Boys and girls we need to have a talk about something important… we need to talk about chametz. Every year on Passover I again struggle with what to serve. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not Jewish and Adam is as secular as they come. We don’t sweep the house clear of chametz and I think the first Seder we ever hosted I had chametz, meat, and dairy all on the table at the same time. (But Manischewitz grape juice of course!) All I can say in my defense is that I’ve gotten better. And I’ve done a lot of research.
So each year things have gotten a little “tighter” and this year I decided that I’d try to get things as close to right as possible given my strengths and limitations. It didn’t seem hard until I realized that after making coconut macaroons that are very close to meringues and several other dishes that called for only egg whites that I had 23 egg yolks on my hands. Yep, 23! Obviously custards were out since I’m serving pot roast. I was feeling pretty ingenious when I found a recipe for something called egg yolk cookies. Vegetable shortening instead of butter: check! Instead of flour I planned to use matzo cake flour… until… I couldn’t find any… yikes!
I thought I’d be clever and just grind the matzo meal I did have in the food processor until it got smooth like flour. This, doesn’t work. (Or at least didn’t for me.) It came out the texture of a heavy whole wheat flour and I was afraid the cookies would crumble apart. So, I ran to the computer to figure out if the brown rice flour I had could work or if it counted as chametz. (Thought I wouldn’t bring this convo full circle didn’t you? So there.) Turns out rice is not considered chametz and the addition of some brown rice flour lightened the cookies up and they held together nicely.
I was able to press down on the first batch with a fork quite nicely to give it that thatched look that peanut butter cookies have, but by the time I got the rest set to go into the oven they had dried out a bit and couldn’t hold up to the pressure. So, the rest I baked as little blobs and pressed them flat very gently immediately after removing them from the oven. Oh, before I forget to mention it, the combination of orange and lemon extracts in this cookies is utterly delightful. Good enough to keep eating long after Passover ends!
Adapted ever so slightly from Food.com
- 1 cup non-hydrogenate vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated cane juice
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups matzo meal, ground in food processor
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp orange extract
- Extra cup of evaporated cane juice for rolling cookies
- Cream shortening and sweetener until fluffy.
- Beat the egg yolks and extracts together.
- Add beaten egg yolk mixture to creamed shortening and sweetener and blend well.
- In the work bowl of a food processor blend the matzo meal for about 5 minutes to grind smoother. Add the brown rice flour, baking soda and cream of tarter and pulse to combine.
- Add dry ingredients to the shortening mixture, beating until well blended.
- Using a small cookies scoop, drop dough balls into a bowl of sweetener. Then place them onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for10 minutes.
- Immediately before removing from the oven take a fork and gently press down on the warm cookies to flatten them. Allow them to cool on a baking rack.