I've never been sure how mandel bread cookies became a Passover tradition but that's the time I've year I always saw them. My local supermarket would put out the boxes of matzos (so good with egg salad) and various flourless treats and flour substitute products. And, mysteriously, boxes of mandel bread.
The word mandel is Yiddish for almond and these cookies are always shaped like Italian biscotti. To tell the truth, I was never a fan of the cookies in the box and I long ago mastered the art of flourless chocolate cakes for Passover celebrations. Until, that is, I met my former MIL and her mandel bread cookies. It was cookie love at first bite and yes, I made her give me the recipe.
I've tweaked it some, over the years, to make my most perfect version. And I've also made a non-Passover version since ingredients like potato starch and matzo flour can be harder to find the rest of the year. And I do want to eat these the rest of the year because they've become one of my favorite treats.
She used to add chocolate chips to hers and that's pretty fabulous too but this is the basic almond cookie recipe. Just as with biscotti, you can add other nuts, chocolate and bits of dried fruit. Unlike biscotti, however, these cookies are not twice baked so the texture is firmer than a regular cookie but softer than a biscotti. To me, it's just right. Enjoy!
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2 teaspoons sugar, for topping
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, for topping
- Passover Substitutions:
- Omit baking powder
- Replace all purpose flour with 1/4 Cup potato starch and 1 1/2 cups cake meal
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the eggs and sugar until lightened in color. Beat in the butter and almond extract.
In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, baking powder and all purpose flour (or the combination of potato starch and cake meal).
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, stir in the sliced almonds, and turn out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Note that the dough will be very sticky and you'll need additional flour (or cake meal) to shape it into a loaf, approximately 3" high.
Bake for 45 minutes and slice, with a serrated knife, while still warm.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||43 g|
|Saturated Fat||18 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||18 g|
|Dietary Fiber||6 g|