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