Passover desserts are a conundrum. There are plenty of very rich flourless chocolate cakes out there, and you can find any number of Passover recipes for dry and heavy cookies. But if you want something that’s light and a little different, it can be hard to find a recipe that satisfies.
A few years ago my family stumbled across a recipe for Chocolate Espresso Cookies that called for very little flour, and my mother decided to try it on Passover, substituting cake meal for flour. The cookies were a success, and now we won’t begin the holiday without a few batches of these treats ready and waiting. They’re the perfect dessert for a heavy seder meal, and a sweet treat for the intermediate days of the holiday.
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, finely ground (prepackaged finely ground gives the best
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons espresso powder or instant coffee powder
1/2 cup unsalted pareve margarine
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons cake meal
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together cake meal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl melt bittersweet chocolate and margarine. In a third bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla until very thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Stir the egg mixture into the warm chocolate. Mix in dry ingredients, chocolate chips, and ground walnuts.
Let the batter sit for at least ten minutes, up to an hour. (This is very important. The batter stiffens as it sits and makes much better cookies the longer it sits. It does not need to be refrigerated.) Then drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto nonstick baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, and allow to cool for five minutes before removing.
Pronounced: SAY-der, Origin: Hebrew, literally “order”; usually used to describe the ceremonial meal and telling of the Passover story on the first two nights of Passover. (In Israel, Jews have a seder only on the first night of Passover.)