Years of growing up in a predominantly jewish town left me with all sorts of envy - how come we didnt have a menorah? how come we didnt have matzo in the house? how come my parents didnt know a place in the city that they drove 1.5 hours to just for bagels?
yeah, yeah, santa claus, easter bunny, italian pastry, blah blah blah.
However, one of the best parts of growing up in said environment and not being jewish is it meant i was able to selectively partake... so even though the girl who's name translates to 'follower of christ' probably didnt need to buy the matzo/butter for lunch during passover, the nice lunch ladies let me anyway... and in 9th grade home ec, they taught me how to make matzo brei... (more on that later this week, hopefully...)
it really was no wonder i ended up marrying a jew, is it? we now have all of the benefits of 2 religions! lasagne, bagels, pastry, matzo brei! (have i ever mentioned that my absolute favorite part of any holiday is food?)
anyway, enough about me and my envy - this is about what you are going to bring for seder dessert tonight... (or next year if you dont manage to catch this on April 19... or just eat whenever you want if you arent jewish but have distinct envy like i did...)
This matzo crack is so incredibly easy to make - I started on it at the same time jordan took the dog for her afternoon walk, and i was finished (save for the chilling) by the time he got back in...
There are a million ways to adapt this - a quick google search will tell you others have used almonds, coconut and a whole host of other things to top this off... we went for the standard presentation and while it would be fun to experiment a little, it really is quite amazing even in this, its simplest form...
adapted from of Marcy Goldman - A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking
4-5 unsalted matzos
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 c firmly packed light brown sugar
scant 1 c bittersweet chocolate chips
fleur de sel/sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°
Cover a baking sheet entirely with aluminum foil and then place a piece of parchment on top of the foil (helps with sticking. the internet says you could butter the foil instead but the parchment worked wonders...)
lay matzo out so that it covers the entire thing, breaking pieces up to ensure full coverage
place butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and turn heat up to medium. When butter is mostly melted, add in the brown sugar. stir, continuously, to incorporate. When mixture starts to bubble, start your timer. continue to stir mixture for about 3-4 minutes. at some point during that time, you will notice that the butter/sugar is starting to come together and the mixture is getting less liquid and more almost marshmallow-fluff-ish. this is a good thing. If you think its getting too hot, briefly pull off of the heat and then return it a few seconds later. (stir the whole time...)
remove from heat and pour over the matzo. using a rubber spatula, spread the mixture evenly over your matzo.
place the cookie sheet in the oven and set your timer for 13 minutes. After about 5, you will see that the mixture has started to bubble up. this is a good thing. check it every 3 minute or so to ensure that its not cooking too fast (getting darker brown would be a good indication)... I opened my oven a few times to let some heat escape and turned the tray around once. The minute you smell a hint of burning, remove the tray from the oven.
immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the toffee and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
after 5 minutes, spread chocolate chips around with a rubber spatula until the entire tray is coated in a layer of chocolate.
sprinkle with fleur de sel/sea salt and place in the freezer. After about 15 minutes, remove and score into whatever size pieces you wish to have and return to the fridge (if you have plenty of time) or freezer (if you are making this 45 minutes before you are supposed to head across town...)
once fully cooled, break into pieces and enjoy.