It’s that time again, my lovelies. Passover is upon us! What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t give you some recipe love?
As I’ve mentioned, this is the most challenging food week of the year. I don’t like matza or anything that tastes like it, so my Passover philosophy is to avoid cooking or baking with it as much as possible. Instead, I use nut flours and potato starch, which taste much closer to the real deal.
Every year I buy a new recipe book, and this year I got Paula Shoyer’s The New Passover Menu. It’s an incredible cookbook, and it includes these cookie bars. My holiday is now officially better!
Lately, I’ve experienced a little crisis in confidence. Do you ever go through that? It’s much easier to believe in ourselves when others believe in us. Whenever someone overlooks me or underrates my abilities, I start to doubt myself. I’m guessing that I’m not alone in that.
There are areas in life in which I feel unquestionably competent: teaching, for instance, or baking. Parenting? Nope, that’s something I always feel insecure about, but that seems normal to me. I assume that feeling that way is totally fine, so I’m okay with that kind of insecurity.
But what happens when someone questions my abilities in an area that I dominate? That I am, unquestionably, excellent? Ideally I should stand tall and think, “What jerks.” But there’s also that little voice inside me, the one that says, “Maybe you’re not as good as you think you are.”
Those are dark thoughts, and I try to banish them. But when they pop up, it’s not pleasant. Can anyone relate?
While you’re busy thinking about that, focus on these bars. I’m totally confident that they rock. Hey, my confidence in baked goods shall never be shaken.
The nut flour really makes these rock. I’m a big fan of ground almond meal, and when mixed with a flour stand-in (potato starch in this case), the result is really quite reminiscent of a non-Passover dessert. I think Paula Shoyer must be simpatico with my own Passover baking rule of thumb: never, if it can possibly be helped, bake with matza meal or matza cake meal. Go with something more natural. Both the texture and the taste are better that way. I did adapt Shoyer’s recipe a tiny bit (the original includes more mix-ins), but I’m hoping she won’t mind!
We all have rough weeks, or months, when we’re feeling a little less confident than usual. At least, I think we do. Maybe that’s just part of life, but I hope we all come out of it okay. After all, not every day can be great. But it can include great cookie bars!
Cookie Bars for Passover!
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
3 and 1/4 cups ground almonds
1/4 cup potato starch
2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla sugar until well combined. Add the ground almonds and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Press the batter into the prepared pan. It will be sticky.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is firm and the edges are browned.
- Cool completely and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.