A little over a month ago, I decided to do something different for Passover this year. It’s quite simple, actually: I’d plan ahead and blog about Passover before the holiday. In past years I’ve shared a few recipes after the fact, but I doubt that’s very useful to anyone who plans to observe Passover. So this year, I welcome you to my first ever Passover Prep Series (and also probably the first time ever you’ll see me updating every day for two weeks straight!)
If you’re not Jewish (or even if you are, but don’t plan to keep Passover), please don’t leave! Most of the recipes I’m going to share over the next two weeks are not only for Passover and could be enjoyed any time of year.
I thought about what’s most difficult during these eight days when Jews are supposed to abstain from eating wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye. For some it might be the lavish Seder for 20 you’re hosting on the first or second night. Surely you have some traditional family favorites, but maybe you’re looking to branch out a little. So, I’ll share a couple ideas perfect for entertaining.
For others, the thought of one more Passover sponge cake is enough to send you running from the table before Elijah arrives. For you, I’ll share some of my favorite 100% delicious and 100% Passover-friendly sweets.
And for others, the most difficult part might be the whole week ahead, when all the leftovers are gone, and you need to think about what’s for dinner (and breakfast, and lunch.) When you’re suddenly under the pressure to come up with a week’s worth of meals with dietary restrictions you don’t always think about it, it’s easy to come up blank. The recipes I’ll share are not the kind you’d want to eat only on Passover. They are things I would eat any time, that just happen to work.
Ironically, I’m going to start with something that breaks one of the rules I just told you. The recipe I’m sharing today is, in fact, something I would only eat on Passover. I’m also breaking some general Cara’s Cravings rules: I’m starting with dessert, and it’s not even a healthy one. At all.
This is a dessert recipe involving matzoh meal. I think all of us have at least one bad memory of a brownie or cake doctored up with matzoh meal in place of flour, and it’s never something we really look forward to at the Seder. But my feelings about these Raspberry Squares are quite the opposite: they invoke memories of lively and loving family Seders, and are always something we all look forward to. You can bet that all of my aunts, uncles, brothers and cousins will be reaching for a second (or third) Raspberry Square as everything winds down and we’re heading out the door. My grandmother has been making these for as long as I can remember, and as long as my mother can remember too.
My Grandma’s Passover Raspberry SquaresPrintable Recipe
1 cup sugar
1 cup matzoh meal
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 jar raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 375. Line an 8″x8″ baking dish with parchment paper.
Stir together sugar, matzoh meal, oil and eggs until thoroughly combined. Fold in the shredded coconut and chopped walnuts.
Spread half of the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spoon the raspberry jam over it, and spread evenly. Crumble the rest of the mixture over the raspberry jam, patting it down evenly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool before cutting into squares.