Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Ultimate Passover Snack: Caramel Matzoh Crunch


I'm starting to wonder if all of the Passover-keeping people out there have tried this sweet snack at one point or another. It is SO enormously popular. The recipe has been floating around the Internet for years and wherever it goes, it gets rave reviews. It's hardly original for me to post it to Happy Go Marni, but on the other hand, I feel so left out! Plus, it's something my mom and I both make every year.

It's great to munch on in small doses when you need to kill that chocolate craving, and it makes a fun hospitality gift if you wrap it cutely in a tin and hand it to the person hosting your seder.


The best way to think of this is as a cross between chocolate bark, peanut brittle, and toffee. It taste everything like toffee, but it sort of resembles bark and brittle in appearance. It doesn't take long to make, its homemade caramel will knock your socks off, and it goes really far. One recipe will last you the entire week of Passover...that is, unless you're gift-giving or have zero willpower, which is actually entirely possible, even probable.

What else is fun about it is that you can change it up, sprinkling chopped nuts, marshmallows, or other Kosher-for-Passover candies on top, or using white and dark chocolate and marbleizing the two for a cool visual effect. The possibilities are endless. You could even add a flavoring to the caramel, like vanilla, or a liqueur. This Caramel Matzoh Crunch is honestly so good you will find yourself wanting matzoh at other times throughout the year, and let's face it, it's not normal to have a craving for matzoh in November.


Caramel Matzoh Crunch
Recipe by Marcy Goldman in A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking

4-6 unsalted matzohs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large (or two smaller) cookie sheet completely with foil. Cover the bottom of the sheet with baking parchment — on top of the foil. This is very important since the mixture becomes sticky during baking.

Line the bottom of the cookie sheet evenly with the matzohs, cutting extra pieces, as required, to fit any spaces.

In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter or margarine and the brown sugar. 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 the heat and pour over the matzoh, covering completely.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350°. 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°, and replace the pan).

Remove from the oven and sprinkle immediately with the chopped chocolate or chips. Let stand for 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate over the matzoh. Chill, still in the pan, in the freezer until set. Break into squares or odd shapes.

This makes a good gift.

Variation:
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). You can also omit the chocolate for a caramel-alone buttercrunch.


Step-by-Step in Pictures

Line the pan with foil and then parchment paper...

Cover the bottom of the pan with sheets of matzoh...
Bring the brown sugar and butter/margarine to a boil...
Here's your caramel layer...
Immediately (because it will harden quickly) pour the hot caramel layer over the matzoh sheets, then bake for about 15 minutes. When done, sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot caramel-covered matzoh...
Don't return the pan to the oven; just let the chocolate chips sit for 5 minutes to become spreadable, then spread evenly over the caramel layer...
I recommend putting the tray in the fridge for a few minutes to set the chocolate...
Then break up the matzoh into irregular snack-sized shapes...

Notice the double layer? Caramel, then chocolate? Why not try marshmallows or nuts next time?
Yum!

5 comments:

Tobi said...

Your chocolate spread much better than mine... the white chocolate chips especially dont seems to be very spreadable, and even the chocolate chips were glumping and taking the caramel with them...

Carolyn Jung said...

I see there are no deadly pistachios in it, either! ;)

Anything with chocolate and caramel is good in my book.

Marni said...

Tobi - It's true, white chocolate is pretty hard to spread, but I think there are some brands that do an ok job of it. Did you try using an offset spatula to spread the chocolate chips? It's possible that you didn't leave them to get soft and warm long enough before you started spreading them.

Carolyn - Touche!

Andrew said...

I can't believe I actually got to be a part of a happy go marni blog post! Seeing it in action really trumps the online experience. Also, why wasn't it mentioned that your friend was passed out on the couch she found it so interesting!

Marni said...

Andrew - Ha! I don't think Kim would have been too pleased if I mentioned her konked out on my couch as I made these and chatted you up. :) I will always remember it as the dessert I made when you guys got engaged! I should serve it at your wedding next year. And by the way, yes, you were in the presence of true brilliance, witnessing Happy Go Marni in action. j/k :-P

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