A sweet treat for Passover: Matzoh crack
A new spin on this dangerously delicious Passover dessert with white chocolate and spicy rose sugar. Recipe and variations below.
This post is by Terry's wife Marion.Skip to next paragraph
Terry Boyd is the author of Blue Kitchen, a Chicago-based food blog for home cooks. His simple, eclectic cooking focuses on fresh ingredients, big flavors and a cheerful willingness to borrow ideas and techniques from all over the world. A frequent contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times, his recipes have also appeared on the Bon Appétit and Saveur websites.
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Our family may not have every ethnic group, but we’ve got a lot of ‘em. English, Scottish, Polish, Jewish, Cherokee – and that is just a fraction of it. We are part of the portrait of America, the welcome everyone! stream that keeps reviving and renewing and invigorating us all: one family, one people, one house.
When we started planning for Passover, a couple of weeks ago, the foremost thing I was worried about was dessert. So many truly kosher-for-Passover desserts are borrrrrrring. This year I had great hopes for a couple of things, especially a cake with a great deal of roasted, ground nuts and lots of eggs, plus dates steeped in wine, lemon zest and cardamom. That experiment can best be described as unfortunate: it came out tasting like a slightly fragrant cardboard box and leaving me close to despair. But as I was poking around online, I kept bumping into versions of "Matzoh Crack," a recipe primarily featuring sheets of matzoh, caramel, plenty of chocolate, and sea salt. Some recipes may more politely refer to it as "matzoh crunch."
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Frankly, this recipe is all over the Intertubes. The original was created 20 years ago by Marcy Goldman of betterbaking.com; since then numerous bloggers have run with it. All the descendants are very near her original – and all share its amazing rich simplicity.
And the addictiveness. You may want to strategize about this one. What Marcy warns about her version is true for all of them: “Make a box for yourself before Passover and one box to serve at your seders.” You could also make a bunch and bring it in to your office, where it will last about 3-1/2 minutes.
If, like us, you are planning a nontraditional seder, for a blended family or a boundless social group, this is an honorable dessert.
Serves 8 to 10
5 or 6 sheets unsalted matzohs
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup firmly-packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips [or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate]
3/4 cup white chocolate chips [or 1-1/2 cups of one of these chocolates]
1 cup toasted sliced nuts [see Kitchen Notes]
Other toppings [see Kitchen Notes]
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Completely line a rimmed baking sheet [approximately 11” x 17"] with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges. Put a sheet of parchment paper on top of the foil.
2. Line the baking sheet with matzoh. You’ll need to cut up some of the pieces to complete the job. Interestingly, although every sheet of matzoh comes perforated, the perforations never, ever help you break the cracker in any remotely linear way. I recommend cutting up the matzoh by laying each board on a smooth, flat surface, taking a serrated bread knife and pressing down with its blade between, not along, the lines of perforations. [Insert heavy sigh here.]
3. In a 2- or 3-quart heavy saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, over moderate heat, until the butter is completely melted, everything is mixed together, and the mixture is beginning to boil. Stir the mixture constantly, as it simmers, for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and the vanilla, stir well, and right away pour it over the matzoh. Use a spatula to spread it around evenly.
4. Put the pan in the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Keep an eye on it! It is going to get all bubbly and seething looking. That’s OK. But watch the edges carefully. If they start to darken, take the pan out of the oven for a minute, then return it. You want to bake for about 10 to 12 minutes altogether.