Baking blog by Molly Yeh about food, adventures, and farm life. Most of my posts include recipes inspired by my jewish and asian roots and my new midwestern surroundings, bits about life around the farm, or tales from adventures near and far. My cookbook Mollyontherange just came out!
I first met a taco pizza when I visited Dubuque, Iowa for the first time, seven years ago! I was seriously into the concept of taco toppings on a pizza crust and got totally jazzed when I moved to Grand Forks the following year and discovered that taco pizza is everywhere here too. Even though I didn’t grow up with it, it made me nostalgic for the kind of tacos that my mom would make when I was little, from the boxed kits- ground meat mixed with a packet of seasonings, shredded orange cheddar, and shredded iceberg lettuce. Super basic. Common taco pizza is essentially that on a pizza crust, plus olives, crushed tortilla chips, and side ramekins of sour cream and salsa. It’s tasty, but a lot of its tastiness for me comes from the nostalgia factor, not necessarily from the fact that it’s an exceptionally good taco situation.
Eggboy and I have had too many extremely good taco situations in LA and Chicago to let this go unnoticed. Our joint dream taco is al pastor, complete with pineapple, cilantro, onion, lots of lime, and tomatillo salsa. (His fave is from Los 3 Ponchos, in Chicago. He once ditched me at a Purim party nearby there to go eat three of their tacos. This was after we’d had dinner there before the party. Where does he find the stomach space for all of this food??) So when his birthday last year fell on pizza Friday, I got to work combining the magic of a great al pastor with the perfection that is Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough. I quickly learned that when you have two perfect things like that, you don’t need much else. I held it all together with melty oaxaca cheese and salty fresh queso fresco, and we just about lost our eyeballs in the back of our heads, it was so good. All of the perfect smoky/sweet/salty flavors of al pastor were there and the doughy pizza crust with the melty cheese took it to a crazy level. The cheeses here don’t overpower, they just bind everything together in meltiness and allow the al pastor to shine. The grilled pineapple makes an entirely new case for pineapple on pizza, and the cilantro and onions sprinkled on at the end add freshness, crunch, and prettiness! I’m obsessed with this pizza. Eggboy is too. It’s 10000% worth the two-day process it takes to make—day one: mix the dough, marinate the meat. Day two: grill the meat and assemble. So as part of my meal prep back in March, I made one and stuck it in the freezer for Eggboy’s first Father’s Day!!!!
Happy Almost Father’s Day to the best taco eater and Bernie dad in the world!
Al Pastor Taco Pizza
Makes 2 14” Pizzas
1 (14oz) can pineapple rings, juice and rings separated
1/2 c tomatillo salsa, plus more for topping and serving
10 oz queso fresco, crumbled
10 oz oaxaca cheese, torn into small pieces
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped yellow onion or pink pickled onions
To make the al pastor, in a food processor, combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, paprika, salt, cumin, black pepper, cloves, and chiles and blend until smooth. Place the pork shoulder in a bowl and pour in the mixture from the food processor. Fold to combine, cover, and let marinate for 4 hours or overnight. (If letting this sit overnight, this is a good time to start your pizza dough.)
Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium high heat. Use tongs to lift the pork out of the marinade and grill in batches until browned and cooked through. Also grill 8 of the pineapple rings until charred. Transfer the pork and pineapple to a cutting board and chop the pineapple into bite sized pieces.
Preheat the oven to 500ºf with a pizza stone if you have one. On a floured surface, divide the pizza dough in half and roll each into a 14” round, dusting with flour as needed. Transfer to a baking sheet or parchment paper (which will make getting it on and off a pizza peel much easier). Top each pizza with 1/4 cup tomatillo salsa, about 5 oz queso fresco (reserving a little bit for topping after baking), 5 oz oaxaca cheese, and 1/2 of the al pastor and pineapple. Bake for about 9-12 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese has brown splotchy marks. Top with a splatter of salsa, cilantro, onions, lime, and reserved queso fresco. Slice and enjoy!
