passover week 2022 - chewy salted almond and chocolate chunk cookies

Welcome to Day 3 of Passover week and the ultimate chocolate chunk cookie challenge. Is it possible to make a delicious Passover cookie without using bicarbonate of soda I asked myself? Technically bicarb soda can be used during Passover but my grandmother wouldn't have used it so neither will I.

Due to the use of specialty flours, gluten free recipes can often be adapted into Passover recipes. I turned to my usual source, Aran Goyoaga and decided to adapt her recipe for roasted almond and chocolate chunk cookies. 

The original recipe uses buckwheat flour and I was going to have to use superfine matzo meal instead. When I compared the ability of both flours to absorb water, the matzo meal absorbed way more water than the buckwheat flour so I reduced the amount of matzo meal in the recipe and added a tablespoon of water in an attempt to get something close to the right texture.

I've made the regular cookies before and the texture of the raw dough made with matzo meal wasn't quite the same. Despite my changes the cookie dough was much drier, but I went ahead and baked them anyway. The end result was a lovely 
tasty chewy cookie which didn't spread quite as much as the original cookie probably due to the lack of baking soda.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 15 cookies. Whilst they can be baked straight away I prefer to make the dough the day before then chill it overnight. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Passover Salted Almond and Chocolate Chunk Cookies- makes 15 cookies
Scant ½ cup (120g) almond butter
55g unsalted butter, room temperature
Scant ½ cup (100g) caster sugar
¼ cup (55g) light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
105g superfine matzo meal
1½ tbs (12g) almond meal
1 tbs water
½ tsp sea salt flakes
90g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
90g roasted and salted almonds, coarsely chopped, divided
Flaky sea salt (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the almond butter, butter, caster sugar and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until creamy and light, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and the egg then beat until combined.

In a small bowl, stir together both meals and the salt. Add to the mixer and beat until it nearly comes together. Add about three quarters of the chopped almonds and chocolate (65g each) and continue beating until combined. The dough will be sticky and spread a bit. Cover the bowl then refrigerate the dough overnight.

The following day preheat oven to 190°C, conventional and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Portion out 40g dough, about 1½ tbs of dough per cookie. Place 6-8 cookies onto each prepared baking tray. Dot the tops of the cookies with some of the remaining chopped almonds and chocolate chunks. Sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt on top.

I bake the trays one at a time and I rotate the tray mid bake to ensure even browning. Bake the cookies until the edges are golden brown but the centre still appears soft, 9 to 12 minutes. The tops will puff up slightly. 
Repeat with the second tray. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet until you can lift them without falling apart, at least 10 minutes. When cool, store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

I shared the cookies with my neighbours and took the leftovers into work. They were gone in a flash and apart from Minnie, my 4 year old neighbour who did not like the roasted salted almonds, they were declared a hit. I think I actually preferred the slight matzo meal flavour in the cookie over the bolder flavour of the buckwheat cookies.

See you all again tomorrow with another Passover bake.

Bye for now,


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