Mandel bread or mandlebrot (the word mandel is Yiddish for nut or almond) is a traditional Eastern European Jewish delicacy. Baked as a loaf and then sliced, the texture is slightly softer than Italian biscotti (which I love) but there are certainly similarities. Although my parents are Eastern European, sadly my mother's baking repertoire did not include these cookies. The only ones I'd ever tasted were the packaged ones from the store and I'd just as soon pass on those, thankyouverymuch.
Since Passover is coming up, I dug out the recipe she hand wrote and gave to me and made her excellent mandel bread. And I still love it as much as I did the first time I tasted it. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Ingredients (24 Cookies)
- 2 Cups sugar
- 2 Sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 Eggs
- 2 3/4 Cups matzo cake meal *
- 1 Teaspoon salt (original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon)
- 3/4 Cup potato starch *
- 1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 Cup sliced almonds, or your favorite nuts
- 1 Teaspoon cinnamon, for topping
- 2 Teaspoons sugar, for topping
* Available in the ethnic or Passover food aisle of the supermarket
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using either a stand or hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter together in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, sift together the cake meal, salt and potato starch and fold into the egg mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Divide the dough in half and form two loaves, approximately 2-3" high on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The loaves will neither rise nor spread in the oven but I did find them very sticky to work with so I used a bit of extra cake meal on my hands to pat them into shape.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the two loaves. Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly but slice, with a serrated knife, while still warm.
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