Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch

Pesach (Passover) is over and this year instead of rejoicing I am whining! After I found this recipe I realized I did NOT buy enough matzah! Generally when the Pesach products go on sale, as much as a month before the holiday…I grab at least 5 pounds of matzah. Next year I am grabbing 10 pounds. See they put the matzahs on a great sale…5 pounds for $4.99. That’s compared to 1 pound for $2.49 or more. I’m going through the 5 pounds really quickly this year…usually it will last us at least 6 months.

And it’s all because of a recipe I found online and made for Pesach that many of my non-Jewish friends are asking for now. During Pesach it is difficult to find candy or cookies that we can eat…there are a few that are kosher for Pesach, but they are either too expensive or just real difficult to find in my area. To top it off I am just not a fan of very sweet things…so I am usually out of luck during the 8 days of no leavened products.

But this year I found the manna from heaven I had been missing…way to good to eat! Way to easy to make! And kosher for Pesach!

Below is the basic recipe. With my notes and MY pictures.

Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch
Makes approximately 30 pieces of candy
from (you've got to visit his site!)

This recipe is adapted from Marcy Goldman of, whose latest book is A Passion For Baking. It's super-simple and requires no fancy thermometer, equipment, or ingredients. If you can't get matzoh, use plain crackers such as saltines instead and omit the additional salt in the recipe. For passover or vegans, Marcy advises that it works well with margarine. And for our gluten-free friends, this would be superb made with any gluten-free cracker.

4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzohs

1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 cup (215g) firmly-packed light brown sugar

big pinch of sea salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (for the second recipe I used almond extract)

1 cup (160g) semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate). I used a 70% cocoa high quality chocolate bar and broke it up.

1 cup (80g) toasted sliced almonds (optional)

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet (approximately 11 x 17", 28 x 42cm) completely with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges. Cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

2. Line the bottom of the sheet with matzoh, 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. Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over matzoh, spreading with a heatproof spatula.

4. Put the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 350F (175C) degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up but make sure it's not burning every once in a while. If it is in spots, remove from oven and reduce the heat to 325F (160C), then replace the pan.

5. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips.

Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with an offset spatula. On the second batch that I made after Pesach I got real creative: On one section I put white chocolate discs (the kind you use when making candies at home), on another section I put peanut butter chips, and on another section I put the pounded chocolate “chips” and non-sweetened coconut. All of them came out great!

6. If you wish, sprinkle with toasted almonds (or another favorite nut, toasted and coarsely-chopped), a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, or roasted cocoa nibs.

Let cool completely, the break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

It should keep well for about one week. I put mine in the frig in a container and it's keeping longer...course 1/2 of it's gone already!

Note: If making for passover, omit the vanilla extract or find a kosher brand.

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