Monday, January 2, 2017

Chanukah Baking

Happy New Year! Here's to a great 2017!

I have been enjoying my winter break so far. Even though we  had a late start (our last day was December 22nd), it means that I don't have to head back to school until January 9th! It is always such a long stretch between returning from winter break and the next vacation, so I'm thankful for the later  January start.

Besides a long weekend in Santa Barbara for New Years, my vacation has been pretty low-key at home. It has been so nice just catching up on sleep, reading and watching TV, and going to exercise classes in the middle of the day (hello #RHOC).

One of my goals for this break was to do some baking. Holiday times are filled with delicious baked goods and I wanted to create some of my own! I finally ordered some Chanukah cookie cutters from Amazon because I was determined to make sugar cookies this year! I'm not going to lie, the idea of rolling out dough seems really daunting to me. Drop cookies, brownies, cupcakes--count me in. For some reason, the idea of a rolling pin makes me nervous! I decided to make this process as foolproof as possible and used the Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix.

After adding the extra ingredients to the dry mix (just some flour, eggs and melted butter),  I used a non-toxic disinfectant to clean up my counter--the last thing you want in your cookies is the taste of cleaning product! Then floured my surface and my rolling pin and began rolling out the dough:

After I rolled out the dough, I cut out my Chanukah shapes using the cookie cutters and laid them out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet:

I let them bake in a 350 degree oven for seven minutes. They came out perfectly golden!

After allowing them to cool, I used white and blue frosting to decorate the menorahs, dreidles and stars:

I've now conquered my fear of using a rolling pin for baking! Perhaps next year I will make my dough from scratch!

Speaking of baking with shortcuts, another Chanukah treat I have always said I would make were Sufganiyot-- Jelly donuts in layman's terms. Again, the idea of frying something in hot oil was a little bit scary for me, but I have such good memories of enjoying warm, sugary jelly donuts at Chanukah as a kid that I decided to face my fear!

I bought a candy thermometer so I could heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees accurately.

While the oil was heating, I popped open a can of refrigerated biscuit dough and separated the discs onto a parchment paper lined pan. I kept the pan in the fridge until the oil was ready.

Once the oil was at 350, I used a slotted spoon to drop two discs of biscuit dough at a time into the oil, turning over once after 45-60 seconds.

I then used a cooling rack to allow the fried donuts to drain the extra oil while I continued frying the rest of the batch.

I happened to have blackberry jelly on hand, so I used that as my filling. I used a pastry bag with a tip to poke a hole into the donut and fill it. You could also use a toothpick or chopstick to poke the hole and scoop some jelly into a Ziploc bag. Cut off the corner of the bag and fill the donut that way as well!

I dusted each donut with some powdered sugar:

Happy belated Chanukah everyone! Yum!

© City Teacher Country Teacher. Powered by