Posts filed under ‘Passover snacks’

Cookies the “Canyon Ranch” Way – Guilt Free and Gluten Free

Gluten Free Orange Pecan Cookie

Canyon Ranch Orange Pecan Cookies

This past weekend, I spent an energetic and invigorating but relaxing weekend at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA celebrating a good friend’s birthday.  We exercised several hours a day which enabled us to enjoy the delicious and guilt-free snacks and cuisine offered by the talented chefs at this “healthy living” resort. 

As a big ”snacker”, I’m always looking for a tasty and healthy little nibble between or after a meal that satisfies my constant cravings for something sweet and chewy.  While I love dessert, I try to limit my intake. 
A  cookie can be a good choice for a snack but they are usually high in calories, full of bad fat and carbs.   But not so at Canyon Ranch.  They bake delicious fresh cookies every day, that are healthier than processed cookies and less “fattening” than most other homemade recipes or bakery products due to the inclusion of different flours, less butter and sugar.
My favorite Canyon Ranch sweet of the weekend was the Orange Pecan Cookies.   Not only were they exceptionally tasty, but they’re Gluten Free too, a healthful choice for anyone with gluten allergies.  This flourless and “butter-less” homemade treat is flavored with orange zest and orange extract and studded with chopped pecans.  It’s just the right snack to satisfy my sweet tooth any time of the day — in the morning, between workouts, or for a small dessert.  
Recipe from the Canyon Ranch – Lenox, Ma  website:

Orange Pecan Cookies (Gluten Free)

(Makes 20 (2-cookie) servings)
Ingredients:2 cups chopped pecans 
2/3 cup cane sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 teaspoons orange extract
3 beaten egg whitesInstructions:1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a baking sheet lightly with canola oil.2. Place pecans in food processor and process until oily in texture. Add cane sugar, orange peel and extract and mix briefly by hand. Add egg whites slowly and mix by hand until a thin dough forms. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.

3. Measure heaping teaspoonfuls of dough and place 2-inches apart onto baking sheet. Bake  8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

One serving – TWO 2 1/2 in Canyon Ranch Orange Pecan Cookies  
110 calories
8 gm. fat
9 gm. carbohydrate
0 mg. cholesterol
1 gm. protein      
4 mg. sodium      
1 gm. fiber 
For comparion –
ONE Keebler Pecan Sandie contains:
 80 calories
5 gm. fat
9 gm. carbohydrate
5 mg. cholesterol
1 gm. protein      
50 mg. sodium      
So it looks like the Canyon Ranch “fresh baked” Orange Pecan Cookies contain almost half the calories and carbs than a store bought processed product like Keebler Pecan Sandies. With no cholesterol and limited sodium as well, the Orange Pecan Cookies, in my opinion, not only taste great, but are healthier too.
I can’t wait to bake up a batch of the Orange Pecan Cookies. The recipe can be found in the Gluten Free section of the Canyon Ranch website.   Check out Canyon Ranch Dessert Recipes for other cookie and dessert recipes.  Let me know your favorite.

May 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm 1 comment

Fresh, Hot Matzo Year Round


Yes, Passover is over but wouldn’t it be nice to have hot, fresh baked Matzo anytime you want it?  Well, that is definitely possible thanks to the Streit’s Matzo Factory, which I recentlydiscovered is still baking “sheet-loads” of Matzo at their Lower East Side factory on Rivington Street.

148-154 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002

The other day, after a delicious lunch at The Clinton Street Baking Company (try the fried green tomatoes – yum-yum), I headed up Rivington Street and came upon a simple, sparse looking storefront on the street level of what I thought was the abandoned Streit’s factory.  I had seen the billboard on the side of the closed building many times before. 

But on this day I was lucky and in for a surprise as the store was opened for business.  I entered the store and was greeted by a jovial Orthodox fellow named Adam.  The shelves were stocked with Matzo, left over passover products and some other kosher items like egg noodles, soup, pickles and cake mixes.  Adam explained that the store was only open now Monday through Thursday, closed on Fridays and Saturdays due to the Jewish sabbath and now closed Sundays too, since Ratners and the rest of the kosher restaurants in the area had closed and the foot traffic for them had dwindled.

matzo.jpgWhile the store was nostalgic for me, what was most exciting was that tucked away through an open door were some men wearing gloves catching hot baked Matzo as it rolled off the conveyor belt from a gigantic oven.  I was amazed to see the huge sheets of Matzo which were being separated at perforated lines into the smaller sheets we are used to eating. 

