17-passover-dessert-ideas Recipes

17 flourless dessert ideas

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.

when life gives you egg whites

Of course, if a more classic meringue cookie is your thing, I’d point you to my mother’s, which contain both chocolate chips and walnuts. These adorable mocha meringues (just swap the cornstarch for potato starch) and this brown sugar variety caught my eye as well.

miniature pavlovas

Staying on the meringue track, pavlovas–which are giant clouds of meringues–are not to be missed. We made some with whipped cream, raspberry sauce and fresh berries last year that, were my family not such chocolate junkies, I’d be all over making again.

chocolate orbit cake

On the cake front, there are few higher callings among chocoholics than a flourless chocolate cake. My favorite version is lifted ever-so-slightly with egg whites, so it is a bit airier than a block of chocolate. However, if simplicity–and a cake like a giant truffle–is your first choice, you cannot go wrong with David’s Chocolate Idiot Cake, which I made a couple years ago when it was still called the Chocolate Orbit Cake.

we kind of miss it already

On an even lighter but still intensely chocolaty note, last year I told you about my family’s Expletive Cake (because rolling cakes is always a recipe for frustration). I adapted it into a towering four-layer cake which was aggravation-free, however, I still included directions for creating a roulade, if you have the patience of a saint.

This year, I plan to break with flourless chocolate tradition–for just one dish, please calm down Alex–by making a cheesecake. Since most cheesecakes have no flour in the actual cake, the trick is the crust. Gourmet came through this year with a Passover-friend cheesecake crust which I haven’t had a chance to try yet, but surely will by the end of the week. (Don’t worry, I’ll update if it is an utter disaster, though early reviewers praise it.) The article included a recipe for a lemon cheesecake, but you could just as easily use my favorite, Four-Ingredient Cheesecake (we used this as a base for the Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake last summer), this White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake that I’ve had bookmarked since forever or even this Yogurt Cheesecake from an article in the New York Times Magazine last weekend about Greek yogurt’s revival.

chocolate truffles

If you’d like to skip the cake and cookies altogether, jumping into pure candy instead, you can’t lose with truffles. In the archives, we’ve got recipes for both Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Truffles, with a thin, crackly chocolate shell on the outside, and Chocolate-Hazelnut Truffles.

saltine candy

But I saved the show-stopped for last, because I like melodrama. And stuff. So drum roll…. Chocolate Caramelized Matzo Candy, adapted from Marcy Goldman’s A Passion for Baking. I made this stuff a couple years ago with Saltine crackers–but matzo can easily be swapped–and I seriously have not been able to make it since because it’s like crack. [Update: Come get your Chocolate Caramelized Crack(ers) over here!]

Ha.

To review, 17 20 Passover Dessert Ideas: [Updated 4/09]

Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies
Adapted from Franӏois Payard’s Chcolate Epihany

These cookies were crispy at the edges, chewy at the center and have filled our apartment with the most intense chocolate aroma.

Yield: 20 to 24 2-inch cookies

2 3/4 cups walnut halves
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Spread the walnut halves on a large-rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 9 minutes, until they are golden and fragrant. Let cool slightly, then transfer the walnut halves to a work surface and coarsely chop them.

Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and lower temperature to 320. Line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk (or combine in an electric mixer on low speed) the confectioner’ sugar with the cocoa powder and salt followed by the chopped walnuts. While whisking (or once you change the speed to medium), add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (do not overbeat or it will stiffen).

Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds, and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks. Let cookies cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Passover Powdered Sugar
Gourmet Magazine, April 2008

Potato starch is a seamless substitute for cornstarch.

Makes about 1/2 cup

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon potato starch

Grind sugar and potato starch together in an electric coffee or spice grinder until powdery.

Powdered sugar keeps in an airtight container at room temperature 1 month.

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160 comments on 17 flourless dessert ideas

  1. Thanks for this Deb! I already had Pesach plans for the Sh*t cake, and Luisa’s cheesecake, I might have to add these cookies too! I’m assuming you think it would be ok to substitue almonds for the walnuts since we have an allergy int he family? And since there’s no leaving other than eggs non dutch cocoa should work too right? Thanks!

  2. The Chocolate Covered Caramelized Matzo Crunch recipe is really similar to a cookie my family does at Christmas. Swap the Matzo for graham crackers and you got it. Sooo good.

