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Since posting my original Kichel recipe several years ago, I have had many requests for a Passover Kichel recipe. After many iterations, I landed on a formula that I enjoy. Also known as Jewish bow tie cookies or nothings, these kichel are light, fun to make, and an enjoyable Passover treat.

What are Kichel?

Kichel is actually the Yiddish word for cookie, but for those of us regulars at Jewish bakeries, we know that it means a specific type of cookie – a light, airy, crunchy, kind of part cookie/part cracker, usually coated in sugar, yet eaten both as a sweet and with savory. Kichel are often shaped as bow ties but can really be made in any shape, such as rectangle, square, triangle, or circle.

Ingredients for Jewish Bow Tie Cookies or Nothings

With just a handful of ingredients, you can have kichel for Passover:

  • Eggs: 3 large and I large egg yolk are all we need.
  • Sugar: Just a couple teaspoons in the batter and more for rolling out and dredging.
  • Oil: Any kosher for Passover oil works well here.
  • Flavor: Depending on what you can find for Passover, you can use kosher for Passover vanilla extract, seeds of a vanilla bean, or flavored liquor such as amaretto, brandy, rum, or cognac. Lieber’s makes a kosher for Passover pure vanilla extract and an imitation vanilla extract (which is more economical and sufficient for these kichel.) Gefen also makes a pure vanilla extract.
  • Matzo Cake Meal: Be sure to use cake meal, as it is more finely ground than matzo meal.
  • Potato starch: Improves the crispness of the kichel, making them a bit delicate.
Overhead shot of passover kichel (bow tie or nothings ) ingredients: oil, sugar, vanilla, potato starch, matzah cake meal, and eggs
Whether you call them kichel, bow tie cookies or nothings, it takes just a handful of ingredients to make these delicious Passover treats!

How to Make Passover Kichel

While there are similarities between making Passover kichel and my regular kichel recipe, there are key differences. In my regular recipe, we mix the dough for a longer period of time to develop the gluten in the flour. In this recipe, we beat the eggs with the sugar for a long period of time to create stronger bonds between the protein strands in the eggs.

It is actually quite easy to make Passover kichel. The first and key step is to beat the eggs with the sugar for 10 minutes using an electric mixer with either the paddle or the whisk attachment. To that, add in the oil and vanilla, then all the dry ingredients until the dough is fully formed. You want to mix until the dough is no longer sticky, which could take several minutes. Pour onto some sugar, top it with more sugar, roll out, cut and shape.

These “nothings” take longer to bake than my regular kichel recipe. However, they seem to bake faster for some people, which may be due to use of different brands of ingredients. Start checking them at the 20 minute mark. You want to be sure that they are fully cooked through so that they are crisp, even in the middle, without burning.

Kichel (jewish bow tie cookies or nothings) on a plate
Crispy and delicious, these cookies are great with coffee or tea and in the morning or all day!

If you’re looking for more Passover treats, be sure to check out:

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Passover Kichel

What is a good substitute for vanilla extract?

If you cannot find kosher for Passover vanilla extract, you can spilt a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Press the seeds into the 2 teaspoons of sugar before adding to the eggs. Alternatively, you can use 2 teaspoons of any kosher for Passover liquor..

Passover Kichel

4.92 from 23 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 42 cookies
Calories 32
Perfect for Passover, these kichel (bow tie cookies or nothings) are easy to make at home.

Ingredients

Kichel Dough

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 108 grams vegetable oil (½ cup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (See note below)
  • 84 grams matzo cake meal (⅔ cup)
  • 36 grams potato starch (3 Tablespoons)

