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12 Days of Cookies: Mandel Bread

12 Days of Cookies: Mandel Bread

It’s cookie season and people all around the world are baking, cutting, sprinkling, wrapping, and giving out all kinds of different cookies. To celebrate this festive time of the year and to bring you some new inspiration, we’re sharing 12 cookie recipes with you, one every day from now until Christmas Eve. These aren’t just any old cookie recipes, either — they’re recipes from cookie and history-enthusiast Anna Ginsberg and her cookbook The Daily Cookie, which is filled with 365 cookie recipes that honor and celebrate notable events throughout history. Along with giving you something new to bake in the kitchen, these 12 days of cookies give you a chance to win a copy of the book every day we share a recipe, so you’ll be able to enjoy a cookie recipe every day of the year, not just right before Christmas.

Today’s cookie is not so much a cookie, but bread, mandel bread to be exact, a traditional Jewish cookie recipe that Ginsberg describes as similar to a biscotti but "easier on the teeth." The great thing about this cookie recipe is that it’s double-baked, making it perfect for a cold winter day when you’re stuck inside.

Click here to see the Mandel Bread Recipe

Want more cookie recipes like this one? Tweet this (up to once a day): I just entered to win a copy of The Daily Cookie from @TheDailyMeal & @AndrewsMcMeel #12DaysofCookies — and a collection of 365 cookie recipes may be yours.

Click here to read how to enter to win a copy of The Daily Cookie

Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce

Mandelbrot | Mandel Bread | Eggless Almond Biscotti

I am going to share one of our favorite recipes today. It’s the Mandelbrot (in Yiddish) or Mandel Bread (in English). The name might sound different, but it’s the nothing but simple almond bread. It is one of the famous Jewish cookies. In Yiddish, Mandel means almond and brot means bread. It’s twice baked bread, and the crunchier exterior makes it more similar to biscotti. Today I am going to share the Eggless version of the almond biscotti.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s recipe, when you pick hard BM themes, you got to keep your eyes and ears open. I came across this recipe in the Baking Challenge show of food network during Christmas. One of the chefs tried a lot of Jewish recipes, and I liked the ingredients that went in. That’s when I started to explore more about the Jewish cuisine and picked few recipes for this marathon, and one of the recipes is this Mandelbrot cookie.

I know this cookie is pretty popular in the US too, but they prepare it with chocolate chips. I wanted to try the traditional almond-based one and finally stumbled upon this recipe. But I did not follow the recipe procedure, but I did refer it to note down the base ingredients. As always I replaced eggs but this time with flax meal. It adds great texture to the recipe and also provides the sufficient binding.

Perfect Pair for Coffee and Tea

The original recipe calls for almond extract, but as I had almond butter in my pantry, I went with that. We never thought we would fall in love with these biscotti and crave for it every day. No, seriously I am not exaggerating. After Ice cream bread, this is one of the recipes that I am baking quite often these days.

The crunchy exterior with soft interior with the almonds and walnuts with the flavor of vanilla and almond makes this cookie perfect pair for coffee and tea. (My personal choice is tea) If you are planning a tea party or get together, this is a perfect make ahead dessert and believe me no one can eat just one. -) Between can you believe we are halfway through the marathon? 13 down and 13 more to go.

Without any further ado, here is the recap from previous marathons and then the recipe. The printable recipe is at the bottom.

The perfect mandel bread recipe for Passover

This mandel bread recipe is just so easy and that’s the best thing about it (other than it tasting delicious, of course). One bowl and a hand mixer is all you need to make this recipe perfection. Some Passover recipes are fussy and don’t work consistently, but this recipe works every time.

The ingredients in this recipe are also simple. Potato starch and cake meal are staples in the Passover pantry and the other few ingredients are regular pantry staples. It takes just 5 minutes to put together the batter.

The hardest part of the recipe, is the batter needs to chill in the fridge for at least an hour so that the mandel bread doesn’t spread too much in the oven. I find that making the batter one day and then baking them the next, makes the whole process even faster.

12 Days of Cookies: Mandel Bread - Recipes


In a large bowl, mix 1/2 of the sugar with the butter. Beat at medium speed until light and creamy, stopping mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. While beating, add egg and vanilla (or other flavoring).

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt reduce mixing speed to low and add flour mixture to bowl.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and dip each one into cold water, then roll it in the remaining 1 cup of sugar.

Bake on ungreased baking sheet for 8-13 minutes or just until lightly golden. Leave ample space between cookies because they will spread.

Variations: Combine 1 packet or True Lemon with dipping sugar, or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, or flaked coconut or chopped nuts (almond, Macadamia, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, etc).

