chocolate | jewish | matzoh | passover | toffee | traditional with a twist | treats

Chocolate toffee sea salt matzoh treats.

April 28, 2016

Getting bored of eating unleavened bread? Are you certain that you’re going to wind up with leftover Matzoh? Lemme upgrade ya.

Chocolate toffee sea salt matzoh.

You most definitely read that correctly; this is chocolate toffee sea salt matzoh. It’s like matzoh candy. Matzoh bark. I know I’ve left you guys hanging without any posts since April 1st. I hope this makes up for it, ’cause it’s pretty awesome.

Chocolate toffee matzoh with sea salt.

Matzoh, for those of you who don’t know (where do you live, under a rock?!) is an unleavened bread usually-not but not always- made for and eaten at Passover.

There are numerous explanations behind the symbolism of matzo. One is historical: Passover is a commemoration of the exodus from Egypt. The biblical narrative relates that the Israelites left Egypt in such haste they could not wait for their bread dough to rise; the bread, when baked, was matzo. (Exodus 12:39). The other reason for eating matzo is symbolic: On the one hand, matzo symbolizes redemption and freedom, but it is also lechem oni, “poor man’s bread”. Thus it serves as a reminder to be humble, and to not forget what life was like in servitude. Also, leaven symbolizes corruption and pride as leaven “puffs up”. Eating the “bread of affliction” is both a lesson in humility and an act that enhances the appreciation of freedom.

Another explanation is that matzo has been used to replace the pesach, or the traditional Passover offering that was made before the destruction of the Temple. During the Seder the third time the matzo is eaten it is preceded with the Sephardic rite, “zekher l’korban pesach hane’ekhal al hasova”. This means “remembrance of the Passover offering, eaten while full”. This last piece of the matzo eaten is called afikoman and many explain it as a symbol of salvation in the future.

The Passover Seder meal is full of symbols of salvation, including the opening of the door for Elijah and the closing line, “Next year in Jerusalem,” but the use of matzo is the oldest symbol of salvation in the Seder.

Passover this year started on April 22 and is ending on May 1. There’s still a few days to enjoy this during the holiday, but you can even enjoy it long after. Who says you can’t have chocolate covered matzoh after Passover ends? No one. And if someone says that, don’t talk to them anymore. You don’t need that negativity.

Chocolate toffee matzoh with sea salt.

Back in, like, 1876, maybe even up until not that long ago, people would say I was in a “mixed marriage.” That’s an old timey and slightly off-putting and ignorant term for someone who married a person outside of their race/religion/etc. I was raised Catholic, Jay was raised Jewish. Neither of us still practices or believes in either religion, nor do we claim any religion whatsoever. That being said, the traditions and celebrations of both have made their way into our home. And that includes matzoh just like it does Easter eggs.

However, there is NO REASON why anyone, not just those of Jewish faith or Jewish descendants, should enjoy matzoh. It’s bread. It’s unleavened cracker-like bread.

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart, so don’t give me any credit. However I think you could make this with any combination of ingredients. Spread a bit of jelly and peanut butter on the matzoh and then cover in melted white chocolate. Use dark chocolate and dried berries or sliced almonds, or both. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on it. Use just plain chocolate. Use milk chocolate and crumbled potato chips. You can do just about anything.

But the recipe as written ain’t bad.

Chocolate toffee matzoh with sea salt.

CHOCOLATE TOFFEE SEA SALT MATZOH (adapted from Martha Stewart, by Phillip Guttmann)

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted, non-egg matzoh- enough to cover the bottom of the baking sheet you’re using in a single layer (I broke pieces of mine off to fill in empty spots)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • Coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250° degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper Place matzoh in an even layer on baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar and immediately reduce temperature to low. Cook, stirring, adjusting heat as necessary, until sugar has completely dissolved and begins to bubble. Drizzle toffee over matzoh and spread to cover using a spatula.
  3. Transfer toffee-covered matzoh to oven and bake until toffee has a rich, shiny sheen, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Tent matzoh with aluminum foil and let stand 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove foil tent and spread melted chocolate over matzoh to cover with an offset spatula; sprinkle with sea salt. Transfer matzoh to refrigerator and let chill at least 2 hours. You can also freeze for a quicker set.
  5. Break chilled matzoh into pieces. Matzoh will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature.

Chocolate toffee matzoh with sea salt.

For the sea salt, I like to use Maldon. I think it’s one of the prettiest salts ever. The crystals are sometimes shaped like little pyramid studs.

I also go a little overboard with my salt… you can use far less. I didn’t use salted butter in my toffee, so I felt the need to over compensate. I really like a salty toffee. If you don’t, then use unsalted. And the sea salt is optional, but I highly recommend it.

Chocolate toffee matzoh with sea salt.

And yes, I was listening to Prince while making these. So?

Soundtrack: “Darling Nikki” – Prince
Sources & Credits: Baking sheet; Wilton, Maldon sea salt; I got it at Sur La Table, Pyrex  Early American “fridgie”; vintage.
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