Almond Mandel Bread Cookies

Almond mandel bread cookies sliced on parchment
Anita Schecter
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
779 Calories
43g Fat
89g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
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 considered a traditional Passover food, and indeed, that's when supermarkets typically carry them. Boxes of mandel bread cookies can be found in the seasonal, international, 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 served only as a seasonal holiday treat, as they are delicious all year round, and this recipe with regular all-purpose flour shows you how.

The word mandel is Yiddish for almond and are sometimes referred to as mandel brot and mandlebread. These cookies are always shaped like Italian biscotti and although they share the same shape and flavor as biscotti, the latter is always twice baked. This mandel bread recipe is only baked once and results in a firm cookie that's softer than biscotti. But like biscotti, mandel bread cookies can be flavored with a variety of ingredients. Almonds are most 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 peel to create a completely original cookie.

This recipe includes an alternative version for Passover because flour and leavening agents are not allowed on that holiday. The Passover substitutions of potato starch and matzo flour can be difficult to find year-round, except in specialty groceries or kosher markets. But the flour version of these cookies can be made at any time and are a welcome accompaniment to a morning cup of coffee or an afternoon pot of tea.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 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. 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 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. 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. With a serrated knife, slice 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.