Recipe Summary

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Generously grease a large baking sheet set aside. Stir together the sugar, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl until the sugar dissolves. Combine flour and baking powder. Stir into egg mixture along with nuts, raisins, lemon peel, and almond extract (dough will be sticky). Form dough into two 12x3-inch logs on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Remove logs from oven and bias-cut into 1-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices on baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes more or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes 24 to 28 slices.


these days, our favorite thing to do on a cold snowy night (which is pretty much every night) is to wash up, get in our comfy clothes, and then head down the road to eggboy's parents' house to watch marathon runs of homeland on their big screen. it is like a staycation. egg eats soup, and together we predict every five minutes what is going to happen in the next five minutes. i'm usually wrong and eggboy is almost always right.

sometimes we burst out laughing because it's hard to take everything so seriously after that ridiculous saturday night live parody. but in general we're addicted.

we're about most of the way through season two, and i officially have a favorite character: saul berenson. i want to be his bff. he doesn't randomly stab people, he doesn't have jazz freak-outs, he isn't a double agent, he's the only logical, honest, real-life-like character. he is also really smart and he has a really great beard. i basically wish he could be my uncle.

i realized that i get the same feeling watching him as i do when i watch taystee on orange is the new black. i had a class with danielle (who plays taystee) back at juilliard, and what makes her so fun to watch in orange is the new black is that taystee comes so naturally to her. the happy, smiley, hilarious girl that is taystee is also danielle.

and i might be totally wrong about this, it could just be really wonderful acting, but last night it occurred to me that i wouldn't be surprised if the actor who plays saul is exactly like saul in real life.

so i internet researched him, or mandy patinkin, who plays him, and learned that 1) he played inigo montoya in the princess bride, 2) it's impossible to tell from the internet if saul berenson = mandy patinkin, and 3) mandy is short for mandel.

12 Days of Cookies: Mandel Bread - Recipes

As a follow-up to yesterday's post about veganizing my Grammy's mandel bread, I'm finally organized enough to share the recipe. Like biscotti, mandel bread can accommodate many different additions. Family favorites include candied ginger, dried cherries, cranberries, almonds, and pecans. The main difference between mandel bread and biscotti is vanilla vs. almond, respectively. Grammy's recipe used a dash of orange juice too, but I subbed with a couple drops (literally, drops) of orange extract. It's optional.

What makes these really tasty is their toastiness. If you can read the last 2 lines of the handwritten recipe, Grammy says to "Toast with fire for 10 min." I like that part.

Bubbie Baby's Vegan Mandel Bread
(adapted from family recipe and V-Con Biscotti)

1/3 cup soy milk
2 T ground flaxseed
1/2 cup sugar, heaping
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
drop or two of orange extract, or a tablespoon of orange juice
1 cup all-purpose flour + 2/3 cup WW pastry flour (or all AP if you prefer)
2 T arrowroot powder or cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Cinnamon and sugar from dredging

2 Sisters Are Taking Cookies to the Next Level With Miss Mandel Bread

Don't get me wrong, Spoon meetings are the one of the highlights of my week, but this particular week was quite special. We were given the opportunity to try Miss Mandel Bread's famous chocolate chip and funfetti cookies.

Brandon Fishman

Elise, our marketing director, started out the introduction to these cookies saying that not only were our samples were so graciously given to us but hand-delivered by the creators themselves. This should key you in about how awesome Dara and Mari are.

Their story begins with two sisters both not enjoying their jobs that involved sitting in front of computer screens all day. Their father always encouraged entrepreneurship, especially because it runs in their family, so they decided to experiment with the family recipe of mandel bread.

Little did they know that while looking for other jobs, the mandel bread was about to become their new job. From giving samples to family and friends, the feedback was extraordinary, leading them to make batches and batches of mandel bread with minor adjustments. But, those minor adjustments just didn't seem right and they stuck with the original.

In October, they began to send samples to Instagram followers, Spoon University groups and even Mr. Delivery in Bloomington, IN during homecoming weekend (PSA to students at IU: you're so damn lucky).

Not only are they supporting Spoon Chapters and giving special shoutouts to their loyal instagram-ers, but they also hope to give back to the community. They've sold cookies at a Halloween carnival at an elementary school in Miami (U Miami students go order now) and in March, they plan on donating the cookies as dessert at an auction hosted by another school in the Miami area.

With flavors like the classic chocolate chip and the beautiful (Instagrammable) funfetti, the samples have been a hit and sales have really picked up.

Brandon Fishman

While tasting these at the meeting all I could think is: it's so little, but so powerful. Their shape isn't the typical round cookie, it is more of a "french fry." It is long, thick, and has just the right amount of crunch. However, this is definitely dangerous because since it isn't so big, I definitely could've eaten 10-12 of them.

This family recipe for sure needs to be passed down for the rest of eternity. Look out for holiday orders online and see for yourself what the hype is all about.

Kosher Camembert

My first seder this year had all the familiar comforts of traditional Ashkenazi fare surrounded by family. We ordered dinner from the same caterer we’ve been relying on for over 30 years since the first Passover my Bubbie hosted after her husband, my Poppie, passed away. The menu’s remained virtually identical over all those years (though this time we went crazy and got mashed potatoes instead of roasted), and we like it that way.

