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Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot

Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot Related:   desserts & sweets, Europe, kid-friendly, pareve, vegetarian

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 24–30 cookies

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Mandelbrot (almond bread in Yiddish) was a popular dessert among Ashkenazim in Eastern Europe. Not only was it delicious, but it was also pareve. This recipe comes from Rachel Abramson, who was a co-founder of the Kosher Kitchen. When she was the head of the kitchen at Camp Ramah in the Poconos, she added the chocolate chips for the campers. It was a favorite there and at the Kosher Kitchen, where it was often enjoyed with a glass of tea. It will be served after the Fabrangen Fiddler Benefit Concert for the Kosher Kitchen documentary film on Sunday, October 29 at the JCC of Greater Washington starting at 7:30 pm.

When you make them, double the recipe, and freeze some. You can never have too many.

Ingredients

  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) almond extract
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Put everything in large bowl except chocolate and cinnamon-sugar mixture. Mix well to form a soft, sticky dough. Stir in chocolate chips. Form into 2 long, flat loaves on baking sheet. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over loaves. Bake for half an hour. Slice while hot, then let cool completely.

6 Responses

  1. Susan Ginsburg says:

    I wonder if this recipe is incomplete: typically, the loaves are sliced and the slices laid on a baking sheet and baked until crisp. ( I checked Gil Marks and Arthur Schwartz for confirmation.)

    I was living in Silver Spring during this time period (1955 to 1981, actually), shopping at the Bethesda Co-op, and I wonder why I didn’t know about this. I’m sorry I missed it.

    • Merav Levkowitz Merav Levkowitz says:

      Hi Susan,
      This is the response from Ira:
      I checked with Rachel Abramson about this and she says that in 1975, no one made mandelbrot that way. Certainly not in Eastern Europe. She thinks that it became popular to cut it and bake it more to be crispier sometime in the 80s. We never put it back in the oven and no one ever complained. It was one of our more popular dishes. It is hard to think that in Eastern Europe they would cut it and put it again in the oven especially since many didn’t have an oven at home and instead used the ovens of a community bakery. I think that the notion to cut it and to continue to bake it might have been inspired by the Italian biscotti cookies, which are drier and less cake-like than traditional mandelbrot.

      Sorry to hear that you missed Kosher Kitchen, but hope you can join for the event on Sunday!

  2. Marilyn says:

    Are any of these recipes adaptable to high altitude cooking ? I live at 7000’ and baking is nearly impossible because of the altitude !! Any recommendations are appreciated !
    Thanks,
    Marilyn

  3. Marlene OH says:

    I wish my aunts had left me their recipes – and my dear friend Dorothy, too.

    Dorothy made hers so she could eat them – without sugar. They were delicious!

    Baking is not my forté but eating is!

  4. Marlene OH says:

    Oops … forgot to mention my father was born in Budapest.

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