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Bringing New York’s latest food trend home

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New York (Pixabay photo)

My husband, Jack, and I recently visited New York, to celebrate our 41st anniversary. We saw two Broadway shows: SpongeBob SquarePants and Mean Girls. I would highly recommend both.

We visited the 9/11 memorial and discovered an extremely strange structure on the grounds. The Oculus, which looks a bit like a dinosaur skeleton, was designed by Santiago Calatrava. It houses the Westfield World Trade Center Shopping Mall, which was built to replace the mall that was underneath the Twin Towers. The design was inspired by the image of a dove being released from a child’s hands. The building is considered a neo-futuristic masterpiece.

The 9/11 memorial is a plaza with two large reflecting pools that are situated in the footprints of the Twin Towers and feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. The names of every person who died on 9/11 are inscribed into bronze panels edging the memorial pools. The whole thing is heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

Jack and I walked through Broadway and Times Square, did a bit of shopping, visited a popular New York flea market, enjoyed a comedy club and ate our meals at interesting restaurants, some of which were recommended to us by friends.

In my travels, I was pleased to find a food trend that I am going to share with you: rainbow bagels served with funfetti cream cheese and sprinkles. Being a bubbe, I have to be up to date on everything rainbows. From rainstorms to unicorns, my grandchildren keep me on my toes. So I could not wait to get home to make my own version of rainbow bagels with funfetti cream cheese and share it with my grandchildren and you.

Rainbow Bagels with Funfetti Cream Cheese

o 500 ml (2 cups) warm water

o 1 packet active dry yeast

o 15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar

o 1.5 l (6 cups) all-purpose flour, plus extra for board

o 10 ml (2 tsp) salt

o 15 ml (1 tbsp) Canola oil, plus more for greasing the bowl

o 1 egg, beaten

o red, yellow, green and blue food colouring

Mix warm water and sugar in a measuring cup or bowl.

Add yeast to the sugar water and let stand until it bubbles and foams (about 10 minutes).

Put all-purpose flour in a large bowl and add the salt to the flour. Add the Canola oil and egg and mix together. Add yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes difficult to mix. Remove dough from the bowl to a floured board and knead by hand for another 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and not sticky. If dough is still sticky, sprinkle with all-purpose flour and knead until it’s no longer sticky.

Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then cover with a dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down and let it rest for another 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.

Dye each piece with food colouring by dipping a toothpick into the colours and wiping it onto the dough (use yellow and red to make orange, and blue and red to make purple). Knead each piece until it becomes a uniform colour, adding more colouring until desired colour is obtained. Keep remaining dough covered, so it doesn’t dry out. With a rolling pin, roll out each coloured ball into a small rectangle and stack in rainbow order. Twist the stack together to make a rainbow log.

Divide the rainbow log into 8-10 colourful slices. Slightly flatten and make a hole in the centre of each ball and stretch to make the bagel hole.

Cover bagels and set aside to rise for an additional 10 minutes.

While bagels are rising, preheat your oven to 230 C (450 F) and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put 3-4 bagels at a time into the boiling water. Boil for 1½ minutes on each side. Let bagels dry on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Prepare a parchment paper-lined cooking sheet. Bake the bagels for 15-20 minutes. Cool on rack.

READ: A HEAVENLY HANUKKAH MEAL

 

Funfetti Cream Cheese

o 1 pkg light cream cheese, softened

o 15 ml (1 tbsp) icing sugar

o 5 ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract

o 60 ml (1/4 cup) rainbow sprinkles

Mix together the first three ingredients until combined. Spread the cream cheese onto the bottom half of a sliced bagel and replace the top. Cut the bagel sandwich in half and dip the open side into the sprinkles. Garnish the plate with more sprinkles, if desired.