Most desserts that are kosher for Passover don’t seem that appealing.
How good could they be without flour and baking soda and baking powder? To me, it’s the same as eating a pizza without the tomato sauce— you’re more aware of what’s missing than what you have.
However, one of my favorite Passover desserts is Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread. Maybe that’s because I’m also a lover of biscotti, the well-known Italian dessert, to which Mandel Bread is similar in looks, crispiness, and taste.
Mandel Bread in Yiddish literally means twice- baked almond bread. It’s made by forming dough into a loaf, baking it, slicing the loaf into oblong cookies and baking again. Apparently these crunchy cookies were popular in Eastern Europe among Jews and merchants as a staple dessert that kept well.
Mom’s recipe is extremely easy to follow and only allows for 30 minutes baking time. While many people like to add nuts or raisins to the mix, I play it safe and use chocolate chips. Just two small teaspoons of orange juice give this crunchy dessert just the right tone of flavor. In fact, I’ve noticed this secret weapon, the addition of orange juice and orange extract, in other Passover dessert delicacies, like Mom’s Passover Sponge Cake.
But bakers beware, the combination of the potato starch and the cake meal (yep, you figured it out, no baking soda and flour), causes the batter to become supremely sticky.
It’s definitely hard to maneuver the batter from the mixing bowl to the baking pan. In fact, you probably won’t be able to do this unless you literally douse your hands with vegetable oil. Then, it’s up to you to try to sculpt logs or rolls from the dough so that, when it’s almost fully-baked, you’ll be able to carve out those oblong pieces characteristic of the bread.
Once cooled, you can refrigerate the pieces for up to a week without sacrificing their freshness.
They freeze well too….so you aren’t only restricted to eating this dessert during the 8 days of Passover.
In fact, you’ll probably want to eat them year-round!
Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread
yields approximately 25-30 pieces
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 teaspoons orange juice
- 1 1/2 cup cake meal
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/2 package chocolate chips (or raisin, or nuts)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together in a mixer. Gradually add in oil, orange juice, cake meal, potato starch and chocolate chips.
- Let batter stand 15 minutes.
- With lots of oil on your hands, divide the batter into 3 rolls and place on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- While still hot, slice bread width wise and place back in oven for another 5-10 minutes.
- Let cool on wire rack.
- Store in air tight container.