Surviving Passover Without These Pesach Brownies Is Impossible

A week without bread? Doable. Deprive us of dessert? Forget about it.

Passover Brownies
Photo: Katie Rousso

I can't remember a Passover without brownies. I realize that might sound crazy. It's a weeklong observance marked by unleavened eating after all. In my family, though, more than a few days without dessert sounds even crazier.

That sweet tooth goes back generations; my great-grandmother couldn't bare the idea of eight days without an after-dinner indulgence. Thanks to her chocolate cravings (a mere century ago), this Kosher-for-Passover confection has become a family staple. It's so engrained in our Passover routine that my mother ships homemade batches across state lines to her grown sons. That's dedication.

Tracking down the recipe...that's another story. To my grandmother, it's muscle memory. A brilliant baker now in her nineties, she's been whipping up the recipe for years. It's the same story with my mother. She doesn't need the notes scribbled in her cookbook–a high school graduation gift from my grandmother that's seen its fare share of Seders and spills since its début in the 70's.

Me, on the other hand? I may be the first in my family that has to work word-for-word off of a recipe to avoid disaster. For the sake of my Passover future, it was time to get this Pesach staple down on paper.

Luckily for me and my limited baking skills, these Passover brownies are so simple they practically make themselves. They're not quite the same as grandma's can't-just-have-one, everyday batch of brownies, but for Passover-friendly, they come pretty darn close.

Passover Brownies


  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ packages chocolate chips
  • 2 cups matzah cake meal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Nuts may be added if desired.


Preheat oven to 325. Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and 12 oz. melted chocolate chips. Blend in cake meal and salt. Fold in ½ package of chocolate chips. Pour into an ungreased 9"x13" pan. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.

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