Do you have fond memories of eating mandel bread as a child? If you haven't eaten this delicious Jewish cookie before, you'll definitely need to whip a batch of this lightly sweet chocolate chip mandel bread!
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Fortunately, chocolate chip mandel bread doesn't require any fancy ingredients. You probably already have these ingredients in your pantry and fridge!
- Flour: Regular all-purpose is the standard choice, but feel free to swap for a gluten free measure-for-measure flour or matzo meal for Passover.
- Baking Powder: Make sure your baking powder is still active by mixing 2 teaspoons into 1 cup of hot water; it should fizz quite a bit and the powder should disappear. (Use Kosher baking powder for Passover.)
- Salt: Regular table salt is best, as it incorporates easily into the batter. (Use Kosher-certified salt for Passover.)
- Eggs: Large eggs add richness and improve the texture.
- Oil: Any neutral oil, such as vegetable or light olive, is good here.
- Vanilla Extract: A hint of vanilla extract adds additional flavor. (Make sure both the vanilla and almond extracts are certified Kosher for Passover.)
- Almond Extract: This treat traditionally has an almond flavor, so this is an important ingredient.
- Chocolate Chips: I used 60% cacao chocolate chips, but feel free to use semi-sweet if you prefer. Vegans can use dairy-free chocolate chips, and for Passover, use pareve chocolate chips.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients.
- Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together.
- Whisk the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract until blended.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir to form a smooth dough.
4. Gently mix in the chocolate chips.
5. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours to firm it up, then divide it into two pieces. Shape each one into a loaf about 1 inch thick and 2-3 inches wide.
6. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown. Let it cool for 15 minutes, then slice diagonally in 1-inch slices.
7. Sprinkle both sides of the slices with cinnamon sugar and bake at 250°F for 15 minutes to crisp them up.
8. Let the mandel bread cool and enjoy.
Biscotti is an Italian biscuit that has a lower fat content than mandel bread and is much crispier. Biscotti is best eaten when soaked in tea or coffee to soften it slightly before eating, while mandel bread is much softer and doesn't need to be dunked. Both cookies are baked twice, and contain similar ingredients.
The original name for this cookie, mandelbrot, comes from German and Yiddish, and is anglicized as mandel bread. Mandel means almond, and brot means bread, which refers to the traditional almond flavor of this dessert.
Yes, you can definitely freeze it. In fact, it's the best way to keep it fresh. Simply seal it inside of a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature.
If you are allowed to eat Kosher certified baking powder, you can enjoy mandel bread on Passover, as long as you do some substitutions. Use matzo meal instead of the all-purpose flour, Kosher certified baking powder, salt, almond extract, and vanilla extract, and pareve chocolate chips. If you have questions about what is safe for Passover, consult your rabbi.
- Kosher for Passover: Use 3 cups matzo meal instead of the all-purpose flour, and make sure to use Kosher baking powder and pareve chocolate chips.
- Gluten Free: Swap the all-purpose flour for your favorite measure-for-measure gluten free flour. I recommend using Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur.
- Vegan: Use vegan chocolate chips and an egg alternative. Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer (affiliate), 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce, or three flax eggs are all good options.
- Mix-Ins: Don't like chocolate mandel bread? Swap the chips for chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds) or dried fruit (raisins, currants, apricots, or dates).
- Stir the batter gently to avoid overmixing, which makes it tough.
- If you're baking two trays of mandel bread simultaneously, rotate the pans 180° and swap shelves halfway through the baking time.
- Be careful not to overbake the loaves or the sliced cookies, as they can dry out quickly.
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Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the oil, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and eggs in a large bowl until well combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to form a smooth dough. Stir in the chocolate chips, then chill for 1-2 hours, or until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into two loaves, each one measuring about 2-3 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Place one loaf on each prepared tray.
- Bake the mandel bread at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the loaves are lightly browned and cooked through. (If you're baking the two trays simultaneously, rotate the pans 180° and swap shelves halfway through the baking time.)
- Let the loaves cool for 15 minutes on the trays, then slice them diagonally in one-inch slices. Lower the oven to 250°F.
- Mix together the cinnamon and sugar until well combined. The mixture should be light brown.
- Lay the slices of mandel bread down on the trays and scatter half of the cinnamon sugar on them. Flip them over and sprinkle the rest on the other side.
- Bake at 250°F for 15 minutes, or until the mandel bread has the desired texture. The longer it is baked, the crispier it will be once it has cooled. Be careful that it doesn’t overbake, as it can dry out quickly.
- Let the mandel bread cool completely to allow it to crisp up. Store in an airtight container or plastic zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
- Kosher for Passover Variation: Use 3 cups of matzo meal instead of the all-purpose flour, Kosher baking powder, and pareve chocolate chips. Also, make sure that the salt and extracts you use are certified Kosher for Passover.
- Be careful not to overbake the mandel bread slices in their second bake, as they will harden and get crispier as they cool.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.