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Cookie-ing up some Matzo

Here is another guest post from Naomi. I first met Naomi back in high school. We both worked as crew for a theater production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. As the production was in an open amphitheater, that only had trees at the edge of the stage, we spent all production ducking in and out of the forest. Welcome back Naomi!

When one of my guests arrived at my home for the Passover Seder, the first thing she asked me was if I had made the Matzo Toffee Cookies. This was quite a compliment given it was coming from one of the best bakers I know. The truth is the recipe is quite simple. The outcome is heavenly. Homemade toffee and melted chocolate atop a thin piece of crunchy matzo.

Several years ago I was really excited when kosher food companies started producing more and more prepared items for Passover. One bite, however, confirmed for me that looks can be deceiving and there is nothing like home cooked food.  And the elegantly wrapped chocolate matzo is the worst – the chocolate flakes off of the plain sheet of matzo.

I have only made Matzo Toffee Cookies for Passover. It fits in with the tastes that I expect and crave during the holiday, that seem like they would be out-of-place during the rest of the year. I consider this especially true of the quintessential Passover food, matzo, the flat bread eaten to symbolize the Biblical Israelites leaving slavery in such a hurry they didn’t have time for their bread to rise.  My girls, however, like to eat matzo year round, especially with cream cheese and avocado slices. I like to save (and savor) it for the holiday.  Like so much of the symbolic eating during Passover, it combined tastes – here bland and sweet and bitter (with dark chocolate), and the textures of the crunchy cracker and the soft stretchy toffee.

I was especially surprised to learn that I was in the minority for keeping my matzo for the eight day holiday. The matzo industry has a large market year-round both within and beyond the Jewish community.

Since this is a post for Pat’s blog out of OH, I thought I would throw in the fun fact that I recently learned: the first commercial matzo was made at the Manishewitz factory in Cincinnati, OH in 1888. Interestingly, the company built a second location in 1932 in Jersey City, NJ, right near where I live!

Matzo Toffee Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 sheets of Matzo
  • 12 oz.  Chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk)

1. Grease a baking pan. Some people recommend lining it with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges and covering the foil with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Line the bottom of the sheet with as many sheets of matzo as will fit, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.

3. In a 3-4 quart (3-4l) heavy duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. This is one of the few times when I feel a sense of awe while cooking. It’s like a basic chemistry experiment in which two elements combine. I’m always amazed when the butter and sugar merge.

Pour the hot toffee over matzo, spreading with a heatproof spatula.

4. Put the pan in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up but make sure it’s not burning every once in a while. I recently under-baked a batch. It was still yummy.  However, the toffee stuck to the pan.

5. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with an offset spatula.

6. Chocolate critique extraordinaire, David Lebovitz, offers the following variations:

  • Adding 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (added to the toffee after boiled)
  • Adding a big pinch of sea salt (added to the toffee after boiled)
  • Adding chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate) after the other chocolate has melted
  • Adding 1 cup (80g) toasted sliced almonds
  • If you can’t get matzo, use plain crackers such as saltines instead and omit the additional salt in the recipe.
  • For Passover or vegans, using margarine.
  • Using any gluten-free cracker.

7. Let cool completely, the break into pieces and store refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Source: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/01/chocolatecovere/

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Categories: Baking, Chocolate, Dessert, kosher, Recipes, vegan, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

43 Comments on “Cookie-ing up some Matzo”

  1. April 15, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Happy Pesach my friend. This will be a recipe I will use every year from now on. Mr. Skinnycarnivore told me: “Make that, my mom used to!” when he saw your post. Great post. Keep ‘em coming.

    • Naomi Kalish
      April 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      Happy Pesach to you as well!

  2. April 15, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    This looks so yummy! We are definitely going to make this with our leftover matzah! I shared it with my Facebook friends, too!

    • Naomi Kalish
      April 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks for sharing it on facebook. I also thought these would be a great way to use up left over matzo. We have 4 lbs left, that would be a lot of toffee cookies. ;-)

  3. April 15, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    My boyfriend and I love your blog. It makes us hungry. Haha! He loves cooking too. I might visit your blog often now for reference. Please keep on posting recipes. :) Thanks!

  4. April 15, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    your blog is awesome :) i will keeping my eye on your blog :) lots recipes to learn, thanks to you :)

  5. April 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    I love those!!! I usually make them with regular crackers but mmmm so good

    • Naomi Kalish
      April 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

      ME TOO!!! Do you use saltines or another kind of cracker?

  6. April 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    I’m not a big cookies person, but these ones look delicious!

  7. April 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    that looks awesome! I may have to put it on my to do list.

  8. April 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    These are so easy to make and SO GOOD! Haven’t made them in a couple of years, but I did buy the supplies this year (and have lots of matzah leftover!). Year round I hear some people make them with Saltines too.

  9. April 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    These look amazing!

  10. April 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    AH! My mother makes these all the time, but she always has used saltine crackers (being the lack of mazto influence in our lives). She very much likes them.