Hello from Bernie’s 10th week! She is nearly 2 1/2 months old and smiles more and more each day! We have settled into the best little routine where every morning we have wiggle time, then go to the gym to stroll and listen to Unorthodox, and then come home and make a..
Rhubarb season, la dee da! [Insert Disney princess humming and singing with the birds!] Everything in the yard is green and happy, the chickens are laying, the cats are hunting, and the rhubarb is very bright pink!!! Let’s get down to business. With dreams of last year’s sea salt chocolate rugelach, I realized it was time for a springtime jam version! And what makes the best springtime jam? Rhubarb from the backyard, of course! And you know I love rhubarb with rosewater and pistachios, so those naturally wiggled their way in too. The result is a buttery, not-too-sweet, nutty cookie that has a hint of sourness from both cream cheese and rhubarb. It’s rustic yet a little fancy, and it’s an ode to both my Jewishness and the farm because without the rhubarb patch on the farm, I probably would have never made these. And they certainly couldn’t have been done without my mom’s perfect rugelach in my cookie genes.
(And hey, if you want to switch up the jams and/or nuts, do it!!)
Rhubarb and Pistachio Rugelach
Makes 24 cookies
2 1/2 c (325g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 c (66g) sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
zest of 1/2 orange or lemon
1 c (226g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
8 oz (226g) cream cheese, straight from the fridge
Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with a splash of water
a few pinches flaky salt
2 tb sugar or coarse sanding sugar
1/4 c (32g)ground toasted pistachios
To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and zest in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the cubed butter, distributing it all over the top of the dry ingredients, and dollop in the cream cheese (1” dollops should do it, but it doesn’t need to be perfect). Turn the mixer on low and stir until the mixture is mostly mealy and there are still some larger clumps of butter and cream cheese in tact. Continue mixing and add the yolks and vanilla and then continue mixing until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least2 hours or up to 2 days.
To form the rugelach, first make the filling by combining the jam with the orange or lemon juice and rosewater, if using, and set it aside. Working with one dough disc at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as needed to prevent it from sticking, until it is a wide rectangle, 18” by 9”. Use an offset spatula to spread on half of the jam in a thin even layer, leaving a 1” border along the long edge that’s furthest from you. Sprinkle with half of the finely chopped pistachios. Brush the 1” border with a thin layer of egg wash and then start on the end closest to you and roll the dough into a long tight log, placing it seam side down. transfer to a cutting board or baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 2 hoursor up to 2 days (depending on fridge space, you might want to cut the log in half so you’re dealing with four shorter logs as opposed to two really long ones).
If you’re only refrigerating for a couple of hours, no need to cover the logs. If longer than that, cover with plastic wrap.
To bake, preheat the oven to 375ºf and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. brush the logs with a thin layer of egg wash, sprinkle with a few pinches of flaky salt, a lot of pinches of sanding sugar, and a good pile of ground pistachios. Cut into 1 1/2” slices and transfer to the baking sheets, 1” apart. Bake until golden brown on top; begin checking for doneness at 24 minutes. (You might notice that the cookies seem to sweat and leak out some fat and jam while in the oven, this is completely normal.) Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Or enjoy them warm! Leftovers can be stored at room temp for several days.
Hello, I am so excited about this cake mix!!!! It’s everything I love in one tidy highly giftable package: cute jars, sprinkles, typewriter cards, string, peanut butter (!), a menorah candle disguised as a birthday wish, and the anticipation of cake! Developing this might have been my favorite part of meal prep especially because it’s the most fun and also, well, it’s for my birthday today! I just figured, who knows if Eggboy will have time to bake my annual yellow cake, and I’ll certainly be too busy to pipe a dang embroidery marzipan llama. So what’s the easiest next best option? A homemade peanut butter cake mix with chocolate glaze mix that I can whip up with a Bernie in one arm and a whisk in the other. I assembled the mix back in March and it’s been sitting in my pantry since. (I kind of feel like I should have half a dozen of these on hand for future cake emergencies, no?) I’d never made anything like it before but realized after looking at my peanut butter cake ingredients that most of the ingredients are easily available in powdered form. Powdered peanut butter and powdered milk were the only two things that I didn’t already have on hand but I bought some at the store and tried them out and they worked so well! So the only things that are required for assembly are an egg, oil, and water, just like a store-bought mix! The result is a really moist and fluffy cake with a shiny chocolatey glaze. I made a set of dala horse cakes, just enough for our little family, but this can be made in a round 8” cake pan or easily doubled and made into a sheet cake!
