Last week I shared some classic Nosh Pit recipes that are easily updatable for Passover. Chicken, salads, roasted vegetables – there are still so many things that are easy to prepare.
The same cannot be said for dessert. Without staples in my kitchen like (ahem) flour, corn starch, corn syrup, soy milk, peanut butter and canola oil, times can be tough for a baking aficionado like me. Most dessert recipes you’ll find in Passover cookbooks and the back of Jewish cookbooks are laden with matzah meal. Now, there is nothing wrong with matzah meal…in matzah balls. But eating desserts that taste like matzah is just too much for me. So this year I’ve been working only on recipes that avoid the crispy, ubiquitous cracker.
So with some experiment I have found two cookie recipes – Chocolate Cookies and Lemon Meringue Thumbprints – that are perfect for Passover and year-round. Avoiding matzah meal has the added bonus that these recipes work well for anyone who eats gluten-free, or does not eat gebrokts – matzah that has come in contact with water.
One of the cookies is really quick and easy, and the other requires a bit more effort, but they both turn out nice snacks for the Passover week, or desserts at your seder.
I’ve been working on some other Passover desserts to get me through the week, so come check out www.bakingandmistaking.com for more ideas.
Flourless Chocolate Cookies:
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee
1 cup cocoa powder
3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, coffee and cocoa until combined.
Add in the egg whites and vanilla and mix until just combined – don’t overbeat.
Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons on to a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
Bake on 350 F for 9 to 13 minutes until the tops are shiny and crackly. If the centers appear darker than the rest of the cookie, return them for a couple more minutes.
Lemon Meringue Thumbprints:
4 egg whites
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
about 1 cup lemon curd (recipe below)
Beat the egg whites on medium until foamy – about 1 minute. Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating. Beat the mixture until stiff peaks form – any where from 10 to 20 minutes. You should be able to hold a spoon of meringue upside down without it sliding off by the time you count to 5.
Fill a piping bag with the meringue. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe 1" circles on to the paper. Then go back over and pipe rings around the top of the circles.
Bake on 250 F for 20 minutes – remove from oven and use the bowl of a teaspoon measurement to press down any centers that have risen too high – they may crack slightly, this is fine. Return to the oven for an additional 40 minutes, until the bottoms peel off the parchment paper easily and appear done. Let cool.
Carefully spoon 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of lemon curd in to the center of each cookie. Store in the refrigerator.
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
4 teaspoons lemon zest (1-2 lemons)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Add in the lemon juice and zest and whisk to combine.
Stir in the melted butter until smooth.
Microwave on high, stopping to stir ever minute, for 3 1/2 to 5 minutes. ***
Refrigerate in a sealed container until cold.
***If you don’t have a kosher for Passover microwave, this can certainly be done on the stove. Mix together all the ingredients except the butter or margarine, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until combined.