Caramel Apple Halva Babka

1 frozen raw challah, thawed (or enough challah dough for 1 challah) 
2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla 
1 tbsp cornstarch 
3 tbsp brown sugar 
1/2 cup halva 
1/2 cup chopped pecans 
1-2 tbsp maple flakes (optional)
1/4 cup caramel (I used leftover date caramel from my previously posted chocolate caramel cups)

Preheat oven to 350°F. 
In a saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Mix in maple syrup and let it start to bubble. Once it bubbles, mix in apples, cinnamon and vanilla. Allow to cook for about 5-8 minutes, until apples begin to soften. Mix cornstarch with 1 tbsp water until it has dissolved. Add cornstarch mixture to saucepan. Cook for another few minutes until it has thickened. Allow to cook. 
In the meantime, on a floured work surface, roll out challah dough into a large rectangle. Sprinkle brown sugar over dough, then spread on cooled apple mixture, then spread on halva and pecans. Sprinkle on maple flakes if desired. 
Roll up and then cut in half to form 2 skinnier rolls with insides exposed. Twist the 2 rolls together and place into a greased loaf pan. 
Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with caramel. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Note: this recipe is likely delicious without the caramel – you can just brush with egg and sprinkle with some brown sugar and cinnamon.

Salted Chocolate Caramel Tahini Cups

1 cup medjool dates (the softer the better)
2 tbsp tahini 
6 tbsp almond milk (you can likely use coconut cream or soy milk or even the water you use to plump up the dates)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt plus additional to sprinkle on top
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp honey

Prepare muffin tins with liners – this recipe yielded 12 regular and 12 small chocolates. I imagine that it would make 15-16 regular sized chocolates.

Cover dates with warm water and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes to plump up. 
In a food processor, process dates, tahini, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt. Use a rubber spatula to push down mixture that goes up the sides. Keep processing until smooth and creamy – this may take a few minutes. 
In the meantime, place chocolate in a heat safe bowl. Place bowl over pot filled with about 1-2 inches of water (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Melt chocolate by bringing water in pot to a simmer. (Don’t allow chocolate to get wet!)
Once chocolate is smooth and melted, remove from heat and mix in honey. 
Spread about 1 tbsp of chocolate mixture at the bottom of each muffin cup. Next, drop approximately 1/2 tbsp of date caramel into the center of the chocolate. 
Top each with 1 tbsp of chocolate. Give the pan a gentle shake to try to even out the chocolate. 
Sprinkle a drop of sea salt (preferably coarse) over each chocolate. 
Refrigerate until set. 
This can be stored in an airtight container on the counter. I’m fairly certain it’ll freeze well (although I never tried).

Halva Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup crumbled halva
3 tbsp halva spread
2 tsp cinnamon 
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans 
1-2 tsp vanilla
1 puff pastry rectangle
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350°F 
Mix together all ingredients except puff pastry and egg. 
Roll out puff pastry to form a large rectangle. 
Spread halva mixture over puff pastry, leaving 1 inch of pastry at the far end of the sheet so it’ll adhere better. 
Roll up and refrigerate for about an hour. 
Remove from fridge and use a serrated knife to slice into 1” rounds. 
Place rounds on parchment lined baking sheet. 
Brush puff pastry with egg. 
Bake for about 30 minutes, until browned. 
Serve warm or room temp (but warm is best).

Marbled Chocolate Pecan Meringues

Not everything goes as planned. These meringues were inspired by the “hazelnut chocolate meringue cake” recipe from @foodandwine (which looks incredible and i highly recommend you making it if you have the ingredients) – I was going to make a coconut whip cream as topping, but the coconut cream had a bad taste. I next tried making vanilla pudding with coconut milk and it wouldn’t whip up. They’re still delicious without the topping though so we’re just going to enjoy them as is. Our Seder also is not going to be what we expected and we’ll miss our extended family around our table. But we will make the best of it and enjoy our intimate Seder and hope that next year, we are surrounded by a busy table with our loved ones. Wishing everyone who celebrates a happy and healthy Passover .
1.5 cups pecans
3/4 cup chocolate chips 
6 egg whites, at room temperature 
Pinch of salt
1.5 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tsp vinegar .
Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Place a large metal mixing bowl and metal beaters from electric whisk into freezer. 
Roast pecans for 10 minutes. Removed from oven, reduce oven temperature to 225°F and chop into small pieces (I pulsed in a food processor). In the meantime, melt chocolate chips in double boiler. 
While chocolate is melting, remove bowl and whisk from freezer. Place egg whites in bowl and start beating at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, while continuing to beat until peaks get stiff. Next add vanilla and vinegar, continuing to beat. 
Stop beating and gently fold in nuts and melted chocolate (pour down the sides of the bowl). Fill meringue mixture gently into a ziploc bag and pipe into individual meringues onto parchment lined baking sheet. In this picture, the meringues don’t have high peaks because I wanted to fill them but since that didn’t work, I would try to make them nice and tall! 
Bake for 1.5 hours. Turn off oven and leave them for a few hours (I left them overnight) without opening the oven. .
Tips for meringues ** make sure bowl and whisks are perfectly clean and cold
** not even a drop of yolk should be in the white

