Here is the Christmas present I made for myself… or what’s left of it anyway. You don’t have to be Polish to love a slice (or 2 or 3) of makowiec (mah-KOH-viets). It’s usually a bread to be shared but this one is all for me! I made it without the powdered sugar glaze and opted for an egg wash and poppy seeds on the top.
The filling is made with ground poppy seeds, fresh orange and lemon peel, ground almonds and vanilla. It’s a Polish holiday bread for Christmas as well as Easter but I say make it for any holiday, or birthday, or laundry day, or tax day…. Click here for the recipe.
And Merry Christmas to all my fellow cooks and bakers. Thank you for all your comments and photos – I appreciate it so much when anyone takes the time to make a comment or send a photo. I have posted most of the recipes I make but I will try to add more as they make it into my kitchen. xoxoxo
Most doughs rise faster in a warm and humid environment. Here are some ideas on warm places to let your dough rise:
1. Oven – a) Turn on the oven for about one minute and turn it off. Place dough in the warm oven. b) Place a pot of boiling hot water in a cold oven. Place the dough inside with the hot water. These will only work until you need to preheat the oven to bake. If you have a second oven, you can keep the dough in there longer.
2. Heating Pad – Set the dough on top of a heating pad and set the pad to low or medium temperature.
3. Lamp – Turn on a reading lamp and set the dough under the bulb.
4. On Top of Fridge – Your refrigerator generates heat so it’s usually warm on top of the fridge so you can place the dough there.
5. Microwave – Bring a cup of water to boil in the microwave. After it boils, put the dough in the microwave with the cup of hot water and close the door right away. This creates heat and humidity.
6. Neck Wrap – If you have a neck wrap that you heat in the microwave, you can heat it up and wrap it around the container that holds the dough.
7. Bowl of hot water – Fill a bowl with very hot water and put a flat top on it like a plate or pizza pan. Place the dough on the plate and drape a towel over the dough and bowl to keep the heat in.
8. Window – If the sun is coming through a window in winter, place the dough next to the window in the sun.
9. Hot Car – If your car is parked in the hot sun, put the dough in the car.
Did I miss any? If anyone has other suggestions, please post them below.
When making granola bars or bar cookies, lining the pan with parchment paper is not easy because it won’t always stay in place, but I found an easier way to do it… with binder clips. You can get them at a stationery store and since they’re metal, they can go right in the oven. Cut two parchment paper pieces a little bit wider than your 9-inch pan and lay them in, criss-crossing each other, clipping the ends down as you go. It will keep the paper in place and you won’t have to wash the pan. To save money, since parchment paper costs more than aluminum foil, here is another way:
Line the pan with foil first. Then cut a strip of parchment paper the same width as your pan, either 8 or 9 inches, and lay it on top of the foil, clipping in place. This way is easier, parchment paper releases food well, and you’ll save money! – Jenny Jones
There’s something addictive about these Christmas sugar cookies because I can’t stop eating them. So this will be my first batch because I’m not sharing. I’ll make more if anybody else wants some – but these are mine. I used a cookie press because it’s faster and I like that the cookies are tiny, no more than 2 inches across. So these are one-bite cookies but I am never able to eat just one.
For anyone using a cookie press, try to get very fine sprinkles because these mini cookies hold fine sprinkles better than some of the bigger cookie decorations, which seem to roll right off. I like mixing my colors and using blue and purple too. My recipe uses only half the butter of most others. These easy Christmas cookies keep really well. They can be refrigerated and stay nice and fresh for at least a week and I have frozen some for months and they are still good.
For me, Christmas sugar cookies are just part of holiday decorating but it’s decorations you can eat. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Christmas is the best time to make sweet breads like my Christmas wreath bread. It’s a lightly sweet egg bread filled with golden raisins, braided and formed into a wreath shape. Once it bakes, you can add a simple glaze and sprinkles with a few of those little red cinnamon dots added.
