As I’ve learned, almost all non-Jews love Matzo. I, being non-Jewish, absolutely love matzo. It’s a giant tablewater cracker just waiting for a smear of cream cheese, maybe a little lox. It’s the perfect neutral vessel for a nice, triple crème cheese. With a little butter and pinch of good salt, maybe a crack of freshly ground pepper, it’s divine. Of course, as many of my Jewish friends point out, I only love matzo because afterwards, beforehand, and sometimes even along with my matzo snacks, I am eating pasta, rice, leavened bread, and washing it all down with a nice grain-based drink. For us non-Jews, matzo is a nice yearly alternative to the Wasa cracker or toast. But eat nothing but matzo for a week and chances are that lovely dry, charred cardboard taste will pop up.
Over the decades, perhaps even centuries, many an ingenious grandmother, and probably a few grandmothers, grandfathers, and fathers, have come up with the perfect encasement for matzo. Matzo Toffee. As we all know, take anything and add caramel, and you just created something closely resembling crack. Not the most holy of substances, but hey. It sure is addicting. Kosher too.
Crack has recently become a popular adjective to describe food, and as our friends over at the National Institute on Drug Abuse have found, food is more addictive than many drugs. Granted, we all need food while very few of us need a little more crack cocaine in our lives. Regardless how ironic the comparison, you’ll find that with a jar of matzo toffee on the table, it disappears more quickly than you would have imagined. Thanks to the subtle honey tones in the toffee, the richness of the chocolate, and the natural lusciousness of the nuts, matzo toffee does not simply mask the matzo, it plays off all its best qualities. Neutral in flavor, thin, brittle and crunchy, you’ve never had matzo this addictive.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes, plus about 2 hours to set
5-6 pieces of matzo
½ cup nuts, like macadamia, sliced almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.
1 cup chocolate chips, milk or dark
1 ½ cups white sugar
½ cup, (1 stick), unsalted butter
¼ cup honey
1. Spread the matzos out on a jellyroll pan or other large, rimmed baking sheet in a single layer, breaking the matzos to fit the pan like a puzzle and leaving no exposed baking sheet.
2. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
3. Spread nuts out on a piece of tinfoil and toast in the oven, turning occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the nuts begin to smell fragrant and look golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
4. Roughly chop nuts, and set aside.
5. Combine the sugar, butter, honey and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
6. Stir until sugar has dissolved and butter has melted.
7. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 10-12 minutes, or until the caramel reaches a deep amber in color. Do not stir the caramel after it begins boiling, simply swirl the pan.
8. After the caramel has turned a deep amber in color, immediately remove from heat and pour over the matzos in an as even a layer as possible.
9. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and chocolate and let stand a couple minutes.
10. Spread the chocolate after it has been melted by the heat of the caramel. Let the toffee harden, about 2 hours, before breaking into manageable pieces. Keep covered, for up to 4 days.
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