What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

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Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Hamentashen

Traditionally, the hamentashen is a filled cookie eaten on Purim, a holiday celebrating the Persian Jews victory over their enemy, Hamen.  The evil Hamen wore a tri-cornered hat which explains the cookie's shape.
Typically, hamentashen are filled with prune, apricot, and/or poppy (mun) filling. However, today I added a special pumpkin pie filling making this hamentashen a new Thanksgiving favorite.

Ingredients...
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely ground almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Best if you use parchment instead of greasing a cookie sheet pan.

Here's how you do it...
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In large bowl, Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the ground almonds, mix and set aside.
  4. Using your mixer in another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until  light and smooth.
  5. Add the eggs and extracts until blended thoroughly.
  6. Gradually, add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and blend until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl. 
  7. Knead on floured surface until no longer sticky.
  8. Divide the dough in 4 parts.
  9. Roll each part (one at a time) on a floured surface to 1/16" thin.
  10. Using a cup or 4" cookie cutter, cut rounds.
  11. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling on each round.
  12. Bring up the edges, pressing corners together, to form the triangular shape leaving a space in the center where the filling shows through.
  13. Arrange hamentashen on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  14. Brush each pastry with egg wash (recipe to follow).
  15. Place cookie sheet in preheated 375F oven for 15-18 min until lighly golden brown,
Allow to cool on rack before eating (though it will be difficult to wait) because the filling will be HOT.
Egg Wash (to brush over each pastry before baking for glaze):
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cream, or non dairy creamer, or milk.

Fillings...
Pumpkin:  Prepared pumpkin pie custard .
Apricot/Poppy/Prune: You can prepare your own or use canned filling to save some time. These filling recipes will post shortly.

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