Kosher for Passover Bittersweet Brownies

It’s that time of year again when I spend an inordinate amount of time swearing at magazine articles about “easy Passover desserts” for including dairy products. Most passover recipes in magazines are great for jews who want to eat traditional food (no grains) during passover but they are way off limits for jews who “keep kosher” in terms of meat, milk, and excluding seeds and legumes (as many Ashkenazi traditions do during passover). While I’m not a jew, I act as executive pastry chef (and sous chef, and bottle washer) for my college comrade’s parent’s seder in upstate New York. The celebration averages 40 people over two sessions starting on the first night of Passover. It’s a meal that typically includes meat, which means my pastry menu must omit dairy in addition to the all-Passover ban on grains, leavening, legumes and seeds. The meal is prepared in a kosher kitchen, which ratchets up a notch of complexity over Passover when two separate sets of dishes swap in, and all yeast, grain, and legume-related items are ostracized to the basement for the duration.

I’ve tried to build a menu that avoids circa 1955 Better Homes and Gardens preparations, while maximizing my own sanity as a non-food-service-professional. It’s a work in progress.

In reviewing last year’s pastry menu (of which I have NO MEMORY: I blame wedding-planning trauma) I found this adaptation, and thought it should be on the internet. I’ll post some more of the old tried and true recipes as we get closer to the holiday.

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