Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Pop"ular Purim Recipes - Hot Chocolate Popcorn, Diet Orange Pop Apples, and other Mini-Pop treats

With Purim right around the corner the excitement is starting to build!!!  We LOVE Purim!  The Megilla reading at our Shul is energetic, and the kids (and adults) dress up in fun, creative and outrageous costumes.  This year we are thinking of dressing up as American Tourists ;-).  For me one of the best parts of Purim is the baking!!   For many years I would spend hours upon hours baking “gourmet” delicacies, and would be up until 3 AM Purim night putting together fabulous trays of Mishloach Manot that (according to the reports I received from the recipients) were one of the most anxiously awaited deliveries on Purim (not so shocking considering how much time I used to spend preparing them!).  And then I started baking for a living.  Since the novelty of baking beautiful pastries and treats has worn off somewhat, I’m leaning towards the “Work smarter…not harder” philosophy.  Like most people, I’m trying to be a little more creative with my Mishloach Manot, and have finally succumbed to the whole “theme” concept.  This year we’re opting for a (spoiler alert) “Pop”-ular Purim, with all kinds of mini treats on sticks.  Dear Husband suggested that it would be great s(h)tick to make all kinds of Purim Pops.  Get it – shtick is “stick” with an h.  Isn’t he SO funny??!!  (And that’s why we love him and keep him around!!)  So I’m going to share a few (yes a few...SO exciting) instructional pictures of how to make mini pop treats on sticks…Apple Pie Pastry Puff Pops (introduced in my Purim 2013 article), Key Lime Pie Pops, and Hamentashen Pops.

In addition to those incredibly exciting and thrilling recipes I’m going to share one of my new favorite and addicting recipes for Hot Chocolate “Pop” Corn.  It is seriously addicting, and can be made dairy (Holy Cow!!) or Pareve (Great for your Mishloach Manot or a Shabbat afternoon treat). 

Anyway, here in the Midwest (i.e West of New York!), we call what the Easterners call “Soda” – “Pop”.  When we would like a tall, cold, ice filled glass of cola or ginger-ale we say “Pass the POP please.”  In keeping with the whole “Pop”ular Purim theme, I asked our dear friend (read “adopted” family member) Chaya for one of her fabulous recipe suggestions.  She recommended one of her grandmother’s favorite recipes – Diet Orange POP Apples.  Chaya said that for some bizarre reason the recipe didn’t work with your standard, full calorie, orange pop.  It only worked with the diet variety.  Go figure.  This recipe was perfect because I had a whole fruit drawer filled with apples that were on the wrong side of being toss-in-your-lunch worthy and were just-right for the recipe.  When I asked Chaya how much diet orange pop to put in the recipe she said to add an entire two liter bottle.  Sadly, it turned out to be a little too much.  I recommend just covering the apples with the pop, and then baking for 45-60 minutes until the apples are done.   Aside from the apples having a little too much liquid in the pan, they were delicious!!  They had a touch of orangy flavor and I didn’t have to worry about the calorie content (we are not going to talk about the health benefits (or lack thereof) of diet orange pop…that’s a discussion for another day). 

I hope you all enjoy your Pop-ular Purim fun!!  Purim Sameach!!

(Next week I”H….Purim in the Holy Land!)

Hot Chocolate “Pop” Corn
Pareve Variety
½ cup un-popped popcorn kernels
½ cup pure unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup Splenda
¼ teaspoon extra fine sea salt (optional)
Non-stick vegetable spray

In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder, Splenda and salt.  Pop the kernels using an air-popper, generously spraying with non-stick vegetable spray as the popcorn pops.  Toss the popped corn with the cocoa mixture, making sure to evenly coat the popped corn.   If the cocoa doesn’t coat the popped corn, give the corn another generous spray of non-stick vegetable spray.

Dairy Variety
(Caution!!  This popcorn is seriously addicting!!)
2 packets hot cocoa mix (enough for 2 cups of hot cocoa)
Option #1
½ cup un-popped popcorn kernels
Non-stick vegetable spray
Pop the kernels using an air-popper, generously spraying with non-stick vegetable spray as the popcorn pops.
Option #2
1 full size bag microwave popcorn popped

Place the popped popcorn kernels in a large bowl then toss the hot cocoa mix with.  Enjoy!!