One of the men offered me a piece to taste fresh out of the oven.  Now, I have eaten my share of Matzo but this was delicious.  Not only was it hot and crunchy but it was sprinkled with salt and was much more tasty than the regular Passover Matzo.  Adam explained that this was their new multi-grain Matzo which was made with a hint of oil and apple juice.  I thought if Matzo tasted this good, I could eat it all year round so I bought a pound.  With paper bag in hand, I headed to the production line as one of the men placed a stack of the steaming squares into my sack. 

So, you don’t have to wait until next Passover to partake of this unleavened bread.  Just head on down to the LES and make a visit to Streit’s.  Tell Adam I sent you and maybe you will be as lucky as I was to catch them baking while you are there so you too can have fresh hot Matzo year round.


Jews who celebrate Passover are limited with what they can spread on Matzo during Passover.  So, during the rest of the year when you can eat anything, try “shmearing” a little cream cheese, butter, hummus or peanut butter on Matzo for a tasty snack.  You can even make Matzo pizza in a toaster over or microwave.

April 14, 2007 at 5:08 pm 3 comments

Passover Trail Mix

trail-mix.jpgIn my quest this week to find tasty snacks that are “kosher” for Passover, I uncovered this fabulous recipe for Passover Trail Mix that actually tastes like something you could eat year round.

Can you believe this delicious looking crunchy, nutty and chewy trail mix is made with Matzoh?  What a treat!  My friend Dana from West Hartford, CT shared this recipe with me this weekend and I could not wait to rush home and try it. 

It was incredibly easy to make and took very little prep or baking time.    

Make sure you have a secure place to hide it from the family or it will be gone before you know it. 

Passover Trail Mix

1/2 box Matzoh Farfel (3 1/2 cups)

1 stick of butter or Passover margerine

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup nuts

1/2 cup raisins

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with tin foil.  Mix farfel, cinnamon and nuts.  Melt butter, add brown sugar and water.  Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Pour butter mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. 

Spread  mixture onto foil-lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Add raisins for last 10 minutes.  Toss at least once or twice while baking. 

Cool thoroughly.  Add chocolate chips, mix well and enjoy. 

Note:  I used a mixture of walnuts, almonds and cashews.  Any nuts will do. 

I also used dried cranberries and golden raisins which added nice color to the mix.  Any dried fruit would be a nice and tasty addtition.

April 6, 2007 at 12:03 pm 4 comments

Tasty Passover Snacks

matzah-crunch.jpgWhile there are many delicious foods to eat during Passover, one thing missing is a selection of good tasty snacks.  There are numerous recipes for cookies and cakes made with special matzo cake meal, or sponge cakes made with an obscene amount of eggs and sugar however, most of these treats taste bizarrely similar.   

One of my favorite snacks involves a simple piece of matzah, doctored up with Chocolate, nuts and a toffee crunch.  How can you go wrong with that?  It’s simple to make, stores well, and tastes yummy. 

This seasonal snack goes under many names, but I think Matzo Crunch is the most appropriate.  Here is the recipe:

 Toffee Chocolate Matzo Crunchmatzo
2 sticks butter 
1 cup brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips 
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans generally)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Use cookie sheet with sides.  Line pan with aluminum foil or parchment.  If using foil, grease sheet.  Cover pan with sheets of matzo.  Break matzo into smaller pieces to fit if necessary.   Melt butter, add brown sugar, stir frequently and cook 2-3 minutes till bubbly.  Pour mixture over matzo and bake it until bubbly and slightly toasty looking.  (note: I have read recipes saying anywhere from 7 -15 minutes).  Make sure to watch closely so the matzo does not burn. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the matzo.  Let stand a few minutes to let chocolate melt.  Spread evenly over matzo.  Sprinkle with chopped nuts.  Refrigerate or freeze till chocolate and toffee hardens.  Break into pieces.  Serve and enjoy!

April 6, 2007 at 12:39 am Leave a comment

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