I don’t remember the exact moment I knew I loved food and baking, but I definitely have some distinct memories. My mom had subscribed me to the kids’ magazine Highlights, and they often ran fictional stories and non-fiction pieces on culturally diverse, for lack of a better word, things.
One story I remember being fascinated was one about a little girl who helped her grandparents in their bakery. The story centered on the special cake she made that she was able to give to someone who really needed it. But it was the description that I still remember today: a sponge cake layered with raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream. For some reason that combination struck a chord with me.
Another piece they ran dealt with Jewish cooking. They explained the cookie called hamantashen (apologies for using Wikipedia), a triangular cookie filled with a mixture of fruit and nuts. As a child I rarely ate dried fruit (due to a dislike of raisins) or nuts (other than peanuts and cashews), so this cookie never appealed to me.
But I kept thinking about the hamantashen when I was deciding what to make for the tenth day. It’s certainly not a French cookie, but the triangular shape sure fulfills the three portion in “three French hens.”
I made a spicy, gingerbread-like dough instead of the traditional butter pastry, but the dough was a little dry, making it difficult to work with.
This is a delicious, hearty cookie that definitely brings me back to that magazine article.
What’s your favorite childhood recipe?