One of my best friends, a world class cook, used to live around the block from my house. She often would call to say she was bringing over dinner, but the best thing she’d bring around was her Christmas chocolate fudge.
That friend moved to Texas shortly before we moved to the beach and the fudge deliveries obviously stopped.
This year, where Christmas is all sorts of weird and different, I was really craving the sweetness of the chocolate fudge so I begged for the recipe and whipped up a batch. Then I pretended that my friend had dropped it off. Just kidding. I haven’t quite come that unhinged yet.
Sweet, melt in your mouth chocolatey decadence.
I'm listing the serving as one sheet pan because it's entirely up to you how big or small you want to make your fudge squares and, honestly, whether you want to share.
No-knead bread is the easiest bread in the world to make. With a handful of ingredients and a dutch oven you can make a glorious bread boule and feel like the most accomplished bread baker in the world.
The result is a crusty white country-style bread with chocolate chips. The only way to make it better is to slather a slice with salted butter and devour it while it’s hot.
Wait! You need a Dutch Oven!
In order to make this bread you will need a dutch oven. Dutch ovens can run from about $40 all the way to $530 or more*. You really don’t need a fancy one for this recipe. I use a 3.2 quart dutch oven to make my bread, but you could easily use a bigger one if that’s what you have on hand. You can find a very wide range of dutch ovens on Amazon* (some which can even be delivered as early as next week). There are usually a couple options on Zulily. And some occasionally at thrift stores. I purchased one of mine at Marshall’s and another at Ikea.
This recipe was originally published by Gimme Some Oven with a plethora of amazing tips to make the bread juuuuuuust right as well as a bunch of variations. Please check it out and give them some love. Over there you can also find the original, overnight version of this bread which I highly recommend if you’ve got the patience.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt and yeast.
Add the warm water and, with a large wooden spoon or spatula, combine all of the ingredients until the flour is fully incorporated. Your dough will be shaggy and very loose. That's ok!
Cover the bowl with a clean dishcloth or plastic wrap and set in a warm place for an hour. Your dough should more or less double in size.
Turn your dough out onto a well floured surface. Sprinkle dough with flour and fold the edges of the dough towards the center a couple times to give the dough a little more structure. Sprinkle chocolate chips onto the dough and fold the dough again. Keep sprinkling and folding until there are chocolate chips throughout the entire ball of dough and the dough feels springy under your fingers.
Shape the dough into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper. Cover again with a dishcloth or plastic wrap while the oven preheats.
Set your oven to 450F and place your dutch oven in the oven while it preheats for 20-30 minutes.
Very carefully take the dutch oven out of the oven and gently place the parchment paper and dough into the dutch oven. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and cook 10-20 more minutes until the bread reaches your optimum color.
Remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully lift out the bread. Set bread on a cooling rack to cool so the bottom doesn't get soggy. Enjoy!
Let’s start with acknowledging that chocolate dipped coconut macaroons are no substitute for an overflowing Easter basket of treats. I know how hard and frustrating it is that, just about when the majority of people in the world are about to dip into a literal basket of chocolaty goodness, Jews all around the world are cleaning out anything bread or gluten related and preparing to eat cardboard bread substitute for a week. (I know, I know, Passover is about so much more, but, man, I grew up eating Peeps and Easter eggs and having to eat matzah dipped in chocolate instead is a very, very poor substitute.) But I promise that these coconut macaroons will help you forget the discrepancy even if just for a few minutes.
Next, let’s clear one thing up once and for all. Macarons (one ‘o’) are delicate little sandwich cookies with crisp and colorful shells. Macaroons (two ‘o’s) are made of delicious mounds of sweetened shredded coconut. Both are naturally gluten free, both are undeniably delicious, but only one, the macaroon, is a traditional treat during Passover.
The secret to good coconut macaroons is get the amount of sweetener just right, so the end result is not sickeningly sweet and to cook it just long enough to ensure that they’re neither crumbly nor gluey. The other secret is that you can eat these year-round, not just over Passover. Enjoy!
Please note, as with all things that require very few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients you choose is critical to the end result. My family and I are incredibly partial to Guittard chocolate, which is made locally, but easy to find almost anywhere. Can’t find it in your local grocery store? They sell it on Amazon. (FYI, that is an affiliate link. If you purchase something from Amazon after clicking it, I will receive a tiny portion of the sale price.)
