Baking for Passover

chocolate meringue cookies

I suppose that for some folks Passover is a miserable stretch of deprivation.  But Passover has always been my favorite holiday. and while I am one of the few nuts out there who actually enjoys matzoh, it’s not just because of the crackers.  Well, ok, it’s partially because of the matzoh (egg matzoh spread with good butter and a sprinkle of salt).

fresh mangoEvery year I tell myself that I’ll lose a few pounds at Passover, what with skipping all that leavened goodness.  But that never seems to happen, in fact quite the opposite. I adore Passover food.  Jeff and I have a running joke that all Jews eat is bagels and fish (Jeff even made up a song about bagels and fish – no joke).  But even Jeff has to admit that with no bagels allowed, we pull out all the stops and put out a pretty irresistable spread. I can’t say no to brisket or potato kugel. And my mom’s matzoh brei (matzoh dipped in egg and fried in chicken fat) is the stuff of dreams – well, my kind of crazy food-obsessed dreams, anyway.  Given that flour is off-limits you might think that Passover desserts are not an issue, but you’d be wrong.  Oh, I’ve had my share of icky matzoh-meal brownies and sandy angel food cakes.  But then there are the fabulous flourless chocolate cakes, and the coconut macaroons, and the matzoh brittles, and the cheesecakes.  And, of course these lovely egg-white concoctions. 

mango pavlovas

I don’t know why I don’t make meringue cookies more often.  They are light and  delicious, and in the grand scheme of cookies, relatively healthy.  And these mini pavlovas are so easy and yet so impressive that they would be the perfect dessert for a back-yard garden party.  If you have never made pavlovas, they are truly heaven.  Pillowy meringue topped with creamy goodness and sweet fruit.  What’s not to love? The key with both the cookies and the pavlovas is quality.  With so few ingredients, each one really counts.  Use great chocolate for the meringue cookies (you all know my fondness for Green & Blacks) and be sure you have a perfectly ripe mango for the pavlovas.  You won’t be sorry.


chocolate meringue cookies

Chocolate Meringue Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

cooking spray

2 teaspoons matzoh meal (or all-purpose flour)

3 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Coat two baking sheets with spray, sprinkle with matzoh meal and shake off the excess.  In a very clean bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Add in the sugar and continue to beat until glossy.  Fold in the chocolate and vanilla.  Drop tablespoonfuls of the batter on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for one hour and then turn off the oven and let sit for another hour.  Cookies will keep a couple of days in an airtight container.

mango pavlovas

Lemon-Mango Pavlovas

Serves 6

2 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons potato starch (or corn starch)

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large mango, diced

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar and beat until glossy.  Sprinkle the potato starch over the egg whites, add the lemon zest and juice and the vanilla and fold gently to incorporate.  Spoon the egg whites into six mounds on the parchment, creating a slight indentation in the middle of each mound.  Bake 50-60 minutes, until slightly golden, and then carefully transfer to a rack to cool.  Once fully cooled top each meringue base with a dollop of sour cream and some of the chopped mango.  Serve with plenty of napkins as these can get messy!

Published in: on March 26, 2010 at 8:23 pm  Comments (26)  
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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Your husband’s song sounds funny! I bet my kids would love it! 🙂 Both of your recipes look wonderful!

    • It’s hilarious – he is now trying to amend the words to include brisket!

  2. The meringue pavlovas look wonderful and perfect for the season and the holiday! Happy Passover to you and your family.

  3. THese look scrumptious! I love the meringues! I should make some of these for my boyfriend’s family- they would be in heaven! Thanks for such a creative recipe and a wonderful post.

    • You should! They travel very well and keep a few days too – great for cookie gifts!

  4. It all sounds wonderful. Please put in the recipe for matzo brei some time. Thanks

  5. How absolutely wonderful! Thanks for educating me about matzoh meal. I know nothing about it.

    Both recipes are brilliant. I absolutely adore the mango lemon pavlovas having a soft spot for pavlovas in general & all.

    What a lovely treat! Thanks

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  6. It sounds and looks as though you are ready for the holidays. I loved your descriptions and explanations of your holiday food. Any chance of recording your husbands song and playing it for us here? Just asking! Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

    • Haha! I actually have to say that you probably really do not want to hear us singing! If it’s any indication, in grade school choir I was asked o just mouth the words.

  7. Your meringue desserts look great! If you want something chocolate-ey you should try Alice Medrich’s version of Beacon Hill cookies (melted chocolate folded into meringue). They are all truffle-ey and not crunchy at all.
    Happy Passover!!

    • Ooh, those sound amazing! Thank you!

  8. I like the sound of your Chocolate Meringue Cookies 🙂 And the picture at the very top is stunning!

  9. Katie, every time I read your blog my stomach growls. 🙂

    • Thank you Tracy!
      I could say the exact same thing about your blog!

  10. Chag sameach!

  11. This looks amazing. I definitely want to try it. I love your presentation as well. Hooray for Passover!

  12. Such cute little pavlovas! 🙂

  13. These look like a perfect spring dessert too! Light and yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Your meringues look gorgeous. Great job!


  15. I stumbled on your site through Joy’s and i’m glad I did! Thanks for giving me something else to make with my matzah meal, other than matzah balls, which I should go check on right now:)

    • I’m so happy you came by for a visit! Enjoy your matzoh ball soup!

  16. These really do look lovely. What a lovely sweet treat for passover. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  17. Dear Katie – Happy Easter!

    Wishing you and your family the best wishes of the season.

    Ciao, Devaki

    PS – I am still recovering from my Easter baking…been up till 2.00 AM & am a bit fuzzy round the edges 🙂

  18. I still have tons of matzo meal left so I think I have to try those gorgeous and yummy looking meringues. On another note..we alway fry the matzo brie in butter and serve it with syrup and sour cream. I ate so much of the stuff (as always every Passover), I don’t want to see it for another ALSO, the meat loaf above looks and sounds amazing. I’m killing two posts with one comment lol

    • Lisamichelle- My college roommate always made hers in butter and topped it with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar. It was delish! I sometimes make it that way and call it Julie’s Matzo Brei. Funny how in some families it’s a savory dish and other sweet. I’ve never heard of serving it with sour cream, though. That sounds amazing! I might have to wait a year to try it though – I’m very tired of matzo!

  19. Lovely meringues, sounds like a nice treat for any day of the year, not just passover. 🙂

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