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It’s time to confess. I have a sweet addiction to brownies, one I am never going to give up on. You can see exhibit A, B, C: Marzipan-Olive Oil Brownies, Holiday Spice Brownies, Brownie Round-up. So when I received Levana’s latest cookbook “The Whole Food Kosher Kitchen“, I HAD to make her brownies.

A classic recipe that’s easy to whip up in about 10 minutes, it’s a perfect canvas for variations which are detailed below. The recipe below is for her Pecan Brownies, but I decided to omit nuts and enjoy the simple chocolately goodness of this classic treat.

And no, you don’t have to even be remotely Kosher to enjoy her cookbook. Heck, we all know I’m not! But a great thing about this cookbook, is that if you ARE Kosher, there are also three indexes inside to help you narrow down choices: general index, gluten-free index, and a passover index. It’s a gorgeous hardcover book with tantalizing food photography to get you inspired to cook and bake more. Her simple approach to wholesome food will get even the most novice cooks in the kitchen and her techniques are explained in easy to follow directions and instructions. Be sure to grab a copy of her book (even in e-book form!) and visit her blog, where she has recipes and an Ask Levana column!

Friday Sweets: Levana’s Pecan Brownies

Print Recipe
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  • 8 ounces best quality chocolate chopped, or 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 sticks 1 cup natural margarine (available at health food stores)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup flour if making for Passover, 1/2 cup potato starch Gluten-free, use brown rice flour
  • ¾ cup toasted pecans 300 degree oven-10mn, broken into pieces


  • Preheat oven to 375*f. Melt chocolate and margarine in a small saucepan over very low heat, or in a microwave for about 1 minute.
  • In a food processor or with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture, flour and vanilla, and mix until just combined.
  • Fold in the nuts by hand. Pour into a greased 11-inch round spring-form tart pan, or 10 inch square pan, and bake for 35 minutes, until the top is barely firm; it will set completely with the residual heat sticking to the pie. Let cool before cutting.


  • Sea salt and caramel: bring the salt to 1 tablespoon, and add 1 tablespoon caramel extract (easily available in health food stores)
  • Espresso and brandy: include 1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder, decaf ok, and 3 tablespoons rum, brandy and bourbon.
  • Mint: Add a few drops peppermint extract (available at health food stores)
  • Peanut butter: Instead of 1 cup margarine, use 1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Use other kinds of nuts. Or no nuts at all.


Recipe Adapted from The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen by Levana Kirschenbaum

Disclaimer: I received a review copy free of charge in order to facilitate this post. All opinions and photography are my own. 

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  1. Yum! And may I say that I think brownies are so much better when you use actual chocolate as opposed to cocoa powder? Just my opinion as a chocolate fanatic…