  3. I’m not Jewish and, as such, not intimately familiar with all the guidelines for passover compatible food…but from what I’ve read over the years, I think another option for a cheesecake crust is one made entirely from chopped nuts (choose your favority) with a little butter (margarine) and granulated sugar to hold it together (there is a recipe in the book “Joy of Cheesecake”, which I don’t have with me at the moment, of course). My favorite use of said nut crust is a chocolate cheesecake with a pecan nut crust, drizzled with homemade caramel sauce and toasted pecans (Basically, my take on a “Turtle Cheesecake”). Yummmm…

  4. Nice! I’ve been eyeing an orange chocolate Passover cake in an old issue of Gourmet. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll make the Cheesecake! I’m have to admit, though, that one of my favorite Passover desserts is fresh fruit trifle made with the Manishevitz marble cake from a box (*hangs head in shame*). My best friend and I started making it a looooong time ago and haven’t been able to stop. It’s the only cake from a box that I’ve ever made… but it’s so good!

  5. Thanks for the perfect addition to my Hope Chest (you know, the place where I box up all my dreams of my brilliant mensch of a husband whom I haven’t met yet).

    Chance favors the prepared mind…and pantry.

  6. Perfect! I’m going to my boyfriend’s mother’s for my very first Passover and was wanting to take something along. This is SO helpful! Thanks, Deb! :)

  7. I have been reading your site for a while, and my boyfriend and I have made a few of the recipes you’ve posted. thank you for this list of recipes. we are going to make flourless chocolate cupcakes for seder on saturday, but i’m thinking we might also make one of the recipes you’ve linked.

    the matzo crunch/crackle that’s been making its way around the web the last few weeks has always been a huge hit for both my mother and me in the past.

  8. David’s chocolate etc matzo crunch is fabulous. I made it with the lightly salted matso, salted side down, and it was a huge hit with my bridge group. We’re not even Jewish, either! Just be sure you have a crowd present when you get it done; otherwise you will eat it all yourself. No kidding.

  9. Is oatmeal ok? If so, the clasic “no bake” cookie might be one to add to the list.

    I am SO with you on the dangers of the Matzo crunch. I have made this in the past with graham crackers and saltines and in both cases ended up unable to stop myself from having a piece everytine I walked by the kitchen :)

  10. Thank you so much for posting all of those recipes. My mom (who is incharge of making Passover, both sedars every year) is alwasy looking for new recipes. I showed it to her maybe an hour ago, and she’s already made a test batch of the Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch. I’m sure everyone will love it and be excited to more/different deserts this year.
    Thanks!!!

  11. These all look amazing, as usual. I noticed in one of your comments to your matzoh ball soup post a few months ago that you said that adding baking soda to the matzoh balls would make it wildly unkosher for passover. I wanted to share this article from the times from last year, which is about that exact thing. Apparently many orthodox rabbis are declaring that baking soda is kosher for passover, since it is nothing more than a mineral. Baking powder is OK too. Here’s the article, it’s pretty interesting:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/05/dining/05leav.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Hope your holiday is wonderful! With all these delights I’m not sure how it could be anything less.

  12. Those chocolate cookies look amazing, as does the flourless chocolate cake. Deb, I think you’ve done a great job persuading me to make some more sweet things this week!

  13. looking forward to seeing your review of the cheesecake crust…as I am planning on making a cheesecake for next weekend (still passover)
    thanks!

  14. My absolute favorite of all time passover desert is a Chocolate Mousse recipe made with Olive Oil. I was completely weirded out the first time, but it seriously makes the best (and most dependable!) chocolate mousse of all time — I use it all year around! It’s also great for Seders, because it can be prepared days in advance. I highly recommend you try it out. I clipped the original recipe from the New York Times: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A06E7DD1330F93BA15750C0A9619C8B63&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

  15. Yay, deb, you kept your promise and then some! And I’m so excited for Payard’s book to come out…especially after seeing your success with this recipe!

  16. I always make passover cheesecake. But I usually use macaroons instead of graham crackers for the crust. Grind them up in the food processor…works great every time! Thanks for all the fun ideas!

  17. i secretly (well not really because my whole family sees me) LOVE macaroons! i know they’re disgustingly sweet, and i’m not even a fan of coconut, but for some reason i can’t get enough of them. i mean, they only come around once a year, so what’s the big deal if i eat one, or two … or five of them? (besides how sick i feel afterwards!)

    i am debating between a chocolate cake or a berry tart. that expletive cake sure does look purty!

  18. I’ve made the maztoh crack candy a few times – it can be made pareve with margarine but it (like everything else) is SO MUCH BETTER with butter (and a little sprinkle of fleur de sel on top). This is an amazing list of desserts – thanks, Deb.

  19. With the price of flour going out of control, we all might have to learn to bake these to get our sweet tooth filled

  20. Oh, EXCELLENT. Thanks so much for posting all of these! It never occurred to me to make cheesecake for Passover. Where I leave, you can even get kosher-for-passover store-bought crusts.

