So, cookie week began with a minor hitch. It's Passover. I don't really "keep" Passover or other Jewish holidays involving fasting/food restrictions, but I felt it was important to try and figure out a way to honor the tradition as a festive cookie week practice. So, off to the store for farfel (broken up matzo bits) and Matzo Meal (ground up matzo) and realizing afterwards, I could have made these products very simply at home with a box of matzo, a food processor and/or my hands.
You probably already know, but matzo is part of the Passover tradition where we don't eat foods with grains/yeast. (It’s kinda tricky, these days, especially with how many additives there are in our food) It’s symbolic of the Jews fleeing Egypt and not having time to let the bread they were preparing for their journey to rise. So, in short, during Passover Times, Jewish folk eat matzo instead of bread or other grains to honor this struggle. I mean, there’s so many interpretations, and this is so very general. I do like how many of the Jewish holidays incorporate food traditions into practice.
It seems important to use food as a tool for recognizing/breaking down privilege and oppression. I’m still working on my understanding of Jewish practice in relationship to food. Thoughts? Feelings?
So, did any of your moms tape up the cabinets over Passover when you were growing up? I remember big, masking tape Xs that marked a forbidden territory. I actually was the kind of rule-abiding child who wouldn’t break into them until the holiday was over, but I remember pulling down the tape in a very dramatic manner, all excited-like, at the end of the week.
I have a vegan option for this cookie, because I’m down with the flax egg, but I made a batch with eggs so they would taste like the ones I ate when I was little. The eggy version is the one my Ma always cooked during Passover when I was growing up. It was one of the best things about Passover, I’d say. Well, that and matzo ball soup.
Ma’s Matzo Cookies Makes a couple dozen
1 cup matzo meal
1 cup farfel
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs (or 2 flax eggs/egg substitute)
1/3 cup earth balance, or whatever butter situation you prefer
½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup caramel chips (totally optional, and not in the traditional recipe, but delicious nonetheless)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease cookie trays. Mix together matzo meal, farfel, and sugar. Beat eggs into the mix and then add the flour. Once everything is looking all mixed up, add the chocolate chips and/or caramel chips. Easy as matzo pie.
Form a ball, flatten out a bit, and put on tray. Done. What a cinch!
Bake cookies until edges are a light brown, about 15 minutes, checking every once in awhile, because all ovens are different.
The vegan version and the non-vegan version cook very differently, and also bind in really different ways. Vegan cookies end up needing to be a lot smaller than the other, and are a bit more delicate.
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