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Ready for the easiest sweet treat that you can easily make between the big recipes?
Chocolate & Toffee Matzo Crunch is colorful, flavorful, and wildly ADDICTIVE! The recipe yields a heaping plateful of these crunchy-sweet squares. I make this quasi-candy around the Holidays to fill in around my homemade tins of cookies that I bake and give as gifts. Honestly, you'd think the cookies would get the attention after all of the planning and baking, but Chocolate & Toffee Matzo Crunch garners as much, if not more, questions on exactly what it is and how to make it. Ready for the easiest sweet treat that you can easily make between your big recipes? Feast your eyes...
In each of the delicately paper-lined sections is nestled a bar or a cookie, a marzipan or a candy, all different, each homemade.
So, I am not a real sweet-eating person. Sure I can go for a slice of cake or a nice Crème Brûlée after a good meal, but to intentionally make candy or bake up cookie bars has just never been my thing. I have an old friend from college who, with her two sisters, spends an annually dedicated 3-day weekend doing nothing but baking cookies, and making candy and fudge for what they call the Sheetz Sisters Christmas Box. Each box is two layers, and boasts one dozen 'sections' in each layer. In each of the delicately paper-lined sections rests a bar or a cookie, a marzipan or a candy, all different, each homemade.
Chocolate & Toffee Matzo Crunch was my friend Rivkah's responsibility for the boxes each year, and it was the first treat I tasted when at long last, a Sheetz Sisters Christmas Box was one day delivered to me.
The girls are able to bake 72 or more different treats in their spirited 3-day kitchen event. The boxes are then wrapped and tied off with homemade paper (yes, they recycle and press paper wrap, too), and ribbon and delivered to auspicious receivers. I remember giving days of thought as to how I could secure a place on their list after getting a good look and taste of the bounties of the Christmas Box one year. And despite the Sheetz sisters dubbing their goody box a 'Christmas Box,' the family is Jewish. Chocolate & Toffee Matzo Crunch was my friend Rivkah's responsibility for the boxes each year, and it was the first treat I tasted when at long last, a Sheetz Sisters Christmas Box was one day delivered to me.
For both the crunch and the color, I get fancy with cleverly themed holiday sprinkles in festive red, white, and green, and rough chop lightly salted Pistachios for a little extra of both.
Too far a drive now from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to continue to receive a box, I can still put this fun treat together in a pinch, Rivkah's instructions written in her hand to me on the back of an envelope. By no means does my Christmas cookie production EVER amount to the stash these ladies were baking, but mine are just as delicious and colorful with the addition of this Matzo 'bark.'
A quality semi sweet chip or chopped chunk goes a long way here...
For both the crunch and the color, I get fancy with cleverly themed holiday sprinkles in festive red, white, and green, and rough chop lightly salted Pistachios for a little extra of both. Malden salt flakes round out the sweet-salty squares. Rivkah's squares were cut carefully into 2 x 2 and were festive with crushed peppermints on top. Mine are smaller at 1 x 1, and crunchy with nuts and sprinkles. A quality semi sweet chip or chopped chunk goes a long way here, so do not cheap out - Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger. You'll thank me.
Ingredients for Chocolate & Toffee Matzo Crunch
4-5 lightly salted matzos, preferably Streit's
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
12 oz bag high quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped lightly salted Pistachios
1/2 cup festive sprinkles
smallest pinch or 1/2 teaspoon Malden sea salt flakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges, and top with a sheet of parchment paper.
Cover the baking sheet with the matzos, cutting and piecing them together as necessary to fill the entire pan. This is like forcing a puzzle where the pieces don’t fit, just do the best that you can. If a few stragglers end up overlapping slightly, it’s okay as they will even out when the chocolate layer is added.
Combine the unsalted butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will initially appear as if it’s separating. Continue stirring until it comes together. Once the mixture comes to a boil, continue cooking and stirring for another 3 minutes until foamy and thickened. Do not walk away from the stove as this will burn instantly if not monitored.
Put the pan into the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the toffee topping is crackled and bubbling all over. Remove the pan from the oven and place on wire cooling rack on the counter. Immediately scatter the chocolate chips evenly over top. Wait 3 to 5 minutes for the chips to soften, then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer. I sometimes use the remaining heat of my oven to hasten the chocolate softening. Sprinkle with the chopped Pistachios, festive sprinkles, and Malden sea salt. Refrigerate until the chocolate is mostly firm, about 45 minutes, but no longer.
Lift the foil overhang to transfer the Chocolate & Toffee Matzo Crunch onto a large cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1 x 1 or 2 x 2 squares. Return to the fridge for the chocolate to continue setting. Once completely set, about 2 hours, store in an airtight container in the fridge and serve cold.
As an alternate to squares, you can break into random, smallish pieces of ‘bark.’ Allow the chocolate to completely set, about 2 hours, before removing from the sheet pan. Using a sharp knife, stab fractures into the sheet and break apart along those fissures.
This treat is freezer friendly. Chocolate & Toffee Matzo Crunch can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container. It can be eaten directly from the freezer or, brought to room temperature.
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