    Two minor corrections – 40 years in the desert, not 40 days. Also, it starts on Saturday night, not Sunday night! :)

  21. Those cookies look scrumptious. Really, they all look good – but I’m so drawn to the Expletive Cake – not just because of the name, although I admit it tickle me; but I think it reminds me of a gigantic Little Debbie – and I mean that in the best possible way. :)

  22. Great list! Thank you so much for this! I am not an expert but I dont know if you can use peanuts on passover?? I should check into this because those cookies look fab if you can.. then again, Im serving brisket and probably shouldnt use butter but you can’t win ’em all…
    ;)
    Happy Passover!

  23. I love flourless chocolate cake. It’s really handy when there’s no flour in the house.
    Have a good and scrumptious Passover!

  24. I just made a batch of the matzoh crunch (I’ve been planning to for a couple of weeks now, actually)… Although it tastes great, I have a question. When I was taking the matzoh out of the oven, the caramel stuff was really bubbly, and thus, the bubbles harden as the chocolate melted. So when I went to spread the chocolate, it was really rough looking because the caramel bubbles “popped” so to speak and got mixed up in the chocolate… What should I do to have a smoother finish, like in your picture??

  25. All of these recipes look delicious. I too am blessed with an April birthday but no-one has ever tried to force sponge cake upon me! I love the cookies particularly. I made some truffles at Christmas to give away as gifts but I ate so many myself and made myself so sick I haven’t been able to touch them since! I’ve lost my truffle mojo…..

    There is something about a ‘flourless’ cake that makes me think it is more healthy when in reality we are just maing more room for the good stuff!

  26. Great collection of holiday friendly desserts!

    I would have chimed in with baklava, but then it hit me: the copious amount of butter. Doh!

  27. I’m a huge fan of the Payard cookies, and tend to walk rather far out of my way if I’m anywhere close to the East 70s, in order to go buy myself one or seven. Once they were almost out, and the nice man behind the counter gave me the two he’d been saving for himself. I guess my look of abject despair and the little tears leaking out the corners of my eyes might have had something to do with it.

    I’ve made them myself a few times, and they never come out quite the way the bakery does them, but they’re still very, very good.

    A couple of years ago I made a fabulous chocolate raspberry pavlova, and lemon sabayon tart with pine-nut/matzo crust (delicious filling, ehh on the crust). This year I’m going to do a flourless chocolate Queen of Sheba cake (similar to Alice Medrich’s, but I’m going to substitute ground hazelnuts for ground almonds), and a flourless almond/orange cake drenched in mandarin syrup (Tamasin Day-Lewis’ recipe). I’m also somewhat swayed by a Nigella Lawson recipe for pistachio macaroons, and by the matzoh crunch, which I’ve read about on Marcy Goldman’s site and on David’s site. Strangely enough, I always look forward to Passover and making flourless desserts. I think maybe I like the challenge, and surprising my family with new desserts.

  28. FYI, first nite of Passover is Sat, not Sunday. I have been making matzah ‘crack’ for years – b/c of this recipe we are never wanting for seder invitations! There is an excellent one on Epicurious for “Most Magnificent Caramel Matzah Crunch”. I sprinkle chopped toasted pecans or drizzle white chocolate. Keeps for days in tightly sealed container or fridge. No one can believe it’s matzah – I get requests every year. YUM!!

  29. Did I say Sunday? Whoops, just a typo. Will fix now, also the 40 days thing. You all must think I have more time than I do to self-edit.

    Jessica — Oh, that stinks. I agree that some spread a bit, but mine did get crisp at the edges. They’re not the prettiest, but we do find them tasty. If I make them again this weekend, I might whip the egg whites just a bit to see if I can get them more like the teasing picture in NYMag.

    Julie! — I just got Alice Mendrich’s book and haven’t made anything out of it. I have to check that out.

    As for what Kosher is and is not, one could write an encyclopedia on it–and if I even touch the topic, I’ll be flooded with comments and emails–so it is best to consult Google.

  30. I just started reading your blog and love it. You inspire me to want to cook, but me and cooking do not see eye-to-eye. I love the pics.

  31. You just made my Pesach. I have to say, I do like those Manischewitz brand million flavour macaroons, but living in Iowa this year, I can’t get a hold of them. Pavlova is a great idea. I love it and it’s *so* easy, plus fruit is just starting to get tasty-looking and affordable again.

  32. Heh, well, you could also do a matzo-style tiramisu as well . . . which basically has the whipped cream/custard, layered coffee-soaked matzo crackers, and chocolate powder sifted on top. It is surprisingly delicious if one lets it sit long enough to meld the flavors together. I think my sister found the recipe at Cooking-for-Engineers website, but the idea is fairly simple in and of itself . . . .

