Caramelized Matzoh Crunch with Chocolate

I make this every year for Passover. It’s not that I’m all that religious (for some reason I seem to celebrate only the holidays where there’s lots of eating, drinking…and presents, of course.) But I always pick up a box or two of matzoh, which is stacked high in supermarkets this month, plus I love the sweet-crunch of this toffee-like confection.
The only problem is that I haven’t figured out how to adapt it for Easter.
Perhaps you can cut it into ovals with a cookie cutter and try to pull one over on your family.

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The recipe is loosely-adapted from baker and cookbook author Marcy Goldman. Marcy’s run a web site devoted to the art of baking since 1997, called Betterbaking.com. In addition, she’s authored a cookbook of the same name with recipes and ideas and funny stories she’s gathered along her life as a mother, professional baker, and consultant.

You don’t have to be Jewish to like or make this (just like you don’t need to be Christian to like Christmas presents) but it’s delicious and super-easy to make…you can keep the candy thermometer in the drawer as well!

Feel free to substitute milk chocolate or white chocolate, and instead of the crushed almonds, to play around with toasted shredded coconut or other kinds of nuts. As I type, I’m thinking wouldn’t pistachios and white chocolate be nice together on top?
Maybe next year…

I spent this morning at my market handing little sacks of this to my favorite vendors (and a few I’m trying to win over.) So if you’re out at a market in Paris this morning and see the lots of butchers, fishmongers, fromagers, and olive merchants snacking on something, you’ll know what it is.

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Caramelized Matzoh Crunch with Chocolate

  • 4 to 6 sheets of matzoh
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted or salted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup (firmly-packed) light brown sugar
  • optional: fleur de sel, or coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, or coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

Line a 11″ x 17″ baking sheet completely with foil (making sure it goes up the sides) and preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Line the bottom of the sheet completely with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.

In a medium-sized heavy duty saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar and cook over medium heat until the butter begins to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and pour over matzoh, spreading with a heatproof utensil.

Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the syrup darkens and gets thick. (While it’s baking, make sure it’s not burning. If so, reduce the heat to 325F degrees.)

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips or chunks. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread smooth with an offset spatula.

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Sprinkle with a flurry of fleur de sel or coarse salt, then scatter the toasted almonds over the top and press them into the chocolate.

Let cool completely (you may need to chill it in the refrigerator), then break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

mazel tov!

Related Links and Recipes

Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch (Recipe Update)

Salted Butter Caramels

Candied Ginger

Candied Peanuts

Chocolate-Covered Salted Peanut Caramels

A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking (Marcy Goldman)

37 comments

  • David,

    I’m pretty sure just the inclusion of chocolate makes it an Easter recipe — and I’m with you on deciding which religious holidays to celebrate.

  • Dang! We’re having beef at our seder, so we can’t use milk products. Would love to have made this otherwise…

  • These are remarkably like something a co-worker once brought in, except that she used saltines and called them “TJ Finger Cookies.” I hadn’t been able to find a recipe that worked well, so I’m glad to see this!

  • My favorite passover recipe – aka Matzoh Crack. I actually made it on Tuesday night – one batch with dark chocolate & fleur de sel and another omitting the chocolate, but adding toasted pine nuts and red chile flakes ( I was trying to channel Mark Miller). This recipe is reason alone for Matzoh to exsist.

  • David,

    What a great idea! Your recipe looks delicious and I will have to try it, I’ve never worked with Matzoh myself! I am like you though… love to celebrate any holiday with great food. Great blog by the way.

    ~Dianka
    Visit my new food blog!
    http://na-zdravi.blogspot.com/

  • Wow! A Passover dessert recipe that actually looks yummy! I swear if I eat another macaroon over the days of Passover, I think that I might croak.

  • Multiple Mazeltovs indeed. ;-)

  • The recipe for Caramelized Matzoh Crunch with Chocolate looks tasty, but it begs the question, why include matzoh at all? I think this recipe only reinforces the fact that matzoh is a horrible, inedible with the flavor and consistency of drywall. How, I ask you, can any race claiming to be “the chosen people,” believe their god wants them to eat this crap, even if it’s only once a year?

  • well done David. And as to the French vendors, you can buy anything with good food, so I am sure they must be delighted. Wish I were a vendor in disguise there!

  • I am so there.. hope I can find matzoh in my little Coop grocery store in the village!

    I should show you my matzoh from Pitigliano in Tuscany, one of the oldest Jewish settlements in Tuscany with a bakery still going!

  • Kevin: The only chocolate I associate with Easter, unfortunately, has been disappointingly hollow (ie: chocolate bunnies, etc…)

    Rob: Beef? Beef brisket? What time is dinner!

    Mike: So sorry that a co-worker gave you the finger. Maybe a batch of these will cheer her up.

    Brianna: I love red pepper and chocolate. Just got a new bar with some and will write it up soon.

    Dianka and Mark: Je vous en prie.

    Adrienne: Actually, I like those soft, squishy macaroons. As long as they come from an orange and turqouise tin!

    Lapsed Jew: I’ve been lucky enough to have had ‘real’ matzoh, which is worlds away from the pre-packaged stuff. There’s a few bakeries here in the Marais that make it (one tops it with crispy, caramelized onions…it’s excellent.) I’ve also had friends make it as well. I suppose one day I’ll give it a try; it can’t be too difficult if fleeing slaves were able to make it on hot rocks in the desert!

    Let my people go!… as they say…

    Béa: You French do havea soft touch for anyone bearing gifts of food. As I’ve discovered. Now if I could only work that magic at the Préfecture…

    Diva: I think the recipe was based on crackers, and it was eventually transposed by some Jewish folks sick of tinned macaroons and unleavened pound cakes for Passover dessert.

  • well, it looks delicious and i can’t wait to try it…

  • Thank you for this, David. A friend of mine in college used to come back from weekends visiting her family with a tupperware container of her mom’s “soda cracker candy” that sounds just like this. I’ve always wanted to replicate it, and now I can.

    Odd cousins, the matzoh and the saltine. Once when I was living in Japan I attempted making matzoh brie with saltines–a true act of ex-pat culinary desperation.

  • That recipe sounds too tasty! Got to make some.

  • I’ve never seen matzoh look so good!

  • Made it..was fun..and good!

    I will send you a foto of the Matzoh I bought in Pitigliano… from the oldest jewish bakery there.. I want to gold leaf it it is soooo pretty!

  • Hi David.
    Happy Easter. It is Sunday morning and I have just finished making my ‘Crunch’. I have not been able to wait for it to ‘completely ‘cool down – it is delicious. Question, it has been almost an hour since it has come out of the oven and the chocolate is still soft….how long does it take to set? Did I do something wrong?
    Thanks again.
    Petra

  • Hi David

    The caramelized matzoh crunch with chocolate looks great! I have been experimenting with Passover desserts this week and I am definately going to try this. You have a lovely site. I’ve added you to my blog roll. Thanks and cheers!

  • i went to an easter brunch today and one of the other guests brought something that was almost identical to this.

    i tried it. it’s heavenly. i have already eaten the whole ziploc bag that i was given to bring home.

  • Next time I’m doubling the recipe. The masses were clamoring for more!

  • I made this for the first time this year…it is TO DIE FOR. It disappeared rapidly at our Easter feast last night. I had people try to guess the “secret ingredient” and no one guessed Matzohs.
    I had leftover ganache in my fridge from making truffles, so I chopped it up and used that for the chocolate topping. It worked great. Next time I’m using the fleur de sel for sure. It truly is “crack cocaine” for Easter/Passover/whenever!!!

  • I wish I had seen this recipe in time for the Passover dinner I attended! I brought sauteed vegetables instead. My Jewish friend told me that all their holidays can really be summed up in three sentences, “They tried to kill us. We survived. Let’s eat!”

  • David,
    Most of our holidays involve eating, drinking and presents – and if not we’ll find a way to overcome the problem and eat, drink etc.
    we have about 7 holidays (not including simchat tora and the 2nd holiday of passover) and only 2 major fasts).
    wish you Hag Sameach (this evening is the 2nd holiday of pasover – shvihee shel pesach)

  • A Lutheran friend once asked some of us to hold a Jewish holiday celebration for her to experience. We chose Passover. Someone made homemade gefilte fish (!), another rolled out homemade matzoh (!), and all the other stuff like bitter roots and haroset. After all that work, a few questions were asked, Elijah was welcomed in, and soon afterwards lids were twisted off square wine bottles and we all ate too much and drank too much, and had a lot of fun.

    The next day she was really mad, saying that we weren’t respecting our religion. We were just in it for the food and wine. We had to explain that it’s an integral part of our religion. We may not give lots of presents, but we throw a helluva party!

  • Someone made matzoh buttercrunch for a Passover party today. Mmm, there’s nothing like burnt “bread,” melted butter and chocolate. I’m afraid I like it better than your Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee.

