Sweet, Rich, And Delicious. You Don't Have to be Jewish to Appreciate Noodle Kugel.
Aunt Bunny's Noodle Kugel
As the world gets crazier I find myself spending more time in my kitchen. It feels like a safe, warm retreat. And more often than not when I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, I turn to the recipes I grew up with.
As a midwest Jewish girl, that often means the recipes of my ancestors. Ashkenazi Jews from Central and Eastern Europe. One of my favorites was my Aunt Bunny's Noodle Kugel. (Pronounced "koogle.") As I pulled this recipe out of the box the other evening, I began to wonder..where did the inspiration for this creamy, tasty comfort food come from?
Noodle Kugel is One of Many Traditional Jewish Foods
A Little Kugel History
It turns out, Kugel has been around a long time. The very first kugels were savory rather than sweet and actually made from bread. Then about 800 years ago, noodles were incorporated by cooks in Germany. Later, eggs, cottage cheese and milk were added to create a custard-like texture.
It was in the 17th century that a cook with a sweet tooth in Hungary decided to add some sugar and sour cream to the mix. (I would call and thank him personally if I could.) Later in Poland, someone got real creative and decided to add some farmer's cheese (a lot like cottage cheese) and cinnamon.
Kugel is one of those traditional foods you find during many different Jewish holidays like Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Shavuot. Here is a great link if you want to learn more about the Jewish Holidays.
All I know for sure, is that since I've been around (not nearly 800 years), It's been one of my favorite "go to" comfort foods. The added bonus is that it's cheap and easy to make.
So Easy to Make
Basically, you boil up your noodles and drain them. Put them back in the same pot, (I love this--so few dishes to clean!), add butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, sour cream, cottage cheese and I like to throw in a little lemon zest. Mix well and pour into a greased 9X13 pan, sprinkle a little more cinnamon on top then throw it in the oven.
Your kitchen will begin to smell AMAZING. My husband, who works at home and doesn't come out of his office unless someone yells "fire", will actually emerge with eyes like saucers asking "What IS that??"
Yes ladies. A way to a man's heart is his stomach.
A Great Dish to Make With Your Kids
Kugel is one of those awesome recipes to try with your kids because there's really no way to mess it up. It's as simple as boiling noodles, throwing them back in the pot and having the little ones add everything else and give it a stir. It's foolproof.
In fact, last time I made one I put it in the oven and realized I forgot to add eggs. (Clearly, I had not had my morning coffee yet!) No problem. I took it out, poured it back into the pot, added the eggs and it went back into the oven. No one was the wiser.
Watch Out-It'll go Fast
- 1 pound wide egg noodles
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 pound cottage cheese
- 1 pound sour cream
- 4 eggs (beaten)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons plus more to sprinkle on top cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, (optional)
- Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add noodles back to pot. Mix with butter, sugar, cheese, sour cream, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon zest if desired.
- Pour into greased 9X13 pan. Bake for one hour or until set. (If noodles are getting overdone on top you can cover with aluminum foil the last few minutes.
- Let cool and cut into squares.