May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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Passover Sweets: Cookies and Candies

In Jerusalem, as soon as Purim is over, everyone begins to get ready for Pesach. Two and a half weeks ahead, macaroons are already in the stores in addition to the various products for the holiday.

Here are some desserts to try, from traditional to unusual:


Classic Almond Macaroons

20 macaroons

This recipe is adapted from an American food magazine (not sure which).

  • 1 ½ cups blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ t. almond extract
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 t. confectioners’ sugar
  1. 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 a few seconds more. Spread on paper towels and pat dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  3. Grind almonds in a processor with ¼ cup sugar. Add egg whites and extract and blend for 20 seconds. Add remaining ¾ cup sugar in two batches, blending 10 seconds after each addition.
  4. Roll 1 tablespoon mixture between moistened palms into a ball. Repeat until the entire mixture is used, spacing cookies 1 inch apart. Flatten each to ½ inch high. Brush each with water. Sift confectioners’ sugar over each. Bake in a preheated 325 degree F. oven for 25 minutes.
  5. Lift one end of paper and pour 2 tablespoons of water onto the baking sheet. Lift other end and pour 2 tablespoons of water under it. Tilt to spread water. When water stops boiling, remove macaroons.


Chocolate Biscotti

  • ¾ cup margarine or butter
  • 2 1/8 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 T. vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups matzah flour
  • 1 ¼ cups potato flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • Passover baking powder
  • 5/8 cup ground almonds
  • 2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet.
  2. In a bowl, cream margarine or butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, combine matzah flour, potato flour, cocoa and baking powder. Gradually add to batter.
  4. Add nuts and chocolate chips and combine.
  5. Form into two logs and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven 30 minutes. Let cool.
  6. Slice. Return slices to cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes.


Toffee Matzah

This is my favorite sweet for  Pesach but this version is an Andrew Zimmern contribution from Food & Wine magazine internet columns, with a few of my changes.

  • 1 cup salted butter or margarine
  • 5 pieces of matzo
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mixed chopped nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with vegetable spray. Line with parchment paper and spray with vegetable spray.
  2. Arrange a layer of matzo on the sheet.
  3. Melt butter or margarine with brown sugar in a saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour over matzah. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 5-8 minutes until bubbling.
  4. 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.


Marilyn’s Chocolate Brandied Candy

Marilyn is a friend of mine for many years. She came from the Boston area and has lived in Israel since 1949.

  • 3 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate (a candy bar works fine)
  • 1 cup raisins, soaked in cherry brandy
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup matzah pieces
  1. Melt chocolate in a saucepan. Add raisins, walnuts, and matzah and mix well.
  2. Drop by tablespoon into small cupcake papers. Refrigerate.

Sybil Kaplan, z”l, was a journalist, author, compiler/contributor/editor of nine kosher cookbooks (working on a 10th) and food writer for North American Jewish publications. She lived in Jerusalem. She wrote the kosher Jerusalem restaurant features for, the oldest, largest website for English speakers, from 2014 to 2020.

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