Archive for April, 2009

Best Brownies


I was visiting a friend recently who was keeping Kosher for Passover, and who was wanting something cake-like. I had seen on Hannah Kaminsky’s blog a new recipe for Passover-friendly brownies, and wanted to try them out…So here they are! The only change I made to the recipe was to add chocolate chunks into the batter. They were out of this world, and true to Hannah’s description they are straddling the line between cakey and fudgey, and I think they are definitely the best vegan brownies I’ve ever had! Hannah’s recipe can be found here.

Raw Banana Pie

Also Kosher for Passover, this raw banana pie was delicious! It was nice to have a lighter dessert pared with the rich dark chocolate desserts also served, which were quite heavy without any levening! This pie was pretty easy to throw together, although I will have to remember next time to take it out of the freezer quite a bit before serving time to let it thaw out. Unfortunately, I did not measure my ingredients exactly, so here is an approximate ingredient list:

1 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup dates, soaked tap water for at least 20 minutes
4 bananas, peeled and frozen
1/2 cup strawberries
1 slice lemon, or other fruit for garnish

Step 1: Grind raw almonds in a food processor until it reaches almost a “meal” consistency. Add pitted and soaked dates, and puree together until it is a good thick paste. Press evenly into your pie pan to form the bottom crust.


Step 2: Blend frozen bananas in your food processor or blender, till smooth and thick like frozen yogurt. Pour into your crust and flatten the top with a knife or the back of a large spoon.

Step 3: Slice strawberries and layer in a circle shape, with a slice or two of lemon in the center for garnish.



Step 4: Put pie in freezer to harden. Remember to take it out about 30 minutes before you want to serve it, and let it sit at room temperature to soften a bit. You want it to still be firm, so the banana filling holds together when you slice it.

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

This chocolate torte was very rich and fudgy and I’m trying to convince myself it was healthy too! Since it had to be Kosher for Passover (which means no flour, leavening, etc.), it was made with almond meal – and it had a lot of raspberries, and so clearly it has a lot of protein, vitamins, and nutrients, right? And dark chocolate is certainly good for you…In any case, it was delicious, especially with the tart raspberry-lemon sauce that I whipped up at the last minute and poured liberally on top.


Chocolate Matzo Toffee

Honestly, I had never heard of this decadent treat before, but it is my friend Julie’s Passover family tradition, so we made it together. It is incredibly addictive and I had to make a second batch because I ate too much of it before the Seder! Here are some photos of the process.

Matzo spread out on the pan, waiting the caramel and chocolate to be spread on top:


Caramel bubbling on the stove:


Caramel and chocolate chips:


The finished product:



The recipe is very easy, it’s just a matter of making sure you spread the caramel when it’s at just the right consistency, before it cooks too long and burns! Hannah Kaminsky has a good version of the recipe on her blog, which can be seen here.

Chocolate Merlot Cupcakes

I made chocolate Merlot cupcakes for my mom’s birthday. The cake had a rich Merlot taste, and a reddish color. The frosting was light and fluffy and tasted like a very sweet Merlot, colored only by the wine!



Chocolate Avocado Pudding and Coconut Tapioca Parfait

My friend Tara and I have been sending each other recipes and comparing notes; she recently made an amazing sounding vegan chocolate pudding, which gets it’s pudding-like consistency from ripened avocados!

Here is a picture of Tara’s pudding:


It’s luscious looking! I had to try making it. You can’t taste the avocado in it at all; my tasters couldn’t even tell what the base was. Besides being vegan and chocolate and delectable, it also only takes 5 minutes to make! Throw all the ingredients into your blender and it’s done! Amazing. I wanted to round out the dark chocolate flavor, so I made another easy recipe, coconut tapioca pudding, to go with it.


For the chocolate pudding, you will need:

1 large ripe avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup wet sweetener (I used maple syrup, but agave could work too)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. water (add additional water 1 Tbsp. at a time to get right consistency)

Throw all the ingredients into your blender or food processor. Blend, scraping down the sides as necessary, and add more water slowly if you need to thin it out.


Coconut Tapioca Ingredients:
2 cups water
3 Tbsp. small Tapioca pearls
3 Tbsp. sugar
tiny pinch of salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup shredded coconut

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the tapioca pearls, using a whisk or fork to keep pearls from sticking together. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the tapioca to simmer for about 17 minutes. Periodically stir with a whisk or fork to prevent the balls from sticking to one another. In a seperate bowl, whisk the sugar, salt, and coconut milk. At the end of 17 minutes, the tapioca will have slightly thickened and the liquid will be cloudy. Whisk the coconut mixture into the tapioca. Once it has returned to a simmer, allow it to continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Stir and chill. Stir in the shredded coconut, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Refrigerate to room temperature.

Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies

I volunteer with a photography-oriented mentoring program in San Francisco, and one of the students requested that I bring in oatmeal raisin cookies. Her mentor suggested adding dried apricots, and of course I couldn’t resist making some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies too. I had been skeptical of the oatmeal apricot cookies beforehand, but they definitely won out in overal taste! They were sweet and tangy, and like the other varieties they were delightfully chewy.


The recipe I used was straight off the Quaker Oatmeal box, except I substituted applesauce instead of eggs to make it vegan, and added extra spices. The title of the recipe on the box was right; these really did “vanish” quickly!
1 cup Earth Balance, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 pinch each of ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves
3 cups uncooked oats
chocolate chips, raisins, or chopped dried apricots, to taste

Preheat oven to 350┬░ F. Beat together Earth Balance and sugars until creamy. Add applesauce and vanilla extract; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, and spices; mix well. Slowly stir in oats. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute on pan, then move to wire racks until completely cool.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. Photos, Original Recipes & Text ┬ęcookiesandcandids 2008-2010 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. If you repost any material from this blog, please give credit by including a link back to me. Thank you!