I Watched Mom Make Thousands of Them

Santa let me out of the workshop just long enough to bake some cookies for Christmas. It was a special day. I picked up my nine-year old grand-daughter from school and we came to Santa’s kitchen to bake a special recipe.

As a kid, I watched my mother bake often. She was expert at making delectable goodies which I loved to devour. One of them is kifli, or crescents. They are squares of dough rolled over a filling. My favorite filling is walnut. My job for Mom began by cracking hundreds of walnuts to pick out the meat. I’m sure that out of every pound of nuts Mom got about nine-tenths of it for baking. The other tenth went down the hatch, hymmmm. Over the course of her lifetime, Mom made thousands of these cookies. She never tired of it. The faster we devoured them the more proud she was. I helped her many times and watched her make those thousands. I testify to eating thousands too. Although my favorite filling is walnut, she made apricot, poppy-seed, and prune filling also. All are delicious.

This was a special adventure for me because even though I watched Mom make these cookies often, I never made them myself. It has been sixty years since I witnessed the action in her kitchen. All I have is a faint memory, and her Hungarian recipes.

I taught grand-daughter how to grind nuts, separate yolks from whites, how to make meringue, and how to roll dough. My daughter cooks with Jenna often, so when my Jenna works with me she comes as an accomplished kitchen worker. One mix of dough gave us six small batches of about a dozen cookies each. By the sixth batch our kifli began to look like the ones Mom made. We didn’t roll the dough thin enough on the first batch, the crescents looked like doughy bread. On the second batch we cut the squares too small and we had trouble rolling them. By the third batch we got the dough thin enough, but over compensated on the size of the squares. Anyway, by number six we got the dough thin enough, and the squares just the right size. Thankfully, we didn’t over bake any, and they came out a light golden color.

I used one of the eight recipes for kilfi shown in Mom’s cookbook, the one with the green cover. The ladies of the Dorcas Guild of the Magyar United Church of Christ who compiled the recipes must each have had their own recipe, and to save argument, they published all eight. The cook book is only forty-four pages long but is has the basics for any Hungarian palette.

Here is the recipe in all its simplicity.

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Sprinkle the finished product  generously  with powdered sugar to make a scrumptious treat. I can’t honestly say which batch these kifli are from. No matter, I’m enjoying them just like I did Mom’s.

A Challenge For Bakers

Monday is the day the agency I work for makes ...

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This special recipe for chocolate chip cookies is for the bakers in the world.  This flavorful cookie guarantees to make you the hit of any small town. The assembly of the recipe will present a challenge to even the most experienced baker, i.e. unless you cook for large groups. I discovered the recipe while touring on a vacation in Charleston, South Carolina. The ingredients are simple, and easily accessible from any grocery store.

These cookies will make your taste buds jump for joy. They will bring you satisfaction for  a long time, and they freeze well too. The chocolate speckled wafers make a wonderful treat for great grandfathers who served in the Navy during WWII. No doubt, the taste will awaken a memory cell tucked deep within the recesses of  a sailor’s brain.

If you decide to bake up a batch using this recipe, send me a few dozen, I love them

Death By Chocolate

5 minute Chocolate Mug CakeLast week my cousin Rick sent me a recipe called “The Most Dangerous Cake Recipe in the World.”  It sounded cute, and just the type of experiment I would try with my grandchildren. Before I began, I Googled  “Five Minute Chocolate Cake,” and got 137,000 hits in .22 seconds. There must be something to this, I thought. I read several of the recipes, and the comments left by cake lovers from all around the world. They were serious about this yummy chocolate cake.

Over the weekend, I shopped for the ingredients I didn’t have on hand, namely unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate frosting. The remaining ingredients were in the cupboard and the frig. I’ll post the recipe on my Cook page.

The recipe tauted five minutes from start to finish. It took me longer than that to assemble the ingredients, and then another five minutes to put it together, and yet another five minutes of mixing to get a smooth creamy uniform mixture of chocolate goo. The components are mixed in a coffee mug.  The final step is three minutes in a microwave at full power (1000 watts). The recipe writer warns that the cake will rise out of the cup, but not to worry that is normal.  Mine did, and then it retracted (fell) back onto itself. ????? What did I do wrong???? Nevertheless, I removed the super hot cup from the micro, removed the cake from the mug, and allowed it to cool. That’s when I sliced it into two pieces and spread the ready made chocolate over the top. I went so far as to experiment and cut one half into half again. This piece I made into a layer cake with frosting between the layers.

I cleaned up the kitchen while the cake cooled. By the time my implements were clean it was ready to try. I couldn’t wait.  I took a large forkful of the single layer version and tasted. My God!!!!!!!!!what a super mouth watering chocolate treat. Not the best chocolate layer cake made from scratch using a Betty Crocker recipe, but really good and tasty chocolate cake, and  I left out the chocolate chips.

There is one way to make this even better, I thought; pair it with some full bodied Cabernet. So I did, Wow, Super Wow! I started with a single fork full and couldn’t stop until I finished the single layer half, with a glass of rich red wine.

I am returning a  message to Rick to warn  him that I am re-writing my will. I will make mention that if it is proven that I died from chocolate overdose, he should be arrested. It was by his power of suggestion that I tried this recipe, and by my weak will that I overdid it.

I can hardly wait for the kids to come over, so I can teach them all how to make this cute little cake. I can see an assembly line of seven mugs with  flour and sugar flying around the kitchen as they make their own concoction. As the teacher, and ring leader of this experiment, I get to taste all of them. Of course mine will be with a glass of red.

Why is this called the most dangerous recipe inthe world?  I quote the inventor,

“Because now we are all only five minutes from chocolate cake  at any time of the day or night.”

I agree, with some practice, I could do it in five minutes.

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