Archive for Kosher Recipes

Win a Passover Gift with our Kosher for Passover Dessert Contest!

kosher for Passover cake

With so many unique and meaningful traditional foods that must be prepared for the seder (like charoset and gefilte fish), kosher for Passover desserts are one part of the seder menu where we can get a little more creative. We want to know what you’ve tried in your own kitchen that’s been a hit Passover dessert!

Enter our Passover Dessert Contest!

Challah Connection is giving three wonderful kosher for Passover gifts to the lucky winners submitting our favorite, most creative Passover dessert recipes.

Have you made your own gourmet version of chocolate covered matzo perhaps? Maybe you’ve kicked that recipe for Passover sponge cake up a notch or two, or created your own version of the traditional Passover raspberry roll cake? Please share your success!

Win a Passover Gift as a Prize, or Send It to your Seder Hostess!

RULES: By Monday, March 18th, post your kosher for Passover dessert recipe in the comments section of our blog or email it to along with any other interesting facts related to your recipe. If emailing, include subject line: “Passover Dessert 2013.” Recipes will be judged based on creativity, originality and ease of use. Winners will be announced on March 20th. If you are a winner, we will email to notify you and at that time get your name and shipping address so we can send your prize.

First Prize:

Our delicious Savory Nosh Basket for Passover, a value of $119.99.




passover macaroons gift basket

Second Prize:

A sweet Passover Candy and Macaroon Platter, a value of $39.99.





Passover cookies gift basket

Third Prize

Schick’s Assorted Kosher for Passover Cookies, a value of $14.99.


Prizes will be shipped to you or a recipient that you choose (US shipping only).

We can’t wait to choose and share some wonderful, creative kosher for Passover dessert recipes with you.


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Favorite Brisket Recipe, In Time for Passover

I used to be a brisket purist and saute a couple of pounds of onions and brown the meat while making a big mess of my kitchen. Now, here’s what I do and the result is just as good as the messy and laborious method:
-line a 9X13 pyrex dish with tin foil. Use enough foil so that it can be tented above the dish. A 6 inch tent will do. Place the brisket on the bottom of the pan, on top of the foil.
-shmear a generous amount of ketchup all over the brisket
-add 2 cut up onions and 2 cloves of garlic (or more of each–you really can’t add too much onion or garlic) on top of the brisket
-add water to the bottom of the dish so that it covers about 1/2 way up the depth of the brisket. You can add some left over coffee for extra flavor. I have heard of some people adding coca cola to their brisket.
-tent the foil above–you are essentially steam baking the brisket
-bake in 350 oven for 2-3 hours. Check every hour to be sure there is enough liquid. The liquid will be your gravy so you need enough.
-When done, remove from the oven and cool. Cut in thin slices against the grain and put into a clean baking dish (one that you can serve from would be nice) along with all of the juices. Refridgerate or freeze. The day you are going to serve it, bake for another couple of hours at 350. Be sure to taste the sauce to see if you need salt, pepper or other spices that you like.


Jane Moritz

Challah Connection

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Charoset 2012 Recipe Scramble

Passover Begins April 6–Get Your Culinary Juices Flowing

When it comes to making the Passover Seder Plate, most of us take a task oriented approach: Roasted Egg? Check, Horseradish? Check. Shank bone? Check. You get what I mean: it’s one of the seder tables’ most important items but making it is all about following the list of ingredients rather then how each looks or taste. Actually, the seder plate does have an opportunity for culinary creativity: CHAROSET*.

Announcing Our Newest Recipe Scramble:  Charoset 2012

Here’s how it works: Following are 5 categories of ingredients: fruits, spices, nuts and seeds, liquids and “glue.” To enter our recipe scramble, select a minimum of 4 ingredients from any of the categories, to create a charoset that you would enjoy. Don’t see an ingredient you want? Add it!

 There are only 2 requirements to follow: 1) that it have a mortar-like consistency and 2) that it be tasty enough to be enjoyed. Sweet or savory are ok.