Homemade Cake Mix for Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Glaze
Makes 1 One-layer 8” Round Cake
3/4 c + 2 tb (175g) sugar
1/2 c + 2 tb (81g) all-purpose flour
1/2 c (65g) cake flour, or more all-purpose flour
1/4 c (28g) powdered peanut butter (such as PB2)
2 tb (14g) milk powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/8 tsp baking powder
1 c (120g) powdered sugar
1/4 c (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder (I like dutch cocoa for the darker color)
2 tb (14g) powdered peanut butter
1 tb (7g) milk powder
Other bells and whistles:
A birthday candle
A card with directions (see below)
A packet of sprinkles and other colorful candy
Other decorations as desired
In a medium jar (I used a 1/2 L Weck jar), layer the sugar, flour, cake flour, peanut butter powder, milk powder, salt, and baking powder. In a separate smaller jar (I used a 1/4 L Weck jar), layer the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, peanut butter powder, and milk powder. Cover and wrap up cutely with a candle, directions card, a packet of sprinkles, and any other decorations. Go wild! Gift it to the birthday person!
Directions To Bake (print this out or make a card on a typewriter if you’re into that)
Preheat oven to 350ºf. Grease an 8” round cake pan.
Dump the large jar into a bowl and whisk to combine. Add 1 large egg, 1 cup water, and 1/4 cup oil and whisk to combine.
Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan.
Add 3 tablespoons water to the small jar and mix until spreadable, adding an additional tablespoon of water if it’s too thick to spread. Pour over cake.
I prepped my Mother’s Day brunch months in advance, I prepped my birthday cake months in advance (coming next week!), so obviously I also prepped my birthday dinner months in advance. I promise this isn’t a statement about my faith in Eggboy’s cooking skills so much as it is an example of my obsession with meal prep. I don’t know if it was obvious but I started planning my baby meal prep the moment the little pee stick flashed the word “pregnant” on it. Sorry, I’ll never talk about pee in a recipe post again. So back in like August when I was planning all of this, I thought what will I want to eat on my birthday in May? It was so far in the future but macaroni and cheese always has and always will be my number one favorite food, so I figured that was the most reliable choice.
So here is a version of mac and cheese that I have been really loving these days. It’s not as cheesy as the casseroles that I grew up eating on every special occasion, it’s more saucy and milky, and pretty mild, flavor-wise. I knew I’d be prepping giant batches of it to have on hand for my whole maternity leave, so I went with something that was on the lighter end of the spectrum, at least for mac and cheese. It’s got a pretty green dollop of springy pesto (I used store-bought but would have used homemade if I had basil back in March!), and these individual servings make it really easy to heat quickly. They’re perfect to pair with salad or, my go-to sides as a 7-year-old, apple slices and cold baby carrots.
If you’ve never made mac and cheese before or are looking to create your own version of mac and cheese with all of your favorite cheeses and mix-ins, this is a great basic recipe to start with. It’s pretty barebones, which means that it lends itself nicely to switching up or adding more cheeses (any cheese should work! less melty ones, like feta, won’t yield a smooth sauce but they’ll still be tasty), adding different flavors (paprika, nutmeg, sriracha, harissa, a little mustard, etc.), veggies (peas! onions! broccoli!) or meats (hot dogsssss!!!!). You can really go wild here.
And of course, you don’t have to make individual servings or make this to freeze ahead. Bake this in a big casserole dish! Immediately! Or do what I do and just stand over the pot and take a million test bites, just to make sure it’s good, before it gets dumped in the casserole and browned in the oven for other people to eat since you’ve just filled up on “test bites.”
I’ve used Our Family cheese and noodles here, which I always have on hand in case of mac and cheese emergencies!
