A few weeks ago, my sister Katy asked me if I had a chocolate mandelbrot recipe. I made her some cinnamon mandelbrot last time she was in town. She really enjoyed them, so I taught her how to make them. As we were going through the recipe, she asked if they could be made with chocolate. Katy loves chocolate… in fact, I think it’s safe to say she’s a choco-holic. I had some pretty good chocolate mandelbrot recipes, but none that were good and chocolaty enough for my sis. She deserves the very best! So, I created the recipe I’m sharing with you today… I call it my Triple Chocolate Almond Mandelbrot. Chocolate mandelbrot dough with chocolate chips, dipped in chocolate. Did I mention chocolate??
For those of you who don’t know about these delicious cookies, mandelbrot are an Ashkenazi Jewish dessert dating back to the early nineteenth century. They are closely related to the Italian cookies known as biscotti, which were first made in the Middle Ages. The word mandelbrot means almond (mandel) and bread (brot) in both German and Yiddish. In America, these tasty little cookies are known as mandel bread. Typically mandelbrot are twice-baked, which makes them crispy and crunchy. They’re perfect for dipping in your tea or coffee.
This recipe is pretty simple, but it will take some planning, because the dough needs to chill at least 2 hours in the fridge before you shape it. Since this recipe was an experiment of sorts, I just used what I had in the pantry. I had a couple of bags of large Ghiradelli chocolate chips, which were yummy but a little tough to work with (they take longer to cool and harden then regular-sized chips). Next time, I’ll probably use regular-sized chocolate chips or chunks. Also, I chopped up some slivered almonds because that’s what I had in the pantry. I think thinly sliced whole almonds would work better (and look prettier). You could also just chop up some regular skin-on almonds… really, whatever you have on hand will work fine! The almonds add a nice crunch and texture to the mandebrot, and the nuttiness balances out all of that rich, chocolaty goodness.
They turned out so beautiful. My sister was VERY happy. Try them and let me know what you think!
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- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup coarsely chopped or sliced almonds
- 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks (semisweet, dark, or white)
- 12 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped (for melting)
You will also need
- Electric hand or stand mixer, mixing bowls, sifter, plastic wrap, 1 or 2 baking sheets, cooling rack, parchment or wax paper
- Use pareve chocolate and cocoa to keep this dessert pareve/dairy free
- Using your electric mixer, mix together eggs, sugar, canola oil, vanilla and salt on medium high speed until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing on medium low after each addition, until a smooth, sticky dough forms.
- Add the almonds and chocolate chips and use the mixer to incorporate them into the dough.
- Place the dough in a bowl that will easily fit in your refrigerator.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Let the dough chill for at least 2 hours. You can chill it up to 48 hours before baking.
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the dough into four equal sections inside the bowl.
- Lightly grease your hands with canola oil. Take the 4 sections of chilled dough and form 4 long, thick rows or rectangles on the baking sheet. Each row should be about 3 ½ inches wide. Make sure you leave at least 1 inch between rows, as they will expand during baking. I usually put the fourth row on a second baking sheet so there is plenty of extra room for spreading. You can squeeze them all on one sheet if you prefer, but you might want to make the rows a bit narrower.
- Bake mandelbrot for 25 minutes. I like to line my baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Take mandelbrot out of the oven and let the oven cool to 275 degrees F.
- While oven is cooling, slice the 4 rows into ½ inch wide biscotti-sized slices.
- Put the slices cut-side down back onto the cookie, then bake at 275 degrees F for another 20 minutes, or until crisp. The longer they stay in the oven, the crisper they’ll be. Keep an eye on the texture and don’t over-bake, or the mandelbrot will dry out. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack.
- Slowly melt the dark or semisweet chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave till smooth.
- Dip the mandelbrot into the chocolate. There are two ways to do this. The first way (which dries the prettiest) works best with a rack. Line the surface below the rack with paper to protect your countertop. Take a mandelbrot and dip the upper mounded half of the mandelbrot lengthwise into the chocolate.
- Turn the wet chocolate-coated side up and place it on the rack to dry.
- For the second dipping method, you’ll need a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Melt the chocolate in a narrow container, so the chocolate pool is deep. Dip the mandebrot endwise to coat the lower half of each piece with chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip off the bottom of the mandelbrot.
- Place the chocolate dipped pieces onto the paper-lined sheet and allow to dry.
- You’ll need to leave the pieces for at least one hour to dry (they may take longer depending on the weather). You can put the pieces in the refrigerator if you want them to firm up more quickly.
- Store in an airtight container up to five days. For a longer shelf life, wrap each individual cookie in foil, place in a sealed plastic bag, and freeze for up to three weeks.
- Soft Mandelbrot Variation: You can use this recipe to make a softer cookie by only baking it for 25 minutes and skipping the second 20 minute baking cycle (which in essence “toasts” the cookies). Just make sure your cookies have baked all the way through after the first baking cycle – if the center of the cookies appear moist, bake for another few minutes until fully cooked. Keep a close eye on the cookies to make sure they don’t over-bake. This will give you a “soft” mandelbrot cookie.
If you really want to be naughty, you can dip your mandelbrot in a hot, creamy cafe mocha– which would make it a Quadruple Chocolate Almond Mandelbrot. Bete’avon!