Friday, April 2, 2010

Passover Desserts? Not So Much.

No flour.  No wheat.  No leavening, like baking soda or baking powder.  Sure, you can use matzoh meal (yuck) but I think that pretty much guarantees a leaden, dry result.  You see lots of recipes for honey cake around this holiday, but I personally despise the stuff.  What to do?

Well, chocolate is good.  If you are really observant you will use Kosher for Passover chocolate or you can use what you normally would and dub it "KE" (Kosher Enough) which is what my more-observant-than-me son does.  I'm down with that.

Okay, so he no longer has the beard.  We have the same smile, though!

The aforementioned son (his name is Andy, he lives in NYC) decided to spend the week with us.  This is the kid who inherited my "food gene."  He gets it.  He's a great cook.  He's got a really good palate.  In many ways, he surpasses me.  I've learned a few things from him this week (more about that later).  But I'm still the better baker.  The challenge for Passover desserts was on!

I hit that cookbook library of mine for inspiration.  Found lots of recipes, but most called for margarine instead of butter or matzoh cake flour.  Nope.  I have my standards, even in the wake of Passover.

Then I remembered the chocolate macaroons I used to make at Watershed...

The recipe comes from Scott Peacock and it is published in his book with Edna Lewis, "The Gift of Southern Cooking."  These are beautiful cookies, crunchy with a chocolate and sugar crust on the outside and chocolate-ly soft on the inside.  They are perfectly delicious.  And perfectly legal for Passover.

CHOCOLATE MACAROONS (from Scott Peacock)

1 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup blanched almond pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup crushed sugar cubes

Put the chocolates in a small bowl and melt over hot but not boiling water.  Stir until smooth and set aside.

Grind almonds and sugar in food processor (you may have to do this in batches).  Process until almonds are finely ground and mixture is almost powdery.  Remove to a mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.  Chill for at least 1 hour then form into rough 1-inch balls.  Chill again.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Roll balls into crushed sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment, allowing 1-inch between cookies.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set and just slightly cracked on top.  DO NOT OVERBAKE!  Allow cookies to cool slightly before transferring them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack.

When cookies are completely cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes about 3 dozen

A mainstream recipe for Passover!  Gotta love it!  I do.


  1. i gain weight just reading your blog. Also a good read!

  2. what a great picture of you & Andy!!!