Passover Candy: Manischewitz Pâte de Fruits and Matzo Crunch

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[Photograph: Lucy Baker]

At the end of a large and lengthy Seder meal, the last thing most people want is a slice of leaden flourless cake or a sticky macaroon. This year, in lieu of more traditional baked desserts, try serving Passover candy. The first is a quirky twist on French pâte de fruits using Manischewitz wine. The second is my version of cookbook author Marcy Goldman's famous Caramel Matzo Crunch, gussied up with coconut and almonds.

Pâte de fruits are delicate jelly candies that come in flavors like orange, raspberry, and strawberry. They're a bit like American fruit slices, but bolder and juicer. One of the best things about pâte de fruits is how easy they are to make.

You can whip up a batch in fewer than 10 minutes active time. For a Passover-inspired version, swap the usual juice or water for sweet kosher wine, like Manischewitz's concord grape. I added seedless strawberry jam because I didn't want my candies to be too grapey, but it's a matter of preference. Feel free to use grape jelly for that over-the-top Manischewitz wine flavor. You can make these pâte de fruits up to a week in advance and store them in an airtight container. Just be sure to roll them in sugar again before serving.

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I've been making the Caramel Matzo Crunch from Marcy Goldman's cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, for years. Many people rightly refer to it as "matzo crack." Each spring, even my non-Jewish friends ask for it when Passover rolls around.

In this version, I eased up on the caramel layer just a bit then added a few handfuls of shredded sweetened coconut as an homage to traditional Passover macaroons. A layer of crunchy toasted almonds is the finishing touch. You can make this up to two weeks ahead and store it in an airtight container.

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