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Shavuot Dairy Treats

May 3, 2010 | by Emuna Braverman

It's not about the cheesecake. But it sure does help!

Shavuot is coming. Time to remember it’s about receiving the Torah, not the cheesecake! While I always serve my old standards, I like to mix it up with some new recipes as well. It’s a nice change to serve dairy; this is just some of what we’re eating this year.

For more new and innovative Shavuot recipes, visit

Roasted Red Peppers and Cheese Pie

2 teaspoons yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oil
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 (7 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water

In a large bowl, proof yeast in water until foamy – about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and salt and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Add a small amount of additional flour if necessary. Sprinkle with oil and roll dough in oil to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled – about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch springform pan. Punch down dough. Separate 1/3. Knead remaining dough for 2 minutes and roll into a 14-inch circle. Fit into pan, leaving a 1-inch overhang.

For filling, mix together ricotta cheese, garlic and rosemary. Arrange half of red pepper slices over prepared crust. Spoon ricotta mixture evenly over peppers. Top with remaining peppers and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Roll out remaining dough and place over filling. Crimp edges to seal.

Mix together egg yolk and water and brush on crush. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove sides of pan to serve.

Flounder in Creamy Wine Sauce

3 pounds flounder
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
¼ cup white wine
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay fish in single layer in pan. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and pour off excess liquid. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees. In the meantime, melt better in a medium skillet over a medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and saut? until soft – 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in wine and sour cream. Pour over fish. Return fish to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Glazed Baby Carrots

1 pound baby carrots, greens removed
¼ cup orange juice
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter or margarine (this is your chance to use butter!)
½ teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, cover carrots with water and bring to a boil. Boil until tender – 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Stir in orange juice, honey, butter and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.


6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
2 teaspoons (or more) mocha liqueur (like Godiva)
24 packaged ladyfingers
1 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish
3 teaspoons cinnamon

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of espresso and mix until thoroughly combined.

In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and mocha liqueur. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfinger on the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch baking dish, breaking them in half if necessary in order to fit the bottom.

Spread evenly 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Sprinkle with ½ of the cinnamon and ½ of the chocolate shavings. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.

Cover tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours.

Before serving, sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and chocolate shavings.

Coconut Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup margarine, melted
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
½ cup cream of coconut
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup whipped topping, thawed
½ cup coconut, toasted

Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted margarine and press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together cream cheese, cream of coconut, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Pour mixture into crust and bake for 40 minutes. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove sides of pan and top with whipped topping and toasted coconut before serving.

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