Dear Bakers and Friends,
Happy Purim everyone and welcome to the March issue of Betterbaking.com.
What do they say? Beware the Ides of March? Indeed! Sometimes those ‘ides’ bring a fragrance wind of hamantashen and sometimes they bring other things. I will explain shortly. In the meanwhile, for those of you not on Instagram, you miss this great posting of how to fold hamantashen that I filed for you. Check it out! https://www.instagram.com/p/BfmdM53gWKD/?hl=en&taken-by=marcygoldman
First things first, the new website is pretty welcoming once you get to know it. Each month I am updating recipes from the BB Recipe Archives by adding new photos for each recipe or adding new creations. There’s always a free monthly recipe but if you consider Subscribing to Betterbaking.com you will have over 2700 recipes (all original, all mine) as a fantastic recipe resource. It’s a good time to share with you that Betterbaking.com is a unique website. It’s not a blog and it’s not a corporate site. It’s one author, one baker’s sharing place. BB probably has the most extensive backend of recipes of any other website. It is entirely stocked with all original, innovative recipes, all tested. This is not a repository website of recipes curated from other sources. So I hope you will consider subscribing and supporting this unique publication. For those of you who are subscribers don’t forget to email me for your new log-in to the new website.
As for the Ides of March, I was one of those that did catch a bout of the flu (in truth, I got the common cold). For some reason, being out of commission and out of sorts made me antsy. Instead of taking care of myself (Netflix, chicken soup, yoga), I was restless with some other rumblings. These rumblings led me to recommit to new cookbook projects, other pieces of writing. February’s sniffles seemed to launch a significant journey of self-discovery. I spent a whole week reading all sorts of interesting books (Learning to Breath by Priscilla Warner and Devotion by Dani Shapiro, as well as The Joy Plan by Kaia Roman are three stand-outs), journaling and pondering the depth and breadth of how I spend my days. While I hate change, something in me can’t tolerate not changing. But the nice part of new journeys is that they make you look at the ordinary as extraordinary. Hamantashen seem magical to me lately, whole-wheat bread or a simple Lemon Loaf (this month’s free recipe). It’s like waking up after a long winter, which we are, and finding the same old, same old is new, fresh, green and asking to be rediscovered and newly loved. So come with me this spring, as I muddle through my journey. I don’t know where it will end up but I have a hunch sourdough bread will figure in it the grand scheme. When it comes to life and baking, we are all forever, eternally students.
Master Baker, Author
(Don't forget - after the Matzoh Buttercrunch recipes, scroll down - March's Recipes of the Month follow)
Famous Matzoh Buttercrunch, over 57,000 downloads!
Recipe for Matzoh Buttercrunch
Over 57,000 people have downloaded this recipe since I invented it in 1985. It was a recipe that appeared in all my Passover features for newspapers and magazines and eventually it was included in my cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. It's all over the Internet at this point but if you want the original, you've come to the right place! Make a double batch. Just sayin'. Check out the variations below.
4-6 unsalted matzoh boards or sheets
1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine
1 cup light brown sugar - packed firmly
3/4 cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line doubled up, rimmed cookie sheets completely with foil. Cover bottom of pan with baking parchment - on top of foil. This is very important as mixture becomes sticky during baking. Line bottom of pan evenly with matzoh boards, cutting extra pieces of matzoh, as required, to fit any spaces on the cookie sheet as evenly as possible.
Combine margarine or butter and brown sugar in a 3 quart, heavy-bottomed, saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and spoon or pour over matzoh.
Bake 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure mixture is not burning. If it seems to be browning too quickly, remove from oven, lower heat to 325 F. and replace.
Remove from oven and sprinkle matzoh boards immediately with chopped chocolate or chips. Let stand 5 minutes then spread melted chocolate over matzoh. While still warm cut into squares or odd shapes. Chill in refrigerator until set. This makes a good gift. You can also serve it in confectioners' paper cups as a candy.
White Chocolate : use white chocolate only (there is kosher/Passover white chocolate) and swirl it on and/or with dark chocolate as well.
Pecan or Toasted Almond: Add chopped pecans or almonds to the brown sugar butter base and spread it on and/or add the pecans on top of the melting chocolate.
Raspberry White Chocolate: Use white or dark chocolate; as it is melted on matzoh boards, swirl on a few tablespoons of raspberry jam. Marbleize the jam into the chocolate. Freeze well before serving.
You can also use white chocolate, coarsely chopped (or both white and dark) and chopped, toasted almonds (sprinkle on top as chocolate sets).