Sunday, April 17, 2011

matzo toffee with almonds and sea salt

matzo toffee with almonds

We’re in the thick of it here with Passover preparations. Andrew’s mother is at the butcher’s picking up kosher meat for tomorrow’s seder. We caramelized shallots this morning – they will be combined with roasted asparagus come tomorrow. There will be two types of haroset at the table. And tomorrow night Andrew’s family will host over thirty guests for a festive and boisterous first seder.

I like to think of Passover as an Jewish Thanksgiving – a loud, boisterous affair that, on the one hand, is big and chaotic, but on the other hand, has a linear order – what happens when you have to follow a script of sorts. In this case, it is a Haggadah. We will read from it, then we will eat, the read some more, and so on.

sheets of matzo the toffee part

And for someone who loves schedules and order and planning (you should see my google calendar sometime) – I adore the chaos that is created when large groups of people congregate. The buzz of chatter, conversation piercing another conversation, snippets of someone’s exclamations. At some point, as Andrew’s mother said this morning, you have to let go of it – it becomes a thing of its own with a life, a rhythm, a pulse all its own.

spreading melting chocolate gives me immesurable joy

And at the end of the meal full of salted water and potato and egg and, let’s not forget, maror (the biting, bitter horseradish root) there is dessert. Macaroons, perhaps, chocolates, an almond torte with strawberries. And perhaps some of this matzo toffee.

sprinkling the toasted almonds

Firstly, I know I am not the first (or the last) to write on this magical, addictive, and altogether Passover altering experience. Deb from Smitten Kitchen who dubbed it as “crack”, adapted it from David Lebovitz, who in turn, adapted it from Marcy Goldman. I’ve been making this matzo toffee for a few years now and I honestly can’t recall where I’ve seen it first. My version here is heavier on the salt, but then again, I’ve always been a sweet-contrasting-with-salty kind of girl. When you sprinkle it on, it seems almost like you’re overdoing it – but trust me, you aren’t. It all comes together in the end, and the result is a deliciously dangerous one.

matzo toffee with almonds

I can tell you this much – after Passover, my jeans might fit a little bit more snugly, and even though I hold this matzo toffee responsible, with this sweet treat by my side, I will hardly miss the doughnuts and cake.

Matzo Toffee with Almonds

5 sheets whole wheat matzo (broken into large and small pieces to fit the pan)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
1/3 cup toasted, slivered almonds.
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place matzos in an even layer on a 13×17-inch jelly roll pan. You may need to break some matzos to fit the pan, and you should have extra matzo left over.

3. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar and immediately reduce the temperature to low. Cook, stirring, until sugar has completely dissolved and beings to bubble. Drizzle toffee over matzo and spread evenly to cover using a spatula.

4. Transfer toffee-covered matzo to oven and bake until the toffee gets shiny for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand for 5 minutes, and spread melted chocolate over matzo to cover. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and sea salt.

5. Transfer matzo to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.

6. Break chilled matzo toffee into pieces. Matzo toffee will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature, but it tastes much better, and keep longer (though it’s not likely to last long) in the refrigerator.

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29 Comments

  • 1
    sofia said:

    i die over matzo toffee every single time. you are so right about the tight jeans. passover KILLS me, despite the no-bread thing. blame it on the chocolate matzo…

    April 17, 2011 3:18 pm
  • 2

    It’s so funny… since i’ve been away from home for a couple of years and am not particularly religious, I now LOVE matzo. Worked on a matzo pizza the other day and just had some for lunch in fact. And I adore making any kind of bark or toffee with it too!

    April 17, 2011 3:24 pm
  • 3

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos Olga! I see that you’re utilizing your tripod now (or was it Andrew?)! I’ve made Deb’s version before and it truly is like crack; I’m with you on being a little heavy on the sea salt for this- the contrast in flavors is lovely. Great post! :)

    April 17, 2011 4:30 pm
  • 4
    Winnie said:

    My aunt made this for me once and I fell head over heels. It’s amazing. Thanks for the recipe ;)

    April 17, 2011 5:04 pm
  • 5
    Radish said:

    Kamran – still need to use tripod – Andrew is my awesome photographer! And thank you!!

    April 17, 2011 8:13 pm
  • 6
    Anna said:

    I made two enormous trays of matzah toffee today, one topped with milk chocolate and toasted sea salt, the other with dark chocolate and coarse sea salt. I’ve been making this recipe repeatedly over the past few years, except with a bit more butter than you call for. I use nuts in place of the matzah around the holidays and give it as gifts.

    April 17, 2011 10:09 pm
  • 7
    Molly said:

    Oh wow, this looks scrumptious. I only purchased kosher for Passover white sugar this year. Any idea if it will work as well, or should I bookmark this one for when I can get hold of some?

    April 18, 2011 9:08 am
  • 8
    Radish said:

    Molly – I would try it – worst thing is that it doesn’t work – but it just might. :) no harm in attempting it though.

    April 18, 2011 9:31 am
  • 9

    This is such a cool idea! Love the extra crunch the matzo provides.

    April 18, 2011 10:51 am
  • 10

    I love the sea salt addition. One of my aunts is in charge of matzo toffee every year, I might have to mention the sea salt to her tonight!

