Potluck Parties: Unleavened Treats

EVENT: Family Seder
VENUE: Hyatt Hotel, Stamford CT
PARTY SIZE: 27 (including Elijah)
TYPE: Traditional-ish Seder
DESSERT: Inedible Unleavened Cakes, Cousin Holly’s Macaroons

My mother was the first goy to marry into my father’s Jewish family. But since Dad broke the seal, my cousins have gone on to walk down the aisle with Eve, Holly, and Patrick. Given the intensity of Afikomen searches and the precision of my Aunt Jennifer’s matzoh name cards, my cousins-in-law have assimilated amazingly well into the greater traditions of the clan and the religion. They sing Dayenu just as loud as the rest of us and, now that their kids are in Jewish preschool and Sunday schools, they make sure that the little ones study their history well and keep their timeline straight over who was oppressed when and where.

My family Seder is usually a potluck affair hosted by my Aunt and Uncle. But since we are now a small tribe (34 last Thanksgiving), they decided to shake things up this year and hold it banquet style at a nearby hotel. Regardless of this year’s spread, which unfortunately did not include Aunt Jenn’s brisket, when it came time for dessert there was still the same shining star in the great Red Sea of unleavened desserts: Cousin Holly’s Macaroons.

Though I don’t really bake anymore, Holly assured me that her ancient Jewish secret was easy enough for even me to make. I decided to take a stab at it for a Cara-style tin of treats for my friend’s Jewish family whom I’m visiting in Boston. And, sure enough, the batter was mixed and in the oven faster than I could name the ten plagues.

From my small, half-Jewish kitchen, to yours,



Chocolate Chip Macaroons
Makes 50 or so small cookies

Despite Holly’s joke about giving away her ancient Chinese (Jewish) secret, this recipe is literally as simple as opening a can, cutting open two bags, and mixing the ingredients together. So my style of baking.


1 14 oz. bag flaked coconut (Bakers Brand)
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (Carnation Brand)
2 tsp. vanilla (not imitation)
1 12 oz. bag Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Drop from teaspoon one inch apart on non-stick baking sheet (I use regular Pam on my baking sheets…they are sticky, and I use a small melon-baller instead of a teaspoon). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool a minute or two, then remove and place on waxed paper to cool. Voila!

Posted in: Potluck Parties
  • Beth J

    I thought you weren’t supposed to have dairy at a Seder. Did I make that up?

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      If you’re observant, you’d never eat dairy after meat. But in my family, we don’t really worry about that.

      • Beth J

        Oh ok, thanks! I went to my first one the other night (non-Jew here), so I wasn’t sure. Thanks for answering!

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