  33. I made the Payard cookies a couple of months back (the recipe was in the December issue of Food & Wine I think) and I’m definitely making them again for Passover!

  34. Hi Deb!
    I must correct you regarding posting peanut butter cookies for passover. Peanuts are the only nut that are not Kosher for Passover. It’s considered Kitniyot, so it would only be acceptable for some Sephardic Jews, but not for Ashkenazy Jews. Oh well, I’ll be sure to try the recipe after Passover, though – wonder if I can use splenda to cut some calories, though?

  35. I may not be Jewish, but I can still pretend can’t I? :)

    I’ll do anything if it means I get to have the excuse of sugary goodness all around.

    Happy Passover!

  36. My favorite flourless cake is this one made with 12 ounces of chocolate and a half cup of honey. With good chocolate and local wildflower honey, it’s pure decadence. I let it sit out for about 24 hours after I make it, and it makes for one of the moistest, most flavorful cakes I’ve ever had.

    (And, btw, the recipe lies. It makes closer to 15 servings)

  37. We have that matzo candy every year at our seder, and it rarely (if ever) makes it until dessert. It’s THAT good. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it, I always try to make some extra for my roomates, and they can’t get enough of it.

  38. These look great, and I don’t even celebrate passover. I might want to make some and bring in extras for my boss, though :) You know what else would be good for passover? The black bean brownies that I made a few weeks ago after everyone started posting about them… (My recipe is up, with modifications.)

  39. Jocelyn – no, it’s not a holiday devoted to deserts, but since there are two nights of holiday evening meals “seder” (only one night in Israel), it is customary to serve a dessert, and since no flour, or any form of beans or corn (including corn flour, corn syrup, etc), it makes making a dessert a bit difficult, so people are always on the lookout to make a light dessert with the restrictions involved. Hope that helped.

  40. I might have to drop some of these recipes around the kitchen since I’m living in a Jewish residential college and the food outlook doesn’t look too good. They did kitchen overhaul yesterday so we’re already keeping kosher for Passover. It’s going to be a long week unless I get some chocolate caramel matzo crunch…

    (Also, do you know how Australian pavlova is? Had it my first day here.)

  41. I will not passover those Payard’s goodies – I’ve been to his restaurant twice – and I still dream about it! He could bake spit and I’d eat it – thanks so much for this recipe – I’m going to make it tomorrow – as I’m feeling chocolate deprived.

  42. We call it toffee matzoh and yes, it’s like crack!

    Thanks for all the ideas though our seder is already very heavy heavy on the sweets. There’s no such thing as too much dessert!

  43. Deb, the ideas look great = but the REAL challange is not finding flourless desserts, but rather having them dairy-free too! As an orthodox foodie, I am always trying to find tasty desserts without having to substitute butter and cream for margarine and chemicals. And then on passover – also without flour!

  44. Bless you, Deb. I have been searching for that Gourmet flourless chocolate cake recipe for years. I lost the issue when I moved houses, and for some reason when I searched on their site for it (because I couldn’t remember which year or month it was), the wrong recipe (with slightly different ingredients) kept coming up. I’ve been trying different varieties of that recipe ever since and it’s never right! Finally, I can rest easy.

  45. I found out a few years ago that I can’t eat gluten, but it’s just now that I’m realizing what a boon Passover is for all of the gluten-free folks! Desserts are still a menu item that I struggle with, so many thanks for the abundance of wheat-free (or easily modifiable) desserts in this week’s posting.
    I recently started to read your blog and am really thrilled that you live in and write about New York, because I live here too and am always keeping my eyes out for great good finds.
    ~Ai Lu

  46. I was wondering what to bring to the family seder and now I just have to make that matzah crunch (not to mention your cookies look delicious). I also found this recipe for date and walnut balls that sounds excellent which I may try. I’ll be sure to post to my blog about it!

    I’m really enjoying your blog! Thanks for all the great recipes. I also can’t wait to try your pasta and caulifower dish as well!

  47. Thank you for these recipes. I bake gluten free now and these recipes look so yummy that I can’t wait to try them.
    thank you thank you thank you

  48. Okay – I’ve made them now, I’ve taken them from the oven and put the parchment paper with the cookies on racks to cool. I very lightly whipped the egg whites (with a whisk until just frothy) and although the batter became a bit like stirring concrete, my cookies puffed up (somewhere in between what yours look like and what the photo in New York looks like!).

    Of course, I’ve only tasted the batter at this point so if they aren’t good, I’ll let you know.

    Thanks again for all the great recipes and great ideas.

