Paula Shoyer was generous enough to send us a copy of her new cookbook, The Kosher Baker. It’s a cookbook that consists totally of pareve desserts! Over 160 of them! And she tested them out for us already, so we don’t have to experiment with rice and almond and soy milk.
One of my favorite parts of this new cookbook? The way it’s set up. If you only have 30 minutes to whip up a dessert, turn to the front section, “Quick and Elegant Desserts:” if you’re in the mood to make a more complicated recipe, leaf through the “Multiple-Step Recipe” section. How cool is that!?
Paula also goes through a bit of kosher baking history; did you know that for dessert after meat meals people used to use fat rendered from meat and poultry instead of butter? Ew! She uses the now-readily-available butter substitutes instead, and (as you probably know already) we prefer Earth Balance.
Now, just in time for the holidays, I can bake pareve desserts for every meal! The first one I tried was (as you can probably guess from the title) chocolate chip cookies. Why? Well, we don’t have any of those on this blog! And everyone should have a chocolate chip cookies recipe, because really, you can’t go wrong with a chocolate chip cookies. Who doesn’t like them?
These specific cookies had an element that I’m not used to adding to my cookies: 1 cup of oats, ground. You could kind of taste it, but the oats play more with the texture than the taste, making them airy and light cookies, with a bit of a crunch on the outside.
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, Reprinted with permission from The Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer, Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England 2010
Storage: Place baked cookies into an airtight container or freezer bags and store at room temperature for up to five days or freeze up to three months.
I have given you two ways to bake these cookies: one allows you to bake them right away, and the other allows you to freeze them and bake them later in smaller batches. I usually keep rolls of dough (marked “dairy” or “parve”) in my freezer so that if I have unexpected visitors, I can just slice and bake my own cookies, which are ready to share in no time. I also like to shape the dough into logs, let them set up for 2 hours in the freezer, and slice them because the cookies all come out the same size—vestiges of my days catering when I actually sold these cookies in Geneva, Switzerland to people who wanted a taste of America
1/2 cup (1 stick) parve margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cups raw oats (not quick-cooking kind)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups parve chocolate chips
3 1/2 ounces parve semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
2. In a large bowl, beat the margarine, sugar, and brown sugar with a stand or hand-held electric mixer, or by hand with a whisk, until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3. Place the oats into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until the oats are ground to a powder. Add the powdered oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the egg and sugar mixture and mix until combined.
4. Add the chocolate chips to the batter and mix in. Using the small holes of a box grater or microplane zester, grate half of the bar of semisweet chocolate into a medium bowl or over a cutting board. Add the grated chocolate to the bowl with the dough. Place the other half of the chocolate bar in the food processor bowl that you used for the oatmeal and process until the chocolate is in very small pieces. Add the pieces and any powdered chocolate in the bowl to the cookie dough and mix just until all the chocolate chips and pieces are distributed throughout the dough.
5. To bake right away: Using a small spoon, scoop up some cookie dough, 1 to 2 tablespoons as desired, roll it into to a ball between your palms, flatten slightly, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are just set. They should be firm on the outside edge, but can still be very soft in the center. They will continue to harden slightly after they come out of the oven. Slide the parchment onto a rack and let cool. Eat immediately or you can freeze the baked cookies, once completely cooled, in a freezer bag or container, layering the cookies between parchment.
6. To freeze the dough and bake the cookies later: Divide the dough into 3 portions. Shape each portion into long logs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap each in plastic wrap and then roll each on the counter a few times to make them as round as possible. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours and up to three months. When you’re ready to bake, take a roll out of the freezer and preheat the oven to 400°F. On a cutting board, use a sharp knife to cut the frozen dough into <fr1/4>-inch slices. Place on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until they are firm on the outside edge, but still very soft in the center. Slide the parchment off the cookie sheet onto a cooling rack and let the cookies cool.