I love how different cultures wind up making such similar foods.
For instance, almost every culture I know has a potato, meat or cheese-filled pastry of some kind. We call them different names, but they’re all delicious. And while Italians call a particular kind of cookie “biscotti,” people of Jewish descent call a very similar cookie “mandel bread.”
Mandel bread, like biscotti, is sliced from a large log of cookie dough and then baked again to become toasted. However, its texture isn’t quite as crunchy. There’s a little more softness to a piece of mandel bread.
This is my mother-in-law’s recipe, one of my favorites from her collection. On Passover, options are limited. We can’t bake with flour or anything that has a bean, corn or rice base. Flour substitutes usually come in the form either of potato starch (yep, that exists) or ground up matza, a.k.a. matza meal. I use the cake meal in this recipe because it’s finer, like flour, and the potato starch.
Here’s the thing. I really hate the taste of matza. I know people love it, but that’s because they don’t have to eat it. I’ve spent years developing dessert recipes or finding other people’s recipes that specifically don’t have that aftertaste. And when I tried these at my mother-in-law’s house early in my marriage, I knew that this recipe was a winner.
It’s also incredibly easy. All the ingredients get mixed together in one bowl, there’s an hour of chilling time, and then you’re ready to roll. You don’t even have to use butter, much less melt it or cream it. The recipe requires oil instead.
Now, don’t be stingy with your chocolate chips. The only adjustment I’ve made to the original recipe is adding more, and my rationale couldn’t be purer. The chocolate hides the fact that you’re not dealing with flour. That’s it. And who ever objected to more chocolate chips?
Heck, you can even throw nuts in there. Do what you want. Just realize that good Passover desserts are few and far between. I’m going to be posting two more this week, so I hope they come in handy! If you’re on the matza train this week, have a great holiday. And for everyone else? Enjoy your flour!
Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread (Passover Edition!)
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups matza cake meal
6 tablespoons potato starch
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the sugar and oil, stirring until somewhat smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
- Chill the mixture for one hour.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Divide the dough in half. Form each half into an oblong rectangular shape (shown sliced above). Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and slice the dough into strips. Return to the oven for 25-30 minutes until browned and crispy at the edges.
- Cool. Store in an airtight container.
This Post Has 35 Comments
WHAT. Seriously … Mir, these look so good. Chocolate chip anything for life. The matza cake meal and oil combination has me sold. Pinning these too!
Mary Frances recently posted…Pineapple and Grapefruit Lemonade
Thanks, Mary Frances! I gotta work around flour for 8 days, and it’s kind of the biggest baking challenge. Well, maybe not the BIGGEST. But it’s pretty huge!
Mir – Happy Passover! I’ve never heard of Mandel Bread, but this variety looks simply amazing. It looks pretty easy to whip up and it would go perfectly with a cup of coffee. 🙂
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg recently posted…Frumpy Coconut Granola Bars
Yep, it’s great coffee food, Erin! It’s a whole cultural cookie that the mainstream doesn’t really know about. I’m bringing them out for all to see!
This looks amazing! It’s like cookie/biscotti/bread in one 🙂 So yum!
Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Life Updates and Cake for Two!
Thanks, Medha! They make a very nice breakfast. I need breakfast in my life on Passover!
I’ve never heard of mandel bread before, but it looks amazing! I love the chocolate chip flavor, Mir! Perfect for a Monday!
Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Spinach and Mushroom Quinoa Bowls
Thanks, Gayle! I’m eating some at this very moment!
Before I read the post I said to myself “that looks like biscotti!” It is funny how that works in different cultures. I love this recipe – I’ve never used matzo except in toffee bark when all you taste is the sugar and chocolate! These sound really good!
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Easy Pancake Rolls, 3 ways
Toffee bark with it is also pretty good, Dorothy! By itself, though? Kinda cardboard. With an aftertaste. Thanks for seeing the chocolate through all the matza. 😉
Chocolate chip mandel bread has been a Passover staple in our home for decades. Its what helped my kids “survive” Passover! 🙂 Our family recipe is quite similar to yours.(I am all for increasing chocolate, whenever possible 🙂 ) Recently, we added a new restriction. My daughter is gluten free….out with the cake meal, too! I have been experimenting with coconut flour and nut flours, avocado brownies, too. Happy Passover!
Wendy recently posted…Easter Sugar Cookies and Military Care Package #11
You just inspired me, Wendy! My husband is GF and I’ve been trying to think of matza meal subs. Let me know if the coconut or nut flours work! It is so much about survival these eight days. I’m starving!! Happy Passover!
Looks amazing, never had Mandel Bread! Love the amount of chocolate chips 🙂
mira recently posted…Spinach Salad With Raspberry Vinaigrette
Thanks, Mira! More chocolate chips is always better!
Those look so good, although I’ve never had matza meal. There’s lots of chocolate though so I’m sold! 🙂
Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Chewy Chocolate Macaroon Granola Bars
Matza meal ain’t so hot, Stacey! 😉 But I did my best…
so true, it’s amazing how different cultures make very similar food. I discovered not too long ago the similarity between Indian and Afghan cuisine! So similar! I have never heard of mandel bread but looks good especially with those chocolate chips! Yum! Pinned!
Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Overnight Stuffed French Toast
Thanks, Manali! I’m always amazed at how much cultures have in common. It makes me wonder why we all can’t relate more through food!
I love the look of this! Also, it seems like the best recipes are the ones that are handed down . 🙂
Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness recently posted…Kimchi Fried Rice
Agreed, Cathleen! They’re the best, because they’ve stood the test of time!
I am well acquainted with biscotti but have never heard of Mandel bread. Thanks for the introduction!
Erin@WellPlated recently posted…Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts
Pretty much the same thing, though there are subtle differences, Erin. My pleasure!
I’ve never tried this before, but I think I would be a huge fan! I love all of the chocolate chips in this! Looks delicious, Mir.
Danielle recently posted…Bacon Deviled Eggs
Thanks, Danielle! It’s a good dipping cookie. Or by itself, really. Whichever!
This looks really delicious. I also like how there are certain foods that different cultures have variations of.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on 15 Minute Salmon Tacos with Avocado Cream by Dannii
It’s the most awesome thing, Dannii. I wonder how that happened!
I’ve never had Mandel Bread, but it certainly looks delicious. And I would never object to more chocolate! Happy Passover!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks recently posted…Belgian Tripel Beer Marinated Stuffed Pork Loin with Plum Sauce
It’s pretty great, especially with a hot beverage. I’m very big on cookies with my tea!
This looks delicious and I totally thought it was biscotti until I read the post. 😉 I’ve never tried Matza meal before either. A new ingredient I need to try! Yummy!!
Cyndi – My Kitchen Craze recently posted…Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole
To be honest, Cyndi, it’s not a must-try kind of ingredient. Just for those of us under duress. 😉
Mir, how did I miss this one?! I love biscotti and never knew the Jewish name “mandel bread.” love this! Happy Passover!!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…The Best Chinese Chicken Salad
Aw, thanks, Alice! They’re pretty similar. I wonder who thought of slicing up a giant log of cookie dough and double-toasting it. And how it spread for culture to culture. I’m such a food nerd!
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do they freeze well?
You can freeze them for a month well-wrapped.