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Enjoy a tea party at Chanukah

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Challah tea biscuits with raisins

Savour the splendour of Chanukah with an afternoon tea, redolent with Chanukah’s traditions and favourite smells and tastes. Invite family, friends and neighbours to enjoy tea party specialities along with the traditional favourite foods.

Your tea party menu could include challah tea biscuits. Accompany those with finger sandwiches and consider fillings like lox and chive cream cheese, hummus and cucumber and egg salad with sweet pickle relish. Next serve some traditional fare such as mini-latkes and mini-doughnuts.

Follow up with a fruit cup and pastries. Cookies are always nice, and remember, whatever you serve, never overlook the importance of chocolate Chanukah gelt!


Challah tea biscuits with raisins 

These adorable little tea biscuits will amaze.

o 3 1/2 cups flour, plus extra flour for kneading

o 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

o 1/2 tsp. baking soda

o 1/2 tsp. salt

o 3 tbsp. sugar

o 1/2 cup cold butter or margarine, cubed

o 1 cup buttermilk (or one cup skim milk mixed with one tsp. vinegar)

o 4 eggs

o 1 cup raisins

o 2-3 tbsp. sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 425. Break three of the eggs and separate yolks from whites into two bowls.

In a food processor or a mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add butter to mixture and blend until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk, 1 egg and three egg yolks. Mix until blended and slightly sticky. Mix in raisins.

With lightly floured hands, pat dough into a ball, and place on lightly floured surface kneading gently 10 times, sprinkling in more flour if dough is too sticky to work with. Dough is ready when it looks and feels smooth. Divide dough into two sections and pat out dough into 3/4-in. thick rounds. With a 2-1/2-in. cookie cutter, cut into circles.  Brush tops with some of the remaining egg whites and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheet for 12 minutes or until golden.

Makes approximately 24 tea biscuit.

READ: REFRESH YOUR CHANUKAH DESSERT TABLE


Lattice pie baked in an apple 

A delicious filling is spooned into a hollowed apples and topped with an easy lattice pie crust. So easy and impressive!

o 10 large Granny Smith apples

o 1 cup golden raisins

o juice from one lemon

o zest from two lemons

o 1/2 cup sugar

o 1/2 cup dry sherry

o 1 recipe of pie dough (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400. Prepare pie dough as directed below.

Slice the top off 8 apples and scoop out the inside of the apple. A spoon or melon baller works best to hollow out the apple. Remove core and seeds. Do not break through to the bottom, but carefully remove the blossom from the bottom of the apple. Peel, core and dice the remaining apples.

In a small bowl, mix the diced apple with lemon juice, raisins, lemon zest, sugar and sherry.

Spoon the filling into the well of each apple.

Roll out both discs of pie dough and cut them into eight pieces, one for each apple. Then cut each piece into 1/4-inch strips. Lay strips of the dough on top of the apple. Then take one new strip at a time and alternate weaving it over and under the pie strips already in place. Repeat until the top of the apple has been covered. Trim excess pie crust around the edges with a knife.

Place apples in a baking dish and fill with 1/4-inch of water. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from baking dish and enjoy. Delicious served warm, perhaps with vanilla ice cream, and equally appetizing served chilled.

Pie Dough

o 5 cups all-purpose flour

o 1/2 tsp. salt

o 5 tbsp. sugar

o 1 lb. pareve margarine, cold

o 1 1/3 cup ice water

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor. Break up the cold margarine into smaller pieces and add to flour mixture. Combine with flour mixture with several pulses. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube just until the dough holds together.

Empty work bowl out onto a lightly floured surface and gather dough into a ball. Divide in two, flatten into discs, and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. Chill both discs for 30 minutes, or up to two days, in the refrigerator.

READ: LATKES: OUT OF THE FRYING PAN AND INTO THE CONTROVERSIES


Fancy fruit cup with orange liqueur 

o 1 cup pineapple juice

o 1 tsp. grated orange zest

o 1/4 cup Cointreau orange liqueur or Grand Marnier orange liqueur

o 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

o 2 cups cubed fresh or canned pineapple

o 4 clementine oranges, peeled and sectioned

o 1 cup seedless green grapes

o 1 cup seedless red grapes

o 2 cups blueberries

o 2 Fuyu persimmons

Bring the pineapple juice, orange zest, orange liqueur and brown sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Place the fruit in a large bowl. Pour the cooled sauce over the fruit. Toss the fruit in the dressing and cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving. Toss the fruit occasionally and again before serving.

When ready to serve, ladle the fruit into individual fruit nappies and spoon the sauce remaining in the bowl over the fruit. Depending on the size of the fruit nappies, the recipe serves 8-10.