(Not in the mood for chocolate dipped coconut macaroons? Check out some of my other recipes!)
Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
Perfectly sweet chocolate dipped macaroons, the perfect Passover desert or treat!
Spread unsweetened coconut flakes on a cookie sheet and broil in the oven until the flakes start turning golden brown (1-2 minutes). Be watchful! Because of its natural sugar content, coconut burns easily.
While the coconut is under the broiler, whip the egg whites with the salt. Sprinkle in the sugar when the egg whites are about half-way. Keep beating until the egg whites are firm.
Remove the toasted coconut flakes from the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.
In a large bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Add the toasted coconut until well combined.
Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the coconut mixture. It is ok if some of the egg whites are still showing. It's more important to not over-mix.
Scoop little piles of macaroon batter onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Wet your hands to shape the macaroons into little domes. The macaroons will not spread much, so you don't have to worry about leaving a lot of space between each cookie.
Bake for 20-23 minutes until the macaroons are golden brown. Place the cooked macaroons on a cooling rack until fully cooled.
Either using a double boiler or a microwave, melt the semi-sweet chocolate until smooth and silky. Carefully dip each macaroon into the melted chocolate, scraping any excess chocolate off onto the sides of the bowl. Place dipped macaroons onto a parchment lined cookie sheet to set.
Melt more chocolate and scoop into a small Ziploc bag. Snip off a tiny corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate across the top of the macaroons.
Allow the chocolate to set before serving.
Macaroons can be refrigerated for up to a week. The batter can be made ahead of time and refrigerated before baking.
For years and years and years I relied on my sister’s amazing bread machine challah recipe. It never failed me…until it did and forced me to figure out how to make challah with a stand mixer. (Let’s be honest, I think it was more the bread machine failing than the recipe itself.)
The other day, struck by a sudden craving, I realized that I could probably tweak the original recipe to make challah with a stand mixer instead of the bread machine. After all, I use my mixer to make all sorts of rolls, no reason I couldn’t use it to make challah as well!
Took a little tweaking, but I managed to convert the recipe and, if I do say so myself, improve on it a little. This challah recipe doesn’t have much hands-on time, but does require a few hours of proofing time, so plan accordingly.
Mix the yeast with the warm water and 1 Tbsp of sugar. Let it stand for 5 minutes on until the yeast has activated and the mixture is frothy.
Pour the yeast mixture into the stand mixer bowl and add the rest of the sugar, the butter, the eggs and one egg yolk, the salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Using the dough hook, let the machine start mixing the ingredients together.
If the dough looks too sticky, add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time until the dough starts to form into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Allow the stand mixer to kneed the dough for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be ready when it's smooth and silky and bounces back when you press a finger into it. If you're not quite sure the dough is ready, you can always turn it out onto a floured surface and kneed it a little by hand. You want the dough to be supple enough to fold and kneed without too much strength. You don't want the dough to become tough.
If you want to add chocolate chips to your challah, turn it out onto a floured surface and fold in the chocolate chips as you kneed it a few more times. (Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the dough, fold it over, stretch it out, sprinkle more chocolate chips, fold it over again and repeat until you feel your dough has enough chocolate chips spread out in it.)
Cover the bowl of dough with a clean dishcloth and set in a warm space. (If it is cold where you are, you can preheat the oven to 200F, turn it off, and place the bowl in the warm oven with the door left open.) Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size. Usually takes a little over an hour.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into three equal parts and roll or stretch them out into logs of equal length. Braid the three logs and tuck the ends under. Place your braided loaf onto a greased baking sheet, cover with a clean dishcloth, and allow to rise for another 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F and brush the top of the challah with a beaten egg yolk to give it a deep golden finish. At this point you can sprinkle your challah with sesame sees, poppy seeds, or just a sprinkle of kosher salt.
Bake for 28-30 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack so the bottom doesn't become soggy.
There you have it. Easy challah with a stand mixer. Trust me when I tell you that nothing tastes better than bread that you made with your own two hands eaten straight from the oven, slathered with a healthy pat of butter or a generous dollop of Nutella.