  49. Mmm.. I made the Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies and re they ever good! Not too sweet (though the ratio of sugar might encourage otherwise), super chewy and delightfully nutty, kind of remind me of a gluten-free version of brownies. Anyways very nice, especially with some added espresso powder!

  50. Thanks so much for these! I have managed to create a seder guest list including a vegan, someone who’s allergic to nuts, 2 vegetarians (one who eats fish), someone on a low-fat diet, and one person who doesn’t really like vegetables. Oh, and I don’t have an eggbeater, which rules out a ton of passover desserts.

    So my crew of picky eaters and I thank you so much for providing a big variety of recipes to choose from.

  51. Being a peanut butter cookie lover, I checked out the “one of the most popular peanut butter cookies on earth” link with a big cantaloupe-wide smile.
    But…I don’t understand. How can just PB + sugar + egg = cookie?

  52. Let there never be another tin of Manischewitz macaroons again!!!! I still have nightmares about those. I just posted the matzoh crunchies myself – they’re so highly addictive. I’ll have to try them with walnuts – I usually use toasted almonds. How can something that starts so ..”nothing”…be so addictive. Your desserts are beautiful and I’m coming to your seder.

  53. I read the post about the flourless walnut cookies and decided that I had to try these and then scrolled down…….oh my crumbs, you are a baking genius.Now I cannot choose which recipe to follow..I will have to start at the top and work my way down.

  54. Hi Deb,

    I just made the matzo crack tonight, and they were absolutely delightful! Who would have thought toffee baked into saltines would be so delicious! Thank you for the post!

  55. Made the matzo crunch last night, using light muscovado sugar for the caramel, and very dark chocolate – it’s unexpectedly not-too-sweet. May have to bury the tin if I can’t keep my hands off it.

    It wouldn’t feel like Pesach without zesty coconut pyramids or cinnamon balls, though, I have to say.

  56. thanks for the links. i made david lebovitz’s idiot cake yesterday. so easy. so delish. got rave reviews last night!
    today is matzah crack making day. funny how others call it crack, too, because you can’t eat just one piece! :)

  57. Hi Deb,
    I am coming out of the woodworks to tell you what a hit the Sh** cake was at the seder last night. I covered the top with raspberries and it definitely had that wow factor. And I had to make it with Cool Whip and it was still delicious. One person commented that it was gorgeous and looked like a cake in a children’s picture book.

    I have made many of your recipes and they have all been fabby!

  58. Glad to hear that so many of you made use of these recipes!

    To update, I have made not one but TWO batches of the Matzo Crack this weekend and think that the secret to putting it well over the top of the Awesome threshold is … salted butter. I didn’t add any sea salt, just used already-salted butter and it was perfect and not nearly as sweet as I remember my former version with saltines seeming. I did use more chocolate chips than suggested–about 1.5 cups. Nobody complained.

    I also made the Chocolate Expletive Cake in the roll form (took zero pictures, sorry peeps) and want to state–for the record–that I did not curse once. However, Alex says this is mitigated by the fact that I tend to curse when dropping a tablespoon of flour on the floor, so it’s not like I get an award for keeping a cake roll rated PG.

    … And a THIRD dessert, not listed, but I’ll get to that later this week.

  59. Deb,
    I just had to let you know that, thanks to you, this Baptist girl looked like a Passover rock star when I showed up with Matzo Crack, Chocolate Chip Merinques and the Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake (with matzo cake flour) to my in-laws’ Seders. So, thank you thank you thank you!

  60. Thanks for the recipes Deb! I made the brown sugar meringues (huge hit) and also the chocolate-walnut cookies (another huge hit)! Both were simple to make and came out perfectly.

  61. I have been chasing the elusive Chocolate Idiot Cake recipe all over the Internet, it’s even listed on your site, but I keep getting taken back to an address for it (David Lebolvitz) that is on the Search Page but when clicked on takes me right back to the same Search Page, the website never opens. How/where do I access this recipe? Thanks for any help you can offer this ‘born too long ago to understand all this technology’ gal. JS PS: The other recipes look good and I’m going to try some today. Thanks

  62. I made the lemon cheesecake last year for Passover and it was fantastic! It was so good that I made it for a dinner party many months later! I know my family is expecting it again this year.

  63. Deb, I enjoyed finally meeting you the other week! Thanks so much for sharing all these wonderful Passover recipes. I’m looking forward to trying some of them next week. I grew up on the caramalized matza. Back then we called it something like “matza brittle” or “matza chocolate brittle”. YUUUUUM!

  64. I found the recipe for the chocolate walnut cookies on Epicurious (from Self magazine, funnily enough!) I swapped out finely chopped hazelnuts for the walnuts: They tasted like Nutella cookies. Yum. Mine didn’t spread like yours did in your pictures…could it be because the nuts were chopped up more? I can also confirm that the recipe halves well, for those of us with no self control.