(fresh or dried)

Spices Nuts & Seeds Liquids “Glue”
Dates Cinnamon Almonds Red Wine Almond butter
Apricots Curry Power Walnuts Grape Juice Cashew Butter
Raisins Ginger Sesame Seeds Soy Milk Mashed egg yolk
Apples Tumeric Roasted Edamame Almond Milk Matzo Meal
Pears Cardomom Pomegranate Juice Avocado
Prunes Cumin Lemon Juice
Figs Coriander Lime Juice
Bananas Fresh Orange Juice with Pulp
Fresh Ginger

RULES: By March 27, post your charoset recipe in the comments section of our blog or email it to Jane Moritz, Challah Connection Owner along any other interesting facts related to your recipe. If emailing, include subject line: “Charoset 2012.” Recipes will be judged based on creativity, originality and ease of use. Winners will be announced on March 29. If you are a winner, we will email to notify you and at that time get your name and shipping address so we can send your prize.

PRIZES: First prize wins our fabulous Passover Fruit Basket (value $89.99) Second and Third prize wins a family gift box of 8 parve dark chocolate kosher for Passover bars from Matzel Toff! (Value $31) Prizes will be shipped to you or a recipient that you choose (US shipping only)!

CHAROSET 2012 sponsored by CHALLAH CONNECTION and our friends at MATZEL TOFF!

*What is Charoset? It’s typically a combination of chopped apples, walnuts and red wine that signifies the mortar to make bricks used by enslaved Jews in Egypt. It is one of the symbolic foods that we eat at Passover to remind us that we were once slaves but are now free.

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Delectable Cheesecake Recipe

The Jewish holiday of Shavuot is approaching fast so we would like to take some time to slow things down and enjoy the dairy products this holiday surrounds us with!
Shavuot marks the first fruit harvest of the season, yet it is customary to enjoy a dairy meal to celebrate. And why not, the spring is a perfect time to munch on some dairy! Forget the meat! Therefore, we think a fun and delicious part of this holiday is the cheesecake!

Jane’s mom is an extraordinary baker (she is where Jane gets her culinary skills from!) and loved to make cheesecake. Jane has fond memories of this glorious cheesecake resting in the middle of their Shavuot feast! And you’re in for a treat as we reveal her favorite cheesecake recipe!

Now this recipe comes from the book The Wonderful World of Freezer Cooking by Helen Quat and is as follows:


1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons ground almonds or walnuts
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground lemon peel
½ cup melted butter

(My mouth is already watering!)


1 ½ pounds soft cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind
4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the crust ingredients (graham cracker crumbs, nuts, sugar and lemon peel) while stirring in butter till thoroughly blended.

3. Press mixture firmly against bottom of 9” spring form. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

4. In a large bowl or mixer, beat cheese until creamy. At medium speed, add sugar gradually, then vanilla, lemon juice and rind. Blend well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat at medium speed for 10 minutes, until fluffy. Pour into pan on top of crust.

5. Bake at 250 degrees for 35 minutes. When 35 minutes is up, turn off the oven and leave the oven door ajar.


1 pint ice-cold sour cream
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

1. Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla and whip for 10 minutes until foamy. Spoon over top of cake. Bake in 250 degree oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cool*. Wrap. Freeze.

Serving Day: Remove from spring form and thaw in refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours.

* To serve without freezing, refrigerate for 2 hours or more before unmolding.

This recipe is delicious, but if you don’t have time to bake you can always fulfill your craving of cheesecake with the equally delicious display on our website!

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Favorite Passover Recipe–Apple Matzo Kugel

Passover is less than a month away, so why should I be surprised that people are searching for Passover recipes? Probably because we just finished baking hamentashen for Purim!

My all time favorite Passover recipe is Apple Matzo Kugel. I have made this every year for the last 5 and it always is delicious and easy to prepare. Enjoy!

Apple Matzo Kugel


-4 large apples, Granny Smith or any tart apple, cored and cut into medium dice
-½ cup light brown sugar
-1/3 cup orange juice
-7 plain matzos
-8 eggs
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 cups sugar
-½ cup butter or margarine, melted
-1 cup golden raisins
-1 cup dried apricots, medium, chopped
-5 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into small pieces, for casserole topping

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and orange juice and set aside in a medium bowl.

