A Matzo-Based Brittle for the Modern Age

Like so many others, I, for years, drizzled chocolate over matzo for my youngsters at Passover, so I used to be no stranger to matzo treats. However one way or the other, I missed the creation of caramel matzo crunch, additionally referred to as “matzo buttercrunch” or “matzo brittle,” its many incarnations present in cookbooks, on blogs and web sites. Generally the provenance is acknowledged, however largely not.

Being the meals detective that I’m, although, I believed I’d set the document straight. The earliest recipe I may discover comes from Marcy Goldman, the writer of “A Treasury of Jewish Vacation Baking,” first printed in 1998. Within the e book, she features a recipe she calls “My Trademark, Most Requested, Absolutely Magnificent Caramel Matzoh Crunch.”

In 1986, Ms. Goldman was looking for a Passover dessert to pitch to newspapers in the US and Canada, and noticed a recipe for “Straightforward Toffee Bars” in a 1978 copy of “Farm Journal’s Selection Chocolate Recipes” by Elise W. Manning. In it, they used saltine crackers as a base for the treats.

“A lightweight bulb went off,” Ms. Goldman, 67, mentioned over Zoom from her house in Montreal. “Should you may use saltines, why not swap them for matzo?”

She did simply that, and the recipe took off from there.

Sometimes, company have introduced Ms. Goldman’s crunch to my Passover Seder, by no means straying too removed from the unique.

This 12 months, although, I up to date her recipe: I included a topping of peanuts, and swapped the chocolate for protein-rich peanut butter. The crunchy peanuts and a sprinkle of fleur de sel counteract the sweetness of the caramel, which acts as a binder.

Whereas Sephardic Jews have lengthy thought-about peanuts kosher for Passover, most Ashkenazi Jews have prevented them through the vacation. However a 2015 ruling by the Rabbinical Meeting, the rabbinic arm of the Conservative motion, deemed kitniyot, or legumes in Hebrew, acceptable. (This transformation has not been noticed by the Orthodox.)

Regardless of the ruling, most individuals nonetheless make Ms. Goldman’s dessert with chocolate and perhaps almonds, which have all the time been kosher for Passover. You possibly can strive it with different nut butters, like almond or cashew, and even tahini with a sprinkle of halvah. The recipe has many potentialities, and, wrapped and tucked right into a tin, it makes a tasty present for the Seder host. However simply beware: This candy is completely habit-forming.

I requested Ms. Goldman what she thinks about all of the variations of her recipe.

“It’s been round a lot that I’m high-quality with it now,” she mentioned. “I believe for the one that can’t prepare dinner or bake, being the ‘one who brings the matzo buttercrunch’ rescues them.”

Recipe: Salted Peanut and Caramel Matzo Brittle

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