It feels like forever since I’ve posted real recipes! I’ve been so busy with the ebook, cooking demos and traveling abroad that I haven’t had a chance to really get in the kitchen. Luckily, I have a few recipes that I’ve been saving for days like these, and I’m finally digging them up.
Making your own nut butter is a lot easier than it looks. And the possibilities are endless! Almond butter, peanut butter, pecan butter, hazelnut butter (hello nutella!)….there are so many to choose from! Some people opt to soak and dehydrate their nuts before processing (it makes it easier to digest, improves the flavor, and removes bitterness), but that just takes the easy out of it! I go the quick route – blend, blend and blend some more until they go from piecey to mealy to ground to creamy…yummy! Stay tuned for the perfect compliment to this butter – banana oat pancakes, coming to the blog next week!
Cinnamon Honey Walnut Butter
7 oz. raw walnuts
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toast the walnuts for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn! Set aside to cool. Place walnuts in a food processor and blend until mealy. Scrape down the sides and continue to process until creamy and smooth. Add salt, honey and cinnamon and blend until incorporated. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
VARIATION: use maple syrup instead of honey or add melted chocolate.
Ah, chometzfest! That day or two after Passover when we stuff our faces with all the delicious foods we’ve missed for 8 days.
Yes – just 8 days! What is it about Pesach that leaves us craving chometz (leaven food that’s prohibited during Passover) so much? It’s just over a week and we can barely hold out for our pizza. Is it just a case of wanting what you can’t have?
I can still remember the lines around the block of the pizza store a mere hour or two after Pesach ends. Who’s not guilty of standing on those endless lines for a fresh hot slice of cheesy heaven?
Now that I have my own kids, I’m not about to waste my time waiting for pizza. Instead, we break out a couple of boxes of fun sugary cereal for a Cereal Chometz Party. My kids can’t get enough, and the pizza can wait for another day.
The next morning, I whip out some fresh, hot pancakes or cake, to enjoy the crumby deliciousness with a cup of hot coffee. Now, that is what I miss over Passover. And peanut butter, of course!
Read on for some more chometz recipes in the Kosher Connection Linkup below!
Peanut Butter Bars
1 cup Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
peanut butter crumb topping (recipe follows)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Crumb Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8″x8″ baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, and egg and stir until creamy. Add the milk and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and set aside.
Add all the topping ingredients to the bowl you used to mix the dry ingredients. Mix until crumbly.
Spread the crumbs over the cake batter and top with chocolate chips. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until slightly puffy and very lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Growing up, one of our family’s Passover customs was to use liquid sugar, or simple syrup, in place of regular sugar in our recipes. It was a stringency brought back from Europe by our great-grandparents, and we continue to keep it, year after year.
The night before Passover, my mother boils up a vat of water and sugar until thickened and pours it through layers of cheesecloth into mason jars. Not being able to use regular sugar on Pesach has it’s challenges. Like when you want to bake cookies, or cake. But it sure has it’s advantages too. Like when we want to make easy sorbet, quick lemonade, or a mix up a pitcher of sangria. These classic sugared almonds are another advantage.
Sugared nuts are different from candied or glazed nuts, which are oftened tossed with egg white and butter for a sticky coating. Simple 2-ingrediented sugar coated nuts are cooked down until the sugar crystallizes and forms a crunchy crust on the nuts. You may have seen (or smelled) them on the streets of New York, in those Nuts 4 Nuts street carts.
The great part about making sugared nuts is that they’re a blank canvas for all flavors and combos. You can toss in some cinnamon (my favorite!) add a hint of sea salt (‘cuz I love sweet and salty!) or throw in a pinch of cayenne for a little kick.
My favorite part about this kosher for Passover recipe is the great feeling I get from making them entirely from scratch. Cracking the nuts brings me back to the days of old, imagining what Pesach was like for my ancestors, as they prepared simple foods made from scratch, a custom we we have carried on for generations.
2 cups raw almonds (or nuts of choice)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
optional add-ins: vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, sea salt or cayenne
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat until sugar is fully dissolved. Add the almonds and continue to cook, stirring constantly as the sugar thickens. After about 4 minutes, the water will evaporate and the sugar with crystalize on the nuts. Continue to stir until the sugar begins to turn light brown and caramelize. Watch the nuts carefully because they can quickly start to burn at this point. Pour onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and stir in any spices of your choice. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until toasted and fragrant. (You can skip this step but I find that when starting with raw nuts, they need that extra bit of roasting for added crunch). Set the nuts aside, they will get crunchier as they cool.
VARIATION: Try adding almond, coconut or vanilla extract to the sugar syrup or toss with the spices of your choice.
NOTE: If you want even more of a sugar coating, double the sugar syrup recipe and continue as above (the evaporation process will take longer).
This Thursday, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B’shvat, the New Year for the trees. Traditionally, we celebrate by eating The Sheva Minim, or, Seven Species. They include the following fruits and grains that are native to the land of Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
In honor of Tu B’shvat, I’ve put together a roundup of recipes for each of the Seven Species from all around the web. Enjoy!