My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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better than biscotti

Many of you asked for the baked buffalo recipe that I talked about on yesterday’s post.  Here is the link! Instead of pouring hot sauce on top, Kurtz used this buffalo sauce.  I’m not a huge buffalo sauce person, but Chris loves this sauce too!

I’ve never been the biggest fan of biscotti.  I mean, it’s okay.  But, I’ve never taken a bite of a biscotti and squealed with joy.  What is the big deal about biscotti?  It’s coated in chocolate?  So what…it’s still stale.  Dip it in coffee you say?  Now why would I want to chomp on a wet, soggy cookie?

Maybe I don’t like biscotti because mandel bread has always been a part of my life.

Yes, that is the reason!

Maybe it’s not fair to say that I don’t like biscotti, because biscotti means “twice baked,” and these cookies are twice baked.  Thanks Wikipedia! Mandelbrodt, or mandel bread, is a traditional Jewish dessert cookie.  Very similar to Italian biscotti, but somehow, so much better!

My grandma has made these ever since I can remember and for some reason, mine never come out the same.  I think it’s because she doesn’t really measure.  She just “shits it in.”  [My grandma does not have a potty mouth, however, those words are hers not mine ;)]

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This is different from any other cookie recipe I’ve ever made.  It takes a minute to get used to, but is actually pretty simple.

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Add eggs to a large mixing bowl.  Guess what?  No need for a stand mixer or hand mixer.  You just need a fork or wooden spoon!

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Pure cane sugar added.

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Oil added.

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Whisked until completely combined.

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Then, add in the flour, in 3 increments.

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About 2.5-3c of fluffy white flour.

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The dough will be thick.  Similar to a chocolate chip cookie dough.

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Aluminum-free baking powder is the way to go.

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Each ingredient is combined one at a time.

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Chopped walnuts are added.

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The dough is stirred again.

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The the hardest part, is forming the dough on a cookie sheet.

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Lightly grease a cookie sheet and plop the dough down into 3 equal piles.  You will need either 1 large + 1 medium pan, or 3 medium pans.  Shape the dough by pressing it around with a spatula.  The dough spread around until it’s about 1/2” thick.  The dough is about 7” wide at it’s largest point.

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It takes about 30min to bake at 350*.  When it’s golden brown and the edges are a bit darkened, it’s done.

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Cut immediately, being careful not to scratch your pan.  I like to use a large pizza blade.

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Cut straight down the middle and then cut into 1 – 1.5” segments.  You will typically get around 60 pieces per batch.

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When you cut the dough, it will feel slightly soft.  Not to worry.  It will crisp up in the oven and then more once it cools.

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Turn pieces on their side and bake for another 5 minutes.

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After taking them out of the oven, let them cool completely.  They will harden and become deliciously crunchy, but not so crunchy that they break your teeth.

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The flavor is mild, but something about them is just

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They have a nutty + slightly sweet flavor.  There are a lot of variations you could make to this recipe.  You could add almonds instead of walnuts and add a little almond extract, if you choose.  What about adding chocolate chips?  I’m sure it would work!

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Right now I’m working on getting them more like when my grandma would make them.  See how smooth they are on top?  My grandma’s were never that smooth.  They had a rougher textured top.  I have no clue why!

Even though they aren’t exactly like I remember them, they are still completely delicious.  They are perfect in the morning with a cup of coffee, tea, milk or orange juice.  For some reason, they go really well with OJ!

Since this recipe makes such a large quantity, you could easily divide it by 3, for a 20 cookie batch.  Or, what I like to do, is bag + freeze them.  They taste perfect straight out of the freezer!  I typically don’t even thaw them but munch on one as I’m making my morning oats.

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I’ve tried a few other versions as well.

  • vegan with half whole wheat half white flour

  • half whole wheat half white flour with some applesauce

  • all whole wheat with a little more applesauce

So far, the vegan version came out great!  I want to give it one more trial before I type up the recipe though.  The versions with applesauce, were slightly soft.  The applesauce made them slightly cakey.  They didn’t hold their crunch.  I think mixing half whole wheat pastry flour and half white flour, is totally doable though!

Mandel Bread [makes appx. 60pcs]

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1c sugar

  • 3/4c canola oil

  • 2 1/2 – 3c flour

  • 1tsp vanilla

  • 1 heaping tsp. baking powder

  • 3/4c chopped walnuts

  1. In a large bowl, stir eggs with wooden spoon.

  2. Stir in sugar.

  3. Stir in canola oil until combined.

  4. Stir in vanilla.

  5. Stir in sifted flour + baking powder slowly, in 3 increments.  The dough should be stiff.  Add more flour if needed. [think chocolate chip cookie dough consistency]

  6. Stir in nuts.

  7. Preheat oven to 350* and set dough in fridge ~15min.

  8. On a multiple baking sheets, lightly greased, portion out dough into 3 equal pieces.

  9. Spread around with a spatula, into a oblong shape, until the dough is about 1/2” thick and about 6” at it’s widest point.  Make sure to keep a 2” clear space around the dough, to allow room for spreading.  If baking two pieces on one pan, leave 4” in between them.

  10. Bake for about 30* until golden brown all over.

  11. Cut down the center, and then width-wise into ~1” width pieces. ~20 pieces

  12. Flip on sides + bake for 5 more minutes.

  13. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to fully cool.  *It’s important they cool all the way before storing, or they won’t stay crisp.

  14. Store in foil and leave on the counter, or in a plastic bag.  If not going to eat within 1 week, store in the freezer.

You could easily bake a few batches at once, store them in the freezer, and take them out as needed.  They don’t degrade in the freezer at all!

As I make changes or try new variations, I’ll definitely keep you updated.  I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I have over the years!