Mozzarella Pesto Mac and Cheese (Freezer Friendly)
makes 10 servings
1 lb (16oz) Our Familymini shells or macaroni noodles
If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 375ºf. If prepping for the freezer, see directions below.
Cook the noodles to al dente per the directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute. Add the milk, one cup at a time, whisking or stirring with a wooden spoon after each until thickened. Add the mozzarella, swiss, and 1/2 cup of the parmesan and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add this point if you want to add fun mix-ins like cut up hot dogs or crispy bacon or peas or hot sauce, now’s the time to do so. Stir in the noodles. It may seem overly saucy at this point but once it bakes up, it’ll be perfect!
To bake immediately, pour into a 9” x 13” casserole dish, dollop all over with the pesto and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan and bake for 25 minutes, or until browned and bubbly. Enjoy!
To prepare for the freezer, divide into 10 individual containers (I like these because they are safe for the oven, microwave, and freezer). Add a heaping teaspoon of pesto to the tops of each and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan. Let cool slightly, wrap well in plastic wrap, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven at 375º for 25 minutes covered with foil plus 20 minutes uncovered, or until browned and heated through. Or reheat in the microwave by heating for 4 minutes, stirring halfway through. Enjoy!
Back in March when I was doing all of my meal prep, I realized that Mother’s Day would happen soon after I gave birth! It was a wild realization that I’d suddenly be an honoree of the day and I obviously immediately got the urge to cry and be emotional. I imagined my perfect Mother’s Day with a newborn (which is different than my perfect Mother’s Day with, say, a 6-year-old because by that time I can expect some super cute breakfast in bed, right?!) and what I imagined was holding a little nugget in one hand and eating my special brunch in another. A brunch on a stick. And one of my favorite brunches ever, pancakes and sausage! I mean, a bouquet of flowers would be nice but a bouquet of pancakes and sausage on a stick would be nice and tasty. So here we are, I made my own Mother’s Day brunch and it’s in the freezer now waiting to be microwaved. Lol. Pressure’s off, Eggboy!
Pancakes and sausage on a stick were one of my faaaavorite breakfasts growing up. We’d get them in bulk from Market Day at school (does Market Day still exist?! Omg, it does!) and I’d have them before early morning ice skating practices. These days I can’t walk by them in the freezer section of the Super Target without seriously considering buying them every single time but then I look at the ingredients and have to put them down. So with this homemade version, even though they’re a totally fried breakfast version of a corn dog, I feel a little better about eating them because I can use my fave sausages (I like Applegate’s natural chicken sausages) and then also add some oat flour to the batter. More oats = more boob milk! Yeah! And the oats add a nice nuttiness to the pancake.
So here’s a big batch that you can make, freeze, and nuke for breakfast in a snap and Mother’s Day with a newborn and the like!
Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick
1/2 c (65g) all-purpose flour
1/2 c (65g) oat flour, or more all-purpose flour
2 tb sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
2 tb flavorless oil
1/2 c (120g) buttermilk
18 pre-cooked breakfast sausages (if frozen, heat them a little just until they’re soft enough to insert with lollipop sticks)
Flavorless oil, for frying
Maple syrup, optional, for serving
Fill a large heavy pot or high sided skillet fitted with a thermometer with 1” of oil and heat over medium high heat to 360º F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg, oil, and buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the batter to a tall skinny glass or measuring cup (this step isn’t completely necessary, but it will make coating the sausages easier). Working in batches of 3 or 4 sausages at a time, insert popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks into the sausages, pat off any excess moisture with a paper towel, and dip them into the pancake batter to fully coat, scraping off excess. It doesn’t need to be a very thick coating as the batter will puff up when frying. Carefully lower the entire thing (stick included) into the hot oil and fry until golden, 1 1/2-2 minutes. Use tongs to transfer to a paper towel or wire rack. Repeat with the remaining sausages. Cool slightly before serving.
To freeze, cool completely and then store in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, wrap loosely in a paper towel and microwave for about 40 seconds, or until heated through. Let cool slightly and enjoy!
