This recipe was given to me a few years ago by a friend. It fools many people who do not believe it is a Passover recipe. I always double the recipe and use a half-sheet pan. The squares are very thin and crisp and we love it this way. I use pecans or walnuts, but almonds would be good, too. These bars can be frozen.
Food Editor's notes:
This is the winner of the Passover 2005 ShalomBoston.com Recipe Contest! It is an easy, delicious bar-style cookie and Carol is right - people will never guess it is kosher for Passover. It tastes just like a crisp butter cookie, with chocolate and nuts – what could be better? Make several batches and freeze them, because they are perfect for any occasion and will be gobbled up by kids and adults alike. (Skip the nuts, if you must.)
I made this three times, with different size pans, different nuts (walnuts, toasted hazelnuts), and once with all butter. Each time the results were excellent, although there were differences worth noting. My favorite version was in the 10 x 15-inch pan, using all butter. The base, in fact the entire cookie, was quite thin and crisp, just the way I like my bars and cookies. When I made the bars in a smaller 9 x 13-inch pan (a quarter-sheet pan), the cookie was a little thicker (both the base and the chocolate) and also softer and chewier. They would probably be crispier if allowed to bake a few minutes longer. I brought this batch to a dinner party and got rave reviews for them as well, with no one guessing they were kosher for Passover. When I asked a few key people if they would prefer a thinner base or not, one or two did dare to say yes, while the others were perfectly satisfied with the way they were. So, I would say that you should make this recipe once, any way you like, and then tinker with it to get the exact size and texture that you prefer. All versions will be excellent – all will disappear in a flash!
1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
1/4 pound margarine (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup cake meal
2 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla (Passover)
5-6 ounces chocolate chips
1/2 cup ground nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 1-inch pan (quarter-sheet pan), or a 10 x 15 x 1-inch pan.
Cream together butter, margarine, and sugars. Add the egg yolk and blend well.
Mix together the cake meal, potato starch, and salt. Add to the butter/sugar mixture.
Add vanilla and mix well.
Flatten the dough into the baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes [less for the larger pan; longer for the smaller pan].
Remove immediately and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top. Spread chocolate when melted. [Food Editor's note: Spread gently, so as not to disturb the top of the cookie base. If you do, it's not terrible – cover as best you can with the chocolate. The nuts will hide all faults!]
Top with ground nuts, pressing in slightly.
Let cool completely before cutting (if you can!).
An empty nester, Carol Rosenstock and her husband Steven live in Needham. They are the proud parents of Jason and Paula (who were married in November, 2004), and Andrew. Carol enjoys cooking and baking and loves to try new recipes. Carol is very active in Women's American ORT and is currently chairing a cookbook committee at Temple Aliyah in Needham. She is a fan of ShalomBoston.com.