Tag Archives: Kosher Baking

Best Ever Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies

14 Apr

For a holiday that lasts a week, people get really stressed out about cooking and baking. I get it – I’ve baked hundreds and hundreds of Passover chiffon cakes and I still occasionally have a flop. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret – for a lot of my recipes, I just take the regular version and make it with kosher for Passover ingredients.

When it comes to things like chocolate chip cookies you have to be aware of a couple of things but otherwise it’s pretty easy to convert.

There are a lot of products readily available now that were not so easy to find when I was growing up, but you can now buy kosher for Passover baking soda and vanilla extract. The only major difference is that instead of flour I use matzo cake meal and the thing you need to know is that you’re going to use less cake meal. My theory is that because cake meal is ground up matzo and has already been baked, it’s drier than flour so it’s going to absorb more liquid. So in my original recipe it calls for 10 ounces of all purpose flour and for the kfp version, I use 7 1/4 ounces of cake meal.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces melted butter (or margarine, but if you can, use butter) (3/4 cup)
  • 8 ounces brown sugar (1 cup packed)
  • 4 ounces granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7 1/4 ounces cake meal (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • 9 ounces chocolate chips or chocolate bars cut into chunks or any candy or nuts you’d like to add (1 1/2 cups)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make sure you have two racks in the middle of the oven and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugars together in a stand mixer with a paddle or in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.

Add the baking soda, salt and cake meal and mix until combined. Add the chocolate (and anything else you’d like) and mix through.

Now, at this point the dough may look a little loose. Do not add more cake meal. I promise you that as the dough sits for a few minutes, the cake meal will absorb the liquids and thicken up.

I prefer to scoop the dough out while it’s still loose. I use a small, 1-ounce (or 2 Tbsp) ice cream scoop (or you can use two spoons) to drop dough onto the parchment lined baking sheets, leaving room between each cookie as they spread as they bake. If you scoop the cookie dough immediately after mixing, it should spread out a bit on it’s own. If the dough sits and thickens up before you scoop it, once it’s on the baking sheets use your hand to flatten it a bit.

Once the two trays are filled, place them on the middle racks of the oven for 8 minutes. Turn the trays around and switch their positions (the one that started off on top should now be beneath the other tray which is now on top) and bake another 7 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

This recipe makes approximately 24 cookies and they freeze well in an airtight container or bag.

Enjoy!

Honey Cake

18 Sep

Tipsy Honey Cake

Rosh Hashana means honey cake.  To start the new year off with a sweet bite, traditionally we serve and eat honey itself or items made with honey. In my family, we’ve always made a version of this boozy honey cake.  The finished cake doesn’t taste overly alcoholic, but it does add to the overall flavour of the cake.

What a list of ingredients! It’s long, but easy to put together and produces a moist and flavorful honey cake.  My favorite honey to use for baking is buckwheat. It has a stronger flavour that holds up to the other flavours in the recipe.  Having said that, over the last few years I’ve found it impossible to find buckwheat honey and have made it with several other types (most typically, clover honey) and it’s still delicious.

The cake recipes also calls for what we call ‘rye’ up here, but I’ve been told in the US is often known as “Canadian whiskey” or “rye whisky”.  You can use rye, whisky or rum.

honey cake 3

2 ¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup tea, brewed — strong and hot
1 cup honey
1/2 cup Canadian rye (whiskey)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil (or other light flavoured oil)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and ginger. I like to use a whisk to combine all of these ingredients.

In another bowl, combine the hot tea, honey, rye and orange juice.

Using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the oil and white and brown sugars. Add the eggs, mixing them in one at a time. Add the vanilla and orange zest.

Add one third of the liquid and mix on low speed. Add one third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Repeat until all of the wet and dry ingredients have been incorporated.

Pour into a bundt pan that has been sprayed with vegetable oil and lightly floured. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent a piece of aluminum foil over the cake for the rest of the baking time.  Let cool completely and then turn the pan over and carefully unmold the cake onto a serving plate. Typically, the bottom of a bundt becomes the top when you take it out of the pan, but I really like the way the ‘bottom’ of this cake comes out and always keep it on the top when plating.

Wrapped well, the cake can stay on the counter for a couple of days.  Freezes beautifully.

Honey Cake 2

 

Maple Pecan Biscuits

30 Jul

Unless I’m working on a recipe, or baking something for a holiday, I don’t often bake at home.  But sometimes the mood hits and I want the house to fill with the aroma of something delicious baking in the oven. Generally, this means I want a simple recipe , something that’s easy enough to prepare during the week, but special enough to make for Sunday morning brunch or to enjoy with a hot mug of tea.

These Maple Pecan Biscuits are just the thing.  A really easy recipe that doesn’t require any special equipment and only takes a short time to assemble and bake.  These are on the rustic side, so don’t waste time trying to make them look perfect.  The dough shouldn’t look uniform when it’s ready to bake — you should be able to spot little pieces of butter mixed in with the chunks of pecans.  And when they’re done, eat them while hot and crumbly with a little butter and a warm drink to wash it down.

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Maple Pecan Biscuits

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk (2%)

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Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast the nuts for 5-7 minutes, or until they are just starting to brown.  Set aside until cool.  Increase the oven temperature to 400°.

1pecanmaple

In a mixing bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar together.  Add the butter and use a pastry cutter, forks or your fingertips to work the butter into the dough. You want the work the butter into pea-size or slightly smaller pieces, but not completely incorporated into the flour.
maple pecan 2

In a measuring cup combine the maple syrup and milk and mix.  Pour into the dry ingredients and use a fork to combine.  Use your hands to bring the dough together and then turn it out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pat the dough into a rectangle that has a uniform 1″ thickness.

maple pecan 3

Cut the rectangle into 8 squares, then cut each square in half, into triangles.  Move the pieces around on the tray so that there’s room between all of them.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

maple pecan 4

Serve hot out of the oven on their own or with some butter.  Though they will keep for a couple of days if they’re well wrapped, these really are best when served fresh and still warm.