Despite getting aggressively sick of matzo and showering millions of matzo crumbs all over Bernie every day (sorry, Bernie!), we had the best Passover ever. My mom flew in like a true Passover Mary Poppins and prepared the most delicious brisket, sweet potato kugel, matzo balls, and charoset while I fumbled around just trying to melt some dang chocolate for a flourless chocolate cake while Bernie snoozed but sometimes wailed in her ring sling. (Check out the finished cake! Whatever the cake decorating equivalent is to the Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, I’m practicing for it.) We set the table with my favorite flowery tablecloth and a makeshift seder plate, complete with Bernie’s toy beet because we couldn’t find a bone and it turns out that a beet is commonly used on vegetarian seder tables, and had the Eggs over for a short and sweet Seder. Bernie slept the entire time and even let me put her down in her bouncy chair so that I could safely eat some soup. She kind of woke up to telepathically guide Eggboy to where she thought the Afikoman was hiding and won, of course. Her prize was a Mo Willems book from Auntie Elaine.
The rest of the week consisted of leftover brisket matzo pizza, cheesy matzo brei, matzo lasagna, pb and j on matzo, kewpie and swiss on matzo… If I was an octopus I would have fixed big beautiful ramp-filled spring salads while also cuddling Bernie, but I’m not an octopus so I chose the next best route which still involved cuddling Bernie but required having to just one-hand scarf the most readily available calories on top of matzo. (And I only cheated once when I determined that one hour of solid Bernie screaming earned me one unit of chametz, which I redeemed in the form of a Jimmy John’s Turkey Tom.)
Other than Passover, we have had such a wonderful month, the first month of Bernie! It has included lots of firsts and lots of learning:
-Bernie took a pacifier for the first time yesterday and I melted almost as quickly as I did the first time I held her. What is it about baby faces with pacifiers sticking out of them that are sooo outrageously adorable??
-We baked challah for the first time! Bernie was nestled in her Solly wrap while I braided. We made three loaves: everything bagel, cinnamon raisin, and sea salt. I hope she enjoyed the smell of it baking. Imagine smelling freshly baked challah for the first time!
-I learned how to not get projectile pooped on. (Of course, it took getting projectile pooped on to learn that…but it was my own fault for standing in the line of fire.)
-I learned how to plan a Sunday to avoid the witching hour so that Bernie would be calm throughout Game of Thrones.
-This morning I took Bernie up a flight of stairs for the first time. She was in her sling and fast asleep but in my mind it was a *moment*.
-Bernie had her first bath and I think she likes bath time!!
-I learned that the acoustics in the grocery store are not actually that bad when combined with Bernie screams. The acoustics in the gym kind of are though. Conveniently, it’s easier to drop everything and leave the gym than it is to drop everything and leave the grocery store.
-And lastly, I learned how to have reasonable limits. Do one thing every day, just one, advised Eggsister, and it’s been the best goal. One outing (like going to the grocery store or on a walk at the gym, but not both) or one project (like writing this blog post or baking something or working on Bernie’s baby book) plus all of the necessary baby stuff (feeding, changing, tummy time, bath time, cuddling) and adult stuff (brushing my teeth, eating a granola bar, staring at Bernie, and occasionally showering) makes a successful day these days. I’ve been slow moving but doing my best to savor every bit of it.
Ok now if you’ll excuse me I’ve wanted a piece of challah for the past three hours so I’m going to prepare to make the journey with Bernie from living room to kitchen for that piece of challah. See you in a month!
I am so curious to see what our opinions are re: matzo after Passover is over this year because since last year’s Passover, we have basically kept the itsy bitsy Kosher section of our grocery store in business with our aggressive year-round matzo eating habit. I ate an insane amount of it while I was pregnant, with peanut butter and jelly, with Kewpie mayo and sliced cheese, and in extra shallot-y matzo brei covered in ketchup. Matzo was my go-to 3am snack, in bed. I am pretty sure Bernie is 1/3 made of matzo. Eating matzo is different when you have the option to eat bread though, right? Which is why we never got sick of it. This week without the option though, I’m afraid we’ll get sick of it and I’ll have to find another easy 3am snack. What a dramatic life we lead!
