Easy As Pie (But Without the Pie)

I neglected to mention during my Passover post yesterday that during the eight day holiday we don't eat any leavened food. In its strictest interpretation this means no barley, wheat, rye, oats and spelt. In it's most common interpretation this means no bread. It also means no cookies, cake or donuts. This can be an excuse to make that flourless chocolate cake you've been dreaming about or if you're slightly less ambitious you can try these. There's no need to wait until next Passover—they're good enough for all year!

Chocolate Chip Meringues

or Chocolate Matzoh Toffee Crunch.

Both couldn't be easier and are decadently delicous. I've heard of people making the toffee using saltine crackers (not during Passover of course) and I've been tempted, but they are so sweet that once a year is all I really need. (Although adding that salty dimension might put this over the top and make it the perfect craving-buster...)

Chocolate Chip Meringues (Makes 3 dozen 1" cookies)

Ingredients 4 egg whites 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar Pinch of salt 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup sugar 12 ounces miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. (does anyone know which key makes a degree symbol on a Mac?)

Beat egg whites until they are foamy.

Add the salt and cream of tartar and beat the mixture again until it holds soft peaks.

Gradually add the sugar beating the batter until it has stiff peaks.

Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes. The bottom of the cookies should be slightly golden.

Chocolate Matzoh Toffee

Ingredients 4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzohs 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks 1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, making sure to cover the edges. Cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper.

Line the bottom of the sheet with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.

In a 3-4 quart heavy saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over matzoh, spreading with a heatproof spatula. Put the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with a spatula.

Let cool completely, the break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It should keep well for about one week.