Saturday, March 27, 2010

Matzah Toffee

Uncharacteristically, the two passover recipes that I have posted so far are for desserts, and Amy usually makes them rather then me. Why am I posting them? Because they're good notwithstanding that some of the ingredients are truly gross. Kosher for Passover margarine is not much better than Crisco with motor oil overtones (I am paraphrasing a friend here) and I would be surprised if the Passover chocolate chips contain more than 10% cacao. But who cares? Everyone seems to love it and some years Amy seems to make a batch every day of the holiday. If you try it, you will certainly find yourself making more than one batch. Most people seem to know about this recipe already, but some don't and I consider posting it on my blog to be a public service. I would give credit for it, but its provenance has been lost with time.


  • Matzah, to fit pan (about 6 pieces)
  • 1 cup kosher for Passover margarine
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 12 ounces (2 cups) pareve kosher for Passover semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a 15 x 10 inch shallow pan (a nonstick jellyroll pan is ideal) , with matzah boards. Fit them to cover the bottom evenly, without overlapping; you may need to break them to do so.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine and brown sugar together and bring them to a slow boil. Maintain a gently boil without stirring for 3 - 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat a spoon. Pour the sugar mixture over the matzah and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes or so. (You want to see the brown sugar and margarine mixture bubbling but be careful that it doesn’t burn, especially if you think your oven runs hot.)
  3. Immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the matzah, and as they start melting, gently spread the melted chocolate so that it covers the top as completely as possible.
  4. It is sometimes easier to remove later if you cut the toffee into pieces when it is still warm, but there are so many variables (esp the pan you use) that this is not always necessary.
  5. Let the matzah toffee cool at room temperature until it has completely solidified. You can speed this process by putting it in the fridge or freezer, or, this year, leaving it by an open window.
  6. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container. Cleaning the pans is no fun.
  7. Makes about 2 pounds of candy.
Ingredients: You could make this with butter for a dairy version, and, frankly, it is good enough that it would be worth making after the holiday with butter and real chocolate chips. Amy has been talking about chopping up real chocolate for it (you can buy K for P chocolate that is 75% cacao but it is 4 times more expensive than the chips) but no one has ever complained when we served this toffee to them so I convinced her that it was worth neither the effort nor the expense. If you don't need a treat, your kids do, so make it now, even with the gross stuff. Besides, it is a lot better and less expensive than most of the Passover desserts that you would buy.

Nuts? We argue about this every year. Amy likes to add slivered almonds, but I don't think they add anything. Besides, her brother is allergic to nuts and sometimes gets insulted when people serve them. This year we may top some with chopped pistachios. It's worth trying both ways, but I would keep the preponderance plain. (Post Seder update: even though last year's almond slivers sort of left me cold, the chopped pistachios rock. Apologies to my wife.)

Crumbly leftovers: You will find chocolate toffee crumbs at the bottom of the storage container. Don't throw them out. They are great as a topping for ice cream during the year.

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