3. Break the matzo into 2-3 inch pieces and soak in 1 cup of warm water until soft, but not mushy. Set aside.

4. While the matzo soaks, in a large bowl, beat the eggs with a wire whisk until blended. Add the salt, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, raisins and apricots.

5. Squeeze the liquid from the softened matzoh and add the matzoh to the egg mixture with the apples. Stir the kugel well and pour into a lightly greased 2 ½ quart casserole dish or a 10X14 inch pan. Dot the top of the kugel with the 4 tablespoons of butter.

6. Bake the kugel for 1 hour. Cover the top with foil if the top begins to become too brown early in the baking. Remove the kugel from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Cooks Tip: The kugel can be made 2 days ahead, cooled and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a 350 degree oven.

Makes 12 servings.

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Marshmallow Hamentashen? What’s YOUR Favorite Flavor?

Put Your Baker’s Hat On and Dream…

In today’s New York Times, Joan Nathan describes Israeli’s love for exotic hamentashen flavors: marshmallow, amaretto, marzipan, halvah, chocolate chip cream, sweet red wine and cinnamon to name a few. Interestingly, Challah Connection partnered with a local baker several years ago to create our own hamentashen recipes: Sour Cherry with Semi Sweet Chocolate Drizzle and Lemon Poppy Seed.

What’s YOUR favorite Hamentashen flavor? Do you have a great idea for a new exotic flavor? We want to know! Please click here and post your idea on our blog. Maybe it will be next Purim’s biggest rage!

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It’s Shavuot–I’m Cooking Dairy

It’s a rainy, disgusting day here in CT, but I am feeling sunny as I put together my ingredients for the homemade blintzes I am about to start making. First the crepes, then the filling–then the 2 together! We are not religious-here in my house-but we do love to celebrate the Jewish holidays, particularly the food traditions. Now that we are eating much less meat then ever, blintzes are going to be very well received. As you may have previously read in this blog, my kids have been shunning meat and chicken in favor of cremslach (yummy cottage cheese pancakes), challah french toast and blintzes. Recipes for all of these, plus many more dairy recipes at Challah Connection. Let me know what you’re cooking tonight–Chag Sameach!

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It’s A Pancakes-For-Dinner Night

I have been cooking Shabbat Dinners for my family since my first son Sam was born–that is almost 20 years of Shabbat dinners. As my mother taught me, I have always thought that the “appropriate” Shabbat meal is brisket or roast chicken, challah and all of the rest of the side dishes. In the “old” days–up until about 5 years ago–my Fridays were structured around challah baking and the rest of the meal. Since Challah Connection is busy, busy all 5 days (actually 7+), little by little I have been chipping away at my Friday tradition. First to go, unfortunately, was the challah baking. However, I realized that while my husband Josh loved my home baked challah, my kids were actually perfectly content with the challah that we sell here at Challah Connection. Next to go was the hours of shopping and prep for the rest of the meal. To be honest, I have been feeling a little lost on Fridays without a traditional meal to prepare. But, here’s the interesting and very good news…

A couple of months ago, I learned from Harry and Mike (my only 2 at home now, ages 18 and 14 respectively) that they are not liking meat too much anymore and what they really love are dairy meals like my challah french toast, matzo brei, blintzes, pancakes and omelets. Great!! Those are easy to make, don’t require any prep time, are “Jewish” in nature and best of all they really love them. The only problem with this is that it’s not really what Josh and I want to be eating, but we can handle this one night a week.

I’m pretty excited about what I’m making tonight. This is a recipe from Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking: Cottage Cheese Chremslach. They are pancakes made with cottage cheese and matzo meal (recipe below), fried in oil and topped with sliced strawberries and confectioners sugar. The picture looks scrumptious and best of all, I think my kids are going to love them. Will let you know if this recipe passes the test!

Cottage Cheese Chremslach
From Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking
Note: Technically, this recipe is a Passover recipe hence the matzo meal and Grapeseed or Passover oil. For non-Passover, I plan to use matzo meal and canola oil.

Makes about 18

4 eggs
1 cup 4 percent cottage cheese (you could use low fat if you prefer)
3/4 cup mile (whole or low fat)
3/4-1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 cup matzo meal
Grapeseed or other acceptable Passover oil or 2 tablespoons butter for frying

In a bowl, with a fork, beat together the eggs, cottage cheese, milk, salt, and sugar. Stir in the matzo meal. Set aside for 10 minutes.

In a 10-to 12-inch skillet, over medium heat, heat enough oil to cover the bottom by a scant 1/8 inch. When the oil is hot, pour a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet. It should form a pancake about 4 inches in diameter. If it is too thick to spread this much, add a little more milk. The pancake should sizzle immediately. Fry until the first side is golden brown, 60-90 seconds, depending on how hot the oil is. Turn the pancake. The second side takes less time, about 30 seconds.

Drain the pancakes on paper towels or brown paper and serve while still very hot.

Variation (Jane’s opinion–this is a worthwhile step)
For a puffier pancake, separate the eggs, beat the yolks with the milk, then beat the whites until they form peaks and fold into the batter.

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Cross Cultural Nosh on Wheels

It all began last Monday at our Passover Seder. Among the 18 people was Elaine, George and their daughter Alanna—our close friends who are Russian Orthodox (George) and Italian/Polish/Catholic (Elaine). We have developed a tradition of sharing each others holidays because it seems that our love of great food transcends all.

For our seder, my mother was cooking all of the main courses, including Elaine’s favorite dish: my mom’s brisket. Before Monday, Elaine was asking me questions like “how many pounds is she making?” and “would anyone notice if I gorged myself on it and then snuck a Tupperware filled with it?” I wasn’t watching closely, but I think she did pretty well that night.

This past Saturday, husband Josh, 14 year old Mike and I, left our house at 11pm to celebrate Russian Easter with George, Elaine and the rest of their family. The evening began with church, followed by vodka shots and a feast starting around 1:30 am. Lots of fun and great eating ensued and all the while me thinking: “not sure how many more days my body can sustain this eating….”

Yesterday, after a great hike with my soon-to-be-high-school-graduate Harry, I was lying on the couch reading a book when Elaine called:
-“want to walk the dogs?”
-“no, already hiked 2 hours and have to finish this book”
-“You know, oh-brisket-lover, I heard about a really easy brisket recipe that I am planning to use for my upcoming “Jewish Meal for 50 Frat Boys.” All you do is spread ketchup all over the top of the brisket, sprinkle it with Lipton Onion soup mix, add enough water to fill the baking dish halfway up the brisket, tent foil over it and bake at 350 for 3-4 hours. Slice at the end.”
-“Perfect”, Elaine replied. “Easy and quick. Would you buy me a brisket when you buy yours this week?”
-“You sure you don’t want to walk?”
-“No but I’ll make you a deal: bring me some of the kulich and paskha from last night along with a piece of the pistachio cake you made for the seder and I’ll give you the VERY LAST piece of brisket I have.”

15 minutes later: Nosh on wheels arrived and I scored pistachio cake (which was better today, after having been frozen for 5 days) along with kulich and paskha. I left shortly after for my parents, to return the borrowed soup bowls and other cooking paraphernalia. I brought them kulich and paska, which they had never had before but like me, loved. It’s the Cross Cultural Nosh on Wheels!

RECIPES: All of these are DELICIOUS!!
Paskha, From Paskha is a pyramid-shaped confection that is served for Easter in the Eastern Orthodox homes of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine and also in Poland and Lithuania. Similar in taste to a cheesecake without the crust, paskha is traditionally spread on slices of kulich, a sweet Easter bread.

6 to 8 servings
• Farmer’s cheese (see variations) — 2 pounds
• Unsalted butter, room temperature — 1/2 pound (2 sticks)
• Sugar — 1 1/2 cups
• Egg yolks, hard-cooked — 6
• Heavy cream — 1 cup
• Blanched almonds, finely ground — 1/2 cup
• Lemon zest, finely chopped — 2 tablespoons
• Vanilla — 1 1/2 teaspoons
• Raisins — 1/4 cup

1. Drain farmer’s cheese overnight in a fined-meshed sieve or through several layers of cheesecloth. After the cheese has drained, press it through a medium-meshed sieve once or twice to break up the curds and make it light and fluffy. Set aside.
2. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
3. Reduce speed to medium low and beat in the farmer’s cheese, heavy cream, almonds, lemon zest and vanilla.
4. Line a pashka mold or a clean terracotta flowerpot with cheesecloth that has been rinsed with water and squeezed dry. Fill the mold or pot with the cheese mixture. Place a lid or a small plate on top of the mold and set a weight on top. Place the mold in a bowl to catch any liquid and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
5. Unmold the paskha onto a serving plate and use the raisins to decorate the sides.

Kulich, from Kulich is a tall, cylindrical sweet bread that is served for Easter in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. It is traditionally paired with paskha, above. The two confections are taken to church on Easter Sunday to be blessed by the local priest. Then for the Easter meal, slices of kulich are spread with paskha and eaten. If you don’t have a kulich mold, you will need a 2-pound coffee can for this recipe.

6 to 8 servings
• Milk — 1/2 cup
• Sugar — 1/2 cup
• Unsalted butter, room temperature — 8 tablespoons
• Salt — 1 teaspoon
• Lukewarm (110°F) water — 1/4 cup
• Active dry yeast — 1 (1/4-ounce) package
• Flour — 4 cups
• Eggs, beaten — 2
• Egg yolks, beaten — 2
• Cardamom — 2 teaspoons
• Vanilla — 1 teaspoon
• Golden raisins — 1/2 cup
• Raisins or chopped candied fruit — 1/4 cup
• Powdered (confectioner’s) sugar — 1 cup
• Heavy cream — 3 tablespoons
• Vanilla — 1/2 teaspoon
1. Add the milk, sugar, butter and salt to a saucepan and heat, stirring until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
2. Mix the 1/4 cup lukewarm water and yeast together in a small bowl and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
3. Add 3 1/2 cups of the flour to large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast mixture, warm milk-butter-sugar mixture, the eggs, yolks, cardamom and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients and bring the dough together. Toss the golden raisins with a little flour and stir into the dough.
4. Remove the dough to a floured work surface and knead, adding extra flour as needed, until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands and is silky and elastic. Remove the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm corner until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a kulich pan or a 2-pound coffee can. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and punch it down with your fists to deflate it. Place the dough in the prepared baking pan and cover with greased plastic wrap. Set aside to rise for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.
6. Remove the plastic wrap and place the pan on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
7. Let the kulich cool in its pan for 20 minutes, then carefully remove it from the pan. To glaze, mix the the powdered sugar, cream and vanilla together in a small bowl. Pour the glaze over the top of the kulich while it is still a little warm, letting it drizzle down the sides. Use the raisins or candied fruit to decorate the top with an Orthodox cross or with the Cyrillic letters XB, which stand for “Christ is risen.”
8. To serve your kulich, cut off the rounded crown and set it aside. Cut the loaf in half vertically, then set the halves on their sides and cut into half-moon slices. Replace the crown to keep any remaining bread moist.
• If you don’t have a 2-pound coffee can, you can use two smaller coffee or juice cans instead. The baking time will be reduced due to the smaller sizes.
• In addition to the golden raisins, chopped nuts or candied fruit can also be kneaded into the dough.

Almond Cake With Cardamom and Pistachio, from New York Times
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus additional for pan
7 large eggs, separated
3 cups almonds
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon matzo meal
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 tablespoon almond extract
Confectioners’ sugar (kosher for Passover), for dusting
Finely chopped pistachio nuts, for garnish.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9-inch bundt pan or a 9-inch square pan and set aside. Using a stand mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff but not dry, and set aside.
2. Using a large food processor, pulse almonds until very finely ground, stirring once or twice to prevent them from turning into a paste. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar, and whisk to blend. Add ground almonds, matzo meal and cardamom. Add almond extract and 1/2 cup oil. Gently fold in egg whites.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and finish cooling on a rack. To decorate, dust with confectioners’ sugar and chopped pistachios.
Yield: One 9-inch cake (10 to 12 servings).

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