  • David,
    Even passover is over… I’ll save this recipe for next year !
    Thank you :-)

  • David, thanks for posting this recipe! I had a sad, imperfect recipe for matzoh crunch that just disappointed me every time (the buttercrunch was never crunchy enough, too sugary), but this one is fabulous! I made it with my husband Eric for Passover, and we had to send half of it to work with him so we wouldn’t eat it all in a day (it was a tremendous hit, by the way). Hooray! Who says matzoh’s just for Passover?

  • This was excellent, David. I brought it to an EastOver Brunch (that’s matzo AND ham, if you can imagine) and one of the hosts tracked me down in another room to thank me for bringing it and was overjoyed when I offered them the leftovers (and a good thing too, it would have been dangerous to keep it in my house–I would have happily eaten it all in pretty short order). It’s addictive, and frighteningly easy to make. Thanks.

  • Since finding your blog a couple of weeks ago it’s gone to the top of my blog-reading list, via RSS feed on my google home page. This reply is more than a week overdue:

    I made the Matzoh Crunch the day you posted it but modified it, as I almost always use recipes as guidelines rather than following them exactly and I had no almonds in the apartment. I replaced them with toasted coconut and dried cranberries.

    Another suggestion: You should add to your instructions the need to refrigerate the finished product. My chocolate didn’t properly set until I did so. The coarse sea salt is a brilliant addition. The taste of the combination of salt and chocolate makes all the bad things in the world disappear for a moment.

    My version was a hit. I live alone and so it lasted a little over a week (trying not to eat it every day). When I did share it it recieved rave reviews from friends, family and strangers. I took it over to my parents’ house for post-pesach shabbos dinner and as sick of matzoh as they were, they enjoyed it.

    In the comments above you mention that you know people who have made matzoh. I’ve never heard of anyone making it, unless you’re referring to the shmurah matzoh that accompanies the seder. That stuff is good, with crispy burnt flavour. Yesterday I was asked about homemade matzoh by a non-Jewish friend who’s a chef. He said that he went looking for recipes online but couldn’t find any. I scoffed that no one actually MAKES matzoh. Perhaps I was wrong.

  • When the 18-year-old tasted these he blurted, “You’ve just defeated the whole purpose of matzoh, which is to taste disgusting!” The rest of the guests, after having “just one more” several times, ended up fighting to push the platter the furthest from their greedy reach. These are dangerously tempting after that fourth glass of wine!

  • I found this receipe years ago & it was a hit with jewish friends as well as all my others. But I did my own twist. The only thing I sprinkled over the carmel was white chocolate & it was still warm when I spread it so it became more like a carmel white chocolate swirl. Oddly enough using the salted matzoh gave it a light taste so it fooled everyone into thinking it was low calorie & scarfing them down.

  • Someone posted this blog entry link on the SlowTalk.com Food forum about a year ago, and the matzoh crunch has been a huge hit with everyone who tries it! Whenever I take it to a get together, it’s the first dish to empty — and people beg for the recipe. :) I love that it’s sooo simple, yet so delicious. This year I made two batches – one with pecans and one with pistachios – to give as holiday treats. Thanks, David!
    I noticed that you have a newer version … must try that one day soon.
    Cheers, Colleen

  • Just wanted to tell you that I tried this recipe and it’s now one of my favorites! I did the following with it, the second time I made it. I used a 70% cocoa high quality chocolate bar and broke it up.

    I used almond extract instead of vanilla extract.

    Then I also split the cookie sheet of caramel covered matzoh into 4 sections. 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!

    My friends love it and I am getting requests to make it again and again. Now I wish I had bought 10# of matzoh instead of 5 pounds!

    Thank you so much for a great website!

  • So glad I found this recipe…my mother-in-law made this, but my copy of her recipe is packed away in an unknown box, and I couldn’t remember the proportions. This is the second recipe I learned to make for my Jewish husband. (The first was his mom’s chicken soup recipe….)

  • As we approach Pesach this year I am already planning on this recipe being included. I have learned to make my own matzah and will be applying this recipe to it as well.

    Additionally, for my Seattle mom, Rita, I made a new Passover placemat. I used the text and pics from my blog on making matzah, and on the reverse side the recipe for the chocolate caramel covered matzah that I posted on my blog after finding this recipe. Once the pages were printed I took them to my local Staples and had them laminated back to back in an 11×17 laminating page. For an 88 year old who doesn’t have a computer, this is a perfect gift to make her feel like we are together instead of on opposite sides of the continent!

    Thank you once again for this recipe!

  • can you do this recipie with margarine instead of butter?

  • Yes, you can.