Sweet Tooth Friday: Pass-Over Some Mandel Bread
Tonight starts the beginning of Passover, so I asked JoAnn Elice (a previous Heirloom featured 'Nonna') to share one of her favorite Passover desserts. Always so generous, ‘Mimi’ Jo immediately obliged with her delicious Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread.
‘Mandelbrot’ known today as Mandel Bread, originates in Eastern Europe, and simply means almond bread because it included ground almond flour; an acceptable flour for Passover. JoAnn uses almond extract to give her bread the almond essence. Just like biscotti, it is cooked twice but is much softer due to the high fat content. They are perfect for dunking!
This recipe is extra special because it was one of the first recipes JoAnn added to her holiday collection. As a newlywed, JoAnn and her husband lived in Chicago and weren’t able to get back to their families to celebrate the holidays. Feeling homesick, she decided to create a new tradition. She found several other couples in the same predicament and they banded together to share family traditions and holiday dishes.
These community dinners brought the lonely couples together and created strong, familial friendships. JoAnn tasted this Mandel bread at one of these holiday get togethers; a recipe of her friend Beverly’s beloved Bubbe. She loved the addition of chocolate and found it to be the perfect ending to the Passover meal.
JoAnn snagged the recipe and brought it home with her for her family to sample. It became a favorite and she has made it ever since. JoAnn loves how the recipe makes a big batch so there is enough for seconds, thirds and even some for bringing home for tomorrow’s breakfast.
Whether you are home for the holidays or away from your loved ones, food has the power to bring any group together as a family. As I always assert, FOOD IS LOVE. Make these delicious cookies for Passover or any time you need a little chocolate love in your morning coffee.
Mimi Jo’s Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread
¾ cup potato starch
½ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cup cake meal
2 cups sugar
½ lb butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
12 oz chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sift potato starch, salt and cake meal in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Add eggs and almond essence to the sugar mixture one at a time until fully incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide dough into four balls. Then, form logs from the dough that are 3 inches wide, 1 inch thick and the length of a cookie sheet. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for ten minutes. Slice each log into 3 inch pieces. Cut on a bias with a sharp, long knife.
Place cut side down on the cookie sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool on the sheet.