    April 18, 2011 4:14 pm
  • 11
    Cassy said:

    This looks amazing! I’ve been following your site since the fall when my friend Colin K. (who knows Andrew) recommended it to me. I have greatly enjoyed your recipes, and am so excited for your foray into the food world! I’m going to make this matzo toffee right now! One last note: my boyfriend absolutely loved the one bowl chocolate cupcakes (with chocolate buttercream frosting) that I made for his birthday using your recipe, and I’ve been making them at the drop of a hat whenever I crave a chocolatey ‘something’ ever since. I look forward to the next wonderful recipe!

    April 18, 2011 8:31 pm
  • 12

    I’m hoping that there will still be matzo in the market in Vermont when I get back after two months of cooking and eating in Sicliy. There’s lots of good food to eat, but no matzo here, so I can make this treat until I get home and Ihave to be make do with cannoli til then.

    April 20, 2011 4:23 am
  • 13
    Anna said:

    I messed up the caramel. Maybe you can help. I used light brown sugar and 1 stick of butter instead of 1 1/2. I mixed it continuously until it started to bubble. Then I removed it from the burner but the caramel never formed. It’s grainy and looks like sticky brown sugar. I did end up making the matzoh with that and it looks beautiful. I cannot even bring myself to throw it out but no one can eat it either. My husband is trying to but it’s like eating brown sugar with chocolate. Any thoughts? Should I have let it bubble for a longer period of time, used more butter .. used dark brown sugar? I would like to try it again but not sure where things went wrong:-(

    April 22, 2011 12:10 pm
  • 14
    Radish said:

    Anna – I think it’s importan to keep the proportions of butter to sugar. If you decrease the butter, you need to decrease the sugar accordingly. Not sure if light vs dark sugar would make a difference. You’re not making a real caramel, per se, but a quick one – more like what will be cooked in the oven along with the matzo.

    April 22, 2011 1:07 pm
  • 15
    Anna said:

    OK. I will try again maybe next weekend. I have to get over the initial trauma first. I hate when things do not come out exactly as planned. Thank you very much for answering my questions. I follow other blogs and they generally ignore me or if they do answer it’s several months later and only because 20 other people asked the same question.

    April 22, 2011 10:26 pm
  • 16
    Radish said:

    Anna – I try to answer every question I get – sometimes work gets the best of me. It’s hard when things fail in the kitchen. But you should, first time around, always follow the recipe to a tee to get the feel for it, and then experiment :) Don’t worry about the failed attempt – we all have plenty of them!

    April 23, 2011 7:17 am
  • 17

    I never knew you could have so much fun with sheets of whole wheat matzo. You get my attention and a round of applause. :)

    April 24, 2011 8:14 am
  • 18
    Radish said:

    Liza – thank you. If I can find matzo in the next day, I can make it for the potluck! :) I think it’s only fair to share ridiculously delicious things, don’t you think?

    April 24, 2011 3:41 pm
  • 19
    Dana said:

    We do a very similar thing with soda crackers. I’m going to have to try the matzo version out!

    April 24, 2011 5:08 pm
  • 20
    Margaret said:

    I made this for a friend’s Passover dinner – it was a big hit! Everyone thought it was a great dessert. I didn’t add salt (I didn’t have any) but I wish I had, I think it would have cut the sweetness a little bit. We served it with some vanilla ice cream, delicious!

    April 25, 2011 8:10 am
  • 21
    Molly said:

    Hi Olga,

    I just wanted to let you know that I did end up making this with white, instead of brown, sugar. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla once I took the mixture off the stove.

    Well, we’ve now run out of butter, chocolate and matzos, it was so delectable. Thanks for the great recipe.

    Molly

    April 25, 2011 12:06 pm
  • 22
    Courtney said:

    These look FABULOUS! Toffee is literally my favorite food! Can’t wait to make this recipe!

    January 5, 2012 3:32 pm
  • 23
    Lulu said:

    Hi! I made these for our Passover seder of 24 people, and I’ve never seen such a hit! They were so delicious and easy to make. I couldn’t find any slivered almonds in the kosher-for-passover section, but I did manage to find ground up almond bits, which I used instead. It made the toffee look so pretty, and the taste really similar to my favorite type of almond roca!

    I was just wondering if you have any other matzah snacks/desserts. I have SO much matzah, which I’d love to make into something more delicious. If not, I’ll just keep making the fantastic toffee :]

    April 9, 2012 4:44 pm
  • 24
    Radish said:

    Lulu – good question. My mother actually has a recipe for a very traditional old Jewish confection involving nuts, matzo farfel, and honey. I’ll check in with her and get back to you! I’m SO thrilled that you and the guests liked the toffee!

    April 9, 2012 7:05 pm
  • 25
    Radish said:

    Lulu – why not just make matzo brei?

    April 10, 2012 8:13 am
  • 26
    Rachael said:

    I make this every year with the brown sugar and then regret it because I seem to be the only one who likes it. Then I make it with white sugar and my family cheers. Have you tried white sugar? It actually carmelizes quite a bit as it cooks in the oven and ends up tasting lovely.

    April 10, 2012 8:24 am
  • 27
    Radish said:

    Rachael – I have. I like them both, but prefer the brown sugar one a touch more.

    April 10, 2012 8:27 am
  • 28

    […] default recipe for chocolate toffee matzo, my favorite Passover treat. I guess I should actually apologize to you […]

    April 2, 2013 6:39 pm
  • 29
    Gabrielle said:

    Thanks forr finally writing about >Matzo Toffee
    Brittle With Almonds and Seaa Salt | Sassy Radish <Loved it!

    September 5, 2014 8:03 pm

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