WHOLE WHEAT HOT CROSS BUNS

This recipe doubles perfectly to make a dozen buns.

 

½ cup milk

1 package (7 grams) active dry yeast

1/3 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 large egg yolk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups plus 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup raisins

For the eggwash

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

 


 

Microwave the milk in a small bowl for 45 seconds, until warm but not burning hot (about 105 degrees). Stir in the yeast. Let activate 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the sugar, egg yolk, butter, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix at low speed until incorporated. Add the yeast-milk mixture. Sift the flour, salt and spices into a bowl. Add them to the wet mixture. Switch to a dough hook attachment and Knead the dough at medium speed until light and supple, 1 to 2 minutes.

Lightly hand knead the dough on a floured surface, incorporating the raisins, and roll it into a ball. Place the dough ball in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and a towel. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 6 balls. Transfer them to a lightly greased baking sheet, placing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover with a towel and let rise 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, whish the egg and water well to make eggwash. Brush the buns with eggwash and sprinkle them with turbinado sugar. Using a knife, cut a cross shape, going about ½-inch deep into the dough.

Bake the buns 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the buns to a rack to cool a bit.
 

Makes 6 buns

VEGAN EGGNOG

1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon tahini or almond butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch turmeric powder
Ice cubes, for serving

 


 

Blend all the ingredients except the ice cubes in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds until creamy. Strain into a serving glass. Add ice cubes. Enjoy!

 
Serves 1

CHILLED CRANBERRY SOUP

2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 cups milk or half and half
2 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
¼ cup orange or apple juice
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

 


 

Puree all the ingredients in a blender or food processor for 2 minutes or until very smooth. Pass the soup through a sieve a couple of times.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

 

Serves 4

cranberry soup

GINGERBREAD MUFFINS

½ cup unsulphured dark molasses (preferably not blackstrap)
½ cup sour cream
½ stick (4 tbsps) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
½ cup unrefined brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange or apple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-muffin muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the molasses with the sour cream, butter, eggs, brown sugar, orange juice and vanilla extract until well combined.

Sift the dry the ingredients (the rest) into  a bowl, add them to the wet ingredients and mix again until you obtain a homogeneous batter.

Distribute the batter among the 12 cups. Bake until set, 15 to 18 minutes.

 

Serves 12

SFOUF

Sfouf, also called sellou or slillou, is a nutty toasted snack made during Ramadan. It is in coarse powder form and packed with nutritious ingredients, which are supposed to give fasters stamina, like an energy bar. It is eaten with a spoon, a bit like dry cereal from a bowl.
1 cup whole wheat or brown rice flour
2/3 cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup lightly salted roasted almonds or peanuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon anise seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

 


 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the flour in the skillet and toast it, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and nutty smelling, about 10 minutes. There will be a lot of smoke emanating from it, which is not to worry about. Transfer to a large bowl. (If using a larger quantity of flour, you’ll need to toast it longer.)

Toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

Place the sesame seeds, almonds, brown sugar, anise seed and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and grind them into a coarse powder. Add this mixture to the toasted flour and mix.

Stir in the melted butter and toss a couple of times to break any lumps. Serve at room temperature in small bowls and enjoy by the spoonful.

Serves 4
sfouf

BAKED CHEBBAKIA

Chebakia is a Moroccan dessert with an intricate design typically served during Ramadan. This is a baked version of the fried original.

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (preferably unhulled) sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon anise seeds
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unrefined brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
¼ cup orange blossom water
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
12 oz honey


Toast the sesame and anise in a medium skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 5 minutes. Grind them in a food processor into a powder.

Transfer the ground sesame and anise to a mixing bowl. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, baking powder and flour. Whisk to combine.

Crumble the saffron threads into the orange blossom water and let steep for a few minutes. Add to the dry mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients except the honey. Gather the dough and lightly knead it for a minute or two. Shape it into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thick. Using a butter knife or a fluted pastry wheel cut the dough into rectangles about 2.5×3 inches. Cut 4 lines lengthwise on each rectangle without getting to the edge. The cuts should stop about ¼-inch from the edges. Fold the rectangles lengthwise the way you would a paper fan (by alternating forward and backward folding motions). Pinch the ends together and push them in slightly. This should fan out the strips. If necessary, manually separate the strips to fan out the cookie some more. (Alternatively, you can cut the dough into strips, stack them up and pinch the ends.) Place on the prepared pan. Gather the scraps and repeat until you’ve used up all the dough.

Bake the chebbakia until crispy and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Five minutes before the chebbakia is cooked, warm up the honey in a medium pot over low heat. As soon as you take the chebakias out of the oven, place them in the warm honey for about 10 minutes, turning them once. ( I keep the stove turned on at very low heat to keep the honey warm and runny.)Using a slotted spoon, transfer the soaked chebbakias to a plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Allow to cool before enjoying. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 20 cookies.

chebbakia

MAPLE POTS DE CREME

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place four ramekins in a baking pan.

Bring the cream, maple syrup and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Slowly add the cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Divide the mixture among the ramekins. Fill the baking pan with hot water until it comes halfway up the ramekins.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. Take the ramekins out of the baking pan and cool at room temperature. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Serves 4

Adapted from Eggs on Sunday