Passover is almost here. It feels it. The weather is changing and unpredictable, the clocks have been reset for summer time and the air has a festive flair to it.
It is a time for Matzo and Matzo meal cakes, cookies, fritters and snacks. Surprisingly, few snacks are on offer during this period that are both made of matzo meal and taste good. Those wishing to enjoy a decent sweet snack tend to use other ingredients over matzo as base such as marzipan, nuts or chocolate.
I think I know why. I think its about nostalgia. Once a year, during Passover, unidentified cookies appear on supermarket shelves. They bear strange name and are manufactured by unknown companies. This happens every year. The coconut and peanut cookies taste as they did when I was growing up. They are the taste of Passover, along with the Gefilte fish, and it wouldnt be one without them.
However, be that as it may and with the utmost respect for nostalgia, I cannot put them in my mouth. They taste awful.
This is a recipe written by Marcy Goldman over 20 years ago which I found about a year ago and put a pin in it, until now. It was worth the wait.
This is an insanely indulgent confectionery without the faintest flavor of nostalgia despite the fact Matzo spread with chocolate is what the Passovers of my childhood tasted of.
It has everything one can wish for: salted butter caramel, chocolate and the option to creatively customize it to a sin of your liking. Oh, and its dead easy to make.
Caramelized Matzoh Crunch with Chocolate
Recipe adapted from here
4 to 6 sheets of matzoh
200 Salted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup (firmly-packed) light brown sugar
1 cup dark chocolate (70%cocoa), coarsely chopped
Topping of your choice,
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Cinnamon sugar )
Line a baking tray completely with foil making sure it goes up the sides. Preheat the oven to 175°C degrees.
Line the bottom of the sheet completely with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.
In a medium-sized heavy duty saucepan, combine the butter and sugar, and cook over medium heat until the butter begins to boil.
Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and pour over matzo, spreading with a heatproof utensil.
Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the syrup darkens and gets thick.
While it's baking, make sure it's not burning. If so, reduce the heat.
Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chunks. Let stand 5 minutes, and then spread smooth with an offset spatula.
Now comes the fun creative part.
You can sprinkle with a mixture of seeds and nuts, I sprinkled a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds, but sunflower seeds, sesame, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds will also work. You can add raisins or candied orange peel for a fruit & nut combo or.
Another option is to omit the dark chocolate altogether replace it with white chocolate and sprinkle with roasted coconut flakes, or simply have it with the salted caramel.
Let cool completely in the refrigerator, then break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to eat.