A Passover Delight: The Rise of Chocolate Matzo Crack

A Passover Delight: The Rise of Chocolate Matzo Crack

A Passover Delight: The Rise of Chocolate Matzo Crack

Passover can feel like a dessert desert. Traditional cakes, cookies, and other baked goods are off-limits due to the restrictions on leavened bread.

A Passover Staple is Born

Katie Workman, a food writer, argues that there’s one Passover dessert that transcends limitations: chocolate-covered caramel matzo, also known as Matzo Buttercrunch.

This delightful treat wasn’t always a Passover staple. In the mid-1980s, talented baker Marcy Goldman created and named the recipe.

Featured in her cookbook “The Treasury of Jewish Cooking,” Matzo Buttercrunch became a sensation, passed down through word-of-mouth and now a star of the internet.

The Allure of Matzo Crack

Some call it Matzo Crack for a reason – it’s incredibly addictive! But there are still those who haven’t experienced this Passover gem.

The concept is simple: a luscious caramel mixture, made with melted butter or margarine and sugar, gets a touch of salt for depth.

This golden sauce is poured over matzo sheets and baked until caramelized and set.

Then, a layer of melty chocolate chips gets spread over the warm matzo, creating a final coat of chocolate as it cools.

Taking it Up a Notch

Workman recommends finishing the masterpiece with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt or chopped peanuts (be mindful of allergies!). The cooled matzo is then broken into pieces for easy serving.

Goldman, a Montreal native with pastry chef training, emphasizes that Passover desserts shouldn’t be an afterthought.

“Just because something is Passover-appropriate doesn’t mean it deserves a spot on the table,” she says. “It has to taste fantastic.”

Inspiration from Unexpected Places

The inspiration for Matzo Buttercrunch came from a similar dessert made with crackers, typically saltines or soda crackers.

There are even versions using graham crackers. Looking for a solution for her picky toddler, Goldman wondered if matzo could work its magic. And it did!

A Viral Phenomenon

Goldman never anticipated the recipe’s immense popularity. Today, Matzo Buttercrunch is a Passover phenomenon.

She enjoys making Matzo Buttercrunch throughout the month leading up to Passover, admitting the first batch rarely survives until Seder dinner. Over time, she’s experimented with various versions, with a white chocolate and apricot jam marble swirl being a favorite. Pistachios are another popular topping.

Top Tips for Matzo Buttercrunch Success

Here are some helpful hints for making perfect Matzo Buttercrunch:

  • Prep is Key: Before starting the caramel, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil and parchment paper. This double layer prevents the caramel from spreading and makes cleanup easier.
  • Kosher Considerations: Use kosher-for-Passover ingredients if maintaining a kosher table. Opt for margarine instead of butter for a dairy-free version.
  • Patience is a Virtue: Resist the urge to spread the melting chocolate chips too soon. Let them soften from the heat of the caramel first.
  • Cooling and Storage: For a cleaner break, refrigerate the chocolate matzo for at least 30 minutes before breaking it into pieces. Store in a cool place, even the fridge, until serving.
  • A Touch of Vanilla: Workman suggests adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the caramel mixture for extra flavor.
  • Margarine Tips: If using margarine, opt for the block kind, not the tub version. Goldman also recommends whisking the caramel vigorously to prevent separation.
  • Make-Ahead Magic: This recipe can be prepared up to four days in advance. If refrigerated, take it out 15 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature.

The Recipe: Chocolate-Covered Caramel Matzo

Ready to create this Passover delight? Here’s the recipe, adapted from Goldman’s website. It doubles easily, freezes well, and makes for beautiful bite-sized treats served in candy cups.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 unsalted matzo boards or sheets
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet completely with foil, followed by a layer of parchment paper. This step is crucial to prevent sticking.
  2. Arrange the matzo boards evenly on the parchment paper, using extra pieces to fill any gaps.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Continue cooking and stirring for 3 more minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and carefully spoon or pour the hot caramel mixture over the matzo. Tilt the pan to ensure even coverage.

Here’s where you can add your personal touch! Experiment with different toppings before the chocolate goes on. Chopped nuts, a sprinkle of sea salt, or even a drizzle of peanut butter can add another layer of flavor and texture.

  1. Bake the matzo for 10-12 minutes, or until the caramel is bubbly and begins to turn golden brown. Keep an eye on it to avoid burning.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool slightly. While the matzo is still warm, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Let them sit for a few minutes to soften from the heat of the caramel.
  3. Using a spatula, gently spread the melted chocolate chips into a smooth layer, covering the entire surface of the matzo.
  4. Now comes the fun part! You can add your final flourish of toppings at this stage. A sprinkle of flaky sea salt or a drizzle of white chocolate can add a touch of elegance.
  5. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes, or until the chocolate is completely firm. This will make breaking the matzo into pieces much easier.
  6. Once chilled, remove the matzo from the pan using the parchment paper as a sling. Break the matzo into pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Matzo Buttercrunch – a delightful and addictive Passover treat!

9 Views