MY TRADEMARK, MOST REQUESTED, ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT
CARAMEL MATZOH CRUNCH
An outstanding, unique, and easy confection.If you make only one thing at Passover, make
it this one.
- 4-6 unsalted matzoh boards or sheets
- 1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed firm
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet completely with foil. Cover bottom of pan with baking parchment - on
top of foil. This is very important as mixture becomes sticky during baking. Line bottom of
pan evenly with matzoh boards, cutting extra pieces of matzoh, as required, to fit any spaces
on the cookie sheet as evenly as possible.
Combine margarine or butter and brown sugar in a 3 quart, heavy-bottomed, saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking
3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over matzoh.
Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 350 F. Bake 15 minutes, checking every few
minutes to make sure mixture is not burning (if it seems to be browning too quickly, remove
from oven, lower heat to 325 F, and replace)
Remove from oven and sprinkle matzoh boards immediately with chopped chocolate or chips.
Let stand 5 minutes then spread melted chocolate over matzoh. While still warm cut into
squares or odd shapes. Chill in refrigerator until set. This makes a good gift. You can also
serve it in confectioners' paper cups as a candy.
You can also use white chocolate, coarsely chopped (or both white and dark) and chopped,
toasted almonds (sprinkle on top as chocolate sets).
"MY TRADEMARK" CARAMEL MATZOH CRUNCH
About fifteen years ago I was in a Passover "rut". I made scores of cakes and laboured over
all sorts of interesting Passover tortes and pastries. All tasty, but I noticed, as the Seder
concluded, everyone was too full to do these desserts justice. I also noticed that people have
a tendency to just nibble at sweets after a big meal. Small items had a real appeal. I wanted
to make something modest but sweet and for a change, nut-free (since so many Passover
treats have nuts). I also was looking for something that was egg-free as a change to offer
family and seder guests.
Then I had it! For years, I had made a confection-like recipe that called for nothing but soda
crackers, butter, and brown sugar. I believe I got the recipe from an old Farm Journal
cookbook but noticed others seem to make the same recipe as well. Some people make a
similar recipe using graham crackers. Now, I thought, what could I use to replace those
soda crackers? And then it came to me - matzoh boards! How logical, how appropriate. I
wondered at first if the matzoh would absorb the sugar and butter as could the soda crackers
and happily, I found they did. When I discovered unsalted Passover margarine and
kosher-for-Passover brown sugar, I knew I was in business.
Well, the resultant Caramel Matzoh Crunch, aka Matzoh Buttercrunch was an instant hit.
It had the perfect one-two punch of ease of preparation and dynamite taste. I printed out
copies and copies of it, each year, for friends in my community (I did by the way, credit
Farm Journal and the soda cracker concept. Many times readers would write and inform me
that the soda cracker version was their special family secret recipe - goes to show you that a
good recipe does make the rounds). Each Passover feature I ever contributed to the many
newspaper food sections I contributed to: it travelled from Montreal, to the Washington Post,
Boston Globe, Buffalo News, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, the Detroit Free Press, the
Vancouver Sun, and Newsday - and other places I probably don't even recall. I wrote many
features on Passover - but the Passover Matzoh Buttercrunch became my legendary recipe.
Once a neighbor gave me a copy of the recipe (printed out on my own printer and
photocopied umpteen times!) - unknowing that it emanated from me. I chuckled
and told her that the recipe came from my Passover feature etc. etc. "Sure, she said,
humouring me, "Sure, that's what they all say!". I have been flattered to see it in other
people's cookbooks as well as on the Internet - although on this occasion, it is because I am
happy to share with visitors at Kosher Express. I am thrilled to know I have been part of a
new tradition. And I thank whoever it was who stumbled on the soda cracker idea. If I knew
who you were, I would credit you by name. I would also share with you my version - who
knows - maybe you also could also use an easy Passover recipe.
For the last few Passovers, I have made several batches of Caramel Matzoh Crunch, all
intended for holiday gifts. To this day, not one batch has ever got that far. Everyone eats it
first. Each year, I figure I will outsmart the appetites around me and make EVEN
MORE.....but I have not caught up yet. In fact, all the matzoh intended for consumption
during Passover week (like breakfast time, etc.) gets pressed into service as Matzoh
Buttercrunch. Sometimes it seems that I am stocking up on matzoh for the holidays only to
keep my Passover Matzoh Buttercrunch "factory" in operation!
This recipe is sublime made with unsalted butter (and that is what I use when it is not being
served at the Seder meals) but still wonderful made with unsalted Passover margarine. If you
choose, it can also be made with white chocolate and added chopped toasted nuts, such as
almonds. It is pure confectionary delight - but you do not need any special techniques or
even a candy thermometer to make it. In fact, if you are terrified of Passover baking, just
make this. It is a winner.
This recipe is from A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by
Marcy Goldman and has been
reprinted with permission from the author. The book will be available in
September, 1998, from Doubleday.
© Marcy Goldman.