Chocolate Sunday – Passover Chocolate Macaroons!

This seems to be the year that I have trouble locating my Passover recipes. I found my favourite macaroon recipe on my computer, but only the plain version, not the chocolate.

chocolate macaroonsThe macaroon recipe, from an old Martha Stewart magazine, is my favourite not only because it’s delicious, but because you don’t have to beat the egg whites. It’s one less step – and leaves one less item to wash – than most other Passover macaroon recipes. Just mix coconut, egg whites, sugar, vanilla for flavour, a bit of salt, and that’s it.

I know there was a chocolate version, but I couldn’t find it online. However, I found two other recipes that gave me confidence I could recreate what I’d made before, or even make a new, improved version.

The easiest recipe, on about.com, is a regular (beaten-egg) macaroon recipe that becomes a chocolate macaroon recipe with the addition of melted chocolate. I could do that with my regular macaroon recipe too.

But then I came across the Smitten Kitchen recipe for dark chocolate coconut macaroons. To read it is to swoon, so my first thought was to follow it to the letter. But it calls for sweetened coconut, and I only had unsweetened. It also calls for unsweetened chocolate, and I only had regular chocolate bars. Plus, it calls for more coconut than I had, so I had to fiddle with the proportions. I also didn’t want to bother getting my food processor out, so I guess I’ll have to try it another time.

One more change. Once I was making the recipe my own, I decided to substitute Sabra (chocolate orange liqueur) for the vanilla. I think next time I would add more. The flavour in mine is so subtle that unless you have a very discerning palate – or know it’s in the cookies – you might not appreciate it.

The friends who tasted my macaroons teased me that they looked like falafel balls. But the taste was rich and chocolatey. Not too sweet either. I cut down on the sugar, because, um, we’ve already eaten a lot of sweet desserts this holiday.

Here’s my brand-new recipe:

Passover Chocolate Macaroons:

1/3 of a 3 1/2-oz. chocolate bar (72% cocoa content)

6 oz. (170 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut (2 cups + 1 tbsp.)

2 large egg whites

pinch of salt

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar

a generous tsp. (or more) of Sabra liqueur

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Melt chocolate in microwave-safe bowl on low heat.

2. Combine thoroughly in mixing bowl coconut, egg whites, Sabra, salt, sugar, cocoa and melted chocolate.

3. Form into 1″ balls or haystacks on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Yield: 32 small macaroons

Enjoy!

 

Passover Country Potato Pie

On one of the Facebook groups I belong to, someone asked about “go-to” Passover meals. Immediately, I thought of two: leftover soup noodles with  tomato or pasta sauce, which requires no work, and country potato pie (a quiche with a shredded potato crust), which is a great make-ahead meal.

I used to send a couple of them, baked in foil pie plates, back to school with my daughter when she was away at university. They taste good, freeze well, double easily, and cover more than one food group. cooking what comes naturally cropped

The recipe is from Cooking What Comes Naturally, by Nikki Goldbeck, probably one of the first cookbooks I bought after I got married, and definitely the first vegetarian one.

I’ve adapted the recipe by adding mushrooms, replacing part of the butter with oil, and eliminating dry mustard for Passover. It appeared in The Canadian Jewish News  in 2007 as part of a roundup of Passover food ideas.

 

Country Potato Pie (adapted from Cooking What Comes Naturally, by Nikki Goldbeck)

serves 4

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. oil

3 medium potatoes, peeled

1  1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. shredded Swiss or Cheddar cheese

1/4 c. chopped onion

1/4 c. sliced mushrooms

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1/2 tsp. paprika

1. Spread 1 tbsp. butter over bottom and side of 9-inch pie plate.

2. Shred potatoes and drain well. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, and press over bottom and side of pie plate to form crust.

3. Sprinkle cheese over potato crust.

4. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and mushrooms, and cook until tender and transparent. Spread over cheese.

5. Beat eggs with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, milk, pepper, parsley and paprika. Pour over onions and cheese in pie plate.

6. Bake at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes until edge of pie is golden, and knife inserted in centre comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!