Sugar Coating

  • 150 grams sugar, divided (¾ cup)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In mixer with paddle attachment, combine eggs, egg yolk, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix on high speed for 10 minutes.
  • While the eggs are beating, whisk together the cake meal and potato starch in a small bowl.
  • Reduce the mixer speed and pour in the oil and vanilla extract. Mix on high until all ingredients are fully combined, 3-5 minutes. Make sure the oil is fully emulsified into the egg mixture. If you see any signs of oil, keep beating.
  • Reduce mixer to low speed and mix in dry ingredients until they are fully absorbed. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high or high and keep beating. You may have to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Beat for 3- 5 minutes. The dough should feel slightly wet, but not sticky.
  • Liberally spread approximately ¼ cup sugar on parchment paper set on countertop. (You can do this directly on the countertop, but it makes for a much easier cleanup to do it on parchment paper.) Use a rubber spatula or bowl scraper to scoop the dough onto the top of the sugar. Liberally spread an additional ¼ cup of sugar on top of the mound of dough. Roll dough to approximately ¼ inch thick, using a bench scraper to guide the dough to create and maintain a rectangle, approximately 7 inches by 12 inches. Continue to coat the dough using as much of the remaining sugar as necessary (top and bottom) while rolling out the dough.
  • With a pizza cutter or a knife, cut rectangles, 1 inch by 2 inches. (Make 1 inch cuts along the side of the dough that is 7 inches, and make 2 inch cuts along the side of the dough that is 12 inches.) Carefully twist each rectangle in the middle. Place on prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart from each other. Bake in the center of the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, but check them at the 20 minute mark and then the 30 minute mark, as ovens vary. (If they are done in 20 minutes, it means you probably did not mix the ingredients long enough before shaping.) They are done when the edges and bottoms are deep golden brown. You can always break one apart to make sure the dough is no longer soft in the middle. Allow to cool completely, leaving them out at room temperature for several hours.

Notes

  • If you cannot find kosher for Passover vanilla extract, split a vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the seeds out with the back of a paring knife. Use your fingertips to press the seeds into the 2 teaspoons of sugar. Add the vanilla sugar to the eggs in Step 2. Alternatively, you can use 2 teaspoons of any kosher for Passover liquor such as amaretto, brandy, rum, or cognac.
  • Kichel will stay fresh for at least several days stored in an airtight container. They also freeze very well.
Calories: 32kcal
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: bow tie, cookies, kichel, nothings, Passover

Nutrition

Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 23IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg

11 Comments

  1. Jessica Formicola Reply

    5 stars
    I’m always looking for new Passover recipes, and these cookies look great! Can’t wait to make them!

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      Great question! I do not own an air fryer and have never used one, so the only answer I can provide is: You don’t know unless you try! 😉 If you try it, please let me know how it works out!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of Kichel but your explanation makes my mouth water! Crispy, light and coated in sugar sounds like my kinda cookie!

  3. These cookies look amazing! I can imagine having it with my favorite tea. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. 3 stars
    I had such high hopes for these, but the dough never ceased being sticky. I added at least another 1/3 or more of cake meal plus a bit of potato starch. I finally dumped it onto the x-large cutting board covered with sugar, adding more sugar on top, as directed. With the aid of the sugar, I was able to roll it out but the dough still seemed so oily. I couldn’t easily pull them off for the twist. I finally was able to create some sort of twisted shape for baking but was only able to salvage 22 instead of 42. I’m a long time baker and followed this recipe to the tee. Perhaps the fact that I used avocado oil instead of vegetable oil is the reason. They baked up fine, smell delicious but have weird shapes, as I expected. 45 minutes as was too long. I took them out at 30 minutes and they were done!. Btw….other recipes on line call for nearly double the cake meal.

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      Hi Gayle. Thanks for letting me know. I want to figure out what the issue could have been because I tested this recipe at least 10 times before publishing it. Did you use the paddle or the whisk attachment to your mixer? What brand cake meal and potato starch did you use? Did you thoroughly mix in the dry ingredients for a few minutes? I don’t think avocado oil would have had this dramatic of an effect. Also, with respect to your reference to other recipes, those are not accurate comparisons because the other recipes I have seen use more eggs, etc. that my recipe. Please let me know, as I would really like to troubleshoot this with you! You can email me directly at rob@cinnamonshtick.com. Thanks!

  5. I am so thrilled to stumble across your KICHEL recipe.I buy them at Zadies bakery in Fair Lawn NJ and eat the entire bag.
    I would love to try your recipe but wonder if I can use Turbinado sugar roll out the dough.
    Looking forward to your comment.
    Thanks in advance,
    Dot

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I have never used turbinado sugar for kichel recipes (this one or my regular, non-Passover one), but I don’t see why there would be an issue. It will probably add an extra, nice crunch to each bite. If you try it with turbinado sugar, please let me know how they come out.

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