  65. Dessert Nirvana! I had forgotten about the merangue cookies: I used to make brown sugar and cinammon kisses…the was BC: before children! Now that they are old enough to get out of the way or help, it’s time to bring them back. We make the mazah brittle, too, but we call it Crack ’cause it’s so darned additctive! My son & BIL are both Passover babies, so one of them almot always falls into the Passover Birthday cake. I’ve been looking for a new good chocolate one. Can’t wait to try David’ Idiot Cake…love the name already. Thanks so much for the ideas. Now I’ll take a look at what else you’ve got. I see a side line about bialys…YUM! Happy Passover!

  66. Has anyone attempted the chocolate caramel matzo with margarine rather than butter? I would never use margarine except I would like to bring them to a seder and they need to be kosher. Thanks!

  67. i’ve made these payard cookies two years in a row! last year i made them with regular confectioners’ sugar and they were such a hit that i was asked to make them again this year. i whipped up a batch last night but used superfine cane sugar blended together with potato starch and was unable to detect a difference! in fact, my boyfriend said last night that this was the first time he’s ever willingly eaten passover food before passover!

  68. Mmm. These were delicious (and could be eaten by our guest who avoids both gluten and butter). But they were awfully hard to get off the parchment!

  69. Just wanted to tell you that we made the chocolate walnut cookies today for Passover – used a little vanilla sugar in place of vanilla extract since I didn’t find any Kosher for Passover extract, and made our own confectioner’s sugar. They were fantastic! Next time I might try a little less sugar since they are sweet, but delicious! A keeper. thanks for posting. Hope you are enjoying the holiday and thanks for making ours sweeter

  70. Dear Deb,
    I have been a big fan and reader, but simply had to write today to say an enormous thank you for posting about flourless desserts. We have just learned that our four year is wheat intolerant (in addition to lactose intolerant) and I have been scouring the internet for recipes that aren’t of the second-class-citizen variety. This little boy loves to eat. He once prompted a chef to come out of her kitchen because she wanted to meet the little boy who had ordered the prune and rabbit pie. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a big deal. If all he cared about was hot dogs and bologna sandwiches, it would only be an inconvenience. But missing out on things he really loves makes him sad. The fact that he never complains makes me that much sadder for him. THANK YOU for sharing so many great recipes – it will make his world a lot tastier, and both of us a lot happier.

  71. We made the chocolate idiot cake and the chicken and rice dish for New Year’s. The family that came over made lemon squares also from this website. Everything turned out great; we all loved the food. We served the chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, which was delicious. Thanks for having such great recipes!

  72. I make this recipe for flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies every year for seder and they are a huge hit. Thought I would share. The brown sugar gives them a great flavor and yes, you can use Baking Soda on Pesach. You can even find Kosher for Passover Baking Soda.
    Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Bon Appétit | September 1999
    Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Flourless-Peanut-Butter-and-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-102200#ixzz0i00LNN2V

  73. I make another wonderful dessert from Cooking Light…a lemon almond cake with lemon curd filling. Joan Nathan, Cooking Light, APRIL 2008
    It is a nice light dessert to end the seder, and a great alternative to heavy flourless chocolate cake.

  74. I’ve tried several times to make what we call Matza Crunch using kosher-for-Passover margarine, but it never works. A friend and I once tried using graham crackers with regular unsalted margarine: failure. I would love to know why so many kosher cookbooks have this recipe using margarine when I certainly have never been able to make it. Butter.

  75. My god, I just made those brown sugar meringues you linked, Deb. They’re not done drying out, but I had one anyway, I love them! The molasses flavour isn’t too strong – though I’d like to experiment with using dark brown sugar instead of light – and they’ve got this wonderful, stick-in-your-teeth nougat chew to their centres. I thought I didn’t like meringues, as the ones I’d had were chalky and over sweet. But Mmm!

  76. Thanks so much for these recipes. I was teaching my Sunday School class about the passover yesterday….I will have to make one of these..or two:) and treat my class next week!!!!

  77. Matzo Crack is certainly the right term! I made a double batch, fed a bunch of kids, but ate way too much myself. I had a bag of Heath Brickle and sprinkled it over the chocolate instead of nuts. FABULOUS! ADDICTIVE! I wish I hadn’t eaten all the leftovers myself so I could have a piece right now…

  78. Hey Deb,

    Just wanted to let you know that I brought the flourless peanut butter cookies to a seder tonight, and they were rejected because peanuts are technically a legume and therefore not kosher for passover. I felt like kind of a jerk for bringing them, but luckily I had also made the almond macaroon torte, so all was not lost. I suppose I should have done a little more research on what is considered Kosher, but maybe you could put an asterisk or something next to that recipe because I don’t think that one will fit the bill. In the end it’s more peanut butter cookies for me though, and I’m perfectly ok with that! :)

    Shannon

  79. Sorry to burst the flourless bubble of these recipes but graham cracker crumbs contain wheat so are a no-no to gluten free diets.

