Another day, and more to cook....

Well this is what my monster chickens emerged from the oven looking like.

Large and chickeny. They are flavored to remind my husband of eating at his mother's table. My late mother in law was a devotee of Mauzone a take out place in Queens. They used to sell rotisserie chicken which my mother in law adored.  I replicate and improve on the taste of Mauzone with a mix of smoked paprika, hot paprika, sumac and lime.

Last summer  I had eaten home baked Italian pine-nut cookies at a party. I looked around the internet for recipes and realized that they were prefect for Passover.

First though I had to either find or make marzipan that was kosher for Passover. Claudia Roden's excellent The Book of Jewish Food ( If you don't already own this book you should buy it.) had a couple of recipes for marzipan. Not surprisingly I chose the really easy one which is essentially-- grind up almonds and sugar in a food processor and then mush into a dough with a teeny bit of something to wet the mixture. I didn't bother blanching the nuts. If I ever do this again while not in a rush, I might think about nut blanching.

This is my log of marzipan.

Then I had to select a recipe for the cookies. I found a whole bunch of recipes online. I loved the attitude here. I found it really comforting and made me not worry about not exactly having every ingredient because of Passover. I sort of followed this recipe and ended up with this.
They taste right and feel right. This is a cookie that I think will be a regular at our Seder table.

The one way you can be sure that my kids won't eat something is if I try to sell it to them as being vegan, or gluten free or low sugar or anything of that ilk. The pine nut cookies are I think gluten free, but that isn't why they are worth eating.

These apricot almond balls could be advertised as being virtuous. They are made with dried apricots, and almonds . Unfortunately all I had was Turkish apricots which are to sweet for my taste. If I had thought to buy a jar of sour salt I would have used some in the apricot balls. Instead I squeezed in the juice of a couple of limes. The almonds and apricots are whizzed up in the food processor and then you make marble sized balls  and roll them in coconut or a mix of coconut, potato starch and sugar so they don't stick together.
You could choose to roll the apricot balls in ground nuts or in something like chocolate jimmies. If I have the time I may choose to drizzle melted chocolate over these.

I also used this recipe from Claudia Roden's book


to make these walnut cookies.
They are good but the next time I make them I will turn them into thumb print cookies  and add a bit of jam in the center of each cookie.

I also made an old favorite, a cranberry square tart. The crust which I winged is nearly the same as the one for the walnut cookies.
You bake the crust.
and pull it out of the oven when the top is firm.

Then you add a few plops of chocolate spread. if you attempt to spread it now you will break the crust so put the baking pan back in the oven for a few minutes.
Then spreading the chocolate is easy.
You add cranberries
and then sprinkle sugar over the whole thing.
If you like yours sweeter, add more sugar. I like my cranberries tart.
This is what it looks like baked. The crust ended up being more fragile than I had hoped for. This will be served in pretty cupcake liners so the falling apart crust won't be a problem.

My husband surprised me with
to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary. We will do something to celebrate after the holiday. Tomorrow the cooking marathon continues.



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