When it came to baby meal prep, I was told over and over to make lasagna! So a matzo lasagna, one big enough to provide enough leftovers for a few good days, was an obvious choice for Passover. And I wanted to make sure it was veggie packed, so I converted my spring vegetable quinoa hotdish in Molly on the Range to a freezer-friendly layered situation. The matzo pieces get nice and soft with the white sauce, and the flavors of leeks, chives, ricotta, and peas whisper spring! Even though it’s totally loaded up with cheese and milk, the ricotta and bright flavors add a nice sense of airiness. And there’s layers upon layers of spinach in this. So go ahead, have seconds!
Thanks to Our Family for partnering on this post and providing all of the cheese for this delicious Passover supper!
Spring Veggie White Matzo Lasagna
Makes one 9” x 13” casserole
1/4 c (57g) unsalted butter
2 large leeks, chopped
4 scallions or ramps, chopped, white and green parts separated
If planning to bake immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºf. If prepping ahead, see directions below.
To make the sauce, in a large pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the leeks, the white parts of the scallions or ramps, and a pinch of salt and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, and then stir in the matzo meal and cook for another minute. Add the milk, one cup at a time, stirring until thickened after each. Add the vegetable stock and continue to stir until thickened. Stir in the green parts of the scallions or ramps, the chives (reserving a small handful for the topping), peas, nutmeg, onion powder, a few turns of black pepper, hot sauce, and salt to taste. Remove from heat.
To make the filling, in a medium bowl, mix together the egg, ricotta, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella, and the salt.
To assemble, spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9” x 13” casserole pan (see specifics below on type of pan you should use if you’re planning to freeze). Layer in the following: 2 sheets of matzo, a third of the cheese filling dolloped all over, 1 cup of spinach, a layer of sauce, 2 sheets of matzo, another third of the cheese filling, 1 cup of spinach, a layer of sauce, 2 sheets of matzo, the remaining cheese filling, 1 cup of spinach, remaining sauce, and then sprinkle the top with the remaining 3 sheets of matzo broken into pieces, and the reserved parmesan, mozzarella, chives, and a few turns of pepper.
Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes, and then for an additional 15 minutes uncovered, or until golden brown on top. Enjoy!
To freeze: I’d recommend using a foil pan that you can place directly in the oven from the freezer. Otherwise, you can use glass or enameled cast iron pan, but it would be best to defrost it in the fridge overnight before baking to avoid cracking the pan. Once the lasagna is assembled, let it cool slightly and wrap in plastic wrap or foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, bake at 350ºf covered in foil for 1 hour 30 minutes, and then uncovered for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and heated through. Enjoy!
Frozen cookie dough is an essential part of baby meal prep!!!! And just because Passover is around the corner doesn’t make this any different. Well, it actually kind of makes it easier because these cookies are, like, stupidly simple to make. One-bowl, three-minute simple. Remember this Passover cookie cake from a few years ago? Magic, right?! So chewy, delicious, and satisfying, and easy enough that some people asked if there was a typo and if there should have been more steps (no typo!). So these chocolate chip cookies are just hand-held versions of that cake that kind of take on a new life of their own because when they’re in this smaller shape and rolled in sugar, they get a crisp crunchy shell but stay so amazingly chewy inside. And also, you can keep this dough in the freezer and bake off only one or two cookies at a time as needed, so the convenience is real. And the flavor is awesome too, thanks to a tasty nut flour base. If you’d like to change things up and add dried fruit or M&M’s or other candy or chopped nuts, you can totally do that with these. Happy almost Passover!
Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c (112g) almond flour
1 c (112g) hazelnut flour, or 1 more cup almond flour
1/2 c (100g) lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c (100g) sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
1 tb vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 oz chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (any kind!)
Coarse sanding sugar or turbinado sugar
If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºf. If preparing for the freezer, see below for directions. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugars, and salt. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond and stir to combine and then stir in the chocolate. The whole mixture might seem dry at first, but keep on stirring and it will come together. Roll balls that are slightly larger than gold balls and roll them sanding sugar. Flatten them slightly and then place them on the baking sheet, 1” apart.
