Posts Tagged ‘Passover’

Maple Banana Almond Macaroons

September 7, 2016

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The Banana Cookie recipe from Donna Hay’s new cookbook, Life in Balance: A Fresher Approach to Eating, sounds like its shouldn’t work; and the sight of the batter will not inspire more confidence. Have faith, though, and you will be rewarded with moist macaroons that taste intensely of banana and faintly of caramel and maple.

The ingredients are extremely simple: ground almonds, mashed banana, a small amount of maple syrup and a bit of cinnamon. When I mixed together all the ingredients, I had a thick batter rather than a stiff dough (kind of like the texture of matzoh ball batter before you refrigerate it). I was perplexed as to how to follow the instructions to “Roll 16 to 18 spoonfuls of the banana mixture into balls, Press them into the sugar-cinnamon mixture to coat all over, spacing the cookies an inch apart. . .” I ended up dropping spoonfuls of batter on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkling over the Turbinado sugar.

The resulting cookies were at their most delicious straight from the oven: crispy and chewy on the outside from the caramelized coat of raw sugar, and moist and soft on the inside like a macaroon. When the cookies completely cooled, the sugar on the outside melted a bit and the texture of the crust softened. I stored the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator and that seemed to restore a bit of crispness to the sugar coating.

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Neapolitan Cannelloni (Manicotti)

May 19, 2014

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This is how I explained Neapolitan Cannelloni (also known as manicotti) to my son: “Imagine blintzes, but filled with a lasagna cheese filling and topped with tomato sauce and melted cheese. My son pondered this for a while and then said, “Okay, that sounds good.”

It is good. It tastes like lasagna, but with a more delicate texture because crepes (or, as they are called in Italian, “crespelle”) replace the usual pasta.

If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can use a crepe recipe based on potato starch instead of flour. I have made this on Passover with Passover crepes with huge success.

If you are already making blintzes for Shavuoth, make extra crepes. Once you have the crepes made, this recipes is a complete snap to make (especially if you use bottled tomato sauce instead of homemade marinara).

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Note: If you google manicotti and cannelloni, you will see that there is some confusion as to the difference between the two dishes.  Some say the two are interchangeable, some say that the difference is that cannelloni have a bechamel sauce instead of marinara on top, and some say that cannelloni are properly made with pasta sheets while manicotti are made with crepes.

My recipe is based on two similar recipes, both from Italians, one of whom calls the dish cannelloni and one of whom calls the dish manicotti. I went with cannelloni because I made Delma Kelechava’s recipe first (before adding some changes from Stephanie Rhode’s recipe), and Delma calls this cannelloni.

What do the experts say? Well, Lucinda Scala Quinn has a recipe for cannelloni that is similar to this recipe. Mario Batali has a cannelloni recipe that is pasta sheets rolled with cheese filling and topped with bechamel and marinara. Lidia Bastianich has a cannelloni recipe that is stuffed pasta topped with bechamel and a manicotti recipe that is crepes filled with cheese and topped with marinara.

So, it is probably more accurate to call this manicotti (maybe), but since most people associate manicotti with pasta tubes, I still prefer cannelloni.

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Lemon Parfaits

April 18, 2014

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My family loves meringue cookies, but making meringues leaves me with lots of leftover egg yolks.  What to do with the leftover yolks? Lemon curd!

It so happens that lemon curd is delicious spread on meringue cookies, but it is also very useful in other refreshing lemon desserts. One of my favorite lemon desserts is lemon angel pie, and the lemon mousse from that recipe is also very nice layered as a parfait.

Here is how I made my lemon parfaits for Passover. I bought small dessert cups known as “tasting cups” and filled them with layers of the lemon mousse, plain whipped topping, small dabs of lemon curd and Passover lady fingers.

You don’t have to use lady fingers for this recipe; cubed sponge cake will work just as well. In fact, if you have leftover bits of stale sponge cake, making parfaits is a great way to use them up. If you don’t want to make lemon curd, you can make raspberry mousse by mixing raspberry jam (to taste) with whipped topping. Or you can make chocolate mousse by whipping cocoa powder and sugar into whipped topping. You could layer leftover bits of brownies with cocoa mousse, whipped topping and chocolate syrup.

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Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

April 11, 2014

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Chocolate cupcakes made with quinoa? Yes. They are really good: moist, fluffy and intensely chocolate.

This is an adaption of a recipe from a 2009 cookbook called Quinoa 365, by Patrica Green and Carolyn Hemming. It also appears on the authors’ website, Patricia & Carolyn. This recipe has been making the rounds on the internet, appearing on quite a number of food blogs, all with rave reviews.