<3 Ashley

Reader Comments (63)

YUM ! fun post, I LOVE your grandma and her non-measuring ways. :D

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristina @ spabettie

Oohh they look tasty! I actually really like biscotti :) I made some hazelnut and chocolate chip ones once - soo good!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFreya (Brit Chick Runs)

Jew bread!!!!!!!!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey

I really like biscotti too, so much so that I tried making some last weekend. We'll just say that my recipe still needs some tweaking. Actually it's not even close.

Maybe I should just make these instead!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Yum! Looks incredible. And I love your step-by-step photo instructions <3

My grandma never measured a thing! I can't get things to taste exactly like hers either.

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

I've tried making biscotti before but mine definitely didn't turn out nearly as good as yours look. Wow, how incredible that you can take a recipe that you've never even attempted before and make it look like something right out of Gourmet Magazine!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Thanks for the variations - I found myself wondering as I was reading, "hmm I wonder if I can use applesauce"... if I were to try this GF, what kind of flour do you think woiuld work best? I have brown rice flour and an all purpose mix with potato flour and chickpea flour.

Oh... your local Jewish blogger approves of this recipe :) My grandma used to make mandel bread with pieces of heath bar in it.

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMara @ What's For Dinner?

Wow, this looks amazing. When I first started cooking my mom would make fun of me for my meticulous measuring-down to the 1/8 teaspoon! I've gotten to the point where I don't have to measure as much for cooking, but always for baking! Way to easy to screw up to not measure. Maybe when I'm a grandma I'll get to that point. :-)

*Way TOO easy...oops.

Looks fantastic!

oh my gosh, i want to give your grandma a hug for saying that...awesome! these look amazing!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather (Heather's Dish)

These look great. My Italian grandmother always made biscotti but I never liked it--it's hard and, you're right, kind of stale.

Jews do it better...hehehe. (btw - bet you didn't know I'm half Jewish, did you? ;))

I actually do like biscotti, but I will definitely take your word that this mandel bread is tastier. I'm thinking it'd be a great cookie to make around the holidays - especially since it makes such a huge batch. Cookies = the best gift :)

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGracie

What is it about grandmas? They never measure a thing and it taste perfect every time!!

I happen to LOVE biscotti! So if this is better than biscotti, I'll probably devour it!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEstela @ Weekly Bite

Those look a lot like biscotti. I'm surprised you like them if you don't like biscotti.

mandel mania!!!!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Once I made great chocolate biscotti, but nobody ate them :/
I actually prefer soft cookies and dough, but crunch with a cup of coffee actually is a great thing

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarina

These look delicious! I love making biscotti, so I think I will have to give mandel bread a try!


My Mom loooves Mandel bread and since I am broke as a joke, guess whose recipe I am using for the holidays? Yep!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

Oh I am SO glad you posted this! I can personally vouch for how GOOD this is! AND it got the seal of approval from a 2-year-old! These are BOMB people!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

you make it seem easy! I am not very good at baking, but I might have to try these out.

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

These look SO good. I'll need to make them soon!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie @SavvyEats

I was just about to say, some of the best I've had was studded with little Heath bits!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSummer

I have never had mandel but I can't wait to try the vegan version...sounds and looks great lady!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

hmmm totally interesting! I love biscotti so I bet I'd love this too :)

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstephchows

These look delicious! I totally know what you mean that they really do look like a version of biscotti--I've never been a fan either. They hurt my teeth and are generally dull tasting, but I have had homemade cranberry/pistachio biscotti that were really good actually. So maybe its just technique?

I actually love homemade biscotti. The kind you buy in the store isn't so great, stale like you put it. But homemade biscotti can be soft. I make a pumpkin biscotti every year that I love!

I love the simple recipe that Mandel Bread is. I must try it!!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFallon

Ha! You're grandma is hilarious! I'm going to start using that saying! :)

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I love this tutorial! I've heard of Mandel bread before but never tried it. I'm not a huge fan of biscotti, either. The version with whole wheat and applesauce sounds great too!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne

I've never really understood the love of biscotti either. I don't like hard cookies. I like chewy. The flavors of these sound completely delicious though!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTina @ Faith Fitness Fun

That link about the baking powder was very interesting.

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnanda

your step by step photos are so pretty! I am such an amateur when it comes to food photos!
Cathy B.

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBright Bakes

How are those NOT biscotti? Answer: because you said they aren't. :) I can't wait for the vegan version. I want to dip them in your maple cinnamon almond butter with sea salt. Oh yeah...

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMama Pea

YUM! you're grandmother's words crack me up!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

You may get to do that sometime soon....wink wink. Also, I guess I've never had homemade maybe they are more similar than I think :)

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks Jeanne! They were good..but not quite as good. More playing to do!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Well, I have never made homemade it probably is quite similar. I'm sure yours is delicious. I was already planning pumpkin mandel bread!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I'm sure that has a lot to do with it!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hahaha :)

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Perfect for the holidays!!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes..they are very similar. I guess I've never had homemade biscotti, but have had it from bakeries before. It's always so hard and airy. These are a little thicker in texture and not quite as hard.

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Whaaat!! I'm a 1/2 too! Did you have a Bat Mitzvah? I did! :) Yes, these would make a great gift...maybe a molasses spiced version for the holidays!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

LOL!! Heath bar?? Is that kosher?? ;)

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Oooh, not sure I can help you on that one! I haven't experimented with GF baking at all. Let me know if you try it out!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aww, thanks Lauren!!!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thank you love :)

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

hahahaha...your favorite! forgot to link to the time you posted about it!!!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yum yum and yummy!!!! I am terrified to make bread, pie crust etc but these is more like a cookie so I am sure I could tackle it!!!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNichole@FlirtingwFood

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