Introduction: Mandel Bread (Jewish Biscotti)
It's my mother and her friend's tradition to bribe me with mandel bread, and boy does it work every time. This treat, the Jewish version of biscotti, will get me to do everything from call home more frequently or even make trips into Amish country for a visit.
This recipe can be made in many different iterations, feel free to substitute other delicious additives as you please.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 3 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
- Coarse white sparkling sugar (this one is optional)
Step 2: Mix the Liquid Ingredients
Alright, that may be a bit of a misnomer. Here you beat together the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and salt at a medium-high speed until thickened and light-colored. It will take approximately 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add the Rest of Your Ingredients
Beat the flour and baking powder into your wet mixture. Once everything is mixed together well, add the chocolate chips and nuts.
I like to obliterate my walnuts before adding them in. If you like nuts in your baked goods then this step is unnecessary.
Step 4: Cover and Refrigerate
Once you've completed the dough, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours. I prefer to leave my dough in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 5: Form Into Logs and Bake
Preheat the oven to 350° F and lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. For this amount of dough you will need two baking sheets.
Divide the dough into four (somewhat) even pieces. With one piece at a time, place the dough on the baking sheet and shape it into 8" x 2-3" logs. They will be about 3/4" tall.
Now sprinkle the logs heavily with coarse white sugar (or just regular sugar if you don't have any other). My mother insists that this is necessary.
Once you've prepared the logs, bake for 28 to 30 minutes until they are set and beginning to brown on the edges. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes. (Make sure no one tries to steal a piece because you have to bake them again).
At this point, reduce the temperature of the oven to 300° F.
Step 6: Slice and Bake Again
Cut each log into 1/2" to 3/4" slices. Cut them on the diagonal to make them longer. As my mother states, "this will make them look prettier."
Place the pieces on edge, standing up, and close together on the baking sheet. Return them to the oven. Start with 25 to 30 minutes. then take a piece out, let it cool, and see if it is done. The cookie should feel baked through when you pinch it between your fingers. There will also be some browning around the edges but should not be all over.
In this step it is better to underbake the pieces. Apparently my father has a tendency to overbake and then they become dry and burned, don't be foolish like him.
When you feel they are finished, take them out and let them cool on the baking sheet.
Step 7: Devour
Once they have cooled, or before if you can't wait, dive in and enjoy.
Make sure to share (if you don't, you will find yourself eating them all).