    1. Was there a suggestion that flourless = gluten free? A Passover-friendly cheesecake crust is linked to in the post; the suggestion is that one would use that instead of a graham crust, which would not be usable on Passover.

  80. I thoroughly recommend Nigella Lawson’s pistachio macaroons from her Domestic Goddess book. You’d need to lower the sugar levels as they’re far too sweet but apart from that, they’re lovely. Be sure to beat the egg whites until stiff before adding the sugar and then continuing to beat the egg whites after that until they get to a stiff meringue before tipping in the ground nuts. Well worth it.

  81. Sorry to chime in so late here, but I made the chocolate walnut cookies yesterday, and I could NOT get them off of the parchment paper! I let them cool for an hour, and still had to pry them off with a knife. They were delicious, but suffered a little aesthetically, and I’d love to make them again…Any advice?

  82. you have done a great job with these links!!!!I know how time consuming it is!!
    Cant wait to try the chocolatey recipes!

  83. Your blog is amazing. I keep coming back to it, and now as Passover arrives, I intend to knock the socks off my foodie friends and family. Thank you! – Cathy

  84. Just thought I’d chime in about the crust for cheesecake or other desserts needing a crumb crust. I made a cheesecake last year for Passover and made the crust using ground almonds, brown sugar, and melted butter. It was very easy and extremely delicious. Just grind the almonds to a crumb consistency, add brown sugar to whatever level of sweetness you want, and add the melted butter slowly until it sticks together like a regular crumb crust. It’s a bit expensive due to the almonds but very good.

  85. Thanks for the ideas. We resetly found that my mother has wheat, corn, and milk allergies which can make cooking a challenge; these were helpful.

  86. YUM!!! I made the flour less layer cake for my mom’s birthday and after one bite couldn’t wait to make it again for Pesach! definitely making the matza crack again this year, by popular demand. and can’t wait to try out other recipes…Thanks Deb!!

  87. technically you cannot use corn syrup on passover.

    I would love to see some non-dairy, and nut free desserts (kids with nut allergies)

  88. I married a man with a Jewish ex-wife and two Jewish kids. We were asked to bring parve, Passover friendly dishes to both a pre-Passover mock sedar and an actual sedar (not to mention snacks for the duration of spring break). I was so overwhelmed with foreign sounding ingredients (potato starch? matzo meal?) I was one site away from buying a tin of macaroons and calling it a day! I have made the flourless Peanut Butter Cookies six times (I used almond butter for the sedar!) “My Mom’s Chocolate Chip Meringues” using the slow and low method and the incredible, fantastic, Chocolate Covered Caramelized Matzo Crunch. I have had dozens of requests for the recipes. I am planning to bring the Idiot Cake to my sister-in-law’s for Easter. Thank you for this list and doing all the work and research. You greatly improved our holiday!

  89. Made matza crack w parve (non dairy) passover margarine. Don’t even try, it never thickened at all. And the taste was as awful as the margarine. I’ll do butter next year.

  90. My daughter’s family is fasting for 40 days by giving up flour. BUT she needs a dessert for her Bible Study group. I don’t know why she didn’t think to look on the net. BUT I’m glad she didn’t as then I wouldn’t have found your delicious recipes. I’ve asked (OK begged) her to make the Chocolate Walnut cookie. LOOKS ABSOLUTLEY FABULOUS!
    THANKS, all of the recipes are going in my recipe file.

  91. One thing I’ve been making the last few years for Passover is pignoli cookies. They are quite costly to make (almond paste and pignolis are crazy expensive), but oh so worth it. I got my recipe from allrecipes.com. The one I use is:

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pignoli-cookies-i/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=pignoli&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page

    These cookies cost $20/lb in NY and NJ so they’re cheaper to make yourself.

    Love your website Deb and we hope to see you in Richmond, VA on your book tour :-) Don’t forget us folks in the South, okay?

  92. I’m thrilled with this list and have made the chocolate covered matzo candy before, but someone please tell me how the cheesecake recipes are kosher for passover if the crusts are made with graham crackers or nilla wafers???

  93. I’ve been to three grocery stores and can’t find dutch process cocoa. A year ago I found several varieties at the grocery store…so what gives? What will happen to these cookies if I use regular cocoa?

