Chocolate on Chocolate with Extra Blessings

Jewish people are obligated to say one hundred blessings every day, and observant Jews are making every effort to do it, well, religiously. There are two reasons for it. First, in Deuteronomy, Moses poses a rhetorical question to the people:”What does G-d ask of you?” Says the Talmud that the word “Mah” (What) should be read as “Meah” – one hundred, thus obligating us to say one hundred Brochos (blessings) a day. Since Hebrew generally is written without vowels, it makes perfect sense. Secondly, during the times of King David’s reign, there was a terrible plague; one hundred people died every day. “Ah! – remembered the King,- let’s all start saying those one hundred Brohos a day!” They did, and the plague stopped. Thus, the rule was reinforced empirically, so to speak.

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No doubt, it’s a great way to keep us in good health, but how do we get to this number? If you do your math and divide 100 into a typical 16-hour day, you’ll have to say a blessing every ten minutes! So the scholars added up all the blessings that are included in the three daily services and came up with… ninety! Where do we get ten more? Why, we do have to eat every day, so if you add the blessings before and after the meals, you reach your goal. Fine? We are done? Not yet, not that quick! You see, on Shabbos, the three services contain only seven blessings each, as opposed to the nineteen blessings each on weekdays. So we are short again – oy vey! And on Shabbos, the holiest of the days!

To get out of this sticky situation, we have cookies and cakes. Every time you grab a cookie or a piece of cake, you have to say Brochos, both before and after. No wonder we bake, and bake, and bake, especially for Shabbos!  There is only one condition: those baked goods must contain grain. In other words, they could be gluten free if you consider spelt gluten free, but you should really ask your doctor. Almond, coconut, corn, rice, and other types of gluten free flours do not qualify.

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Therefore, to keep my husband, who has a major sweet tooth, in good health by giving him a chance to say those one hundred Brohos a day, I put these chocolate peanut butter date cookies on a spelt cookie crust – also chocolate, of course!

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First you have to soak the dates. Even though I usually get pitted Medjool dates, I still check for pits that are sometimes accidentally found. My food processor doesn’t like to be surprised!

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While the dates are soaking, you can make the crust. You need spelt flour, Smart Balance or any other butter substitute, baking powder, brown sugar, and unsweetened cocoa. Cream Smart Balance with sugar and add the dry ingredients.

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Now comes the tricky part. Lightly mist a baking sheet with oil, plop your batter on it, cover it with plastic wrap and flatten it.

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Use a rolling pin to make it uniformly thin, about 1/4 inch or less (1/2 cm). Lift the plastic and grab a fork. Stab the dough with a fork criss-cross to indicate one inch squares. Those will be your breaking lines. Stick it in the oven for about 20 minutes and get back to your dates that are ready to be processed. Drain the water and process them together with some olive oil and coconut milk, peanut butter, vanilla and agave, and don’t forget cocoa! Keep pulsing and scraping the sides until you get a creamy delicious paste.

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Your crust should be ready by now, but you need to cool it first, otherwise your cookie squares will crumble. Meanwhile, keep your date paste refrigerated. Once the cookie squares are cooled sufficiently, you can separate them and marry them with their dates. Aren’t they lucky! Cover each square with a tablespoon of date paste and flatten it lightly to give it a nice shape.

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Top them with berries or nuts (I also added some candy sparkles, just for fun!) and enjoy them in good health!

INGREDIENTS

Cookie Crust:

  • 2/3 cup Smart Balance or any butter substitute of your choice at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup spelt flour

Date Paste:

  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 30 min
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon or more agave
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup or more unsweetened cocoa powder

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cream butter with sugar. Stir in the rest of crust ingredients.
  • Spread the batter evenly in lightly misted with oil baking pan. Cover batter with plastic wrap and flatten with rolling pin to 1/8 inch (1/2 cm) thickness. Prick with fork to indicate 1-inch square breaking lines.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes until edges turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in pan. Gently break into squares.
  • Soak dates for 30 minutes. Process all ingredients, add more cocoa and/or agave if necessary.  Scrape sides and pulse to a creamy uniform paste. Refrigerate until cookie crusts are cooled off.
  • Cover each cookie crust with a tablespoon of date paste, lightly flatten to shape. Top with berries or nuts.

Enjoy!

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47 Comments Add yours

    1. That it is, and chocolaty!

      Like

  1. feistyfroggy says:

    Very interesting. I’ve never explored much Jewish cooking. Anything with chocolate is certainly worth a look and a taste! Also, I’m still loving all the Jewish history/customs you talk about! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your interest! Please do come to the party and bring something. I’ll reblog it right away to give you exposure!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. About the middle of every week I start thinking of a healthy and not too carb-loaded Mezonos dessert for Shabbos. This was one of the ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dessert is not big around here. Raizel talks about it a lot but stuff doesn’t get eaten. I end up making cookies and freezing them. One batch lasts for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good for them – much healthier!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    The only reason I am repeating this recipe, Beautiful People, is to share with you a phenomenal new discovery that, I am sure, will make chocoholics out of you! Please read this amazing article and come back here for some chocolate treats! https://guysandgoodhealth.com/2017/08/23/your-brain-on-chocolate-harvard/#like-29398

    Like

  3. A_Boleyn says:

    The cookie base sounds interesting though I’ve never tried spelt in any of my baking.
    I like dates though I don’t do cook with them very often. Oatmeal date turnovers are one of my favourite treats. Chocolate … well, I get periodic cravings for deep dark chocolate but it’s not a necessary part of my sweet needs.

