Thursday, April 21, 2011

Matzoh Toffee Bark

So you've spent a week eating matzoh with anything you can think of (I have personally eaten it so far with various nut butters, tuna salad, charoset, and jam).  Maybe you've eaten more matzoh balls than you'd care to admit at this point.  Yet, somehow, seemingly still have matzoh leftover. 

So what to do with all that extra unleavened goodness?  Here's one very simple, easy, and quick way to turn it into something amazing.  Think of it as a Matzoh Makeover - you won't recognize it, I swear!  This toffee bark comes from a recipe that my friend Lisa used to make for us when we lived with three other roommates in college.  Lisa is an artist, which is perhaps why she has managed to turn even toffee bark production into an art form.  She knows exactly when the sugar and butter are juuuust browned enough to be done, without letting it get so browned that it burns.  She would work her magic and we would sit around the finished product, breaking piece after piece of this deliciously crunchy and sweet treat as we chatted late into the night.

While I admit the thought of burning the sugar was daunting to me as well, truly, the hardest thing about this recipe is letting it sit in your fridge long enough to get crunchy without eating it.  I think it took me 15 or 20 minutes from start to finish to make it, and 5 of those consisted of waiting while it was in the oven. And if you don't have matzoh, you can try it with your favorite gluten-free crackers instead.  Just try to use a lightly salted kind that will be as close to saltines or Ritz crackers as possible (Glutino crackers come to mind as a possible alternative, although I have not tried them in this recipe myself).

I won't lie to you.  This is really, really addictive stuff.  It has a wonderful sweet and slightly salty flavor (although I almost am tempted to add a bit of extra salt if I make it again since my matzohs were unsalted.  Chocolate + salt = heaven.).  The matzoh I used is thinner than most saltines - which is what the original recipe calls for - but it still worked really well in this recipe.  It gives it that lovely crunch you want it to have.  If you're feeling like it, drizzle some peanut butter onto the hot sugar and crackers before spreading the chocolate on.  That may be taking it a step too far for some people.  But for peanut butter fiends (we know who we are), it will make this even more of a treat.

Go ahead.  Indulge.  Breathe some life (and, um, butter and sugar) into that leftover matzoh.

Matzoh Toffee Bark
Makes an 8 x 8 tray of toffee bark

2 matzohs, broken into smaller pieces OR your favorite lightly salted gluten-free crackers (the best ones for this recipe will have the texture and taste of Ritz or saltine crackers--but gluten-free)
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread (1 stick)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe's brand)
Handful of sprinkles (Let's Do....Organic sprinkles are gluten-free!) or chopped nuts (optional)
Sea sal to taste (for sprinkling on top)
Optional: 2 - 4 tbsp. slightly melted peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Line an 8 x 8 pan with a sheet of parchment paper.

Break the matzohs into pieces and spread them evenly over the wax paper.

In a small pan, melt the butter and sugar together over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then continue to boil for exactly 5 minutes.  Pour over the matzoh in the pan, spreading it evenly.  Place in the oven for 5 - 7 minutes, but watch it very carefully.  It should be bubbling and just barely brown around the edges when you take it out.  If you leave it in longer - even a few minutes longer - it might burn.  I left mine in the oven for exactly 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

Immediately upon removing it from the oven, spread the chocolate chips evenly over the hot mixture.  (If you're adding peanut butter, drizzle that on first and spread it around.)  If the chocolate chips don't melt right away, place the pan back in the oven for 30 seconds or so until you can spread them.  Spread them out evenly to form a thick layer of chocolate over the whole thing, and then sprinkle the sprinkles or mixed nuts evenly on top (if you are using them).  Let cool for a bit, but before it's totally cooled, sprinkle sea salt over the top (to your own taste) and then place in the fridge for several hours to chill.  Once it's chilled, flip it out of the pan and peel the wax paper off and break it into smaller pieces.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for as long as they last!  You can also freeze them if you want to keep them for longer.


Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

omgomgomg, this looks so incredible. i want to buy matzoh just for this! love love love bark like this!!

Claire Berman said...

Elina, you have to make it in that case! You could try this with any crackers (preferably salted ones) if you don't have matzoh. You'll love it :)

Enjoy - and thanks for your comment!

Anna said...

sounds amazing. glad i found this right in time for pesach!

Claire Berman said...

Hi Anna, you're going to love it!! I'm glad you found it just in time :)
I hope you enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Did you use gluten-free matzah? If so, what brand?

Claire Berman said...

Hello! I used gluten-free matzo that is produced by an Israeli company called Yehuda. I found it at Whole Foods. Hope that helps -- good luck!