Cinnamon Coconut Cookies

1 egg
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp brown sugar 
1 tsp vanilla 
1 cup almond flour 
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt 
2 tbsp shredded coconut

In a bowl, mix together egg, melted coconut oil, 1/3 cup brown sugar, vanilla. Next mix in almond flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, baking powder and salt. 
Refrigerate for about an hour. 
Mix together 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp coconut. 
Form dough into balls (about 1 inch diameter) and roll into coconut mixture. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to leave room for the balls to flatten in the oven. 
Return to fridge for 15-20 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes
Yields about 14 cookies.

Chocolate Halva Pull Apart “Babka”

1 frozen, raw challah, defrosted completely (cover it as it defrosts)
1/3 cup coconut oil or margarine, melted 
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup crumbled halva
1/3 cup chopped pecans 
1 tsp vanilla 
2 tbsp brown sugar plus more to sprinkle on top
1 tsp cinnamon plus more to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Tear off pieces of challah and roll into balls (about the size of a golf ball). Mix together chocolate chips, halva, pecans, vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon. Take 1/3 of mixture and distribute evenly at the bottom of a greased loaf pan. 
Coat each challah ball with coconut oil or margarine. Place half of balls in single layer at the bottom of the pan. 
Top with 1/3 of chocolate halva mixture. Top with remaining balls and finally remaining mixture. 
Sprinkle with additional brown sugar and cinnamon. 
Bake for about 30 minutes, until nicely browned on top.

Quick Berry Crostata

4 cups berries (can be frozen, I used strawberries and blueberries) 
Zest of 1 lemon or orange 
1 tbsp honey 
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water 
1 puff pastry rectangle, edges cut off to form a circle
1 egg 
1 tsp cinnamon 
2 tbsp brown sugar or turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. 
In a saucepan, over medium heat, cook berries until juices start releasing. Add lemon or orange zest and honey. Cook for a few more minutes. Mix in cornstarch and allow to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool. 
Roll out puff pastry, to form large circle. Brush with egg and sprinkle with some cinnamon and brown sugar mixture. Place fruit filling in the center of the puff pastry and fold edges over to form crostata. 
Brush egg and add sugar mixture onto folded over edges. 
Bake for about 25 minutes, until nicely browned

Blueberry Plum Crumble

4 cups mixed blueberries and sliced plums 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
Juice of 1/2 lime 
1 tsp cinnamon 
2 tbsp cornstarch .
1 cup oats (can use gluten free)
1 cup almond flour 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 cup melted coconut oil mixed with 1 tsp vanilla .
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together all ingredients for filling and place in 9” pie pan. 
Mix together all topping ingredients and use it to top fruit filling. 
Bake for about 45 minutes, uncovered, until fruit mixture bubbles through and topping is nicely golden.

Healthy Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Bites

I was given a variation of this recipe by @nodiet.dietitian – her recipe called for powdered peanut butter. Given that most of us are trying to avoid leaving our homes now, I figured I would adapt the recipe to be made with regular nut butter. I used chocolate, cranberries and coconut, but you can use whatever you’d like to mix in! What add-ins would you mix in if you were making these?

2 ripe bananas, mashed 
1 cup nut butter 
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp sea salt 
3 cups rolled oats 
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries 
2 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut 
2 tbsp chia seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Mix together, bananas, nut butter, egg, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Next mix in oats and remaining ingredients. 
Drop large spoonfuls of mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. 

Brownie Surprise Truffles & Hamentaschen

1 box @realduncanhines brownie mix (this likely works with other mixes but I haven’t tried them and I know this yields the right texture) – bake according to package directions (if you’re given the option of cake like or more fudgy brownies, choose fudgy)
Marshmallow fluff
Chocolate chips

Cook brownies according to package directions. Don’t allow to cool too long – just make sure it has cooled enough that you can handle with your hands. 
Scoop out a chunk of brownie and use your hands to form a circle. Fill with topping of choice. Close up to form either hamentaschen or ball. Repeat with remaining brownie mixture – avoid edges of brownie because they’re more difficult to work with (just eat them because they’re yum). Refrigerate to set. 
Melt chocolate chips in double boiler. Dip brownie balls into chocolate and place on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with crushed cookies. Refrigerate to set. (I did not dip the hamentaschen but you obviously could)