Sunday, April 8, 2012

Matzoh Candy

Dear Mouse,

Helena: (after a pause) "God how beautiful the weather is!"
Vanya: "God how I wish I were dead!"
-Uncle Vanya (Target Margin, after Anton Chekhov)

Cough. Sneeze. Hand sanitizer. Sigh. Sneeze. Cough. Repeat.

Happy Spring!

                                       whimsical/seasonal timer provided by The Mother

"Why don't you just go to Zabar's?" he asked.

The speaker was my cast mate X, looking at me quizzically as a group of us left the windowless, freezing, cement-walled dare i say Siberia-esque fourth-floor walkup space in which we are rehearsing, what else, Chekhov for (god help me) only two remaining weeks. And I will forgive him for asking said question on the grounds that A) I was talking groggily about getting home in time to make matzoh candy for Passover while blowing my nose repeatedly and must have looked pathetic B) he doesn't know me. Or our family. I need not explain here, I think, why even my paltry kitchen contribution to the High Holiday Feast still had to have been homemade. To bring a store bought dessert item to our Aunt's table ... it's not up for discussion, so we won't discuss.
Fun fact: at least according to this recipe, the slabs of matzoh are actually referred to as "boards", which basically confirms for us all that they are, indeed, made of cardboard. But what delicious cardboard! 

Caramel. That's how I roll.

I am happy to report, however, that this delectable, rich, sugary unleavened treat is sooooooo easy anyone can make it, with almost any sliver of spare time, even doped up on Mucinex or in a DayQuil Road Rage Haze (or both). Four ingredients. 20-30 minutes all told, really. Crunchy, buttery, caramelly, chocolatey... people go crazy for it. And if you feel guilty for having one of the best desserts despite putting in almost no work -- well, hey, that's just in the spirit of the holiday... right? somehow??

Happy Passover! And since I'm about to take the second batch down to you and The Husband for Easter Dinner, Happy Easter too!! Finally, a year-round use for matzoh.

Matzoh Brittle

4-6 unsalted matzoh boards
1 C butter (2 sticks)
3/4 C chocolate chips
1 C brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Line baking tray/sheet with tinfoil, then with parchment paper (very important! The first time I made this I used wax paper and spent a very long time trying to peel melted wax off otherwise decent candy ... unsuccessfully.) Place matzoh boards on parchment, breaking up pieces as needed to fill in all spaces as much as possible.  Put butter and sugar in a pot on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 3 minutes more, stirring constantly, then take off heat and pour over matzoh. (Be careful!!! Caramel burns are NO JOKE). Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 350. Bake for 15 min. If you feel like it's browning too fast or may burn, lower to 325, but mine was fine. Remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with chocolate chips. Wait 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate all over the caramel.  While it's still warm, cut into squares or odd jagged shapes (which I prefer), then put in fridge til it sets (freezer is ok too I found).