Thursday, March 11, 2010

Matzo, Matzah, Matzoh...CRUNCH!



We are well into March and still getting slammed with fresh powder days! LOVE the advantages of ice cold weather: UNLIMITED FREEZER SPACE outside! Everything gets stored on the deck:)

Let's talk about Matzoh. There are many spellings - matzoh, matzah, matzo, matsah, matze. I don't know how I stuck with the spelling "matzoh." Anyway, Matzoh is the bread substitute during the Jewish holiday of Passover, where eating bread and other leavened products is forbiddened. (I won't get into the history and symbolism now, as I must focus on getting the recipe down before deviating, thus potentially missing this posting entirely. Okay.)
It's that time of year again, Matzoh Time! I must ease in the concept of matzoh-eating immediately, to not shock my kids when Passover hits us at the end of the month. I plan to go all out this year, like, hard-core No-Chametz! Well, I promise to make a concerted effort (...yikes).

Here we have a box of plain square Matzoh, a giant no-flavor cracker made of just flour and water. Buy it at any major supermarket in the "ethnic" or "jewish" sections. Considering my sugarbuzz kiddies, the only strategy is to debut the matzah (again this year) decked out, drowned in butter, sugar, chocolate AND sprinkles! How can they resist?!

JennyP, baker extraordinaire, gave me this recipe for Matzoh Crunch years ago when I threw one of my first seders. I read the recipe text once upon a long time ago but have since been referring to my spotty memory for years. Alas, the challenge of finally getting it down now.

RandyF, once told me that Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate chips, though so plebeian and available, are the absolute best choice for baking. Nestle is also Costco's semi-sweet chocolate morsels brand of choice during holidays. Given that, I just have not considered any other brand.

**MATZOH CRUNCH**
(large baking sheet 1" deep for oven, saucepan for stove, wooden spoon)
6 square sheets of Matzoh
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, in this case, Nestle.
1 cup nuts, sprinkles, fun small candies, etc.

(1) First, set your oven to BAKE 350 degrees. Since I am not a "baker," I always forget the preheat, turn-on-the-oven step. So the preheat gets its own first step:)

(2) I like the size and heftyness of a commercial baking sheet. Grease it and line it evenly, one layer, of matzoh crackers. Break off and fill in the spots to cover the sheet.
(3) Cook the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium to high heat stirring constantly watching the sugar dissolve into the butter. Let it boil for a few more minutes, like 2-3 minutes, still stirring.
(4) Pour the buttersugar mixture as evenly as you can over the crackers. It doesn't need to completely cover every corner. You'll see that it creeps and evens out in the hot oven.
(5) Stick the tray in the 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is. Don't let the sugarbutter burn! Look, the sugarbutter spread into a gorgeous bubbly toffee below.

(6) Take the sheet out of the oven. (You are now done with the oven, phew! Can you tell I don't bake?) While the baking sheet is burning hot, immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly. Let sit for a few minutes, 3-5 minutes. The chips will quickly soften, ready to be spread!
(7) Using a flat spatula, spread the melted chocolate evenly over the matzoh crackers!
(8) Sprinkle nuts and fun toppings over the crackers while the chocolate is still wet. I love the flavor of pecans topped with bright happy specks of rainbow sprinkles. Classic delicious!

(9) Immediately transfer into the fridge or freezer or the freezing outside deck for everything to harden. When it has hardened, break this into small manageable pieces, about the size of half a business card. Careful, it is rock hard. I start off by stabbing the middle area with a big fat fork or knife and then start breaking off pieces.
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Store batches in foil first, then plastic and into the freezer. These Matzoh-toffee-chocolate pieces are best when served cold, immediately out of the freezer. They are the perfect fun addition to ice-cream or sorbet and totally dress up simple fruit plate! ENJOY!

4 comments:

  1. Lisa-
    This sounds wonderful. I doubt I will try it this year though as we are in Florida and will not be near anyone for Pesach. As a matter of fact we wont even be celebrating. It's definitely a holiday that is better with family. The recipe looks so yummy.

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  2. Oops, correction! RandyF says, "Guittard chocolate is much better than Nestle. Guittard you can find at Costco."

    I don't know WHO told me about Nestle and why I remember it so well. BUT I take RandyF's rec over anyone's, so I will pick up a bag of Guittard at the next Costco trip and redo those matzohs in time for Passover. How did I screw that reference up? Sorry!

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  3. Yumm!! I'm gonna try this. Thanks Lisa!

    Leslie

    PS.Sorry we didn't get to see you this trip. Ron's gonna take kids Friday night. Harrison would love to see Max. Will Paul be there with your kids?

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  4. Just got back from Costco and NO Guittard chocolate :(

    Yes, we are ALWAYS there.

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