The First Memory

I have been away from my Blog for way too long. Life took over. Days fly away, and I could not find the quiet moment needed, to sit down and write.

It is not that there were not many stories to share. For example the 4th year of Mimuna  celebration with more than 150 people coming into our house,  spending time together, while eating many delicious treats. I also made many different birthday cakes, and food and sweets for other events. I’ve thought often how I’d like to share all this with you all.

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But here I am and I wanted to share a story.

Yesterday I participated in a workshop led by Dave Makar, as part of the Referral Institute of Ithaca. It was an intense day where we did many different exercises and got to think about what we do in a new light. Or rather a more focused light. Towards the end of the day, Dave asked me why I love baking and cooking and want to do this as a business. I thought immediately of the joy I have when I bake, especially for others, and about how I have invited people to celebrate the Mimuna for the past 4 years. I explained about this wonderful tradition, and how although I did not grow up celebrating it, I have adopted it because of the idea of open door and sharing sweets with so many people who come.

Dave smiled, and then said. OK. But go further back, find the first memory that led you to baking. I literally saw hundreds of moments in front of me: birthdays, friends coming over, baking with my kids, baking for my mom or dad on their birthdays or when they would have friend over, teaching baking to kids. I thought of all the volunteer events, and I thought of Avital. Avital is one of the sweetest girls  I know. Every Friday I bring her and her family a fresh-baked raisin Challah. Her face lights up, she always tells me how much she loves my Challah. From time to time, I surprise her with  an additional treat – red velvet cupcakes, cookies and more and she is so happy. Her sweet, beautiful face, I told Dave, is why I love baking for others. Delicious treats make everything better. Home-made fresh-baked treats make people happy. I love making people happy.

Dave asked me to go further back and then I remembered my first real baking memory. I was 6 or 7 years old, we lived in Denmark at the time, in a rented apartment with a rather big kitchen. I would always fool around in the kitchen mixing and blending things together and ask my parents and sister to taste. I loved the kitchen. One day, my parents were asleep and I mixed up cookies I invented. I remember it was with coconut, sugar, cocoa and eggs. I turned on the oven and baked them, by myself, and when they were done I waited patiently for my parents to wake up.

I did not think of the option of them waking up angry because I had turned on the oven when I was alone, or the most-likely very messy kitchen I had left, I only thought of making them happy. They got up and came into the kitchen. I do not think they got mad. I  only remember them tasting the cookies and smiling. They loved them and I was over the moon.

Thinking back, it was my first version of macaroons, and till this day, coconut is my absolute favorite ingredient. I guess that my passion and love for baking has always been a big part of me and mostly because of how happy people are when they see fresh-baked cookies, or a table full of delicious things to try. That is probably also why my catering and events are all about having variety of things to try and enjoy, and why I always try to surprise, or spoil, the ones I love with something extra.

And a recipe.

One of my family’s favorite cookies are Turkish Delight Filled Cookies. There is something about the crispy, not so sweet dough, folded over a nice piece of sweet Turkish Delight to make these irresistible, and very fast to disappear….

This recipe is based on a recipe by Yonit Zucker.

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1 kg. (34 oz) flour

200 gram (7 oz) unsalted butter or what I did – a mix of  coconut oil (melted in the microwave) and margarine – melted or soft.

1 cup oil

1 cup orange juice

2 tbsp. of powdered sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

vanilla

I also added a tbsp. of Rose Water that give the cookies a wonderful aroma.

Filling:

I chose Turkish Delight, but you can fill with anything you like – Marzipan, Dates and Nuts, Nutella or Peanut Butter.

Making the dough:

Mix all the wet ingredients well together.

Blend in the flour, add baking powder and sugar powder as well.

Mix until you get a nice sift dough.

How to make the cookies:

10006200_748741085159799_7329500618074106892_nCut the dough into 3 pieces and roll each piece out and cut as shown above. If you are going to use Nutella or peanut butter, spread it on the whole circle before cutting.

Place the filling on each triangle

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Then roll them into croissant shaped cookies

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Bake at 350F, 180C for about 20 minutes and sprinkle sugar powder after they cool a bit.

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These will NOT last long. They are just that good…..

Let me know what you think.

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