This bread is made entirely without butter and it’s a fast, one-rise dough so the whole thing takes only two hours. I made a plain loaf today so I could toast it. Let me tell you that this bread, toasted, and topped with a little butter, brown sugar and cinnamon…. well it doesn’t have to be Christmas to make yourself a treat. But don’t try to toast it once it has the glaze. Here it is plain…
Next time if I can’t decide, maybe I can bake it, cut it in half, and keep half for toasting. Then I can glaze and decorate the other half for dessert. Yeah, that’s it. I’ll have a slice of toasted cinnamon-raisin bread, and then have a slice of sweet, glazed raisin bread for dessert! If you like baking without butter, you won’t miss it with this fabulous bread. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
How exciting to see that someone in Ireland made my granola or someone in Belgium made my cabbage rolls. My recipes are international! Please send your picture to: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com …or… Share it on INSTAGRAM or TWITTER and hashtag it #JennyCanCook
Q.T. MADE MY DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES
“Hi Jenny. Another day of baking. Thanks again for the recipe.”
LINDA MADE MY MERINGUES
“Dear Jenny, I have been having great success with your recipes and yesterday I tried the meringues which everybody in the household is now raving about. Here’s a picture. I am Greek and live in Athens, Greece, so, yes, your recipes ARE international 🙂 I wish you a happy and successful 2016.”
Q.T. MADE MY CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
“Thanks so much for the recipe! :)”
KENNETH MADE MY CARAMEL CORN
“Just made caramel corn thanks to @JennysKitchen’s hecka easy recipe! So yummy. Thanks #JennyJones!”
RICARDO MADE MY CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD
“Dear Jenny, I enjoyed very much your tutorials, I make several of them and they are all delicious, My very best favorite it’s the cinnamon, raising bread and I add toasted Pecans on top with the glacé wow delicious, all of this recipes took me to my childhood!! Best regards from Mexico. Un abrazo!”
NANCY MADE MY CHRUSCIKI
“My mother made fabulous chrusciki but I never learned how to make them myself. Thank you for teaching me! I watched your video and found your directions to be concise and very clear! I even bought a scalloping tool to make the edges even prettier. My Polish mom would be so proud! Dziękuję Ci bardzo!”
BONNIE MADE MY MEAT LOAF
“Dearest Jenny, It has been awhile that I have not make any meal myself as I don’t feel so well – I have high cholesterol & high triglycerides; my little doggie 10-1/2 years old chihuahua also have health problem – at the beginning the vet think that she may have either lung or kidney cancer, luckily after all kind of tests found she don’t have cancer instead have high red blood cell & heart leakage problem, now have to take 2 times a day heart medicine & also 2 times a day each time 1 hour in a special made oxygen box … Not so good but better then cancer. Lately I made your meatloaf, I think I’ve made some mistake as came out not firm so when I cut it keep falling apart … doesn’t look good when serving anyway taste good. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your sweetheart a Merry Christmas and have a Happy & Healthy New Year 2016.M Best wishes, Bonnie from Hong Kong”
*Bonnie, I’m not sure why it crumbled. Next time follow the recipe exactly (maybe watch my video again) and when you shape it make sure there are no air pockets in the loaf before baking. Don’t use meat loaf mix, only lean ground beef. Good luck next time. – Jenny
KIM MADE MY DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES
“Hello Jenny! I used your Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies recipe and here is the result! It’s really yummy and fudgy! Thank you very much for your shared recipe.”
JAN MADE MY CHRISTMAS PECAN BALLS
“Hi Jenny, attached is a picture of your Christmas pecan cookies. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I know my family will love them. They were so easy to make and they have a wonderful nutty and buttery taste.”
NISHIDANEE MADE MY CHOCOLATE CAKE WITHOUT BUTTER
“No eggs no butter cocoa cake. I love. From mauritius”
AMY MARIE MADE MY BEEF STEW
“Jenny I made your beef stew today for dinner! We can’t wait to eat! Thank you for all the healthy amazing recipes!”