If baking immediately, bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool slightly and enjoy! They will be super gooey when they come out of the oven but they will get chewy as they cool.
If preparing to freeze, stick the baking sheet in the freezer until the dough is frozen, about an hour or so, and then transfer to a ziploc bag. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake cookies 1” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment at 350ºf for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool slightly and enjoy! They will be super gooey when they come out of the oven but they will get chewy as they cool.
I’ve been preparing for this year’s Passover for months now. Ever since I realized that Passover would be Bernie’s first major holiday, I’ve had so many things going through my mind. This is our first holiday as a little family! It’s going to be the best thing ever! I’m going to cry so much!!!!!! Literally I can’t even imagine explaining the bitter herbs to Bernie without tearing up. And carrying her around while searching for the afikoman?? I’m weeping. The food, I realized, would have to be delicious and memorable but mostly prep-aheadable. In my freezer I have balls of Passover chocolate chip cookie dough and a white matzo lasagna (recipes coming soon for both of these), as well as chicken stock that will hopefully see some matzo balls. My mom is planning to be here for Passover so I’m hoping that between the two of us and Eggboy, we’ll be able to both snuggle Bernie all day long and roll a matzo ball. And braise a brisket. Even though braises do really well in the freezer, I didn’t get around to braising one before she arrived. (Oh, this is what Mom guilt is!)
I did however make a bunch of these meatballs that I love for multiple reasons:
-The flavor is incredible, they taste sausage-y, thanks to a sprinkling of fennel seeds and a heavy hand with the herbs.
-There’s spinach hiding in them! Even though they’re warm and comforting, they’re on the more nutritious end of the spectrum when it comes to freezer foods.
-They’re great as a Passover dish or a non-Passover dish. They’re not like those foods that only really taste good on the sixth day of Passover when you have Passover goggles on.
-Eggboy is obsessed with meatballs. He is meatball boy.
-They freeze and reheat really easily. I store them in a ziploc bag, so they can smoosh in anywhere in the freezer, and then you can reheat them just by tossing them into red sauce or sticking them in the oven.
Here I’ve plated them up with some creamy tahini sauce (garlicky yogurt sauce is also nice) and a super bright and springy chimichurri. It’s a fun way to eat them for a pasta-less week or if you’re just looking for a filling side for an otherwise vegetable-centric meal. When it’s not Passover I’m definitely piling these high on top of pappardelle.
Turkey and Spinach Meatballs with Tahini and Chimichurri
Makes 22-24 meatballs
2 tb olive oil, plus more for cooking meatballs
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
8 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 large egg
1/2 c (30g) matzo meal (or panko breadcrumbs)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 lb ground turkey (93% lean)
1/4 c tahini
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tb water
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c (100g) olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425ºf.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large oven-safe skillet. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and fennel and cook for another minute and then add the spinach in batches, stirring, until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the egg, breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, a few turns of black pepper, the onion powder, cayenne, thyme, oregano, paprika, parsley, turkey, and the slightly cooled spinach mixture and use your hands to mix to combine.
Wipe out the skillet that was used to heat the spinach and then heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium high heat. Form the turkey mixture into golfball-sized balls and brown them on all sides, in 2 or 3 batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Transfer the browned meatballs to a plate. Once all of the meatballs are browned, return them to the skillet and stick the skillet in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until they’re cooked through and have an internal temperature of 160ºf. To make the tahini sauce, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and water until smooth and pourable. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water, if it’s runny, add more tahini. Season with salt and pepper.
To make the chimichurri, combine all ingredients in a food processor, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and blend until smooth. If you don’t want to use a food processor, you can also chop the herbs and garlic finely by hand and mix with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
To serve, spread a large dollop of tahini sauce on a plate or shallow bowl, top with meatballs and drizzle on the chimichurri to taste. Enjoy!
To freeze: cooked meatballs can be cooled and stored in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, place on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake at 350º for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Prepared chimichurri can be frozen as well. Defrost at room temp or heat briefly in the microwave. I wouldn’t recommend freezing tahini sauce, but it’s super easy to whip up!