Baking Biscochos

Featured

IMG_0944

After Pesah….Time for baking! Here is my mom’s recipe for making Biscochos! (you asked ….here it is!) Biscochos are often called tea biscuits. We think of them as a “biscotti”, a crunchy treat! Biscochos are a bit sweet and are wonderful with your morning coffee (could be afternoon or evening coffee or tea or even milk, for that matter!!) If you’ve been to our home, my mom’s house, our synagogue, you’ve had my mom’s Biscochos. They are ‘twice baked,’ which gives them that extra crunch. A very special part of our cultural repertoire.

They’re made with love – that, you can definitely taste it!

Here’s the recipe. My mother takes great pleasure in sharing her recipes and techniques and having her ‘students’ excel on their baking journey. Give them a try! And let us know how you’re enjoying them!

Ingredients:

1 Cup eggs

1 C sugar

3/4 C oil

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla flavoring

5 – 7 C flour

Topping:

1 egg + 1 drop of water, beaten well

sesame seeds

(alternative to sesame seeds: cinnamon and sugar or “sprinkles”)

These are my mom’s directions:

With electric mixer, beat eggs and oil in a mixing bowl. Add sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended. Add flour and baking powder gradually, knead into a medium dough until no longer sticky.

*The ‘Cup’ method of method of measuring eggs is important. Eggs come in different sizes – Medium, Large, Jumbo. By measuring by the Cup, one is more likely to get a more uniform measure. It makes a significant enough difference. Get as close to 1 Cup as possible.

IMG_8037

Place onto floured work area and finish kneading dough with additional flour as needed. Dough should not be sticky as long as you can handle it without it sticking to your hands.

IMG_8038

Take walnut-sized pieces and roll down on table with palms of hands into a rope about 5 inches long and only 1/2 inch thick.

IMG_8046

Press down with fingers to create channel;

IMG_8045

Fold rope over and cut slits into the edge.

IMG_8052

Join into a bracelet shape. Brush egg on top side.
Dip top side into sesame seeds. (or sprinkles)
If using cinnamon/sugar on top, no egg wash needed.

IMG_8042

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from pan. Allow to cool.

img_09441-e1556668243540.jpg

After they are cooled, return to oven at 200 degrees for one hour. This is where they get that extra crunch – the all important ‘biscucharing’ process.

Now……time to sit down with a cup of coffee and a Biscocho and relax!

~Bendichas Manos
BendichasManos.com
Facebook: Bendichas Manos!

Biscochos….now available commercially!

Now that Pesah has ended, it’s time to begin baking again! Looking forward to having Biscochos in the house to share with friends and to have with a cup of coffee or tea ….ummm! What could be better!

For the uninitiated, a Biscocho is a round ‘tea biscuit’….a twice baked (think biscotti) treat.

For those who don’t bake, don’t have someone to make them for you, don’t live close to one of the wonderful Sisterhoods who make them….you’re finally in luck!!!! Biscochos are now commercially available online! Yep….even on Amazon!

Sarah’s Biscochos, the passion project of Dr. Linda Gettinger-Dinner, are being baked in a commercial kitchen in Sunrise, FL and shipped to arrive at your door within two to three day!

Starting with memories of the wonderful Sephardic delicacies made by her maternal grandparents who came from Isantbul and Izmir, and the unforgettable, twice baked, crispy and crunchy Biscochos made by her mother Sarika, of Blessed Memory, Linda set out to keep the tradition and taste alive!

“As a tribute to our Mother and Grandma —from the Old World, to the New World, to YOUR World— we offer you a taste of love, tradition, and sacred memories deliciously prepared as the best of Sephardic specialties!” And she’s doing it with a twist….offering gluten-free, sugar-free, chocolate chip and fancy sprinkles options to the mix!

Visit her website Sarah’s Biscochos. Or look her up on Amazon. They look delicious!
Kudos, Linda, for bringing our traditions and special treats to the mainstream market! Wishing you muchos y buenos and much success as you grow!!!

~Bendichas Manos

614E6702-F37B-4211-9C7C-ABF51FF08929

Megina! 2019

*A note about our Posts. Often you will see some words in a different color, perhaps the name of a song, the name of a food or of a specific ritual. It is usually a “link.” If you click on it, it will take you to a recording of that song, a recipe for that food or an explanation of that ritual. If you haven’t yet, give it a try! It enriches the experience. Example: Yehoram Goan’s ‘Ken Su Piense.’ (as a side note: you can purchase the entire album of Yehoram Gaon singing some of the Pesah favorites in Ladino on CD by contacting Hatikvah Music at Klezcorner@aol.com)

Cooking time!

