Desserts: What's Cooking at Hadassah

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Desserts: What's Cooking at Hadassah

Libby Barnea

Like the rest of the world, Hadassah chefs are looking for ways to enjoy their favorite desserts (think chocolate chip cookies, brownies and chocolate cake) without a lot of guilt; I feature recipes here for lightened versions of these three dessert mainstays, plus several other delicious baked treats.

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake
From From Generation to Generation, Metulla Hadassah Cookbook, Greater Atlanta Region, Georgia, contributed by Madeleine Polan. Serves 6-8.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon zest or more (zest from one large lemon)
7/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar (7/8 cup equals 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup sugar until light and fully. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour, then whish together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter in pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Mocha Oatmeal Cake
From Cooking with Style: A Collection of Recipes by Tamar Hadassah, Hadassah of Somers, New York, contributed by Courtney Langer (from a recipe by Beverly Weissman).

3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups Quaker Oats, quick or old fashioned, uncooked
1 1/8 cups butter or margarine, soft
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cocoa

For cake, combine coffee powder and boiling water. Pour over oats; stir to combine. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugars, beating until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend in vanilla. Add oats mixture; blend well. Sift together flour, soda, salt and cocoa. Add to creamed mixture, blending well. Pour batter into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Remove from oven, cool 10 minutes; unmold onto wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine, soft
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 dash salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons cold coffee

For frosting: beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, salt, vanilla and coffee. Beat until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Died & Went to Heaven Chocolate Cake
From Regency Hadassah Cooks: Treasured Family Recipes From our Membership, Monroe, New Jersey, contributed by Anita Kaminsky.

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Splenda no-calorie sweetener, granulated
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup strong hot black coffee
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Blend flour, Splenda granulated, Splenda brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in large mixing bowl. Combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and coffee in small bowl. Add flour blend to wet mixture, beat with electric mixer on medium speed, mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour batter into Bundt pan. Bake for 20 to 35 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

The Best Low-Fat Brownies
From Simply the Best: Light and Luscious Kosher Recipes, Hadassah of Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You won’t miss real brownies after tasting these. Well, almost! Makes 16 brownies.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut up
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
1/2 cup unsifted, unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine butter and chocolate, set over very low heat until melted. Make sure chocolate doesn’t burn.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Using a mixer, beat sugar with the cooled butter-chocolate mixture. Add the egg and egg whites, vanilla and water and beat well. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until blended. Don’t overbeat. The batter will be thick.
4. Spoon batter into a 9 by 9-inch baking pan sprayed generously with baking spray. Smooth top and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When done, the top will look dry and a wooden toothpick inserted near the edge will come out with a few crumbs but the center will look slightly gooey. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Store in airtight container or in freezer.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Simply the Best: Light and Luscious Kosher Recipes, Hadassah of Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An enlightened version of an old classic. Makes about 30 cookies.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mini semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and cook over low heat until butter begins to turn a golden brown and has a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes. Do not burn butter. Set aside to cool slightly, then place in metal bowl and freeze for about 5 minutes.
3. Whisk together cake flour, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
4. Using a mixer, cream together solid butter, sugar and cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Add the egg, egg white and vanilla and beat well. With mixer on slowest speed, add the dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips using a spatula.
5. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets; allow a couple of inches between cookies for spreading during baking. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Cool on wire rack. Store in airtight container or in freezer.

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