Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pretending at Passover

I've mentioned before that Jay and I attend weekly Shabbat dinners hosted by our dear friends, Suzie and JoJo.  (We've decided that Suzie and JoJo are our ideal couple, and we want to be the shorter, straight version of them, but that's another story entirely).  Anyway, Jay and I have had other birthday and work obligations that last couple Fridays, but we were finally able to go to Shabbat this week.  We were lucky because this particular Shabbat is occurring during Passover.  I knew nothing about Passover until JoJo posted the story of the holiday as told by cats.

Jay was raised Catholic and I was raised as an eclectic mix of Methodist, Reformed Protestant, and Cookies Cure All (shared by only myself and the cookie monster).  Eventually I strayed away from religion altogether in my rebellious high school years, and then came to appreciate the traditions and psychological function of religion as I was exposed to different ones in college.

We've really enjoyed learning more about Jewish practices and rituals at our weekly Shabbat dinners.  We've been so grateful for Suzie and JoJo and all their friends to so graciously accept us into their community and teach us about their ways.  I've really been trying to understand the Kosher rules at Shabbat, which has involved extensive Googling and annoyingly texting Suzie every two minutes about what my desserts can and cannot contain.  I may not always know what I'm doing, but I can pretend.  And so far, faking it has led to some pretty tasty Kosher-friendly desserts.  This week was especially challenging with the increased strictness of Passover, but in the end, we were pretty pleased with the result:


Chocolate-Covered Macaroons (Dairy- and Wheat-Free)
Recipe adapted from here
Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
8 ounces unsweetened shredded coconut 
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract (do not add if you are being strictly Kosher, as it contains alcohol)
1 bag Enjoy Life chocolate chips (or other dairy-free chips of your choice)
1 Tbs vegetable shortening

Directions:
  1. Combine coconut, sugar, salt, egg whites, and vanilla in a bowl and stir until combined.
  2. Firmly pack the mixture into a rounded Tablespoon- measuring device.
  3. Bake cookies on a ungreased baking sheet at 325°F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  4. Cool on pan on a wire rack.
  5. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler until smooth and glossy.  Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Pour chocolate over macaroons until they are covered (I did this with a spoon).  Then put them in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.
For step-by-step photos, please see this blog post.

Happy Passover, everyone!  Enjoy your matzah and macaroons!

Love and cookies,

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