CHRISTINE MADE MY CHICKEN POT PIE
“Hi Jenny, I used some left over rotisserie chicken breast to make your chicken pot pie. I was skeptical about the crust but it turned out great. And olive oil is so much healthier than shortening. I was surprised and pleased with how pliable the dough was and how easy it was to roll out. I did use a smaller pie pan so I could have a bottom and top crust without doubling the recipe. My husband came into the kitchen to see what I was doing and said, “Are you cooking with Jenny again”. Ha Chicken pie is not one of his favorites but he went back for seconds on this one. Thanks for all the great recipes. Christine (Washington State)”
BOSSNIAK1000 MADE MY SIMPLE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
“My first whole wheat bread by your recipe 😀 :D”
BETTY MADE MY POLISH DOUGHNUTS (Pączki)
“Hi Jenny! My husband, son and I made your Polish Doughnuts today! It was a family affair! 🙂 We had so much fun!!! We filled them with strawberry jam. Mmmmm!!! They were so GOOD!! Next time we will try your custard. Your video was so helpful. Thank you! Here’s a photo I took for you.Love, Betty, Bob and Jason”
CHRISTINE MADE MY NO KNEAD WHEAT BREAD
“Hi Jenny. i just made this Faster no Knead Bread. i just finished making the dough yesterday ,in the evening ,around 8 pm , and we had guests pop over so i took my bowl , and covered it with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the cold oven . well they left very late, and i thought will leave the dough there,, Jenny did say this dough is very forgiving haha,, it forgave me alright it was there over night , till 8 am,, this morning,, where i found it so bubbly, and the bowl was full . but here is the punch line Jenny , i found i didn’t have a Dutch oven pot , so i used a( cuisine essentials canner) the smallest there is , it’s similar to those black roasting pans , and whalla i got what you see in the picture , after i found how nice the bread turned out, i will try the dough again, but will do it in the smallest roasting pan, they sell , again they are black very cheap, and work great. and will try to make a bread shape this time in a oval pan .after all these years, Jenny, gave me the recipe, i was longing for ,,,all these years . i ate this bread growing up , and we only got it from a polish bakery , THANK YOU AGAIN,I LOVE THIS BREAD AND ITS SOOO EASY WOW . will see what other kind of trouble i can get into again.”
CHRISTINE MADE MY SIMPLE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
“Hi JENNY,,, gosh i just made your Simple Whole Wheat Bread , and gosh, gosh, gosh, i am a happy girl , they came out just perfect ,and 15 min into the baking, i covered them with my foil, like you said , right after i made this picture i took a bite out of the piece of bread that i cut ,yummy, yummy, yummy, will never buy this bread again .you are an angel , and i went back to your video to make sure i did it right , you give so many hints you are sooo loved ty ty ty ty . from the polish girl Kryshia from Canada .small town in Thunder Bay Ontario. i did make the perogies but had no time to make a picture they vanished before i had time to take out my camera lol . sooo tasty .”
HEATHER MADE BAKED BEANS WITH MY BBQ SAUCE
“Super easy BBQ sauce makes awesome baked beans!”
ROSALIE MADE MY PIEROGI
“I made this tonight for my husband and it was so good. Perfect poreige on Polish pottery. I went to Poland 4 times to just bought polish dishes and now i have cabinet display with all polish dishes. Thank you Jenny for recipes.”
EDDIE MADE MY PUMPKIN PIE
“I made your pumpkin pie, now let it cool then put in the refrigerator, can’t wait to eat it.. Thank you Jenny.” 🙂
DESIREE MADE MY SIMPLE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
“I have to say, that as you explain how to do your recipes I am completely in awe because as a question comes to mind…there you are answering it! You really are an excellent teacher. Thank you so, so much. My husband loves this bread and it is really, really easy.”
IRIS MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD
“I’m so happy I found your youtube channel this past weekend and just had to try the no knead bread – I let it rise overnight. Thank you!”
DESARHEA MADE MY NO KNEAD CRUSTY ROLLS
“I basically make these every night now, so good! Thank you for such a simple classic recipe!”
RYAN MADE MY DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES
BENNY MADE MY FASTER NO KNEAD BREAD
“Made Jenny’s faster no knead bread and it was so simple and so delicious. Mwwwah”
30SOMETHING COOK MADE MY SIMPLE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
“You knead to make this! Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. Easy to make and so much better that store bought! Thanks for the recipe.”