If you are anything like me, you are wondering how Hanukkah snuck up on us so quickly. It is hard to believe it is December and another year has flown by, but before I get too far with the old people talk: I am excited to have a very special guest helping us to celebrate Hanukkah and kick off the holiday season! Those of you who have spent time around Lottie + Doof know how I feel about Kim Boyce and her book Good to the Grain, so I will spare you additional praise and simply say: Kim Boyce is fantastic.
If you need more evidence, I can tell you that when I asked her to share a favorite holiday recipe she immediately said yes. I have had a great time talking pastry with Kim and am so pleased that she decided to share her family recipe for Mondel bread with all of us. Here is what she had to say about the recipe:
This Mondel Bread is something that my mom always made for us during the holidays. It has the perfect ratio of cinnamon sugar to cookie. You know the ratio that keeps you grabbing for another one! The recipe came from my Jewish grandmother, but somewhere along the like was adopted by the non-Jewish side of my family. If it wasn’t my mom baking the cookies, it was my great-grandma Goose. She would bake big batches and send them to us wrapped in waxed paper, placed in a shoe box sealed tight with a rubber band.
And if you needed even further evidence: Not only did she share the recipe, but her her mom, Linda, sent me a homemade batch of the Mondel bread to enjoy. How amazing are these ladies?! I can tell you that the baking apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (that doesn’t really work—but you get my meaning), because this Mondel bread was delicious. It is crunchy, sweet, and cinnamon-y and perfect to have on hand throughout the holidays.
Kim also took the time to answer the Lottie + Doof Food Quiz (remember this?):
Sweet or salty?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Swirled! On their own they each seem like too much.
Hot or mild?
As long as the flavor is balanced, I like both. I can’t stand heat just for the sake of being hot.
What won’t you eat?
Most memorable meal?
A lunch of Bistecca Fiorentina in an old stone building while in Italy with best friends. Succulent, charred meat cooked over the fire. Hands were used for gnawing on the bones, my favorite part.
Favorite object in your kitchen?
My tapered rolling pin that belonged to my great-great-grandmother. She used it to make noodles on Friday nights. After years of use it’s soft and has worn unevenly in places. It’s actually not the best pin to use but it connects me to the past and for that I like it.
What are you scared of in the kitchen?
Do you prefer to cook alone or with others?
I get equal satisfaction from both. Some of my most memorable meals were created with friends and yet I love the solitude of cooking in the kitchen by myself. I truly go there to escape and recharge.
What country would you travel to for the food?
If you were to come back as a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
What’s for dinner?
Spaghetti with meatballs, if my husband gets cooking.
A huge thanks to Kim and her mom, Linda. This is a fantastic recipe that I am sure will be used often (I’m already on my second batch)! Happy Hanukkah to everyone and I hope December is off to a great start. It goes so quickly, try to pay attention and enjoy it. Another gift guide headed your way soon and more special guests later this month.
Mondel Bread (recipe courtesy of Kim Boyce)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 pound pecans or walnuts, toasted
- cinnamon and sugar for top
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar, oil and vanilla and beat well. Add flour, baking powder and nuts and combine until a smooth dough forms. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours. Shape dough into 3 or 4 logs and place on large baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle each log with cinnamon and sugar, bake 350° F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 300°F. Cool until you are able to handle, slice into 3/4-1-inch slices. Return slices to cookie sheet and toast in oven for 20 minutes.
December 1st, 2010 at 9:16 am
Oh I love this and now I want the cookbook. Also, my grandma is called Goose too! I can’t believe there is another Grandma called Goose.
December 1st, 2010 at 9:43 am
Julie, you will love the book! Goose is a really good name for people. I love it.
December 1st, 2010 at 9:47 am
Ooooooh…a secret Kim Boyce family recipe – not in the book! I will definitely try this out for Hannukah…score some major points with my Mother-In-law! Thank you!
December 1st, 2010 at 10:57 am
This kind of reminds me of biscotti, but the oil probably makes it more bread like.
December 1st, 2010 at 11:06 am
I was going to make rugelach tonight or tomorrow and came here to have a gander at your recipe, and now there’s this. Tough choice!
December 1st, 2010 at 11:06 am
Hi Kartik, it is a lot like biscotti–but a little more tender.
December 1st, 2010 at 11:06 am
Kimberly, there is an obvious solution: make both. ; )
December 1st, 2010 at 11:23 am
What a lovely post!! And yet another Kim recipe to swoon over – it just never gets old! :) Happy baking, Tim.
Caroline Shields @ carolineskitchentable says:
December 1st, 2010 at 11:49 am
-You had bread sent to you?! One luck guy I tell ya.
-My mom is trying to figure out her “grandma name,” maybe I’ll recommend Goose.
-Looking forward to more special guests.
December 1st, 2010 at 12:34 pm
just came back from visiting my mom…in…where else but florida…& she was asking me to bake mondel bread & send it to her…so i was going to research recipes but…search over…thanks tim!
& thanks for getting december off to a super start &…
i jus love the cover of kim’s book…those little galettes are beautiful!
December 1st, 2010 at 3:58 pm
As if I needed another reason to get Kim Boyce’s book, this is it. I have searched everywhere for a decent mandelbread recipe, like the one the now shuttered jewish bakery by my grandmother’s house used to make (she’s not a baking grandma). Thanks so much and Happy Hanukkah to you too!
December 1st, 2010 at 7:33 pm
Yet ANOTHER one of Kim’s recipes to try. I love good to the Grain.
December 2nd, 2010 at 4:06 am
I love the simplicity of this recipe – not just with ingredients, but method as well. I’d love to make this and maybe add dates or currants. Would it still be called mondel bread then? :)
Heather @ chik n pastry says:
December 2nd, 2010 at 5:47 pm
Love that you have Kim Boyce as a guest! Ive worked my way through a lot of her book and am dying to get to the babka (sp?!).
My niece’s nickname is goose – no idea why though!!
Gilda Davidian says:
December 3rd, 2010 at 11:15 am
I’m excited to try this recipe out! A friend of mine gave me Good to the Grain for my birthday and I love baking and learning from it!
December 8th, 2010 at 8:24 pm
Is this best fresh? How should it be stored and for how long? Sounds so great! Thank you Tim and Kim!
Sara Rund says:
December 11th, 2010 at 2:12 pm
It never occurred to me to make mandelbread before, but now that I have, I’m glad. My thanks to you and to Kim Boyce’s mother. Just one tiny quibble: “mandel” means almond, so this is sort of like calling an applesauce cake “banana bread,” but I think I prefer the walnuts here anyway.