As we begin to prepare for Pesah, it’s time to pull out the favorite family recipes, those familiar dishes that bind generations together, remind us of our connectedness…..brings us back to the familiar.  One of the staples of our seder meal is a megina, sometmes refered to as ‘mina,’ or a ‘meat quajado.’

a6d0c7ec-b092-40b5-aef0-8b4d54476873.jpg

My mom’s is made with crumbled matzah mixed in giving it a meat casserole- like consistency once cooked and able to be cut into and served in squares. The ‘mina’ version is often made with layers of soaked and softened matzahs and constructed more like a meat lasagna. I am sharing the recipe as my mom makes it for our family and as she has taught it in community cooking classes. This is one of those dishes you can customize to your liking, adding different spices for a differnt flair ( think cumin or ‘ras el hanut,’ diced peppers or even cilantro instead of parsley, to name a few).  This version is made with ground beef, although ground turkey or ground chicken could be substituted. Let us know what you think!

My Mom’s (Kaye Israel) Recipe for Passover ‘Megina’ (meat casserole) {sometimes called Quajado de Carne or Mina}

As one of my friends points out, anytime you start with sautéed onions and meat……how can you go wrong?

2 C chopped onions
2 lbs ground meat
2 tblsp oil
1/2 tsp pepper (to taste)
1 tblsp salt
1/4 c parsley, chopped
8 – 10 eggs
1 C farfel (soaked in warm water, and squeezed dry) or 4 sheets matzah (soaked in warm water, squeezed dry and crumbled)
touch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Brown onions in oil.

 

 

Add meat and continue to brown.

 

 

Transfer to bowl and allow to cool. Add salt, pepper, parsley and farfel (or matzah). Add 2 beaten eggs at a time until eggs are mixed in.

 

 

Grease 9 x 13 inch pan (pyrex type) and heat in oven for 2 – 3 minutes. Pour mixture into pan.

IMG_0447

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve. Delish!!!!

FullSizeRender

We serve this as part of our holiday meal.  It’s also a staple during the week. Easy to cut a square for lunch and serve with a light salad for lunch or easy dinner.   Easy to transport for those who need to take a lunch to work or school. (I have one cousin who looks forward to megina each year with cranberry sauce on the side. I know, they didn’t have cranberries in Rhodes. That’s how we create new traditions!) Enjoy it!   Make it your own!

~Bendichas Manos

Passover 2019 Keftes de Prassa and a little music…..

Passover is around the corner! We are getting busy cooking (and listening to some Passover music and some traditional renditions of the HAGGADAH in the Rhodesli Tradition by Neil Sheff, to get us in the mood! Listen along with us!)

While listening today, I was remembering the Birkat Amazon as I had learned it in Seattle, “Ya Komimos.” Thanks to my Facebook friend Louise Chiprut Berman, I immediately had the words at my fingertips. I could hear most of it in my memory, missing a line or two. Asking on Facebook, Bryan Kirschen was able to post Hazan Isaac Azose singing it exactly as I remembered! AH, such happy memories…..and the wonders of Facebook!
.

Cooking with my Mom. Making Keftes de Prassa….a family favorite. We serve Prassa (leek patties) at Pesah as they are a spring vegetable.  We also serve them at Rosh Hashanah as part of the ‘yehi ratzonis’ – the Rosh Hashanah Seder.

Our family makes them without meat…..a good option for the vegetarians at your Seder. (some have the tradition of adding ground beef to their leek patties.)

This is my mom’s method for Keftes de Prassa.

Ingredients:

1 large onion – chopped

8 medium stalks of leek

3 eggs

2 tblsp matzah meal

1 C mashed potato or 1 C mashed potato flakes

pepper to taste

*optional pinch of red pepper flakes

Prepare leeks. Cut 1/4″ from top and bottom.

Cut in half vertically.

Soak and clean leeks throughly. (leeks, by nature, often have a good amount of fine dirt between leaves. Make sure to clean carefully) Soak, rinse, soak again (2 – 3 times).

3VPGdlxSTB+LiETkGbUcFw

Cut into 1/2″ pieces.

zwLPP27tRcOlFFlXZXxnkg

Boil cut leek and chopped onion in a pot of water ( covering mixture), until vegetables are soft and limp. Boil Potato separately until soft.

Drain (squeeze out) all liquid. Add additional ingredients. Blend into an even leek-onion-potato mixture. Shape into patties.

Fry : 2/3 C oil

Fry on medium heat until both sides are slightly browned.

IMG_8403

Drain on a paper towel. Divine freshly made…..can be frozen, sealed tight.

IMG_8404

Defrost and place on a cookie sheet and warm in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until warmed throughly.

Enjoy!!!!!!

Love hearing what you’re making and doing for the holidays. Stay in touch with us here and on Facebook at ‘Bendichas Manos!’

~ Kaye & Marcia

Marochinos (almond macaroons)

A favorite for Pesah….delightful as a pareve dessert during the year!

Ingredients:

2 C blanched almonds

1 C sugar

2 eggs…whites only

Grind blanched almonds to near a fine consistency.

Mix in a bowl with sugar.

Add egg whites to almonds and sugar.  Mix until biscuit-dough consistency. Using a tablespoon or metal scoop, drop 1″ apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven.

Marichinos out of Oven Seph Shabbat Jan 2018

Allow to cool completely before handling. Will harden as they cool.