Kosher Dessert

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

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Makes about 4 dozen. 

Biscotti in Italian means “twice baked” – once in a log form, then sliced and then baked again to make them crisp (which makes the biscotti wonderful for dipping into tea, espresso, or sweet dessert wine). They keep very well refrigerated in an air-tight container with wax paper in between the layers.  

This recipe is a revised version, which I hope you will try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup blanched almonds, 5 ounces

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ cup unsweetened imported cocoa powder

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature well beaten with a fork

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for about 5 minutes, or until golden. Cool. (See Note)  

  3. Line an 18x13 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper.  

  4. In a large bowl combine nuts, flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the eggs and oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is combined.   

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and continue working with your hands to form a smooth square.

  6. Divide dough in half. 

  7. Roll each piece of dough into two 14x1 inch smooth logs. Lightly flatten the tops of the logs and square the ends, place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch.    

  8. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into ¼ inch slices while still warm, using a serrated bread knife. If you have difficulty cutting them that thin, you can cut them thicker.     

  9. Arrange the biscotti on the same cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

 

NOTE:

If you own a toaster oven you may prefer to toast the almonds in it.

Almond Cake

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Makes 16, 2-inch squares.  

Simple to make, rich in almond flavor, this dessert is delicious served as a snack or with tea. I like to cut the cake into almost bite size squares, but that’s my preference. The whole preparation is done in a food processor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ cups plus 1/3 cup sliced, blanched almonds, toasted (See Note)

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • Zest of 2 lemons

  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract

  • ½ cup extra -virgin olive oil

PREPARATION:

  1. Line with parchment paper a 9 inch square baking pan, making sure that the paper extends a little over the rim.  

  2. Preheat the oven to 300F. 

  3. In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup sliced almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar and zest of 1 lemon.

  4. This will be the TOPPING.  

  5. Place 1½ cups almonds, flour, baking powder and baking soda in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Transfer to a bowl.  

  6. Place the eggs, ¾ cup sugar, the rest of the lemon zest and almond extract into the food processor and pulse until the mixture is light and frothy.  

  7. With the processor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube until thoroughly combined. Add the almond mixture and pulse to combine. 

  8. Pour the mixture into the pan and sprinkle with the topping. 

  9. Bake 45- 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.

NOTE:

I toast the almonds in a 350F preheated oven on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden. 

 

Flourless Hazelnut Cake

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Makes 12 servings. 

A light tea cake which I like to serve with a raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries, this dessert is moist and has a bit of texture. It keeps fresh for many days refrigerated. Be gentle when you slice it, the hazelnuts make it difficult to cut. Keep this cake in mind for Passover.

INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE:

  • ¾ pound hazelnuts, toasted (See Note)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine

  • 2 tablespoons potato flour

  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature (See Note)

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • Zest of one lemon

  • ¼ cup lemon juice, about 1 large lemon

  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting the cake

INGREDIENTS FOR RASPBERRY SAUCE:

  • One 12 ounce package unsweetened frozen raspberries, thawed

  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

PREPARATION FOR CAKE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F 

  2. Chop the hazelnuts semi- coarsely, in 2 batches, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. 

  3. Grease a 10x2 ½ inch spring form pan with margarine and dust with potato flour. Invert pan and shake off excess. 

  4. Beat egg yolks in an electric mixer at medium speed, adding sugar gradually until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.

  5. Lower the speed and add the lemon zest and lemon juice, beating until combined.  

  6. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff. 

  7. With a large rubber spatula, fold half of the nuts and a quarter of the whites into the yolks.  Repeat with the rest of the nuts and another quarter of the whites.

  8. Now reverse the process, pouring batter over the whites. Gradually fold the two mixtures together, making a motion like a figure eight, until all the whites have disappeared. Pour batter into pan distributing the batter evenly and smooth the top, if needed.  

  9. Bake in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes. It’s ready when you insert a tester into the center and it comes out dry.  

  10. Cool on a wire rack. The cake may drop a bit.

  11. Release the sides with a metal spatula and remove the rim. Loosen the bottom as well

  12. Invert onto a platter.  If the bottom is not attractive invert it again. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. 

PREPARATION FOR RASPBERRY SAUCE:

  1. Puree the raspberries in a blender until smooth.

  2. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve. Push the solids through the sieve with the back of a wooden spoon to obtain as much puree as possible. Be sure to scrape the underside of the sieve.

  3. Discard the pulp left in the sieve.

  4. Season to taste with sugar.

NOTE:

To roast the hazelnuts spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place  in a preheated 350F oven for about 15 minutes. Rub in a dish towel to remove the skin (some skin will remain). 

I separate the eggs when they are cold. This prevents the yolks from breaking. Then leave them to warm a bit at room temperature.

 

Honey Nut Balls

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Makes about 6 dozen cookies. 

Easy to make, nutritious and not too sweet, these treats keep well refrigerated or frozen for a long time. 

I store them in a tight-fitting container with wax paper in between the layers.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ pound almonds, about 2 cups

  • ½ pound walnuts, about 2½ cups

  • Grated rind of 1 lemon

  • Grated rind of 1 orange

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

  • ½ cup honey

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature, whisked

  • ¾-1 cup flour

  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting the cookies

PREPARATION:

  1. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. 

  3. Roast almonds and walnuts in a single layer for about 10 minutes.  

  4. Reduce the oven to 250F. 

  5. Chop the nuts coarsely, SEPERATELY IN BATCHES, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

  6. Transfer to a bowl with the rinds, juices, honey and egg whites. Mix well.

  7. Add flour gradually, mixing with a wooden spoon to form a thick, but not stiff mixture.  

  8. Roll generous teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls between damp (not wet) palms. You will have to rinse your hands from time to time. Place on the cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes, until the tops feel firm to the touch. 

  9. Cool on a wire rack and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

 
 

Apple Tart

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Makes 9 servings. 

I like to make this tart in a square pan and cut it into square slices. The tart does not get soggy even after a few days; there is very little in the filling to create moisture.  

It is quite convenient to have the shell prebaked, frozen and ready to be filled.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup all -purpose flour  

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 8 tablespoon unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

FILLING:

  • 3-4 medium Golden Delicious apples 

GLAZE:

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

  • 1/3 cup apricot preserve

PREPARATION: 

  1. Line a 9x9 inches square baking pan with parchment paper.  

  2. Place the flour, sugar and lemon zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until combined.

  3. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Pulse until the dough clings to the blade.

  4. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.  

  5. Roll out the dough between 2 lightly floured sheets of wax paper to a square shape. Peel off the top sheet of wax paper and drape the dough very loosely over the rolling pin and unfold into the pan.    

  6. Pat dough gently into the sides of the pan making sure that there is a little raised rim (the dough is very malleable. Do not worry if the dough cracks, you can fix it in the pan with your fingers). Prick the bottom of the crust in several rows with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.   

  7. Preheat the oven to 375F 

  8. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with rice or beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove everything and bake for another 13 minutes, or until the crust is golden.  I like to freeze the prebaked shell and fill it as needed. 

TO MAKE THE FILLING:

  1. Peel, quarter and core the apples.

  2. Cut each quarter into 5 wedges.

  3. Arrange the apples on the dough in three very tight rows. 

TO MAKE THE GLAZE:

  1. In a small pan heat the butter, almond extract and apricot preserve.

  2. Brush the glaze over the apples and sprinkle the almonds on top.

  3. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the apples are soft, but not falling apart.   

  4. Serve warm.