Cake on the Brain had the idea of making the batter into cupcakes to make the cake more sturdy and less squidgy. I thought this was an excellent idea and copied it. I don’t have the jumbo muffin pan that Cake on the Brain apparently possesses, so instead of getting 12 large cupcakes, I got 15 normal cupcakes.

I made very few changes to the original recipe. To make the recipe pareve, I replaced the butter with oil and the milk with coffee.

The recipe calls for either 2 cups of cooked quinoa or 2/3 cup dry quinoa cooked with 1 1/3 cups water. If you are making quinoa pilaf or salad, just make extra quinoa. I made a whole 12 ounce bag of quinoa (2 cups dried), which, when cooked, was enough for a quinoa salad plus this recipe.

Bonus: Patricia & Carolyn also have a recipe for Quinoa Lasagna that looks fantastic and would be great for Pesach.

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Coconut Macaroon Tuiles

April 10, 2014

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Imagine a cookie with the flavor of a coconut macaroon, with a undertone of salted caramel. Sort of like the flavor of Girl Scout Samoa/Caramel deLite cookies. Now imagine that this cookie has the crisp texture of a potato chip. That is what these tuiles taste like.

The original recipe comes from a Seattle-based pastry chef, Laurie Pfalzer. When she baked for the bistro at the Salish Lodge and Spa, she used the tuiles as a garnish for creme brulee and layered them with strawberries and whipped mascarpone.

I haven’t decided what to do with these cookies yet. Layer them with lemon curd/whipped cream/strawberries? Drizzle them with chocolate or sandwich them with chocolate (like Brussels cookies or lace cookies)?

The batter is extremely easy to mix up. The tricky part is shaping. The sticky batter must be patted out into thin rounds. This is fiddly work.

The original recipe called for baking the tuiles at 350 for 8-10 minutes, but my tuiles did not bake evenly that way. I had better luck baking them at 250 for a half hour.

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Han Solo Cup and Chewie Wookie Cookie

February 27, 2014

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I was very amused by this t-shirt of Han Solo and Chewie as a Solo cup and cookie. So, I equipped a Solo cup with a cardboard Solo Blaster and made some Wookie Cookies. Actually, the cookies are just my favorite Pesach cookies with some white and dark chocolate chips used to make eyes, a nose and some teeth.

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Tomato Broccoli Pesto Salad

April 18, 2013

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Roasted broccoli and grape tomatoes, tossed with pesto and toasted almonds: easy, colorful and healthy.

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Gooey Pesach Blondies

March 28, 2013

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These were a huge hit. I underbaked these so that the center was gooey. The edges could be cut and served in squares, but the center had to be served warm, in scoops like a runny chip cake. Someone said that it reminded him of pecan pie.

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Passover Dessert: Chocolate Mistakes

March 28, 2013

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This cookies were an accident. I was making a cookie recipe which called for just cocoa, powdered sugar and egg whites, with some chopped nuts folded in. I must have gotten distracted when measuring out the powdered sugar because the batter was just too dry. So, I added in the yolks that I had separated out from the whites. Then the batter was too runny. So added in a packet of ground nuts.

I baked the cookies, but most of them ran into each other, so I had to cut them into squares. The whole thing looked a bit like a mess, but tasted almost just like boxed chometz brownies. They had that chewy texture, with the thin  crackly top. So, all in all, this is a mistake I would make again, but I would either bake them as bar cookies, or space the cookies further apart so they wouldn’t run into each other.

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Low-Carb Red Pepper, Mushroom and Feta Breakfast Casserole (or how I used up all my extra eggs from Passover)

April 25, 2012

I had some eggs that I had to use up. Well, a whole lot of eggs, actually.

I may have bought a few too many for Passover. Just maybe.

It wasn’t that I didn’t bake enough. And it wasn’t a matter of not eating enough. In fact, maybe I ate too much.

I wanted some way of using up the eggs that didn’t involve yet another cake or cookie or brownie. And no more matzoh brie. I was looking for something low-carb that could be eaten over the course of a few days (or–better yet–frozen for much later consumption).

At first I was going to make the egg muffins from Kalyn’s Kitchen, but then I saw this breakfast casserole on her site. It calls for 18 eggs (just the amount that I had to use up!), plus feta, bell pepper, and mushrooms (all ingredients that I had on hand and that I needed to use up).

According to Kalyn, these egg muffins and casseroles reheat well and can even be frozen. I divided the casserole into eight portions for reheating as needed for a quick breakfast or light supper.

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