Passover-Friendly Sweets at Crumbs

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[Photographs: Nikki Goldstein]

There comes a point during Passover—admittedly not too far into the week—where you start seriously jonesing for some quality baked goods. Quality, to that end, all becomes relative to the dry, crackly stuff you've been eating all week—frankly, anything sweet and moist will do. Kathy explored some great flourless options earlier this week, but feel free to add Crumbs to the list. With tons of locations around town, it's almost always within reach (for better or for worse), but quality can be rather hit and miss. That's just as true for the Passover treats as for the regular stuff.

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Skip the candy matzo—the chocolate tastes generic and the matzo doesn't feel particularly fresh under its unexciting coating—and vote in favor of the Passover cupcakes.

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It's hardly a shocker that this is what Crumbs gets most right, and their signature creative twist applies here too.

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The Raspberry Red Sea looks like a sugary-sweet mess, but with a light nut cake as its base, it's almost more of a delightfully sweet muffin than it is cupcake. That is, until you hit the "red sea" of raspberry preserves in the middle. Don't let the bright pink frosting fool you—it's not cloying in the least—though I'd do without the jelled red glaze on top.

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The Elijah's Delight, on the other hand, is the extremity of sweet. Chocolate cake, a fudge middle, a heaping mountain of milk chocolate buttercream frosting, all topped with chocolate shavings—can we say overkill? Each element is fine on its own—and the fudge in the middle almost redeems the excessiveness of the rest of it—but can we say overkill?

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This year, Crumbs has bags of almond cookies stuffed with preserves and covered in chocolate. Vanilla cookies—my favorite of the two—get a dose of orange jam and dark chocolate topping, a nice combo of sweet and tart, crunchy and smooth. My bias against white chocolate aside, the chocolate cookies are also quite nice, with a raspberry filling with a nostalgia factor that takes me back to my elementary school's hamentashen.

Keep in mind that though these recipes are explicitly designed as Passover-friendly recipes, the bakery handles both k-for-p and regular goods alike, making them just shy of legitimately kosher. I'll take it: For most of us, that's just as good as our own homes, and the best we'll get outside of it too.

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