    Daily blessings are a wonderful tradition … 100 is a challenge. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cook and bake mostly with spelt, due to my husband’s dietary needs. I even bake spelt Challahs. My husband doesn’t like oatmeal, nor anything baked with it, so inasmuch as I’d love to have some oatmeal /rasin cookies, I won’t bake them just for myself.
      My grandmother used to say a blessing on everything she was about to put on the stove or in the oven. She very easily made, or even exceeded 100. I don’t go that far, but I do make blessings on everything I cook and bake for Shabbos and holidays. When we got married, my husband used to tease me that I talked to pots and pans, until his Rabbi told him to cease and desist and say his own blessings that he got a wife who knows the ins and outs of kosher kitchen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A_Boleyn says:

        I heartily concur with the rabbi’s comment. 🙂

        There are a few pics of the date turnovers at the link below which links back to the recipe on LJ. I wonder if you could adapt the recipe to replace the rolled oats. I try not to make sweets/cakes too often but this post was a collection of a bunch I had made in a very short period of time. Obviously I had a dietary sugar craving. 🙂

        https://aboleyn01.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/sweets-to-the/

        https://aboleyn01.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/sweets-to-the/

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for the link – lovely! I wonder if it’ll work with spelt dough. Phyllo dough will be great, certainly – that’s a no brainer.
        I bake sweets at least once a week, and sometimes twice a week, depending on my husband’s rate of consumption and grandkids’ visits. Just made a blueberry immersion pie – we are having a blueberry season. Let’s see how long it lasts!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A_Boleyn says:

        Immersion pie … that’s a new term to me.

        I bake for one so I try to make small batches only and freeze half. Right now I have cannoli shells, red velvet and fudgy chocolate cupcakes and Nutella brownies in the freezer. I’m down to the last couple of medium vanilla cupcakes I baked a week or so ago with fresh fruit (blueberry or raspberry) in it. I don’t NEED to do any baking but I’m tempted to do so anyway. 🙂

        I was reminded that I made some date nut quick breads a while ago with a container of dates that had been gifted to me. I shared the results with the gifters who were very appreciative.

        https://aboleyn01.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/date-nut-quick-bread-repost-from-lj/

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you for the link – looks yummy , reminiscent of my raisin and sunflower seeds bread.
        Whatever I bake never gets to see the freezer – my husband takes care of it. Most of the time, I taste a tiny bit, for quality control, and leave the rest to him.
        Cannoli – how I love cannoli with chocolate ricotta filling and chocolate chips on top! Ahhhh…
        Immersion pie is my own invention, although I am sure it exists under different names. No wonder you haven’t heard of it! I will post it eventually, after several other recipes in my queue. 😼

        Liked by 1 person

      5. A_Boleyn says:

        Looking forward to seeing it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Everybody loves Chocolate

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Especially when it makes you smart! 😼

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am part chocolate too. 💐🙂🥀🤓🌻🤗🌷😎

        Liked by 1 person

      4. LOL That’s why you are so smart, my friend! 😼

        Liked by 1 person

      5. 🍷😍😂🤣😎

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That’s right: sun and fun – cheers!

        Like

  4. Christy B says:

    Dessert and blessings ~ A beautiful combination, my friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Christy, and many blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. E says:

    I had no idea about the 100 blessings rule but I love it! What a good practice for living in gratitude every day, and a little prompting from chocolate desserts helps! You make me laugh. I knew about the tradition of giving a chocolate to go along with a lesson so that children would associate learning as something sweet but this one takes the flourless chocolate cake. Beautiful food and beautiful practice. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! The actual tradition, going quite a few centuries back (before chocolate was brought to Europe from the New World), was dripping honey on a page from behind the child’s back. That practice associated not only with learning, but also with the Promised Land – “the land of milk and honey.” We did that with my grandson, and I can’t tell you how much I cried…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. E says:

        Aww. That’s so sweet. ❤️ literally! Once again connecting food with meaning brings a mindful quality to eating and I love that practice. Thank you for sharing it Dolly.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. My pleasure, and thank you so much for your wonderful comments!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for another entertaining story. its so lovely to see children smile and having fun. Have a great weekend ahead. ,-) Michael

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you for your kind words, Michael! Have a wonderful weekend! 😻

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Thank you, especially for sharing so entertaining stories. Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I honestly don’t know what makes them “so entertaining” – this is how we talk in Odessa.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Think its the difference of culture, maybe also the “freedom” one can feel reading your stories. The Germans are not so enthusiastic, and only laugh behind the door 😉 Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That is true; I’ve noticed that. And you are very perceptive about the feeling of freedom – very much so! Thank you,
        Dolly 😻

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Thx Dolly! Yes freedom is very important for me. Never thought so before. But after i made some important experiences its my thing. [ha ha ha] May i ask you ? Dolly = Dolores? Best greetings. Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Also have a wonderful weekend ahead. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. God bless you, Dolly!! (Is it offensive to you, when I spell out His name?)
    Sweet blessings, every day!

    Like

    1. Thank you so Melinda! It’s not offensive to me at all; you’re not bound by my constrains.
      We say that He blesses those who bless others, so blessings to you, my dear purple friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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