It's the most wonderful time of the year (you know how the song goes). The cold, chilly, winter weather finally got the hint, the sun is shining at full force, and Passover has begun; the holiday where we retell the story of the Jew's exodus from Egypt. I equate my feelings about Passover with the excitement little children feel on Christmas morning. I started prepping weeks in advance by cleaning the kitchen, separating out the not Kosher for Passover (K for P) food, making daily trips to the grocery store for specialty items, and cooking up a storm to make sure we have delicious meals for the week.
Part of the special preparations entails making a few dishes for the Passover Seder, the ritual feast that starts the holiday, and basically an amazing excuse to get creative in the kitchen because of the holiday's dietary rules. We celebrated seder at my grandparents, an almost yearly tradition filled with family memories and huge plates of food. I made my grandmother promise to let me help out a little more this year, so I arrived with the vegetables and a dessert to help feed the 22 people around the table.
This year's cooking tasks also included a second, and easily transportable, dessert. David and I will be traveling during Passover for his grandfather's 90th birthday party. As David's family is not Jewish, I wanted to make sure to bring a K for P treat to share.
Before I jump into the two dessert recipes I want to share with you, here is a list of the other recipes I worked on over the weekend to make sure we have a well stocked fridge for the week.
Okay, on to the reviews. First up, coconut macaroons, courtesy of The Kitchn.
You can find the recipe here.
I consider coconut macaroons a traditional Passover dessert, as they are naturally K for P, and recipes can be easily scaled up to accommodate large crowds. I started with the basic version, but got creative with cocoa powder and dairy/soy-free dark chocolate chips to create three different flavors.
These bite-sized cookies took no time to make!
Of course I made a few tweaks and changes. First, I tripled the recipe; simple. Second, I omitted the vanilla extract, as most brands are not K for P. Third, I split the batter into three for my flavor variations: plain, chocolate, and chocolate chip (these are not specifically marked K for P, but my favorite dairy-free and soy-free brand).
All three turned out great (trust me, I ate multiple bites of each)! The only change I might make next time is to use unsweetened coconut flakes. The sweetened flakes plus the sugar made for a pretty intense end result. However, this is personal preference as my husband loved them.
Once the cookies cooled, I placed them in aluminum pans, wrapped those in plastic wrap, and placed them in the freezer. I will be transporting all of them in a car for 7 hours this weekend.
Dessert number two comes from Juli Bauer at PaleOMG. Once I got my hands on K for P gelatin, making her "Peanut" Butter Cream Pie recipe was a no brainer. Passover desserts used to be pretty boring and terrible; sponge cake, baked fruit, horrible "jelly" pieces shaped like fruit. However, the holiday has benefited from the increased popularity of paleo and primal recipes, which have similar dietary rules.
Find Juli's recipe here.
The only two changes I had to make here were once again skipping the vanilla extract, and swapping out the butter for something K for P and dairy-free.
I let the pie chill over night, and then quickly whipped up some melted chocolate and coconut whipped cream just for additional flare.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this recipe. There was not a single slice left in the pan and a few people even commented on how it tasted just like peanut butter. I saved extra pie filling in a separate container as a dessert pudding for David, although I could have easily finished it in one sitting myself.
The final verdict?
Both recipes were delicious, and easy, although the macaroons involved a little more effort (partly because I made so many). I don't bake often, so it's nice to find recipes which accommodate my patience level and are difficult to mess up. Whether you are already in a matza rut, or still needing an Easter dessert, these are two great options.
I am so glad Passover desserts evolved from boring, tasteless, and somewhat depressing. Such a joyous holiday deserves high quality sweets. Do you have a favorite Passover or Easter dish? If so, please share!
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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