Archive for the ‘holiday’ Category

payard patisserie flourless & butterless chocolate cookies

04 Apr

These cookies are outragously dark and delicious and almost ridiculously easy to make.  They don’t contain potato starch so they don’t taste pesachdig and there’s never a crumb of these left after pesach!  This recipe was printed in a Feb/Mar 2006 issue of Chocolatier Magazine.


  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tblsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped



1.  Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2.  With the padle attachment mix cocoa, confectionary sugar and salt on low for 1 minute.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk the whites and vanilla.  With the mixer on, slowly add whites to dry ingredients.  Turn speed up to medium and mix 2 minutes.

4.  Using 1/4 cup measure, scoop and mound batter, spacing 3-inches apart.

5.  Place pan in oven and immediately lower the temperature to 320 degrees.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until small, thin cracks appear on the surface.

6.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely


Yield:  Approx. 18



homemade chrain (beet horseradish)

04 Apr

Of all the marvelous recipes I have culled from my machatenista in Antwerp, this one serves me year in and year out.  Although I have yet to use the cloves and bay leaves because I haven’t had them in the house while making it, I hope to do so this year.  When you first taste the chrain, it will seem very sharp but it loses most of its oomph after a few days.  This recipe literally makes enough for a whole year and freezes beautifully!


11 lbs beets

4-5 lbs horseradish (she actually uses double this amount but this is strong enough for me!)

3 cups vinegar

2 cups water

15 cloves

6 bay leaves

salt to taste

pepper to taste

sugar to taste (With all the sprinkling, I think I put in at least a cup)


This is the second cooking batch. I didn't have a big enough pot for all the beets at once

1.  Cook beets in water with cloves and bay leaves.  Drain, reserving some liquid.

2.  When cooled, peel and grate the beets on a fine grater.

3.  Peel and grate the horseradish.  Add to the beets along with the vinegar and water. 

4.  Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.  Add some of the reserved beet liquid if it seems dry.



pesach is in the air!

27 Mar

I love Pesach for its down to earth, back to the basics frame of mind, and because I love the kitchen and Pesach affords me the time and opportunity to cook and bake with the most basic ingredients.

Pesach in the RAAWWW!  We’ve come a long way since the time that the only available kosher for Pesach items were potato starch, hisachdus salt, black pepper, and oil!  In my day, we already had chocolate syrup, chocolate bars, mayonnaise and, of course, Kedem raspberry syrup.  Not to mention a host of other products which my Mother did not deem in necessary to use.  We learned, above all how to do without.  We didn’t buy ground nuts.  We had bowls of whole walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts which we shelled for eating and baking.  And we did not have the convenience of purchasing pre checked, bug-free lettuce.  In those days, year round salads were comprised of iceberg lettuce, which we would cut into chunks (non checked!).  On Pesach, we bought Romaine lettuce, as a bitter herb and sometimes we mixed it with Belgian endives.  The endives did not need checking but the Romaine checking was a project delegated to my father and often started when he came home from shul seder night!

We’ve come a long way since those days of few available Pesach items.  Today there are Pesach stores dedicated to Pesach items, and even small Mom and Pop groceries (of which there are few left today!) have an aisle or two of Kosher L’Pesach items.

I must say that I get upset when I see blatant retakes on such chometz items as breakfast cereals, pasta, and even pizza and rolls (frozen) being marketed and sold.  How will the next generation view Pesach?  Certainly not with the “we can live without it” mentality that we were brought up with.  In our generation of  “anything goes”, and with our kids seeing little or no deprivation on Pesach,  is it surprising that unfortunately, for many youths, this mentality carries over into their every day life?

What can’t you live without for 8 days?