Cooking is a surprisingly great distraction when you’re fasting. I don’t usually fast, trust me, but on Yom Kippur (Sept. 27-28, ’09) it’s part of the holiday. When I need to taste something, I just ask James to be my taster for more salt or pepper or any other ingredient.
Even though I’m standing over food for hours prepping the break-the-fast-feast (say that 10 times in a row), I’m more focused on having everything cooked and timed correctly. It’s like when I come home from work to make dinner. I may be hungry, but in pursuit of getting dinner on the table I forget the rumblings in my stomach until we sit down and eat.
Anyway, to celebrate the sweet new year and a fresh start, I cooked up a feast of roast chicken stuffed with kasha, savory noodle kugel and a pear and walnut salad. Then for dessert we helped ourselves to these amazing little cookies. Jeremy and James would eat one, then discuss whether or not to have another. That went on for about 4 or 5 cookies. They’re just that good, especially when they’re warm. Enjoy!
Source: Ina Garten
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 9 tablespoons
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup apricot (or other) preserves, pureed in a food processor
1 egg beaten with 1 T. milk, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl with electric mixer until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla.
2. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, cinnamon, the raisins, and walnuts.
4. On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge.
5. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
6. Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.