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Recipes for a sweet holiday


In Jerusalem, as soon as Purim is over, everyone begins to get ready for Pesach. Two and a half weeks before the holiday starts, macaroons and other products for the holiday are already on store shelves.

Here are some Passover desserts to try, from the traditional, to the unusual.

Chocolate Brandied Candy

ο 90 g (3½ oz) bittersweet chocolate (a candy bar works fine)

ο 250 ml (1 cup) raisins, soaked in cherry brandy

ο 250 ml (1 cup) chopped walnuts

ο 250 ml (1 cup) matzah pieces

Melt chocolate in a saucepan. Add raisins, walnuts and matzah and mix well.

Drop by the tablespoon into small cupcake papers. Refrigerate.


Toffee Matzah

ο 250 ml (1 cup) salted butter or margarine

ο 5 pieces matzah

ο 250 ml (1 cup) packed brown sugar

ο 500 ml (2 cups) chocolate chips

ο 250 ml (1 cup) mixed chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Line with parchment paper and spray with vegetable oil spray.

Arrange a layer of matzah on the sheet.

Melt butter or margarine with brown sugar in a saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour over matzah. Bake in preheated oven for 5-8 minutes, until bubbling.

Remove from oven and spread chocolate chips on top, letting them melt for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle nuts on top. Let cool, or refrigerate to cool.

Break into pieces.


Chocolate Biscotti

ο 175 ml (3/4 cup) margarine or butter

ο 525 ml (2 cup) sugar

ο 6 eggs

ο 30 ml (2 tbsp) vanilla extract

ο 875 ml (3½ cups) matzah flour

ο 300 ml (1¼ cups) potato flour

ο 175 ml (3/4 cup) cocoa

ο 15 ml (1 tbsp) Passover baking powder

ο 175 ml (5/8 cup) ground almonds

ο 500 ml (2 cups) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Spray a cookie sheet.

In a bowl, cream margarine or butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine matzah flour, potato flour, cocoa and baking powder. Gradually add to batter.

Add nuts and chocolate chips and combine.

Form into two logs and place on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool.

Slice. Return slices to cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Classic Almond Macaroons

Classic Almond Macaroons

ο 350 ml (1½ cups) blanched almonds

ο 250 ml (1 cup) sugar

ο 2 egg whites

ο 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) almond extract

ο 20 ml (4 tsp) confectioners’ sugar

Place almonds in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 seconds.

Remove one almond and see if it slips out of its skin. If not, boil for a few more seconds. Spread on paper towels and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 160 C (325 F). Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Grind almonds with 60 ml (1/4 cup) sugar in a food processor. Add egg whites and extract and blend for 20 seconds. Add remaining sugar in two batches, blending for 10 seconds after each addition.

Roll 15 ml (1 tbsp) of mixture into a ball between moistened palms. Repeat until all the mixture is used, spacing cookies 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart. Flatten each so they are about 1.5-cm (1/2-inch) high. Brush each with water.

Sift confectioners’ sugar over each. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Lift one end of the paper and pour 30 ml (2 tbsp) of water onto the baking sheet. Lift the other end and pour another 30 ml (2 tbsp) of water under it. Tilt to spread the water. When the water stops boiling, remove the macaroons. Yields 20 macaroons.

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Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/editor of nine kosher cookbooks, and a food writer who lives in Jerusalem, where she leads weekly walking tours of the Jewish food market, Machane Yehuda, in English.