March Madness may be coming an end, but I’m in the midst of my own matzoh madness after buying 5 pounds of matzoh at the grocery store (the supersized pack was on sale for $6). In my defense, I’ve only bought matzoh one other time in my life, so I wasn’t well informed about how much matzoh that really is (that’s at least 85 sheets of matzoh). Plus, I’ve been eyeing the recipe Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch, so I’ve had matzoh on my mind recently. Initially I thought that I would just give away some of the extra boxes of matzoh to my friends, but after tasting it, I realized that it would be like giving someone a box of Saltines (but without the salt). So, I’m left to find as many matzoh inspired sweets to make.
First up is Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch. At it’s most basic version, this candy consisted of a bottom layer of matzoh topped with a brown sugar caramel baked until the caramel bubbles up and gets a bit foamy. Then dark chocolate is spread over the top (with a sprinkle of sea salt), and the result is an airy, flaky, crispy candy that you can customize in infinite way.
After making my first batch, I quickly realized that I had barely made a dent in reducing my matzoh stash as I had only used up about 1/3 of one 1-pound package. So, I made a second batch with mesquite smoked almonds sprinkled on top.
Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch
(From David Lebovitz)
Makes enough to fill an 18×13″ half sheet pan
4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzohs
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup (215g) firmly-packed light brown sugar
big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (160g) semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
1 cup (80g) toasted sliced almonds (optional)
- Line a rimmed baking sheet (I like to use an 18×13 inch half sheet pan, but this also works for an 11 x 17 inch baking sheet) completely with parchment paper, making sure it goes up and over the edges. This recipe gets messy so make sure your pan/sheet is well protected. You can also use heavy duty foil, but I prefer parchment paper because it doesn’t stick at all.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Line the bottom of the sheet pan with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces. I prefer not to overlap the pieces, but I make sure that there are no big gaps between the sheets of matzoh.
- In a 3-4 quart heavy duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Add the salt and vanilla.
- Pour the mixture over the matzoh, spreading with a heatproof spatula. It will be a very thin layer.
- Put the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up, but check every once in a while to make sure it’s not burning . If it burns in spots, remove from oven and reduce the heat to 325°F, then replace the pan.
- Remove the pan from oven, and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips in a thin layer over the top. Let stand for 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate with an offset spatula.
- While the chocolate is warm, if you wish, sprinkle with toasted almonds (or another favorite nut, toasted, and coarsely-chopped), a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, or roasted cocoa nibs. You can lightly press the nuts into the chocolate to ensure that they stick.
- Let cool completely (I refrigerate after the pan has cooled down a little to help speed up the setting process), and then break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It should keep well for about one week.