Monday, April 18, 2011

Caramel Matzo Crunch

Happy Passover (with all that wine, it should be)! If you've been to a Seder in the past few years, there's a good chance you've already seen these tasty treats. Their popularity has really exploded on the Seder circuit. The original recipe has chocolate spread on top, but I think they look a little prettier with it drizzled (I like that the caramel shows through). But my personal favorite is plain, so I always leave half without the chocolate (one of the perks of being the chef). Warning: this stuff is addictive (my friend Elizabeth calls it matzo crack)!


4-6 unsalted matzos
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (or unsalted Passover margarine)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (optional)

1.     Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a large sheet pan completely with foil. Line with parchment paper (on top of the foil). This is important since the mixture becomes sticky during baking.
2.     Line the sheet pan evenly with the matzos, cutting extra pieces, as required, to fit any spaces.
3.     In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil (about 2 to 4 minutes). Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over the matzo, covering completely.
4.     Place the baking sheet in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350° F. Bake for 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the mixture is not burning (if it seems to be browning too quickly, remove the pan from the oven, lower the heat to 325° F., and replace the pan).
5.     Remove from the oven and sprinkle immediately with the chopped chocolate (if using). Let stand for 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate over the matzo. (Or you can melt the chocolate separately and drizzle over the matzo.) Chill, still in the pan, in the refrigerator or freezer until set. Break into squares or odd shapes.

You can also use coarsely chopped white chocolate (or a combination of white and dark), and chopped or slivered toasted almonds (sprinkled on top as the chocolate sets).

adapted from A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman

matzo lining the sheet pan
caramel mixture boiling (the original recipe doesn't call
for salt, but I think it really takes the caramel to the next level).
FYI: I've tried dark brown sugar and it doesn't taste as good.
caramel poured over (it spreads easily with a silicone spatula)
after baking in the oven (the caramel is all bubbly)
chocolate drizzled over
breaking it into pieces (after it set in the fridge)
I usually make these a week or two ahead of time and store them in the freezer. You don't even need to defrost them before serving (freezing just makes them extra crunchy).

Our house guest, Flat Stanley, loves matzo
(no surprise there, he is a flat food enthusiast).

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