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Rugelach with walnuts and raisins

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These morsels are typically found in Jewish bakeries. I'm using the recipe from George Greenstein's A Jewish Baker's Pastry Secrets. The recipe makes a dough with a very nice consistency and easy to roll out. The recipe recommended working with half of the dough at a time, rolling out to 36"x20". I don't have nearly that much counter space so I divided the dough into quarters and rolled them out to 18"x20". At this surface area the dough becomes translucent but still has a very nice texture without breaking. The liquid all comes from the small amount of eggs and the moisture in the cream cheese. I think the high amount of fat really prevents too much gluten formation.  I think next time I will shape them into rounds and then roll out to rectangles. Starting with a rectangle made it hard to roll into a bigger rectangle. The apricot filling was made with dried Turkish apricots and the filling is wonderfully fragrant. I didn't have cake crumbs so I…

Shanghainese wontons 菜肉蝦仁餛飩

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These are yet another kind of dumplings - basically another variation of meat/seafood/vegetable fillings wrapped in pasta sheets. Compared to JiaoZi, the other kind of Chinese dumplings made with round wrappers, wontons are made with square wrappers. Honestly these are slightly less work to wrap, I think. The steps are very similar to making Italian ravioli and tortellini. Different Chinese regions also make different wontons, and they vary in the filling and wrapper and wrapping style choices. The FuJian/Taiwan style wontons have very thin skins and wrapping is just a matter of free-style gathering and pinching the wrapper into a little purse. I learned how to wrap these Shanghainese wontons from my aunt back in 1995. But it was later that I learned how to put the soup together. You see, the Shanghainese wontons are typically served as a soup. The soup base should be a flavorful stock spiked with a little soy sauce. The accompaniment in the soup should include panfried egg "skin…

Giraffe pattern peanut butter and chocolate cake roll

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Peanut Butter Bread with Almond Crust 花生杏仁醬麵包

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Scallion Pancake 蔥油餅

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When I was little, my family lived far from the central Taipei city. Near our apartment was an outdoor evening market that sold everything from fruits and produce to meats and fish. Interspersed among these sellers would be cooked food vendors. There were a ton of different ones but I recall vividly one selling scallion pancakes and one selling roasted ducks. Customers always line up around the scallion pancake cart, waiting for the freshly fried pancake  to be lifted, cut, and bagged. The cart had 2 huge circular griddles. The vendor would roll out a pre-made rested scallion pancake dough, pour some oil into the griddle, and place the dough onto the hot sizzling surface. The griddle is then covered to fry and steam the pancake. The vendor always has one fresh pancake cooking while finishing the other one to minimize the customers' waiting time. My father really liked these pancakes. He would often order a half sheet - half of one pancake, each at probably 2 feet in diameter - and…

Tres Leche Cake 周老師的三奶蛋糕

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This blog here by a home economics teacher (Mrs. Zhou) is one of my favorite blogs. She is extremely knowledgeable about all things related to cooking and baking, and she often goes through repeated experiments to figure out key steps that really make the difference. And she is so generous in sharing her findings and recipes. Here is her take on the Tres Leche Cake. It really is genius of her to pair coconut milk with (a variation of) dulce de leche. Her other ingenious idea is to bake the crispy buttery layer separately and sprinkle them on top of the cake right before eating, so they stay super crispy. This is an easy and delicious recipe!

Fruit and mousse cake roll

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