Mini Apple Puff Pie Pops 
(as seen in my Purim 2013 article)
1 package puff pastry (2 sheets), defrosted and separated
Apple pie filling , chopped if the apples are large
1 egg beaten
Turbinado sugar
6 inch cookie sticks

Preheat oven to 400° F (or 375° F convection).  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll a puff pastry sheet to approximately 1/16”.  Using a small fluted cookie cutter (approximately 2” in diameter), cut circles out leaving as little space as possible in between each cut.  Take a single circle of dough and using a thin “paint” brush, brush a line of egg around the edge of the circle.  Place a cookie stick on the dough and brush a little egg on the stick by the edge of the dough.  Spoon a small amount of apple filling into the middle of the dough on top of the stick in the center. 
Take another circle of dough. Using a small paring knife, make four small venting slits in the dough. Place the circle over the filling and gently press the edges of the circle to seal. Place on prepared cookie sheets.   Repeat with remaining dough.  Brush each pie pop with beaten egg.  Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake for 12 – 15 minutes (rotating after 8 minutes if necessary) until golden brown.

Key Lime, Lemon, Cherry, or Apple Mini Apple Pie Pops
(as seen in my Purim 2013 article)
Basic Pie Dough
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 stick cold margarine, cut into small pieces
2-4 tablespoons ice water
Process the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor.  Add the margarine and process until the ingredients resemble a coarse meal.  Add the water and process until a dough ball forms.  Remove from the processor, wrap in plastic, press into a disk, then refrigerate for at least 60 minutes.
Prepare your favorite pie dough recipe (or use the above recipe).  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Repeat the instructions for the Apple Puff Pie Pops, however for the Key Lime and Lemon varieties do not sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  After baking sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional).
Mini Hamentashen Pops
Prepare your favorite hamentash recipe.  Roll out dough and cut out 2 ½ inch circles.  Place a cookie stick a dough circle.  Top with a ½ teaspoon of your favorite filling.  Seal the hamentash as you normally would with the stick sealed in one of the corners.  Make sure to press the seams tightly so the filling doesn’t ooze out of the stick section of the hamentash.  Bake according to recipe instructions.

Diet Orange POP Apples
10-12 medium or large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Diet orange pop (1-2 liters depending upon the size and quantity of apples)
Nonstick vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with non-stick vegetable spray.
Place apples in the prepared baking pan.  Pour the diet orange pop over the apples until just covered.  Bake for 45 minutes until apples are cooked through and slightly caramelized.  Serve warm with whipped cream. (These are also great cold!)

 Apple Pie Pastry Puff Pops 

The apples are too large in the filling
so I had to chop them up a bit...
This is the sugar we sprinkle over the pops...
The pop's puff pastry base.
 Roll out the dough...
 Cut out the dough...
Beat an egg in a small bowl...
 Brush the edges with egg...
 Place a stick on the circle and brush the circle
edge of the stick with egg.
 Make 4 cuts in the top...
 Place some filling on the stick...
Place the top on the filling and
press to seal.
 Getting ready to be egged...
 Don't forget to sprinkle the sugar on top!
 Puffy baked POPS are the tops!

Dairy Hot Chocolate Popcorn
Popcorn in the popper...
SO much potential!
Spray the popped kernels...
 Pour on the Hot Cocoa Mix...
 HOLY COW!!!  This is awesome!!
 Pareve Hot Chocolate Popcorn
Combine the cocoa, Splenda & salt...
 Mix until completely blended.
 Pop the corn...
Don't forget to spray it as it's popping!!
 Add the pareve hot cocoa mixture...
 Toss until the popcorn is completely coated...
 How corny is this?
These photos really "Pop"

 Diet Orange Pop Apples
All the apples left in my fridge!
 It has to be diet!!
(Note this is the only time that diet orange soda is
allowed in the Matten household...Remind me
to tell you the story about my "ivory" pure wool
sweater from Scottland...)
 Apples sliced in the pan...
 Pour the pop over....
(This was a little too much...)
 Bake n' serve!!
More pops....

 The start of a Hamentashen Pop...
 A "Pop"py seed yeast hamentashen Pop...
 Key Lime Pie Mini Pop

Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.

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These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!