Newsflash - matzoh covered with caramel and melted chocolate is good. It's stand over the stove and greedily eat half a tray good. The kind of good that you will actually want to eat any time of the year. So why post a recipe for something this basic? Well, I've seen and tried a fair number of chocolate-covered matzoh in my day, and well, frankly matzoh may be one of the few foods on earth that doesn't improve when covered in chocolate. It's that bland. I always assumed that was because the only good food you could find that was kosher for passover, was food that just didn't involve matzoh in any form. In general, with the exception of matzo-ball soup, I figured Passover was mostly filled with culinary creations meant to make you feel sorry for yourself that this holiday wasn't celebrated with chocolate-shaped bunnies. But, this Sunday, one night before Passover began, a culinary miracle was being prepared in my friend Shana's kitchen. Chocolate-caramel-covered matzoh that actually made me think, if it's possible to make matzoh taste good, it's possible Moses parted the Red Sea (for a brilliant illustration of this Biblical story click here).
Matzoh, the unleavened, cracker-like bread product that Jewish people eat in place of bread during the holiday of Passover (hey?! some people might not know) while, pleasantly crunchy, has the flavor profile of food you eat while getting over a stomach virus. So, when I sat down to think about my favorite Passover dessert foods, I didn't get very far. I am a strong believer that the desserts that are flour-free by choice are the best bet for this holiday, flour-less chocolate cake, flans, and nut-based cookies and cakes. But, those aren't always the simplest to make and in the interest of time (no one really gets off from work for this holiday) and as a great idea to make with any kids that may be around, I thought I'd post this recipe, along with some other really really simple Passover dessert options that have managed to win me over in recent years. Funny enough, all my favorites come from who else, Martha Stewart. And since she improved on Passover desserts, I'd like to propose we make her an honorary member of the tribe, if she wants to accept. Here are some links to her Macaroon recipe (shredded coconut "cookies" that are customary) and a Matzoh Bark recipe, that easily adapts to any tastes and is simple enough to be a pre-school cooking project. Both of these recipes I make without changing a thing, accept how you choose to decorate. MacaroonsMatzoh Bark
This chocolate-caramel matzoh recipe is Martha's as well, and my favorite of the three. And to be honest, you could make it without a single change and be quite content with the results. The combo of the slightly salty caramel with the crunchy texture of the matzoh and almonds is hard to improve on. But having made it a few times already in the past two days (it's completely addictive) I think there are a few tweaks that make it work a bit better and quicker. I shortened the cooking time a bit, and most importantly I wait to break up the matzoh until the very end, which leaves you with less crumbly little pieces. (Although this also leaves less for the cook to snack on). This matzoh will definitely do for you, what no Passover dinner ever managed to do for me, help you forget about the missing basket of tinfoil-wrapped chocolate eggs, if just for a night or two.
Chocolate Caramel Matzoh
Adapted slightly from MarthaStewart.com
- 4 sheets of matzoh
- 1 cup of sliced or slivered almonds (or any topping you'd prefer)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1-2 cups of chocolate chips (or any chocolate you have on hand, melted)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheet with parchment.
Place 2 sheets of matzah on each sheet and scatter almonds evenly on top. Set aside to make the caramel.
In a saucepan, bring butter, sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil over medium, stirring constantly. Working quickly, drizzle over matzohs. Using a heatproof spatula, spread mixture evenly to coat. Bake until golden, about 20-30 minutes. Watch carefully last 10 minutes so it doesn't burn.
Remove from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let chocolate melt 5 minutes; spread chocolate over matzoh. Don't worry if there are some spots without chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate has set.
Break into pieces, and serve. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container).