Pascale's Kitchen: Coffee/tea - Worth a cookie

Throughout the year I make it my business to bake cookies.

 (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Throughout the year I make it my business to bake cookies. I often make three or four different types at the same time, especially the ones I remember from my mother’s house, which I find special and interesting. As the days get colder, winds blow and it rains intermittently, I stay in the house, go into the kitchen and begin baking.
I store the cookies in clear, tall glass jars and place them on the counter in the kitchens. Bonus: The transparency of the jars allows my family to see what I’ve baked!
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The types of cookies I make vary according to the seasons, experiments and family taste, but I always return lovingly to the ones known as rolled cookies; I call them strudels.
The strudels are usually made of rich crunchy dough or dough known as shakam (cream, flour, margarine or one that combines oil and juice), and are stuffed with a date filling with nuts, chocolate or nuts and jam, halva, and chocolate spreads rich in nuts, sprinkled with a generous amount of powdered sugar.
DATE AND NUT STRUDEL
Makes three rolls, about 35-40 cookies.
3 cups flour, sifted
1 container sour cream/Eshel cheese/yogurt
1 egg (yolk can also be used on its own)
½ cup sugar
200 gr. butter
1 tsp. rum extract
1 packet vanilla sugar
1 packet baking powder
Filling:
1 container date spread
1 cup walnuts or pecans, shredded (candied pecans can also be used) ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
½ cup crumbled or shredded halva
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. cloves
For sprinkling:
Powdered sugar
Add the flour to the bowl of an electric mixer, make a well and pour the sour cream into it. Add the egg, sugar, butter, rum extract, vanilla sugar and baking powder and mix on medium speed until the mixture becomes a uniform dough and detaches from the sides of the bowl. If necessary, add more flour. (It is possible to do without the electric mixer and knead the dough with your hands.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
Divide the dough into three equal parts. Flour a work surface and roll each piece into a rectangular sheet about a ½ cm. thick. Spread a third of the mixture of date puree and jam and sprinkle a third of the chopped nuts, chocolate and halva on each leaf. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and roll the sheet from the side closest to you to the farthest from you. Seal the edges tightly. In this way the rest of the rolls are prepared.
Transfer the rolls to a greased pan and bake in the oven at a medium heat of 180 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Slice the rolls and serve. Place any extras in a tightly closed container.
Difficulty level: Medium

Time: About 1.5 hours

Status: Dairy

WHOLE WHEAT STRUDEL
Makes three rolls, about 35-40 cookies.
3 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
2 eggs
200 gr. butter
1 Tbsp. vinegar
½ cup water
1 tsp. rum extract
1 packet vanilla sugar
1 packet baking powder
Filling:
1 container date spread
Zest and juice from one orange
¾ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 cup roasted peanuts or hazelnuts, shredded
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
5 Tbsp. sugar
For sprinkling:
Powdered sugar
Add the flour to the bowl of an electric mixer, make a well and pour eggs, butter, vinegar, water, rum extract, vanilla sugar and baking powder inside.
Mix on medium speed until the mixture becomes a uniform dough and detaches from the sides of the bowl. (It is possible to do without the electric mixer and knead the dough with your hands.) Separate the dough into three equal parts. Flour a work surface and roll each piece into a rectangular sheet about a ½ cm. thick.
Place the date spread in a small pot, add the orange zest and juice, and cook on a low flame while stirring until a smooth, uniform puree is obtained. Add chocolate chips and sesame seeds. If the puree is thick, you can add a little more orange juice or water.
Spread a third of the date puree and sprinkle a third of the chopped nuts on each sheet. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar as well.
Roll the sheet into a roll, from the side closest to you to the side farthest from you, and seal the edges tightly. In this way the rest of the rolls are prepared.
Transfer the rolls to a greased pan and bake in the oven at a medium heat of 180 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes, until the rolls are golden. Allow to cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Slice the rolls and serve. Place any extras in a tightly closed container.
Difficulty level: Medium

Time: About an hour

Status: Dairy



ROZALACH/SOFT LILY COOKIES
Makes 35-40 cookies (depending on strudel thickness).
The cookies don’t keep well, not even in a jar with a hermetic closure. So prepare a small amount and serve it immediately while hot.
Roll the dough into a very thin sheet.
Place the cookies into the oven with the closed side facing up.
The cookies bake quickly, not more than five to seven minutes. If you have a tabun oven, it’s best to bake them in there. If not, then bake them on a baking stone.
It is best not to overfill the strudel with chocolate, as it slides out while baking.
5.5-6 cups flour, sifted
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tsp. dry yeast
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. vinegar
½ tsp. salt
For flouring work surface:
½ to 1 cup flour, sifted
Filling:
1 container of chocolate, any type (preferably Nutella) or halva, Lotus cookie butter, chocolate spread or peanut butter Add the flour to the bowl of an electric mixer with a kneading hook. Mix while adding water, yeast, oil and vinegar. Mix for five minutes, then add salt. Mix for about another three minutes until the dough is uniform and pliable. Cover and let rise until the dough doubles in size.
Separate the dough into four to six equal pieces. Roll out on a floured surface one piece of the dough into a thin sheet. Spread with a spread, roll and seal tightly. Cut into slices 3 cm. thick or more, according to taste. In this way, prepare the rest of the dough.
Preheat the oven with the stone inside to a high heat of 225-250 degrees Celsius. Arrange the slices of rozalach on the stone and bake for five to seven minutes until the cookies are lightly golden. Remove to a tray, immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
Difficulty level: Easy

Time: About half an hour

Status: Dairy
TIPascale:
To make parve cookies, replace the butter with margarine, hardened coconut oil or oil. Replace the yogurt or Eshel with a soy pudding, nondairy whipped cream or a little orange juice.
Translated by Tzvi Joffre.