingredients:
2 pints strawberries, cleaned and patted dry
1 bag chocolate chips

Method:
Over a double broiler slowly heat the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, dip strawberries into chocolate and set dipped strawberries on a parchment lined baking sheet. Store in refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy.

“These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went forth from the land of Egypt according to their legions, under the hand of Moses and Aaron.” (Num. 33:1)

The parsha begins with discussing the 42 journeys of the Children of Israel in the desert. After a lot of thought, I decided to be a bit cheeky with this week’s dessert. Ready? Ok it is “Rocky Road Cookies”. Okay maybe it is funnier to me than to you but I enjoyed it. I did run into a small snag in getting the ingredients for this cookie. Both markets nearest to my home where out of marshmallows. I decided to improvise and use marshmallow fluff instead. These cookies were chewy and very addicting. We polished off the batch by sunday afternoon. Here’s the recipe. I hope you can enjoy it with more self control than I did…

Rocky Road Cookies

adapted from Rebeca Shakleford
makes about 4 dozen

1 cup walnuts
1 cup pecans
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 ounces unsweeted chocolate
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows, quartered or 1 cup marshmallow fluff

Preheat oven to 350F. Coarsely chop walnuts and pecans. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, place nuts in a single layer and bake 7 to 9 minutes until toasted and aromatic. Set aside and cool completely.

In a small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate on low heat. Set aside and cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cooled chocolate mixture and stir until glossy. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows.

Let dough chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator so that it is easier to scoop.

Use a 1 ¾ inch diameter scoop to drop spoonfuls of dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1 ½ inches apart. Wet your fingertips lightly with water and gently flatten the cookie dough(no need to press hard, just press out the hump) Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops begin to crack and look glossy. Cool the cookies for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheets.

“Moses sent them-a thousand from each tribe for the army-them and Phinehas son of Elazar the Kohen to the army, and the sacred vessels and the tumpets for sounding under his authority.” (Num. 31:6)

One of the sacred vessels they brought was the Tzitz, a gold plate with “holy to H-shem” engraved on it that the Kohen Gadol wore on his forehead. Being that it is summer I figured I’d freshen things up with a lemon tart. I saw a really interesting recipe on smittenkitchen.com. It called for a lemon tart that you use one entire (peel and all) lemon. I am a huge lemon bar fan and have always wanted to try making a tart. The first order of business was to purchase a tart pan which I was happy to find one for half off at Williams and Sonoma. For the ties on the Tzitz I used some puff pastry I had left over from a Chicken Pot Pie I made. I will tell you I was not over the moon for my outcome with this tart. I think I may have over worked the dough because it was a little hard and I made the crust too think, grrrr. And the filling was not as lemony or tart as I preferred. Maybe the lemon I had was too small. Smitten Kitchen tart looks amazing so I’ll ll have to try it again. Have a great week! Below is the recipe:

Kohen Tzitz (Whole Lemon Tart)

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 partially baked Great Unshrinkable Tart Shell, or your favorite sweet tart shell

1 average-sized lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces; 130 grams), rinsed and dried*
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted margarine, cut into chunks
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons (14 grams) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon table salt

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven 350°F (165´C). Place the tart shell on a baking sheet, which you can line with foil or parchment paper to make any spills a breeze to clean up.

Slice the lemon into thin wheels, remove any seeds, and toss the rounds — lemon flesh and peel — sugar and chunks of butter into the container of a food processor. Process, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until the lemon is thoroughly pureed. Add the eggs, cornstarch and salt and pulse until the batter is smooth.

Pour into prepared tart shell. It will fill it completely but if due to slight variances in tart pans, egg sizes, lemon sizes or crust thickness, you have too much, do not pour it past the top of of your crust or it will become difficult to unmold later.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the filling is set. You can test this by bumping the pan a little; it should only jiggle slightly. 

Let cool on rack, unmold tart pan and serve. 

* Meyer lemons are the first choice here. They’re milder with thinner skin. But if you know that you do not mind a stronger lemon and rind kick, feel free to use a regular lemon, which will have a stronger flavor and a higher proportion of skin to flesh. If your lemon is not 4 1/2 ounces (Meyers often weigh in closer to 4 ounces) go ahead and cut a wedge out of a second one to keep the lemon flavor in balance with the sweetness of the tart.

