Monday, April 18, 2011

Its Matzo Time

Tonight marks the start of Passover, a celebration of the Jews' exodus from Egypt.  A basic principle of Passover observance is no consumption of leavened products or chometz as a reminder of the haste in which the Jews left Egypt.

Chometz is the leavened product that results when any wheat, rye, barley, oats, and/or spelt comes in contact with water for more than 18 minutes, the rabbinic calculation of the time it takes for flour to rise once it is in contact with a liquid.  All foods made from these grains are considered chometz.  Matzo is permitted because it is carefully watched to make sure that the maximum of eighteen minutes is not exceeded.

Because of the strict prohibition against chometz, those observing the holiday change their eating habits and Passover can be a time for creative bakers to really shine.  Creating a dessert with no flour, cornstarch, baking soda, or baking powder can be a real challenge.

After the Seder, if you don't want macaroons and fruit salad, give this quick and easy candy a try...

Matzo Toffee

about 4 Matzos
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
6 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.  Then, cover the bottom of the sheet with matzos.  I used about 4, but had to break them to fit so they would completely and evenly cover the bottom of the baking  sheet pan.  If you have a bigger sheet, you may want to use more.

In a medium pan on the stove top, melt butter with brown sugar.  Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.

Pour over matzo-lined baking sheet, and lightly spread with spoon to evenly cover matzos.

Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes.  Start checking on it at 8 minutes because you don't want it to burn, just be lightly browned and bubbly.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then spread/smear softened chocolate chips across the caramel matzos evenly.

Cool in refrigerator.  Break into smaller pieces before serving.


  1. Now I am really upset that I was too sick for Passover. We can escape Egypt, but not the Petri dish of day care.

  2. How creative! I actually love plain matzoh, but that may be because it is not a religious obligation for me.