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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Toffee Chocolate Matzah Crunch:Recipe

Passover is a major Jewish holiday. It deals with the age old themes of slavery, freedom, persecution, solidarity, covenants, spring, renewal, redemption, etc. For two consecutive nights, a ritual meal is served and stories told, prayers recited, songs sung and much discussion occurs over what parts of the evening's agenda to "pass over". Actually the term Passover refers to the angel of death passing over the homes of the Jews in the days leading up to when the Jews fled Egypt, before Moses parted the Red Sea and received the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.

One thing that most gentiles know about Passover is that it's the holiday when Jews eat matzah. Matzah is unleavened bread and we eat it all week long to commemorate the holiday and be reminded of a time when we were slaves. Many gentiles of course think it's very interesting and delicious. My parents had an Italian exchange student who was positively in love with it and begged them to send him boxes of it. Crazy kid! To me, matzah is dreadful, only tolerable when spread with a thick layer of butter and sprinkled with salt. And day after day it gets to be pretty dull stuff. Sure you can get egg matzah or onion flavored but it's still akin to crispy cardboard.

That's what I thought until I discovered toffee chocolate matzah crunch. Oh that heavenly stuff! I never would have thought making matzah into candy was possible, but it is. This recipe is perfect for bringing to a Passover seder (dinner) or for using up leftover matzah. The original recipe comes from Marcy Goldman, cookbook author and editor of Better Baking. You can find many recipes for it online, but here's how I do it.

Toffee Chocolate Matzah Crunch


2 sheets of matzah
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2-3 Tablespoons chopped nuts--any kind but I like pistachios


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sheets of matzah on a greased sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Cook the butter and brown sugar until melted, then pour it over the matzah and bake it until bubbly and slightly toasty looking, maybe 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven then sprinkle the chocolate chips on the matzah. You have to leave it for a minute or two to melt enough so you can spread the chocolate evenly across the matzah. Spread it then sprinkle it with chopped nuts. Put in the fridge until it hardens then break it into pieces and store in an air tight container.