Passover recipe: Chanie Apfelbaum’s Charoset Bars The Denver Post

You’ve never seen charoset like this before. The relish of fruit, nuts and red wine — it represents the mortar used by Jewish slaves in the building of the Egyptian pyramids — is one of the symbolic foods on the Passover seder plate. And its resemblance to actual mortar is probably why most of us don’t think to make and eat it more than once a year, despite its sweetness.

Enter these beautiful charoset bars, created by Busy in Brooklyn blogger Chanie Apfelbaum. Apfelbaum starts with an almond flour dough as the base, which she tops with a pulverized pear-date-wine charoset and walnut crumble. The recipe is featured in Apfelbaum’s debut cookbook, “Totally Kosher: Tradition with a Twist! 150+ Recipes for the Holidays and Every Day” (Clarkson Potter, $37.50).

Charoset Bars

Serves 12


3 cups superfine blanched almond flour

¾ cup sugar

½ cup walnut or grapeseed oil

1 extra-large egg

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 ripe pear or Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

14 plump medjool dates, pitted (about 10 ounces)

¼ cup dry red wine

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup chopped walnuts (about 2 ounces)


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, sugar, oil, egg and 1 teaspoon salt until combined into a smooth dough. Remove 1 cup of the dough and set aside.

Using your hands, press the remaining dough into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly puffed. Cool for 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the pear, dates, wine, cinnamon and remaining ½ teaspoon salt until pasty, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed (it should resemble mortar, just like the story of the Exodus!).

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Add the walnuts to the reserved 1 cup of dough and mix with your fingers to combine. Spread the charoset filling over the cooled baked dough and crumble the walnut mixture over the top. Bake for 18 minutes, until browned around the edges. Cut the bars into squares and store in an airtight container (use parchment paper if layering). Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate for up to a week.

To freeze, wrap squares individually in plastic wrap, transfer to a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

From Chanie Apfelbaum’s “Totally Kosher: Tradition with a Twist! 150+ Recipes for the Holidays and Every Day (Clarkson Potter, $37.50) 

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