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March 14, 2013
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Dessert during Passover is just one of the many things you need to plan for in advance if you want to offer something other than fresh fruit. That's why we were so happy to have Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking, by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg, cross our desk. It doesn't seem like such a long time when you've got cream puffs and almond horns to keep you company!

Reprinted with permission from Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg, www.caminobooks.com.

Recipes

Passover Cream Puffs/Éclairs

Makes 2-3 dozen cream puffs or 1½ dozen éclairs.

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup water 

1 tsp. table salt 

1 cup + 2 Tbsp. matzah cake meal

1 cup + 2 Tbsp. beaten egg (5 large)

About 20-30 minutes before bake time, preheat your oven to 425° with the baking surface in the upper third.

Combine the vegetable oil and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the salt and matzah flour and cook into a smooth paste, stirring constantly.

Transfer the cooked mixture into the bowl of a mixer and use the flat (paddle) beater to mix at low speed until cool, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs in a thin stream, continuing to mix until the paste is smooth and well blended.

Line two sheet pans with baking parchment. Using a pastry bag with a large plain or star tip or a plastic storage bag with a corner cut off, pipe 1-inch diameter balls for cream puffs, or ½ x 4-inch sticks of paste. Leave about 2 inches of spacing to allow for expansion.

Bake until the shells have puffed and browned and are completely dry, 20-25 minutes, making sure not to remove them too soon (otherwise, they›ll collapse). When cool, fill them with whipped cream or kosher-for-Passover vanilla pudding. Finish with kosher-for-Passover chocolate icing or dust with cornstarch-free powdered sugar.

Passover Rugelach

Makes about three dozen

For the dough

¾ cup + 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. almond paste

1 Tbsp. beaten egg

¾ cup + 1 Tbsp. shortening

2 Tbsp. honey

½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup less 1 Tbsp. egg, large

1 cup potato flour

1 1⁄3 cups matzah cake meal

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the sugar, salt, almond paste and 1 tablespoon of beaten egg and whisk by hand or at low-medium speed until smooth. 

Add the shortening and vanilla extract and continue mixing until just creamed, then add the remaining egg gradually until blended.

Sift the potato flour and matzo flour together and add in three or four portions to the creamed ingredients. When well blended, wrap in plastic and chill overnight. 

For the filling:

½ cup matzah cake meal for dusting

¼ cup unsalted butter or margarine

1 cup cinnamon sugar

½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and break it by hand or by machine. Place it on a lightly-floured work surface and roll it into a 18-inch x 8-inch rectangle, ¼-inch thick. Dust with matzah cake meal as necessary to prevent sticking. 

Brush the dough with half of the melted butter or margarine and spread the cinnamon sugar evenly. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and/or raisins, if desired. Use the rolling pin to press the filling gently into the dough (not necessary if using jam filling). 

Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, divide the dough lengthwise into two strips about 4 inches wide and then make a series of diagonal cuts to form two rows of triangles about 3 inches wide at the base. 

Starting at the short end, roll each triangle jelly-roll style so that you have a tapered cookie with the point in the middle. Place them point side down on parchment-lined sheet pans about 1 inch apart. 

Wash with egg, if desired, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the rugelach are light brown. Arrange on a rack, brush with the remaining melted butter and let cool. 

Almond Macaroons

Makes about three dozen

3½ cups almond paste

3 large egg whites, beaten

1¾ cups granulated sugar

3 large egg whites, beaten

2 cups sliced almonds

1 egg + 1 tsp. of water for wash

½ cup granulated sugar

6 Tbsp. water

½ tsp. honey

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cut or break the almond paste into small pieces and combine in the bowl of a stand mixer with the first quantity of egg whites and the sugar. Beat at low medium speed for 2-3 minutes until fully blended into a smooth, lump-free paste.

Gradually add the remaining egg whites until the mixture is moderately stiff and able to hold its shape. Be careful not to let it get too loose. 

Put the mixture into a pastry bag with either a large plain or star tip. If you don’t have a pastry bag, use a one-gallon plastic freezer bag with one corner cut off. Pipe the dough onto parchment-lined sheet pans in 1-inch to 1½-inch circles, leaving about 1 inch between cookies.

Let the macaroons dry, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

In a saucepan, bring the remaining sugar, water and corn syrup or honey to a boil and continue heating for 3-4 minutes until it thickens slightly and coats a spoon. Let cool.

Remove the macaroons from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Very carefully glaze them with the simple syrup or with ½ cup of melted apricot jam.

Let the macaroons cool completely--at least one hour--before trying to remove them from the pans. Until thoroughly cooled, they’re extremely fragile, and handling them to soon will almost certainly result in breakage. When cool, store in an airtight container. These are even better on the second day--if they last that long.

Almond Horns

Makes about one dozen

3½ cups almond paste

3 large egg whites, beaten

1¾ cups granulated sugar

3 large egg whites, beaten

2 cups sliced almonds

1 egg + 1 tsp water for wash

½ cup granulated sugar

6 Tbsp. water

½ tsp. honey

Cut or break the nut paste into small pieces and combine in a mixing bowl with the first quantity of egg whites and the sugar. Using a fork or the flat (paddle) beater at low-medium speed, mix until fully blended, with no lumps remaining, 2-3 minutes. 

Gradually add the remaining egg whites until the nut paste mixture is moderately stiff and able to hold its shape. Be careful not to let it get too loose. 

Put the sliced almonds into a small sheet pan or baking pan. Scale the almond dough to 4 ounces, using a small piece of parchment or plastic wrap to prevent sticking. As you weigh each piece, form it into a roughly ball shape and place it on the sliced nuts.

This dough is very fragile, so handle it gently. Roll the dough in the nuts until you have a nut-coated log about 6 inches long. Carefully transfer the log to parchment-lined sheet pans, bending it into a horseshoe shape. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Preheat your oven to 375° with your baking surface in the middle. Let the horns dry, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown, 25-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the horns cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Very carefully wash them with the simple syrup or melted apricot jam. 

Let the horns cool completely — at least one hour — before trying to remove them from the pans. Until thoroughly cooled, they’re extremely fragile, and handling them to soon will almost certainly result in breakage. When cool, store in an airtight container. These are even better on the second day — if they last that long. 

Passover Mandelbrot

Makes two loaves

½ cup almond paste

1¼ cups granulated sugar

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup beaten egg (about 1 large)

½ cup shortening

6 Tbsp. beaten egg (about 1-2 large)

1½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup + 2 Tbsp. matzah cake meal

¼ cup potato starch

1¼ cups walnut or hazelnut pieces

½ cup glacé fruit, packed

1 large egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water for wash

½ cup granulated sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 400° with your baking surface in the upper third. Sift the matzah cake meal and potato starch together and set aside. 

Cut or break the nut paste into small pieces and combine with the sugar, salt and first quantity of beaten egg in the bowl of a mixer. Using the flat (paddle) beater at low-medium speed, blend until smooth and lump-free, 3-4 minutes. Add the shortening and mix until fully incorporated, 1-2 minutes.

Add the rest of the beaten eggs slowly in a thin stream in order to avoid curdling, then add the vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. 

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the matzah-starch mixture in 2-3 stages, mixing just enough to incorporate each addition. Add the nuts and fruit and mix to distribute evenly, 1 minute. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Divide into two pieces weighing about 18 ounces each. On a parchment-lined sheet pan, form the dough into loaves 3 to four inches wide and 1½ inches high. Wash with egg, top generously with sugar, and bake 20-25 minutes, until the dough is set and light brown.

Remove to a rack and wash with simple syrup, if desired. Let cool completely before cutting. 

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