Just Beat It…Just Beat It…

My all-time most requested cookie just happens to be Passover friendly.  It also happens to be low fat, gluten free, and low calorie (as long as you have self control).  It takes 10 minutes to prepare.  You can even make it before you go to sleep and leave it in the oven all night once it’s done baking.  It’s light and airy and it melts in your mouth (literally). It makes grown men fight over the last one (I’ve had to bitch slap both my younger brother AND my cousin on more than one occasion over these cookies).  It’s the first cookie I ever made and the one that officially earned me my baking “street cred.”  He’ll never admit it but I’m pretty sure my husband first fell in love with me immediately AFTER tasting these cookies.  

If there was a high school for cookies, this cookie would definitely be the captain of the cheerleading squad and dating the varsity quarterback.  It’s THAT good.  And for my Easter-friendly friends, you definitely don’t have to be celebrating Passover to indulge in my most popular cookie. 

 

whip it real good!

whip it real good!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ bag chocolate chip morsels

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil
  2. In a mixing bowl set at high speed with the whisk attachment (click on the above GIF to view), beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  It needs to look like SOFT AND AIRY shaving cream.  Don’t rush this…it could take a few minutes.
  3. Slowly add in sugar, ¼ cup at a time.  Beat very well after each addition until sugar completely dissolves and whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks.  It will look like REALLY THICK shaving cream.
  4. Beat in vanilla.
  5. FOLD in chocolate chips gently with a rubber spatula.
  6. Scoop spoonfuls of meringue onto foil-lined cookie sheets in 2-inch mounds about 1-inch apart.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes.  Turn off oven BUT DO NOT OPEN!!! Set your timer for 45 MORE minutes to let the meringues dry completely.  I make these at night and leave them in my oven overnight.
  8. Gently peel meringues off foil.

The only problem with this cookie is that you can never make enough and there are never leftovers.  In fact, I’ve been searching through my entire photo library for a picture of an uneaten meringue to show you.  They never last long enough to take a picture.  With that said, I’m shamelessly “borrowing” a picture from another blog to illustrate what the finished product looks like (photo cred:  Lisa at myownsweetthyme in Tennessee.) Meringue

 

 

GAGLESS PASSOVER DESSERT

If you’re not Jewish and you’re reading this, I’d like to preface that, for Jews, this upcoming week does not involve fluffy bunnies or yummy chocolate in beautiful bright spring-colored baskets.  We don’t get bunnies.  We get horseradish.  We don’t get an Easter egg hunt.  We send our children hunting through our homes for a piece of flat, tasteless bread.  We get a week of luncheon meat in between two cardboard-tasting crackers.

This blog post is actually in response to all of the Passover Seder hosts (and guests) out there who have reached out to me in the past few days.  Even though eating matzoh in lieu of bread for a week is torture, the fearless women and men who prepare for the Passover Seder are the unsung heroes of the holiday who suffer for an additional week BEFORE Passover. They break out the Passover china. They charge through the supermarket looking for the perfect brisket. They set tables and strategically arrange seating in an often futile attempt to create family diplomacy. (For those of you not familiar with the term, Seder, it’s a dinner feast signaling the beginning of one week Jews forego the five forbidden grains. We Jews regularly integrate suffering and starvation into our religious rituals.  Don’t feel too badly for us because we also have eight days of Chanukkah, bagels, and Adam Sandler. And for the record, I’m impressed you’re still reading this.)

With Passover quickly approaching, Seder hosts all begin looking for that ONE dessert that doesn’t scream potato starch or matzoh meal. After making matzoh balls, soup, gefilte fish, brisket, chicken, and haroset, who wants to start baking?  You can always farm off the baked goods to one of your eager guests.  Problem with that is that you KNOW someone is  inevitably showing up with a can of Manischewitz macaroons.  Canned macaroons are the proverbial Christmas fruitcake of OUR people.

Being that I was a dessert caterer for a few years, I’ve had no less than a dozen texts and calls today for flourless, Kosher for Passover dessert recipes.  I could give you my five star flourless chocolate torte recipe.  Rich, decadent, garnished with candied violets.  The fancy-schmancy dessert that  looks like you spent four hours in the kitchen making it (which you will have). I can also teach you how to make a light and fluffy chocolate soufflé. Problem with soufflés is that even for the most seasoned baker, soufflés are temperamental bitches.  Not to mention this version require raw eggs. You don’t need that stress and I certainly don’t want you posting nasty comments on my blog about how your Aunt Nancy barfed from bad eggs.

So to avoid all the stress in your already overstressed kitchen, I’m giving you one of my two favorite Passover (and all year) desserts in this post:  Matzoh Toffee. Make this and you will be the Passover hero.  If you’re a guest, bring this to someone’s Seder to guarantee a permanent spot at their table.  You don’t have to observe Passover or even be Jewish to get addicted to Matzoh toffee.  This stuff is Jewish crack, people.

matzoh toffee

 

What you need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 box Matzoh (about 7 sheets)
  • 1 16 oz bag of chocolate chips
  • 1 16 oz bag of toffee bits (Heath Toffee Bits are my favorite)
  • ¼ cup milk chocolate chips (for optional drizzle)
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips (for optional drizzle)

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Line two jelly roll pans (cookie sheets with sides) with aluminum foil.
  3. Cover both pan bottoms completely with sheets of matzoh.
  4. In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, melt the cup of butter with the cup of brown sugar.  Stir constantly until the mixture reaches a light boil and continue to mix three minutes until spoon will coat when dipped in the mixture.  You’re basically dissolving the brown sugar into the butter into a soft candy. Three minutes.  Don’t cheat.
  5. Pour the mixture over the matzoh.  Place in oven and bake for four minutes.
  6. Carefully remove from the oven and pour chocolate chips  (½ bag for each sheet) over the bubbling, caramel-ly matzoh. As good as it looks, do not taste the bubbling caramel.  It is lava.
  7. Put back in the oven for ONE minute.
  8. Remove from oven and QUICKLY spread softened chocolate over pan.  Liberally sprinkle toffee bits over melted chocolate
  9. Let cool.  (Optional) In separate ziploc sandwich bags, melt milk chocolate and white chocolate (heat in 15 second increments so as not to burn chocolate).  Knead melted chocolate into corner of bag, snip edge and channel your inner Jackson Pollack all over the toffee.
  10. Refrigerate overnight.  Break into pieces and serve.

Stand back and listen to the applause.  You’re welcome.