A classically trained pastry chef who studied in Paris, Paula Shoyer recently published her second baking book, “The Holiday Kosher Baker: Traditional and Contemporary Holiday Desserts” (Sterling, New York). A beautiful tome, Paula has made it her mission in life to make baking easy, accessible and approachable. And, boy, does she know her stuff. She arranges her new book around the major Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chanukah, Purim, Passover and Shavuot. But, I’m sure you’re going to want to recreate her delicacies at any time of year. The recipe found below is a cinch to make, a definite winner for Passover and a great try for those following a gluten-free diet. Even those who eat gluten will love these cookies for their chewy nut consistency and hit of chocolate.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
G l u t e n – f r e e • n o n – G e b r o k t s • P a r v e
Makes 24 2-inch (5-cm) square bars or 39 1 X 3-inch (2.5 x 8-cm) bars
This one-bowl recipe was adapted from a chocolate chip cookie recipe from my friend Limor Decter.
I like to cut this into 1 x 3-inch (2.5 x 8-cm) bars to make them easier to dunk in milk.
2 cups (400g) sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil, plus extra for
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
3¼ cups (390g) ground almonds
¼ cup (40g) potato starch
1 cup (180g) mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease the bottom And sides of a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) pan.
Press in a piece of parchment paper that is big enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan.
Grease the top and sides of the parchment. Set it aside.
Place the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add the ground almonds and potato starch and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and mix to distribute.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges are brown, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Let cool. Lift out the parchment and then cut into squares or bars. Store at room temperature for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.
On passover, dedicate a coffee grinder exclusively to grinding nuts. I find preground nuts are expensive and desserts taste better if you grind the nuts fresh.
Reprinted with permission from Holiday Kosher Baker © 2013 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Michael Bennett Kress