Whole Wheat Matzo

Whole Wheat Matzo | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

It's Passover! I remember making matzo while growing up in Hebrew school but I haven't for years. I know matzo has a bad rep for tasting like cardboard but I've actually always enjoyed it with jam, peanut butter, or honey. Matzo is so easy to make and only takes three ingredients. The whole wheat version tasted a lot like pita bread but I still liked it a lot! Anyone giving up bread for the week? 

Whole Wheat Matzo | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Whole Wheat Matzo | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Ingredients:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 475°. Have ready a two baking sheets lined with parchment, a rolling pin, and a fork for pricking holes.

2. Mix together the flour,water, and salt. Knead briefly until the dough comes together into a smooth ball, 3-5 minutes. If the dough sticks to your hands or the counter, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it is no longer sticky.

3. Cut the dough into egg-sized pieces and sprinkle the counter with flour. Working with one piece at a time, roll out the dough as thin as you can. Cut out rounds of dough with a 3" cookie cutter. You could really do any shape you want! I did a cute scalloped cutter. Transfer to a baking sheet and prick it all over to prevent the dough from puffing in the oven.

4. Repeat until the baking sheet is full. The breads won't spread, so you can put the pieces fairly close together. Bake until crisp, 5-6 minutes.

5. While the first batch is baking, prepare the second batch. Continue baking and rolling until all the matzo has been cooked. Enjoy - Happy Passover! 

Whole Wheat Matzo | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Recipe adapted from: The Kitchn
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography

Wrestlemania 30 Cake

Every Monday night Zac and a few of his friends (who have dubbed themselves the "ring boiz") come over and watch WWE's RAW. It's three hours of half-naked angry dudes throwing themselves around a ring in what's been described to me as an "aggressive male soap opera". At first I resisted and quietly blogged in the back of the room while attempting to unload my excess baked goods on Zac's pals (successfully) but overtime, I became half-interested in the story lines, the characters, and even found myself cheering for certain wrestlers while despising others. 

When I heard how important Wrestlemania 30 would be to this WWE-averse, I wanted to do something nice for the Ring Boiz. They were chatting about catering and getting a big party together to watch it so I thought I would make a nice big cake.  It's been a while since I worked with fondant but I found myself fall right back into it. I am so pleased with how this cake came out! Also - big index finger up to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan - YES! YES! YES! 

Wrestlemania 30 Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Wrestlemania 30 Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Wrestlemania 30 Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Hazelnut Mud Pie

Hazelnut Mud Pie | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Back in December on a holiday time visit to Florida, I went on a pilgrimage to my absolute favorite barbecue restaurant with my dad. Cafeteria trays in a row, we made our way down the line and passed slow cooked pork, juicy ribs, mounds of mac and cheese, collards, and biscuits, and arrived at the dessert case before the register. I always chuckle at that dessert case with thick slices of red velvet cake, massive pecan brownies, and parfait cups filled with banana cream pudding. How could I POSSIBLY fit in dessert with food piled high on my plastic and butcher paper lined tray? I tell myself that after the meal I might make my way to the back bakery and grab a cupcake for the road and every time I find myself stuffed to the brim with southern comfort food. No, I did not need a cupcake - I needed a nap. 

But as we stood in front of that dessert line my dad spotted a Mississippi mud pie and requested that I please make him a mud pie one day. My dad is not one to make requests - he likes the occasional red velvet cupcake and chocolate chip cookies are just fine with him (like father like daughter) but when he asked for a mud pie - I knew i had to deliver. 

A traditional Mississippi Mud Pie is composed of four parts - a chocolate crust, a layer of flourless chocolate cake, a layer of chocolate pudding, and a layer of whipped cream. I wanted to put my own twist on it. The flourless chocolate cake became a brownie created with Boston's own Taza Chocolate Hazelnut Bar. The chocolate pudding is flavored with a generous portion of everyone's chocolate-hazelnut spread. The cocoa powder and decorative cocoa crispys used were both Valrhona. It is a decedent, fabulous, chocolately mess. I tried very hard to get a photo of a slice with each of the layers defined but like most southern food, this pie was created not to look pretty, but to make someone smile. 

Mississippi Mud Pie - Dedicated to Dad
Sorry you live too far to eat it :( 

Hazelnut Mud Pie | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Hazelnut Mud Pie | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com) 

Meyer Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Meyer Lemon Meltaway Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Last week we traveled to the West Coast and hung out in San Francisco, Eugene, and Portland - check out the post on Zac's blog for a full photo recap. While we were there, we visited my Aunt and Uncle who live in Berkeley Hills and have an amazing garden complete with a huge meyer lemon tree. When we headed off to Eugene, they gifted us as many lemons as we could carry (which was a lot) and I stuffed as many as I could in my purse and suitcase on our way home. I love the idea of having a fruit tree in my yard and growing my own food or herbs, but to be honest I'm not sure if my thumb is very green! At this point, the best I can do is take nature's beautiful lemons and make lemonade - or er.. - lemon cookies! 

Meyer Lemon Meltaway Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

The word meltaway comes from the way the powdered sugar which these cookies are heavily doused in "melts" on to your tongue. It reminds me of the way cotton candy dissolves onto your tastebuds and leaves behind a sugary sweetness. The meyer lemon is bright and assertive in these cookies. I even used an oval shaped cookie cutter so these tiny treats resembled little lemons. These would be great with a cup of tea or glass of auga fresca.

Meyer Lemon Meltaway Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Meyer Lemon Meltaway Cookies
Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 meyer lemons
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions:

1. Put butter and 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.

2. Add lime zest and juice and vanilla, and mix until fluffy.

3. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl.

4. Add to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.

5. Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

7. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.

8. While still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag.

9. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

 

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography