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mel's guide to passover baking

Because, man, I've got it down pat.

Seder tonight was fun. If people are interested, I could be persuaded to tell the Chad Gadya story, and maybe even record me doing the last verse in one breath and post it on the eljay.

Since no food eaten during Passover can contain traditional leavening agents (yeast, baking powder or soda, etc.), one has two options for baking: come up with an option that will survive being hefty (macaroons), or use some other method of trapping air to lighten your project. The standard solution is egg whites.

These are the household favorites. The macaroons are only a teeny bit sweet, so the flavor of the nuts doesn't have to fight with anything else. And the brownies? Good enough to make year-round.

Pistachio Macaroons
3 cups shelled pistachios (roasted, unsalted)
1 cup sugar
3 egg whites

Crush pistachios into chunks. You can use a blender, but we tend to throw them in a plastic bag, close out most of the air, and banging on it with the bottom of a cup. You want them ground into small pieces but not powdery.

Mix pistachios, sugar, and egg whites in small bowl until blended and place in refrigerator to chill at least 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 325°.

When mixture is done chilling, remove and drop onto parchment-covered baking sheets by rounded teaspoons. You might want to press them flat if the mounds are particularly thick. Mixture will be thin but cohesive. If it starts to fall apart, through it back into the fridge for a few minutes.

Bake 12-17 minutes, until bottom edges are browned. Increase heat to 350° and bake for another 5 minutes to dry them out a little, then remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen.


In the background you can see, left to right: ubiquitous loose change can, knife block, decaf Kona coffee Da brought Mum from Hawai'i, Mum's flax seed grinder, and our shiny brand new stand mixer.

Passover Brownies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1 cup 60% dark chocolate chips
1 3/4 cup almond flour
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9 inch square baking tin.

Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in egg yolks until uniform. Melt chocolate and add to butter mixture. Add almond flour and salt and mix until uniform.

In separate bowl, whip whites until stiff. Fold into batter; be careful to handle it as little as possible so you don't lose the lovely air bubbles you've made in the whites.

Pour batter into tin, smoothing top if necessary. Bake 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted one inch from the edge comes out clean. Remove pan to wire rack to cool and cut into squares.

I'm also a personal fan of meringues (second recipe down):


The rice steamer is visible in the far left of this picture.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
triannamaxwell
Mar. 31st, 2010 06:18 am (UTC)
I want a stand mixer. But the one I want is $300 whenever it's on sale. Waaaaaaaah.

Oh, and while I am begging the stars, I'd like some sleep as well.
tigerlilly2063
Mar. 31st, 2010 07:11 am (UTC)
Looks yummy!

But seriously, you have a bad influence on me. *lol* Since I read your cooking/baking posts I want to do cookies myself a lot more than usual.
Not that I'm really complaining. ;) And my family loves to try out what I come up with.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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