For the second seder, I returned to New York and went to the James Beard House where Chef Raffi Cohen of Raphael in Tel Aviv prepared a Sephardic feast. While I don’t typically eat kitniyot – legumes, grains, and seeds – on the holiday, I was happy to partake and experience another way of celebrating. The room was filled with flowers – not in vases, but adorning hair and lapels with headbands and boutonnieres that the organizers had woven together in the weeks leading up to dinner.

The flowers and the menu – fresh fava beans, artichokes, young lamb, corn “couscous” – reminded me that Passover is also known as “chag ha’aviv,” the holiday of spring.

I’ll be spending the last days of Passover with my Atlanta family and baked a few sweet snacks to bring along. While I never got around to trying Claudia Roden’s almond orange cake like I said I would, I have developed a mandel bread recipe.

One of the fun things about Passover cooking is the challenge that ingredient limitations bring. Granted, I’m lucky enough not to have to pull off entire meals, so I can find joy in making just a few special dishes. I love biscotti and thought that mandel bread would be a worthy trial of my own self-inflicted Passover baking restrictions: no matzah meal, no cake meal, no potato starch.

Mandelbrodt in Yiddish means almond bread, and I was determined to come up with a recipe that only uses 100% almond flour. Extensive searching yielded few results (thanks Molly and Jessica for helping me on my quest) and both of those recipes used little to no egg. Eggs are important for biscotti and their double-baked brethren. Which brings us to a little science and how I worked out this recipe. I’ve done enough experimenting with biscotti to have figured out a few tricks to yield cookies that are crispy and crunchy but not tooth-shatteringly hard. (Remind me to tell you about the job I clinched with a presentation about biscotti).

Mandel bread typically contains oil which results in a moister, crumblier cookie compared to biscotti, but since I was using almond flour which has a lot of its own oil, I figured I could hold off on the oil and see how things turned out. (Plus, I didn’t feel like going out to buy Passover vegetable oil.)

To prevent the cookies from becoming leaden, I whipped the eggs with sugar for a good five minutes. This aerates the dough and helps the mandel bread stay light and airy. I learned this trick from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery.

Most mandel bread recipes call for baking powder, but I substituted baking soda (doesn’t require special Passover certification, plus, I didn’t feel like going to to buy Passover baking powder – are you sensing a theme here?) and then added a little bit of lemon juice as an acid to activate the chemical leavener.

No worries. I’ll just leave you with the recipe.

Chocolate chunk mandelbrodt/mandel bread

– 3 eggs
– 1 C sugar
– 1/2 t almond extract (optional)
– 1/2 t baking soda
– 1 t lemon juice
– 4 C almond flour
– 1 C raw almonds, chopped
– 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped or 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prep. Heat the oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whip. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a hand-held mixer), beat together the eggs, sugar, and extract on medium-high for 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture is light and thick and lemon colored.

Mix. Switch to the paddle attachment on your mixer or grab a large spoon or spatula. Mix in the baking soda and lemon juice. Gently fold in the almond flour just until it’s incorporated – the mixture will be thick and sticky. Mix in the nuts and chocolate.

Bake. Form the dough into two long, skinny logs on the baking sheet, about 16 inches long and 2 inches wide, making sure to leave space between them because they will spread a bit. There will be a lot of patting and nudging, but eventually you’ll wrangle it into the right shape. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them too much. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the logs are golden brown, cracked, and firm to the touch in the middle.

Lower heat. Reduce oven to 300ºF.

Cool. Allow the loaves to cool on the baking sheet for about 20 minutes until they’re cool enough to handle.

Slice. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board and, with a sharp serrated knife, slice on a diagonal into 1/2-inch cookies, approximately 2 dozen per loaf.

Bake again. Return the slices, cut side down, to the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the sheet, flip the slices, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Cool. Let cool completely.

Store. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Chip and Orange Mandel Bread

Approx 24 pieces

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Zest of 1 orange

For cinnamon-sugar topping
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Add the butter and 1 cup of sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium-high speed until it's blended. Mix in the vanilla.
3. Put the stand mixer on its lowest setting and carefully add the flour mixture. Mix until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. The dough should be sticky.
4. Add chocolate chips and orange zest and mix to incorporate with dough.
5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or you can do 30 minutes in the freezer).
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7. Divide the dough and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Mold the dough into two, 3 inch wide loaves.
8. Bake for 25 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 250 degrees.
10. Transfer the baked loaves onto a cutting board and slice each loaf at a diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices.
11. Return the slices to the baking sheet and sprinkle half the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the cut-side of the mandel bread. Flip the slices over and sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar on top.
12. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
13. Remove from oven. Let cool before consuming.

Watch the video: Παξιμάδια λεμονιού Lemon biscotti (December 2021).