The Jewish holiday, Passover, is currently going on. It started at sundown Friday, March 30 and will continue until sundown on Saturday, April 7. Passover celebrates the time when the Jewish people escaped Egypt and the oppression of the Pharaoh. Today, it is observed by hosting a Seder and eating Kosher foods. 

The first and second nights are typically celebrated with a Seder, a dinner that has a specific order. However, it is customary to celebrate all eight days of the holiday by not eating any leavened bread products. Matzah is unleavened bread and represents the time when the Jewish people were in such a hurry to leave that they did not have time to allow their bread to rise and cook properly. Foods that are acceptable to eat are known as "Kosher for Passover." Kosher simply means that the food meets the standards of Jewish dietary rules. Any food that does not include leavening is already Kosher and many brands, including Manischewitz, make pre-made foods that are Kosher.

sweet, cracker, cookie, waffle, pastry, unleavened, bread, wheat
Caitlin Wolper

It can be hard to bake desserts that are unleavened and still taste good. A reliable staple at many Seders is boxed Manischewitz products. In order to still be able to keep Passover while in school, I made several of their desserts. 

Fudgey Gooey Brownies

Arielle Gordon

The brownies are somewhat fudgey and somewhat gooey. They do not rise very well, so they are quite dense. The density is not too much of an issue, but it reminds you that you are eating "fake" brownies. The box's promise of real chocolate chips came true and they add a nice taste to the brownies.

The real star of the mix is the frosting. It is made from butter, water and powdered mix from the box. It was runny when we put it on and dripped down the sides. After sitting out and cooling for about 30 minutes, it stiffened up and stayed on when we cut into the pan. These brownies will definitely help me get through this week, because they are an adequate substitution for my usual chocolate fix of cookies and brownies. 

Rating: 4/5 

Carrot Cake

Arielle Gordon

The carrot cake is average. It definitely has pieces of carrot in it and is a normal color. However, it is much more dense than any cake should be. I can pick it up off the plate and it barely crumbles. The taste is not bad, but it is pretty dry. The picture on the box shows a cream cheese frosting on top but does not actually provide any frosting mix or directions, unlike the brownies which come with frosting mix. There was no frosting on the shelf at the store either. Carrot cake is not usually my go-to dessert, so I was not too disappointed that it did not work out. I will probably not make it in the future.  

Rating: 3/5

Other Manischewitz Desserts

Manischewitz makes coffee cake and apple crumb cake for Passover as well. We could not find them in the store this year. They both taste about as normal as Passover can get and they each come with a brown sugar topping that helps earn the extra half star. They're not chocolate, but I'll take them anyway.

Past rating: 3.5/5

While not a dessert that you have to bake on your own, Manischewitz also has a variety of pre-made macaroon flavors, from plain coconut to red velvet and chocolate chip. They are all pretty good, the packaging is strong and they do not get stale, which is nice because many Passover foods taste stale even when they are fresh. 

Rating: 4/5 

For more Passover dessert inspo, check these recipes out.