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Monday, January 24, 2022
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Chaya Sarah and Toldot

Parshat Chayei Sarah inspiration:

And the servant took 10 of his master’s camels, and he went…to the city of Nahor. And he made the camels kneel outside the city beside the well of water in the evening, at the time the maidens go out to draw water. And he said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please cause to happen to me today...the maiden to whom I will say, ‘Lower your pitcher and I will drink,’ and she will say, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels;’ her have You designated for Your servant, for Isaac, and through her may I know that You have performed loving kindness with my master.” Now he had not yet finished speaking, and behold, Rebecca came out…and she said, “Drink, my lord.” And she hastened and lowered her pitcher to her hand, and she gave him to drink. And she finished giving him to drink, and she said, “I will also draw for your camels, until they will have finished drinking.”

And Isaac went forth to pray in the field towards evening, and he lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, camels were approaching. And Rebecca lifted her eyes, and saw Isaac, and she let herself down from the camel.

Caramel Camel Bars

Eliezer recognizes Rebecca immediately because of her kindness to his camels, the camels are well cared for in Laban’s house and Rebecca practically falls off her camel when she sees Isaac. Camels figure so prominently in the parsha that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play with a pareve camel…I mean caramel…sauce. This dessert also ends up looking like a wind-swept sandy expanse of desert that Eliezer and Rebecca crossed, so that’s fun, too.

Ingredients

Caramel sauce:

  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ¾ cup coconut cream, carefully stirred (I used a 5.4 oz can)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp margarine

Camel bar:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup margarine, room temperature

Making the caramel sauce:

1. In a small saucepan, stir the sugars with water until just melted over medium heat.

2. Add in the coconut cream a few tablespoons at a time, stirring in between.

3. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then turn it down to simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure it isn’t burning.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and margarine until fully combined. Let cool.

Making the camel bar:

1. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper overlapping the sides of the pan. Heat oven to 375F.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking soda and briefly mix, then add the white and brown sugars and combine well, breaking up any brown-sugar clumps.

3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix, and finally add the soft margarine and mix well with a fork and mixing spoon to combine until uniform.

4. Press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just barely set.

5. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on) and pour the caramel sauce over the top. Distribute the remaining third of the dough across the top by dropping small pieces of dough on top of the sauce. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to fully cool before cutting into bars.

Parshat Toldot inspiration:

And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are inside your womb; two peoples will part from you. People will overpower people and the greater shall the younger serve.” When the time came for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb.The first came out red. His whole body was covered with hair, so they named him Esav. Then his brother emerged, his hand grasping Esav’s heel, so they named him Yaacov.

 

Two Nations Muffies

Red Velvet (Esav) versus Smooth Sugar (Yaacov), the two cookies fight it out in a muffin tin. (Muffies is a muffin/cookie mashup. Think it will catch on?) This recipe uses a little cream of tartar to create the traditional bite of chocolatey red velvet cake, and ironically, that same cream of tartar gives the mild sugar cookie enough body to stand up to the tougher red velvet.

Red Velvet ingredients/directions:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup margarine, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1+ tsp red food coloring

1. In a bowl, mix the first five ingredients until clump-free and combined and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream the margarine for about a minute, then add the sugars and cream together for about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and food coloring and mix until well combined.

3. Add about half of the flour mixture to the margarine mixture and mix for about 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture, mix for 15 seconds more, scraping the bowl to make sure all is incorporated.

4. Move to a smaller bowl and/or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Smooth Sugar ingredients/directions:

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp cream of tartar
  • ⅓ cup margarine, softened
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a bowl, mix the first five ingredients until clump-free and combined and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream the margarine for about a minute, then add the sugars and cream together for about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and mix until well combined.

3. Add about half of the flour mixture to the margarine mixture and mix for about 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture, mix for 15 seconds more, scraping the bowl to make sure all is incorporated.

4. Move to a smaller bowl and/or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Making the Two Nations Muffies:

1. Heat oven to 350F. Prepare a muffin tin by spraying with neutral cooking spray or using muffin liners. I made 12 standard muffins with this recipe.

2. When the oven is at temperature, remove the doughs from the refrigerator. Scoop about 2 Tbsp of each dough into a single muffin cup, trying to keep the two doughs in their half of each cup.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and let cool before attempting to remove the individual muffies.

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