March 25, 2011

Mandel Bread


This is my grandmother's recipe.  Her name was Thelma and making 'mandels' was her greatest pleasure.  I don't recall her making much else as she truly relished in her popularity for making what she became somewhat famous for.  She deserved the accolades and proved that its better to be the master of one great thing.  She left us with the legacy of her recipe.

Mandel Bread is an Eastern European form of 'biscotti', meaning 'twice baked' in Italian. They are not as crunchy or as firm as their Italian counterpart. In fact, they are quite crumbly and delicate. When I moved away from home, Thelma would ship them to me. Lets just say that mandel bread don't travel well. They were always broken into pieces when they arrived, but still tasted delicious. 

She always made them with walnuts although the word mandel, which is German, plainly translates to the word almond. Today, my mother and I make them with walnuts, almonds, dried fruits, and even chocolate chips. This recipe that I am presenting to you here was made for an event that had a no nuts policy. I replaced the nuts with bittersweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and mini semi sweet chocolate chips.

Triple Chocolate Mandel Bread

Recipe adapted from the kitchen of Thelma Krell

3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups combination of bittersweet, milk, and semi sweet chocolate chips

Beat eggs in mixer for 15 minutes.  Add oil and beat.  Add sugar and vanilla.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and the nuts and/or chocolate chips.

Heat oven to 350.  Roll the dough into 3 logs and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

Cool slightly and sliced the logs diagonally into half inch slices.  Lay the sliced cookies out on the cookie sheets and return to the oven for 8 minutes.  Turn the oven off and leave the cookies to dry out for another 2 hours.  At this time, it is a good idea to leave the oven light on to provide minimal heat and dryness.

Categories: Cookies, Brownies & Bars, Desserts, Kids in the Kitchen

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