These cookies are the most exciting Passover sweet treats we have seen in a long time – because they don’t taste like Passover sweet treats!
And this recipes comes with a lovely story all the way from Wales in the UK.
In the early 1950s, Eve Graf encouraged the many refugee members of the newly founded Cardiff community to enliven the synagogue’s social events with their baking skills – in those days the smell and taste of almonds and vanilla was incredibly luxurious. Diana Soffa, who shared Eve’s recipe with us, says that the almond slices are the only reason her own family survives Passover.
This recipe makes one batch of almond slices and one batch of thumbprint cookies. The topping is for the almond slices, so if you wish to make cookies only, you will only need to make the dough for the base and it will yield around 50 cookies.
Almond Slices + Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- 115 g potato flour 2/3 cup
- 115 g superfine matzo meal heaped 3/4 cup, cake meal
- 75 g caster sugar 1/3 cup, superfine
- 60 g (1/2 cup packed) ground almonds or hazelnuts
- 140 g Unsalted Butter at room temperature, 5 oz
- finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 egg beaten
- 115 g Unsalted Butter at room temperature (1 stick)
- 115 g caster sugar scant 1/2 cup, superfine
- 120 g ground almonds or hazelnuts 1 cup
- 2 eggs
- 3 teaspoons superfine matzo meal (cake meal)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 3 tablespoons tart apricot jam for slices
- 2 tablespoons tart apricot jam to fill cookies
- The base ingredients make enough dough for 1 slice and 1 batch of cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 180℃.
- Line a 28 x 18 x 2.5 cm (11 x 7 x 1 inch) baking tin.
- To make the base, mix the flour, matzo meal, sugar and ground nuts together with a wooden spoon in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until you have crumbs, add the lemon zest and egg and mix until a dough is formed. This can be done in the food processor.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Set 1 aside. On a lightly potato-floured board, roll out one piece until it is the size of the pan and place it in the prepared tin. Spread the jam all over the dough.
- For the topping, using an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, eggs, ground nuts, matzo meal and vanilla sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Spread the topping over the jam and scatter with the slivered almonds. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool, and then cut into small squares.
- While they are baking, start the cookies.
- You will need a lined baking tray.
- Divide the dough into three, and then each piece into eight.
- Gently roll each piece into a smooth ball and place them on the prepared tray.
- Using the top of your thumb, make an indent in the top of each cookie and flatten slightly.
- Spoon in a little jam into each indentation.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden on the base.
- Makes 21 pieces almond slice and 24 jam cookies.