September 24, 2010 by Dana
Today you are in for a treat. Seriously. Because today I am feeling generous. I am sharing a family recipe with you… and you know that if a recipe has been handed down through several generations, it has to be good. Get excited, people.
This particular recipe was my grandfather’s. It’s one that whenever I taste, or even smell, I think of him right away. He always had the ingredients on hand to make this treat at a moment’s notice. Which is a good thing, because I absolutely insisted upon making Mandel Bread every time I visited.
For those of you that are wondering, Mandel Bread is not actually bread at all. It’s basically the Jewish version of biscotti. The batter is prepared as a loaf, baked, cut into individual slices, and baked again.
Eating warm Mandel Bread right out of the oven is definitely a perk of being one of the chosen people. And even though I’m only half Jewish (does that make me half chosen?), I can eat my fair share of Mandel Bread, Matzoh Balls, and Potato Kuggel!
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup oil
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 oz chocolate chips
Cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling
The best thing about this recipe is that you can add in whatever you’d like to make it yours. The ingredients above are my grandfather’s, but I omitted the nuts and added extra chocolate chips instead. My aunt adds raisins to hers. I’ve seen versions with almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, and maraschino cherries… choose your favorites!
1. Preheat oven to 325degrees (if you like less crunchy cookies) or 350 degrees (if you prefer crunchier ones).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and oil. Add eggs and mix well.
3. To the liquid mixture, add flour, baking powder and vanilla and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
4. On two separate baking sheets, or one very large baking sheet, form the batter into 2 long loaves. Make sure your hands are very wet so that the batter does not stick to you.
5. Bake loaves 30-40 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
6. Remove from the heat, and cut into individual slices (about ½ to 1 inch wide). Lay the slices flat on the cookie sheets. Sprinkle slices with sugar and cinnamon and bake 5-10 more minutes.
The directions above may be short and to the point, but they produce one delicious treat! (Believe it or not, I actually elaborated on my grandfather’s instructions.) Try this recipe out today, whether you’re chosen, half chosen, or just hungry for something good!