Friday, April 10, 2009

A recipe

I went on an impromptu blogging break because of Spring Break, or maybe it was spring fever. We took a quick trip to Las Vegas, which always puts me into sensory overload. Then we hosted a Passover seder at our house, which is always a lot of work beforehand, but is so much fun during!

I managed to get some reading done anyway. I finished my book group book, Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, while we were in Vegas. Completely incongruous! It's a book of ideas that made me think philosophically, and by the end of the book I was in tears, and I experienced all of this while sitting by the pool at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

I came to the Jewish holiday of Passover late in my life, but I've more than made up for it by embracing the ritual of the seder with gusto. I love to bake and eat sweets, and for a baker, the dietary restrictions of Passover represent a significant challenge--one I love to take on. I make flourless chocolate cakes, a chocolate-hazelnut torte, sponge cake, trifle, and several other crazy things this time of year. But the thing that everyone always loves most is my matzo buttercrunch, a candy made with caramel, chocolate, nuts and matzo, the unleavened "bread" of Passover, ubiquitous in our supermarkets this time of year.

So I thought I'd pass along the recipe, just in case anyone out there wants to try it. It's easy, and worth it, I promise.

Matzo Buttercrunch

4 to 6 unsalted matzos
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (or margarine)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
Toasted slivered almonds

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a jellyroll pan, or a cookie sheet that has sides, with aluminum foil, and then with a sheet of parchment paper.

Line the pan with matzos as evenly as possible, cutting them into pieces to fill in any gaps.

Heat the butter and brown sugar in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the stove and pour it over the matzos.

Put the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate over the matzos. Let stand for a few minutes, then smear the top with a spatula to spread the chocolate over the top of the matzos. Garnish the buttercrunch with the slivered almonds.

Freeze until firm, about an hour.

Break the buttercrunch into pieces to serve.

Don't eat all at once!

Update: Was checking in with all the blogs I check, and saw that one of my favorite foodies, Smitten Kitchen, had this same recipe posted! If you want to see better pictures, click here.


Fay Sheco said...

This looks so easy to prepare!

The other day in the bookstore I was trying to find some of the cookbooks nominated for awards recently, and this one looks great:

Arthur Schwartz's _Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited_
(Ten Speed Press)

It's nominated in the American category for a James Beard award. Tempting.

Gentle Reader said...

Fay--it is easy to prepare, and yummy. That looks like a good cookbook--I usually really like the James Beard award nominees, so that's one I'll look for. Thanks!

Carrie K. said...

Stopping by to let you know I gave you a blog award:

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Rebecca H. said...

Wow, your Matzo Buttercrunch looks good! And I'm glad you enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog -- I thought it was fabulous.

Gentle Reader said...

carrie k.--thanks so much for the award! I left you a comment at your blog, too :)

dorothy w.--it's yummy. And so was The Elegance of the Hedgehog--intellectually and emotionally satisfying :)

Fyrefly said...

My housemate actually made this yesterday - so incredibly good! (although it made my teeth hurt!)

Gentle Reader said...

Fyrefly--it is incredibly sweet, there is tooth-pain possibility! But yummy :)