Armenian Almond Pastry – Nazook

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Cooking class is one of my highlights of the month for obvious reasons. First off, I don’t have to prepare anything. Second, I get to chat, socialize and take pictures and eat. No grocery shopping, prepping food or clean up. (Well I do try to help clean up…..) This is a yummy Armenian pastry recipe that is unique and will make your taste buds dance and sing. ;) Enjoy!

Nazook Recipe: Walnut Pastry (this recipe I got from aashpazi.com

  • 1 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 Tsp Yeast
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 5 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Walnuts

PREPARATIONS:

1- Grate 1/4 of a nutmeg.
2- Grind the walnuts.

DIRECTIONS:

1- Combine the yogurt, yeast, baking powder, 2/3 cup vegetable oil and 1 cup of sugar in a large bowl.
2- Beat one egg until stiff and add to the bowl, stir well.
3- Add 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour to the bowl gradually, combine well.
4- Knead the batter for few minutes.
5- In a small pot, combine 1/4 cup of vegetable oil with 2 & 1/2 tbsp of unsalted butter. Heat the pot and stir until well mixed.
6- Add 1 cup of powdered sugar to the butter pot.
7- Add the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, cinnamon, half cup of all purpose flour and the ground walnuts to the pot, and mix thoroughly.
8- On a well floured working surface, roll out and halve the batter.
9- Using a rolling pin, roll the batter into a square.
10- Spread half of the butter/walnut mixture across the batter evenly.
11- Roll the batter into a oval cylinder.
12- Cut the batter vertically (2-3 inches).
13- Place the batters on a well floured nonstick bakeware.
14- Beat one egg and brush the surface of each batter.
15- Preheat the oven to 350º f (176º c).
16- Place the batters in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until golden.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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I HATE HATE HATE raw banana’s.  BUT I like them cooked. You can fry, flambé or bake a banana and I’m good to go. But a raw banana makes me gag. So needless to say I had my husband do the mashing of the banana’s when I made this recipe… Banana bread  is so comforting and delicious and I like to make it that much more decadent with a some delicious chocolate chips. And if you want, spread some butter and maybe even some nutella on top and you’ll be in heaven. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 beaten eggs

1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 5 medium)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter

1 cup chocolate chips

Streusel Topping (recipe follows)

1. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, bananas, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. STirr just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle Streusel-Nut Topping over batter

3. Bake in 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the bread. (If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over browning). Cook in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. (Truthfully we never get to this last step because we’ve already gotten into the hot bread before we have a chance to cool it down….)

Streusel-Nut Topping Recipe:

In a food processor or small bowl combine 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Pulse the processor (or just mix with a fork)  2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread:

I seem to make this A LOT. Its usually on a lazy Sunday afternoon when we get in the mood for a treat and I have some extra zucchini’s in the fridge. All the other ingredients are mostly staples of the cupboard. Michael and I love this bread so much and it usually doesn’t last very long. We usually spread butter over the top (because of course a ton of sugar isn’t enough so we have to add fat too) and drink it with hot tea. :) We can never wait for it to cool down before eating so the butter melts into the bread and it becomes this buttery, chocolately mess of heaven. Its great for an after dinner dessert or for a yummy breakfast the next morning. :) Enjoy!

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 beaten egg

1 cup sugar

1 cup finely shredded zucchini, unpeeled

1/4 cup cooking oil

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of an 8x4x2 inch loaf pan; set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

2. In another medium bowl combine egg, sugar, zucchini, and oil. Add zucchini to mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy!