A Miracle Bar for Pesach

When you hear the words gluten free, vegan, parev, raw and kosher for Pesach to describe one dessert, your first thought is likely – must be tasteless. Well, have I got a pre-Pesach surprise for you! I’m calling these “Miracle Bars” because while they are all of the above, they are also miraculously and inexplicably very very delicious, even though they lack just about everything that usually goes into making a sweet treat taste good.

These 3-layer raw bars (no baking required) are made from cashews, almonds, coconut, dates, peanut butter, dark chocolate, among other ingredients. And they’re not too unhealthy either.

A pretty essential piece of equipment for this recipe is an excellent food processor. When I tested this recipe the first time, I used my Magimix, and the first two layers of these bars were a breeze to blend together. When I made them again for Pesach, using a cheapie food processor that is part of my KFP kit, there was a lot of cursing (from me), some wheezing and smoke (from the food processor), and a quick switch to a very small but stronger food blitzer that also almost cracked under the pressure. So do as I say, don’t do as I do and you will impress your guests and family this Pesach!

MIRACLE BARS

Ingredients
Base Layer
1 cup raw cashews
½ cup shredded coconut
2½ tablespoons finely ground almonds
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons silan (date honey) or regular honey

Second layer
12 large dates pitted and cut into 4 (Medjool dates are the best)
¼ cup silan (date honey) or regular honey
1/3 cup peanut butter (preferably unsweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

Third Layer 
100g (3½ oz) dark chocolate melted over a double boiler

How to do it

1. Place all the ingredients for the base layer in your food processor process until well combined and until the cashew are quite fine. If you feel it’s too crumbly, add a little more honey. But don’t overdo it because the mixture comes together well when you press it down. (Wash the food processor bowl and blade)

2. Line a 15x20cm (8×6 inch) baking pan with baking paper and press the cashew mixture firmly and evenly into the pan (wet your hands to make this easier). Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes at least.

3. Place all the ingredients for the second layer in the food processor and blend till completely smooth. Remove the pan from the freezer and spread the date layer evenly over the base. Return the pan to the freezer and leave it there until it’s completely frozen.

4. Cut the bars into even-sized pieces to your own taste. They are quite sweet, so I keep them quite small. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (you can just use a very small pot inside a larger pot with boiler water at the bottom – do not allow the smaller pot to touch the water and do not allow any water to splash into the chocolate or it will be ruined).

5. Pick up each bar from the bottom, holding onto the nutty base, and dip just the surface of the date layer into the chocolate. This way you will see all 3 layers clearly from the side. Place them on a piece of baking paper laid out on the countertop, and allow the chocolate to harden.

6. Put them on a flat tray or baking dish on a piece of baking paper, and freeze in one layer. When they are completely frozen,  transfer them to an airtight container to store. You can then layer them with baking paper between the layers.

Keep them frozen until you serve them. They soften very quickly. You can keep them in the freezer for a few weeks.

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Delicious and Easy Pesach Amond Cookies

Almond Cookies

Almond Cookies

One of my favorite ways to find new Pesach recipes is to discover them hidden in the pages of regular recipes books. Every now and again, you will stumble on a flourless confectionery that is perfectly kosher for Pesach without meaning to be.

Just last week, a new cake recipe book I’d ordered online arrived (just in time for Pesach!). As I was flipping through the pages, I came across a recipe for Swiss cookies made with ground almonds that are 100% KFP, have no kitniyot and are parev – the Ashkenazi Pesach trifecta! But, turns out the recipe was useless, but I liked the concept. So after a bit of experimentation, I “made it my own” and now I have a wonderful recipe for the most delicious cookies.

The best thing about these cookies is that they don’t have that “pesach” taste that comes from the KFP cake flour or potato flour. You also can make these all year round, and no-one will complain.

I made mine dipped in chocolate – they are really delicious with this extra layer of flavor. You can just as easily make them without and keep it really simple.

As we start the one-week countdown to seder, this is one recipe you can make ahead of time and keep them in an airtight container ready for serving as an after dinner treat.

ALMOND COOKIES DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE FOR PESACH (No kitniyot)

Ingredients

225 g (8 oz / 2 cups) ground almonds (Note: If you’re in Israel, your local spice store will grind almonds for you on the spot.)

450 g (16 oz / 2 cups) caster sugar (Note: In Israel you can get Sugat’s “Sucar Dakdak” in any supermarket today)

2 egg whites (unwhisked)

About 100 g (3 oz) flaked almonds

150 g (5 oz) parev dark chocolate for dipping

How to do it

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Chocolate Lined Cookie

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F)

Chocolate Dipped Cookie

Chocolate Dipped Cookie

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground almonds and the sugar. Add the egg whites one at a time, mixing them in until the mixture forms a dough-like ball (I use my hands to bring all the dry ingredients together)

3. Line baking trays with baking paper and grease the baking paper lightly.

4. Pour the almond flakes onto a flat surface – a plate or clean counter top. With dampened hands, form balls with about 1 teaspoon of the dough. Flatten the dough slightly into the flaked almonds, coating each ball of dough on both sides. (If the almonds don’t stick, then wet your hands again and rub them over the dough ball). Place on the baking tray with about 5 cm/2 inches between each ball.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies are just starting to get golden brown. You’ll want to keep an eye on the cookies as they are quite delicate and can easily become too brown. Remove and allow to cool completely before you dip them in chocolate.

6. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Dip each cooking half-way into the chocolate. I tip the pot with the chocolate at an angle so that the chocolate pools on one side and it’s easier to dip.  If you want to drizzle lines of chocolate over the cookies, place the cookie on some baking paper, and using a spoon of chocolate, carefully drizzle lines of chocolate in both direction over the cookie.

7. Place the cookies on baking paper until the chocolate has completely set.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Hummus Chocolate Cake? Yes it is, and good for Pesach

A few months ago, I read a recipe for a flourless chocolate cake on the wonderful Seattle Foodshed blog. I bookmarked it, and decided that Pesach was the perfect time to try it out, as for kitniot eaters, it’s completely KFP and parev to boot. And who would have thought that a cake that’s Kosher for Pesach and made from hummus would originate in the US? So with a few days left of Pesach, I have to share this with you.

I just baked it, and it’s a hit. My kids piled into it, and were shocked when I revealed to them that it’s made with hummus beans instead of flour. My husband asked where the matbucha was…I will definitely make this cake again for Pesach. It turns out like a brownie cake, so you can also make it as bars, and serving it with ice cream would not be a tragedy. As I was writing this recipe, I realized I had forgotten to add the baking powder, but it came out fine!! So if you can’t find KFP baking powder, you can leave it out. Now I will have to bake this again to see what it turns out like WITH baking powder!

I will share this recipe with you here as well, but do visit the Seattle Foodshed blog, as there are also lots of good, healthy recipes there that are worth checking out, and the pictures are great.

HUMMUS CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR PESACH (KITNIYOT) 

Hummus Cake for Pesach

Ingredients 

1½ cups chocolate chips or 200g dark chocolate pieces

4 eggs

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

How to do it

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)

2. In a food processor, mix the chick peas and eggs until smooth. Add the vanilla, sugar and baking powder (if you can’t find baking powder that’s KFP, leave it out) and pulse till combined

3. Melt the chocolate over boiling water (double boiler).  Add the melted chocolate to the cake mix and combine.

4. Line a 22cm (9 inch) baking tin with baking paper and grease. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Recipes for Pesach – Part III

Desserts are generally the biggest challenge to make kosher for Pesach. Over the years, I have found some reliable recipes that taste good and aren’t terribly difficult to make. In general, kosher for Pesach dessert require lots of eggs, a lot of whisking of egg whites, and as a result, the use of multiple bowls. It’s hard to avoid and part of the process, so just make sure you have enough bowls to use. Most importantly, all these desserts are parev.

Coconut Mounds – Pesach isn’t Pesach without coconut cookies. In my childhood, coconut macaroons (which is what we called them even though they really weren’t macaroons) were one of the few confectionaries to be found kosher for Pesach in South Africa, so this is a real childhood taste. When I first made this recipe, I was sure it would be disastrous because it just seemed way too easy. I was wrong. They are delicious and crazy easy, so do make them with your kids. 

Apple Squares for Pesach – This is a regular on my Seder dessert table. It’s easy to make, tastes good and isn’t overly sweet. And of course, it’s parev, so works on many levels. There’s nothing like fruit to cover the taste of the kosher for Pesach “flours”!

Chocolate Roll For Pesach – Here’s a fun dessert that’s versatile, tastes good and looks good. Have fun with fillings of your choice. I offer two options, but you can get creative and add whatever you and your family like.