Almond Mandel Bread Cookies

Almond Mandel Bread Cookies
Anita Schecter
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 12 Cookies (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
779 Calories
43g Fat
89g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 Cookies (4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 779
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 55%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 217mg 72%
Sodium 892mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 89g 32%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 14g
Calcium 247mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Mandel bread or mandel cookies, as they're sometimes called, are often considered a traditional Passover food because that is the time when large supermarkets and grocery stores typically carry them. Boxes of mandel bread cookies can be found in the ethnic or holiday section next to the packages of matzos, matzo meal and various flourless treats and flour substitute products. However, there is no reason for these pastries to be only a seasonal holiday treat.

The word mandel is Yiddish for almond and these cookies are always shaped like Italian biscotti. Although they have some of the same consistency and flavor, biscotti are, by definition, twice baked. Mandel bread, however, is only baked once. Although it is a firm cookie, it is still softer than biscotti. They can be made using traditional baking products or with alterations for Passover because flour and leavening agents on not allowed on that holiday.

In fact, the Passover substitutions of potato starch and matzo flour can be difficult to find year round except in ethnic groceries or kosher markets. But the flour version of these cookies can be made at anytime and are always a perfect accompaniment to a morning cup of coffee or an afternoon pot of tea.

Like their Italian biscotti cousins, mandel bread cookies can be flavored with a wide variety of ingredients. Almonds are typical but chocolate chips are a close second in popularity. You can add any other nuts, different types of chocolate, dried fruit and/or citrus rind to create a completely bespoke cookie. Enjoy experimenting with different ingredients in your mandel bread.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated 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 granulated sugar (for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for topping)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the eggs and sugar until lightened in color. Beat in the butter and almond extract.

  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, baking powder and all purpose flour (or, if making the Passover version, the combination of potato starch and cake meal).

  5. 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 inches high.

  6. Bake for 45 minutes.

  7. Then slice, using a serrated knife, while the loaf is still warm.

    Recipe Variation

    • To make for Passover, omit the baking powder and replace the all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup potato starch and 1 1/2 cups cake meal.