  94. Sorry to tell you, but corn syrup is not kosher for Passover. The chocolate glaze for the flourless chocolate cake is not fit for Passover.

  95. Ariella – many of the recipes here are not kosher for passover for those who do not eat kitniyot (nuts, legumes, rice, etc).However, traditionally, Sephardic jews do eat kitniyot so it depends on your family’s traditions :). Anyway, all of these look great! I can’t wait to try a few of them this week

    1. anon — I have never heard of nuts not being Kosher for Passover! I didn’t see it mentioned here. I have heard about peanuts being an issue, as they’re a legume…

  96. I realize I’m really late to this party, but I just have to add: I saw the “40 days” typo on my first read-through, but immediately thought, “Hey, if I’m lost 40 days in the dessert, please leave me there! Thank you very much!”

  97. I made the flourless chocolate walnut cookies, which were delicious, but mine looked nothing like the picture. I was thinking of making them for Christmas, but have two relatives with nut allergies. Has anyone made them without the nuts and if so – did you adjust any other ingredients and/or baking time?

  98. on Passover I make Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies by adding an extra egg. using matzo cake flour, no baking soda, extra brown sugar substituted for white and they are amazing. THEN
    I make a batch to crumble and use them as base for cheesecake instead of a graham cracker crust. Really delicious! and no passover taste at all.
    My kids (college age) and friends sometimes request these cookies instead of regular but I don’t give in because Passover needs something special to make it bearable.

  99. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am going to the community Seder in a new town and was really hoping not to have to torture people with sponge cake that I think only my ex-husband can stand.

  100. Just finished the chocolate walnut cookies…switched it to pecans and they are AMAZING. Cannot wait to serve these at the Seders…

  101. hi Deb, just wanted to say how much I love all the ideas you always have for the Jewish holidays. There are just so many distinctly not good American traditions for these perfectly good holidays. This year I told my MIL that I intend to never make brisket again, since my oldest son and I both hate it. I thought she was going to faint. Anyway, I made the Idiot Chocolate Cake and well, I felt like an idiot. It never set. I ended up baking it almost twice as long as called for. It tasted great, but I had to scoop it up with a spoon off the bottom of the springform pan. It will henceforth be called Passover Chocolate Slump in our house. Anyway, thanks for all you do.

  102. I made the flourless chocolate cookies and am thrilled that they are better than the ones at Whole Foods and waaaaay cheaper! Not sure it’s a good thing for afternoon snacking since I can now have these whenever I want, but in the grand scheme of cookies, they ain’t so bad for you! Yummy, yummy recipe. I did have issue with one sheet coming out perfect and the other not so much, but I think that’s my oven, not the recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

  103. I know it’s been a while – but can you please suggest a scoop size for these cookies (1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, etc.)? Just an approximation would be great!

  104. It really doesn’t matter what size you scoop them. Large is recommended by the recipe (I’d say 1 tablespoon easily — maybe #70, a size I like to keep around for most cookies) but you can make them smaller if you adjust the baking time.

  105. In my never ending search for Passover recipes that are good and that actually were intended to be flourless, I stumbled on this blog and some of the recipes sound just great. I might have missed something though – a few too many comments for me to read them all. It sounds like some of these really great ones are dairy. I have never served a dairy seder meal and need pareve desserts. Margarine does not always act the same way as butter. Obviously the cheesecake is not an option at all. What about the caramel matzah? Has anyone made it with margarine and is it as good? Thank you.

  106. I have the ultimate challenge for Passover with my kids’ allergies: eggs, nuts, and fish. I have created a collection of recipes over the years, but I’m still in search of good desserts to serve at the seder. Any good ideas?
    [PS – I’m such a fan… thanks for your great website!]

  107. I too am allergic to nuts. Really would like to find a recipe for a cheesecake with a flourless crust not made of nuts. Any ideas on things that we can just substitute for nuts as a substitute for flour? :(

  108. Hi, I hope this isn’t a silly question, but in the Passover Powdered Sugar recipe, what is meant by “Makes 2.5 cups”? 1/3 cup sugar + 1/2 tsp potato starch makes about 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

  109. no peanut(legume)butter on Passover! peanuts are really NOT nuts. Nuts grow on trees, peanuts grow in the ground; they are legumes.

  110. I want to make the choclate idiot cake for my choclate only dessert guests on Rosh Hashanah. Since we keep kosher, I have to use margarine instead of butter. Is this substitution 1:1-can I substitute 7 tablespoons of margarine for the butter?

  111. I made these last year and they barely made it to Seder, they were so good! Can I make the dough ahead of time, portion and freeze it?

  112. I made the walnut-chocolate cookies yesterday for passover. They’re seriously amazing! K for P or not, they’re a winner.