Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A review of "Something Sweet"

Looking to give someone something sweet for Chanukah?  Try “Something Sweet” by Miriam Pascal, creator of!  It’s a wonderful cookbook for those that are looking to bake...something sweet.  It’s perfect for the beginner as well as the more advanced baker.  The recipes are easy to follow too - Miriam put a lot of time into making sure that the recipes were easy to read and execute.  She also worked hard to eliminate some of the “unhealthier” ingredients like margarine and uses oil in her cookies instead.  

I spent a little time talking to Miriam about her journey into baking, transitioning from her “boring” (her words) old job to her interesting new baking and blogging/writing job.  She works really hard to accommodate her readers and you can see it in the quality of her recipes.

As a baker myself I find the “litmus test” of a good baker or cookbook is how their chocolate chip cookies turn out...the most basic recipe, but sometimes the hardest to execute.  We’re all on auest for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe, right?  Given that Miriam’s chocolate chip cookie was made with oil, I was curious as to how it would compare to another fabulous chocolate chip cookie that always gets rave reviews (wink, wink).   I made the cookies and gave them to a panel of seriously discerning pastry snobs (my kids).  They gave the cookies two thumbs up.  They said that although the texture was different than the ones they were used to, they were still really good - just different.  High praise indeed.  Really.

I also wanted to review another non-traditional recipe in the book, so I made the  Caramel Popcorn.  It wasn’t too hard to make at all.  I can’t make it again though.  I want to.  I can’t .  If I do I’ll eat the whole recipe again and gain 100 pounds and want to make more, again..and again.  Can’t. Make. More. Caramel. Corn.  Sigh.

You can find “Something Sweet” on  to order click below:

No-Margarine Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pareve - Yield: About 4 dozen

1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups good-quality chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375℉.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper;  set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together oil and sugars until smooth and creamy.

Add vanilla, baking soda, salt, eggs, and cornstarch, beating well to combine after each addition.  Reduce mixer speed to low.  Add flour; beat until just combined.  Add chocolate chips; stir until evenly distributed.

Using a medium cookie scoop (or heaping tablespoon), drop dough onto prepared baking sheets.  Bake for 8-9 minutes, until tops are set.  Do not overbake.

Easy Homemade Caramel Popcorn
Dairy or Pareve - Yield: 8-9 cups

3 tablespoons oil
½ cup yellow popcorn kernels

5 tablespoons butter or trans-fat-free margarine
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

Prepare the popcorn:  Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  To make sure oil is hot enough, drop in one corn kernel.  When it pops, pour the rest of the kernels into the pot;  cover pot.

Keeping the cover on, shake the pot to help popcorn pop evenly and prevent burning.

When the popping sound slows, remove pot from heat.  Pour the popcorn into a large, greased, heatproof bowl.

Prepare the caramel:  In a medium pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add sugar, water, and salt.  Stir until sugar has dissolved.

Cook mixture over medium-high heat, without stirring, for 15-20 minutes, until it begins to brown around the edges.

Meanwhile, measure baking soda, grease two heatproof spatulas or spoons, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Coat parchment with nonstick cooking spray.  Time is of the essence in the next step so have everything handy and be ready to work quickly.

Once sugar mixture begins to brown around the edges, remove pot from heat; add baking soda.  Whisk for about 10 seconds.  Mixture will bubble vigorously and thicken.  Quickly pour sugar mixture over popcorn and toss with the two prepared spatulas until all popcorn is evenly coated.  

Pour popcorn onto prepared baking tray and set aside to cool.  Once cooled, break into chunks and enjoy!

The awesome Miriam Pascal!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

All wet the ingredients in the bowl....
 Add the dry ingredients
  Mix...then add the chocolate chips!
 Scoop them onto the parchment...
 Bake...look how pretty they came out!
 I want to eat it off the page!

The Caramel Popcorn was so good this was all that was left.... 

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.

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at,,, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

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!!