Take a census of the entire assembly of the Children of Israel, from twenty years of age and up, according to their fathers’ house, all who go out to the army in Israel.” (Num. 26:2)

Yep, this was the first week that I started to struggle to come up with a dessert. I settled on the idea of the census and counting. It is a bit of a reach…chocoalate chip cookies stick tallies. Ok it is really reaching. But the good news, these cookies are amazing. I am not really a huge chocolate chip cookie fan…*gasp*…I know how is that possible? But these are really great. They are soft and have the perfect amount of salt. The other neat thing about them is that they use oil instead of margarine. I found the recipe on aish.com a few years ago and I use it regularly. Lastly I want to end this post with sending my thoughts and prayers to the Kletzky family HaMakom yenachem et’chem b’toch shar avay’lay Tzion vee’Yerushalayim.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Stick Tallies
adapted from 
Rivka Moshayev at aish.com

Ingredients:
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method:
In large bowl, beat egg slightly. Add oil, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
Add flour, baking soda and salt. You can knead with your hands.
Add chocolate chips.
Spread dough out into a rectangle about a half an inch high onto a parchment lined or greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 Fahrenheit or 180 Celsius for 20 – 30 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Cool for ten minutes, then cut into sticks. Cool completely

.

 

How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel (Num. 24:5)

My family and I had a wonderful 4th of July week in Wrightsville Beach, NC. My husband’s maternal side of the family is from there and we had a wonderful time at the beach and just relaxing. On our 7 plus hour ride home my brother-in-law asks me, “So Parsha Balak? What are you making?” Before I could even answer my husband and his brother had talked over all the aspects of the Parsha (talking donkey, curses turned to blessings) and had decided that something with tents is what I should make. This conversation and others like it is one of my favortie parts of making a parsha dessert each week. My family and our Shabbat guests has become involved with talking about the Parsha more and it is always exciting to “unveil” the dessert each week. Being that my almost 3 year old son’s favorite food is pretzels I decided to make chocolate covered pretzel tents. While taking pictures of the “tents” my husband asked “What’s with the sprinkles?” Well, I love sprinkles and so do my children. It livens up the dessert with some much needed color. I did half sprinkles for the kids and kids at heart, and just plain chocolate for the serious types. I am actually typing this entry before Shabbat because I will be at my parents’ home this coming week. But I can tell you it is taking a lot of self restraint to not eats these tents now! Yum! 

Ingredients:
1- 15 oz. bag of pretzel sticks (pareve)
1- 10 oz. bag of pareve chocolate chips
Method:
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place pretzels in a large bowl. Melt chocolate in a double broiler over medium heat. Pour chocolate over pretzels and toss carefully to coat thoroughly. Mound pretzels on parchment paper, sprinkle half with sprinkles. Refrigerate until serving.  Yields 18-24 tents, depending on size.

…Speak to the Children of Israel, and they shall take to you a perfectly red cow, which has no blemish, upon which a yoke has not come. (Num. 19:2)

Steel Magnolia’s armadillo groom’s cake. How could anyone forget that cake? That was one of my favorite parts of that movie. So as I read this week’s parsha the first line jumped out to me and all I could think of is red velvet cake. I have never made red velvet cake before and I was a bit short on time this week. So when I saw that Duncan Hines made a red velvet cake mix that was pareve I was ready to go. Now I did decide to use a pareve cream cheese frosting but I really didn’t want to dye it red or add red sprinkles because Idid not want to be overly sweet or too ugly to eat. So the outside of the cake is white but the inside was a beautiful red. I baked the cake in a 9″ by 13″ baking dish and carved out the face of a cow. I added some pareve chocolate chips for eyes and nostrils. I was very pleased with this cake. It was moist andeasy to make. The recipe follows:

Ingredients:

Cake:
1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix

Method:
Follow instructions on box and bake as instructed.

Frosting:
1 8-oz. pareve cream cheese, softened
½ cup margarin,e softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 box confectioners sugar (1 lb. box)

Method:
Cream together softened cream cheese with margarine.  Add vanilla and confectioners sugar gradually and use mixer.