  11. April 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    This is not cookies. This is candy crack. It is amazing. I have to remember to add the (KLP) vanilla extract. I made some amazing batches this year: one with dried bing cherries, one with chopped dried apricots and dates, one with chopped pecans/coconut flakes/sea salt (that was a huge hit, but they were all delicious). Additional recommendation–if you make it with margarine, do it at 325 degrees; the margarine burns easily and then you have Cajun Matzah brittle. Or, as it is known among me and my friends, matzah crack.

    • Naomi Kalish
      April 15, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

      Thanks Sue for your great recommendations! I want to try out the vanilla extract version. How fun to connect with you on a food blog!

  12. April 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Writing another comment, with no comment, so I can check off “notify me of new posts via email” :-).

  13. April 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    thanks for posting this! will try it, it’s a lot like my Baron Bars (picture of them on my blog at http://bit.ly/HXtSnZ)

    • Naomi Kalish
      April 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

      Your blog is awesome. Good luck finishing the cookbook!

      • April 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

        I did get it finished, thanks. (the blog was from last year’s Titanic meal…lol)

      • April 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

        oh, and thanks for the kudos on my blog.

  14. April 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    oohhhh definitely going to make these.

  15. Naomi Kalish
    April 15, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    I didn’t write in the blog about the use of salt. Some people add a pinch to bring out the taste of the chocolate. A friend told me today that she uses salted butter/margarine (I use unsalted) because she likes a salted caramel taste. And, as a few people have commented, some use saltines as a matzo alternative. So many options!!!

  16. April 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    my husband will love these! thanks for posting!

  17. April 15, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Wow, these look so good!

  18. April 16, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    How cool is this! Great idea!

  19. April 16, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    Great recipe for Toffee Matzo Cookies! Thank you very much. Could have really used in during Passover when the thought of another piece of matzo sent me screaming naked in the back yard, but it will help use up the last dregs!

  20. April 16, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    Oooooh, lovely! Another on my List Of Things To Make In Autumn When I’m Not Low-Carbing, Dammit.
    I may omit the toffee and make these anyway before then – matzoh and dark chocolate, mmmmm, and not TOO carby as they’re so thin…
    Thanks for this!

  21. April 16, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    This is very interesting! I will eat Matza all year round, with peanut butter and cheese, or avo and cream cheese :)

    • Naomi
      April 16, 2012 at 9:50 am #

      Somehow I found myself eating matzoh last night with left-overs of my mushroom dip, also made kosher for Passover and on the Ranting Chef.

  22. April 16, 2012 at 5:24 am #

    Yummy!

  23. April 16, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    I made this recipe or one pretty much like it for Passover and also served it on Easter. It was a huge success and George said it was the best dessert ever – truly addictive- I used dark chocolate and sea salt. Yum! I will not wait for next Passover to make this again.

  24. April 16, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    The recipe sounds great–I love anything with toffee!

  25. April 16, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    This is reminiscent of my Grandma Jean’s Soda Cracker Cookies, which I haven’t had in 20+ years. Thanks for sharing!

    • Naomi
      April 16, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      Do you have a recipe for your Grandma Jean’s Soda Cracker Cookies? I would love to see that recipe as another possibility.

      • April 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

        I do have the recipe. I just looked at it; it is almost exactly the same as the Matzo recipe, but uses soda crackers instead. 1 cup butter, one cup brown sugar – boiled for 3 minutes and poured over 48 crackers. The major difference is her recipe called for a 325 degree oven, bake for 5 minutes, turn off, then melt 12 oz of chocolate chips on top. One additional step Grandma Jean had was to press one cup of chopped nuts into the melted chocolate. If you make them I’d love to hear your results!

    • Naomi
      April 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      Thanks Amelia. Will have to try!

  26. April 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    I’ve made this with Saltines under the name “Heath Bark,” but using Matzo… Duh! What a great way to culturize the whole thing! Thanks.

  27. April 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Oh my gosh. Yes please!

  28. thefrancofly
    April 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I just married a lovely Jewish Frenchman. At our first Seder dinner as a family, everyone was shocked I knew what matzo balls are. Can’t wait to whip these out next year!

  29. April 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I love this! My bf’s family makes it with saltines at christmas. Yumm.

    I am so glad I found your blog. I have poked around and you have some really great stuff, so I decided to nominate you for the Versatile blogger award. Go to this link to find out more! :) http://nthensome.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/surprise/

    Happy eating! :D

  30. April 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Congrats on being the Featured Post! Well deserved!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Putting away Pesach « Surviving on a tight budget - April 15, 2012

    [...] 52 Week Challenge Week 16: After Passover review and SBB update (www.organizedjewishhome.com) – Cookie-ing up some matzo (rantingchef.com) – great recipe to use up your leftover matzah Share [...]

  2. Guest Editor: Passover Recipes | Rantings of an Amateur Chef - March 20, 2013

    [...] Matzo Toffee Cookies [...]

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