Monday, April 06, 2015

Baking bash for Pesach (Passover)

I should have a few spare minutes to post, since I'm the only person working in my office this week.  It's pretty quiet--I'm here to answer the phone, but, thus far, it's rung only three times today.  (It's nice to have a breather in the midst of a major project.)  So let me start with the pre-Pesach fun.

I was so upset about the fact that almost all packaged kasher l'Pesach (kosher for Passover) baked goods contain preservatives, artificial ingredients, and/or the almost-impossible-to-avoid cottonseed oil (a possible health hazard) that I decided to take a few days of vacation last week (since I'm always left "minding the store" during Chol HaMoed Pesach) and bake for Pesach for the first time in years.  I borrowed a cookie recipe from an old friend's cookbook, and, since I promised to make my husband muffins as a condition for not buying any of the junk-filled ones we found in the store, I searched online for gluten-free muffin recipes.  Here's the report, muffins first (all three recipes are pareve/b'li chalav o basar/contain neither meat/poultry nor dairy):

Cranberry Lemon Muffins

·     2 cups blanched almond flour
·     ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt [I used Israeli sea salt]
·     1 teaspoon baking soda
·     1 cup dried cranberries
·     ½ cup grapeseed oil or palm shortening [I used pistachio oil, the only kosher-for-Passover nut oil that I could find]
·     3 large eggs
·     ½ cup agave nectar or honey
·     1 teaspoon lemon zest

1.   In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and cranberries
2.   In a smaller bowl stir together oil, eggs, agave and lemon zest
3.   Stir wet ingredients into dry
4.   Spoon batter into a paper lined muffin pan
5.   Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes
6.   Cool and serve

Makes 12 muffins

These gluten-free, dairy-free muffins are on the sweeter side and make a nice festive dish for a brunch or a healthy dessert for a potluck. Because they are more “liquidy” than usual they will sink just a tad after you remove them from the oven.

The 1st batch came out slightly burned, so I took the 2nd batch out a few minutes earlier, and it was slightly undercooked.  Oh, well.  These muffins are good, and I'll make them again, with the baking time corrected (I hope).

Dairy- and Gluten-Free Passover Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
40 mins

Author: Vicky & Ruth
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: kosher / Passover
Serves: 18 muffins
·     3 egg whites
·     ¼ cup sugar
·     4 tbsp almond butter at room temperature
·     ½ cup almond flour
·     2 tbsp room temperature water
·     ¼ cup dairy free chocolate chips
·     Cooking spray
1.  Preheat oven to 350F. Line a mini muffin tin with foil 18 liners. Spray liners generously with cooking spray [I just coated them with pistachio oil]
2.  Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until foamy. Add sugar and beat at high speed until it starts to form stiff peaks. Set aside
3.  In a large bowl, beat almond butter until soft and creamy. Gradually add almond flour and water and mix until well combined
4.  Carefully fold egg whites into almond butter mixture using a rubber spatula. Fold in chocolate chips
5.  Spoon about 1 tablespoon of mixture into each liner. Bake on top rack at 350F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

These are tasty, but are really best for those who like their muffins light and delicate in texture.  Personally, I prefer muffins that are hearty and substantial, and, consequently, found that this recipe was not worth the effort.  I've learned from this experiment never to bother with a muffin recipe that calls for separating eggs and beating the whites (roughly forever) until they form stiff peaks.

Flourless Almond Cookies

(I'm sorry to say that I forgot to write down the name of the cookbook from which I copied this.)

1 cup sugar
1 cup almond butter
1 egg, lightly beaten

1.  Preheat over to 350 degrees [Fahrenheit].  Beat sugar, almond butter and egg in large bowl with electric mixer until blended and smooth.
2.  Shape dough into 24 balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Flatten slightly with fork.
3.  Bake 10 minutes or until set.  Remove to wire rack [which I don't own--I used paper towels instead]; cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

I wish you good luck getting the almond butter off the spoon, and even more good luck getting the almond butter out of the measuring cup.  I should also give you fair warning that these cookies crumble like crazy--you'll have almost as many crumbs as cookies.  That said, they're delicious, so who cares?  :)  I made 2 batches. 

Does anyone have a good gluten-free and pareve chocolate chip muffin and/or cookie recipe for Pesach?  I'd love to try something with chocolate chips for next Pesach.  [I found one.]

Meanwhile, enjoy!  Moed Tov (happy "intermediate days" of the festival).


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