Passover Archive

Thursday, April 2, 2009

chewy amaretti cookies

chewy amaretti cookies

We’re starting the long and brutal process of packing up our apartment, brutal because as I am sure you know, the longer you live somewhere, the more uh, “stuff” you accumulate and forget about. We’ve lived here over four years, the longest I’ve lived anywhere besides my parents house, which means that weeding through our belongings is part “so that’s where my Tonic CD went!” (he swears he was joking) and part “you had a recipe binder?”

really complicated ingredientssugar pulsed with almond pasteadorably piped almond blobschewy amaretti cookies

Oh right, I did. Remember those dark days before the internet, when curious cooks actually had to clip recipes from newspapers and magazines, and keeping those clippings organized in some sort of book or box? Nope, me neither. Going through this binder is fascinating for me as I see what kind of recipe hopes I’d had ten years ago — a surprising amount I’ve actually gotten to. And of course there are things that I completely forgot about, like almond cookies that are made with only three ingredients (okay, four, I added salt).

chewy amaretti sandwiches

Continued after the jump »

Monday, April 21, 2008

almond cake with strawberry-rhubarb compote

gateau aux amandes

Remember those 17 flourless/Passover-friendly desserts? Did you wonder why one would make a list that numbered, say, 17 and not some easily identifiable round number such as 20? I mean, once you’ve gotten to 17, are those last three so difficult, so clearly going to push a blogger over the edge that it simply cannot be done? No, you don’t think about this? Well, lucky you.

But the list was indeed 20 to begin with, but I nixed* three because although they had very little flour in them and the odds were that it could be replaced with matzo meal with little melodrama, I didn’t want to wing it and accidentally ruin every one of your seders with my misplaced confidence. (So much for saving us all some melodrama.) Yet I’ve been staring down the Gâteau aux Amandes with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook for months now–a fairly simple cake with what I hoped would be a very intense almond flavor.

strawberry-rhubarb compote

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

17 flourless dessert ideas

flourless chocolate walnut cookies

Every year, I see Passover-friendly recipes that frighten me: brick-like honey cakes, “sponge” cakes that still haunt my mother (who receives these in lieu of birthday cakes most years, due to the misfortune of having a birthday that falls in the first week of April), dinner rolls that my father likens to “hockey pucks” and macaroons that nobody (besides me) likes. And every year, I wonder: what ever happened to impossible-to-hate flourless chocolate cakes and truffles? Desserts lifted with egg whites? Ground nuts instead of flour? Do people even realize that one of the most popular peanut butter cookies on earth has exactly no flour in it?

walnuts are my favoriteone bowl, mix by handjust egg whites, cocoa and sugarflourless chocolate walnut cookies

Well, you know what I say? This year in Dessert Epiphany. I promise to stop ranting from this point forward and instead use this post as a repository for the kinds of Passover desserts that you’d be proud to bring to dinner. And for those of you who do not celebrate Passover, fear not, matzo meal only shows up in one of these recipes, and even there, only in a crust. In short: you don’t need the reminder of 40 years in the dessert to find an excuse to make these, but if you ask me, it’s a good reason as any.

flourless chocolate walnut cookies

For example, did you know that Payard–yes, that Payard–makes a Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookie? It’s in his new book, Chocolate Ephiphany which New York Magazine gave us a preview of yesterday. I tried them out last night, and oh, an epiphany they were, and then some. I know what you’re thinking: just like chocolate meringues! Yet, they’re not–the egg whites are not whipped, just whisked with powdered sugar (a recipe for Passover-friendly powdered sugar is below) and really good cocoa. It couldn’t be easier, and it is gluten-free, dairy-free and a one-bowl (plus a cutting board) recipe to boot.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, February 4, 2008

matzo ball soup

matzo ball soup

A confession: In spite of my current, ongoing, seeming-like-it-will-never-ever-end condition, I don’t like traditional chicken soup. Obviously, boasting such sacrilege, I am undeserving of your sympathy. Obviously, this is why, four days in, I am still on the sofa on my second box of tissues, chugging down my 20th Brita pitcher of water, my nose as red as a rail-thin starlet at 4 a.m., the bitterness of having a SuperBowl party of one only slightly mitigated by the fact that the Giants triumph–I do not embrace everyones’ grandmother’s sworn-by home remedy.

matzo ball soup

Honestly, it’s not all chicken soup that I do not like; it’s just the stuff I can normally get. Those short noodles? I can never get them on my spoon! Those bits of chicken? Always overcooked. Those carrot specks? They’re just mush. I’ve tried X Deli’s and Y Market’s and Z Restaurant’s and they always disappoint, namely because these three ingredients were never meant to be cooked for the same amount of time, nor kept warm for hours on end, which is why I was given no choice this weekend but to take the matter into my own hand and make my favorite variety of chicken soup: matzo ball soup.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, October 22, 2007

gluten-free chocolate financiers

chocolate financiers

A firm believer in the jinx-ing gods, I always pause before I say these kinds of things, but I have a pretty good life both out- and inside of the kitchen. Food is my friend. The only things holding me back from eating everything and anything in the whole world are, in descending order, my pickiness and my waistband. I don’t know what it means to have food make me consistently sick. (Well, except Spaghetti Carbonara. But that story for a different time, or on second thought, never.) I scour ingredient lists because I don’t trust them, but not because my life could depend on it. I can eat all of the bread, pasta and cake, glorious cake that I want. And it is these things I have been thinking about since I dug into Gluten-Free Girl this weekend, the new book by the food blogosphere’s own Shauna James Ahern, someone I had the fortune to meet, along with her Chef, Danny, and other friends last weekend.

Continued after the jump »