unleavened and unloved

Matzah is perhaps the most innocuous yet polarizing food I have ever known. For many people, the mere mention of matzah conjures looks of complete disgust and utterances of descriptors such as “bland,” “gag-inducing,” and “cardboard-box-like.” Then you have people on the opposite side of the spectrum, like my father, who buy matzah in bulk every spring so they can eat it year-round. It’s likely not matzah itself that people hate so much. After all, it’s really just a giant plain cracker. But rather, it’s what matzah represents: eight long days of unleavened torture, where soft slices of sandwich bread, tender cakes, and oodles of noodles are uniformly wiped out and replaced by a crispy, flat, and admittedly sub-flavorful food.

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I personally am a member of the matzah loving camp and would argue that this poor little unleavened creation deserves a bit more credit for all its versatility. While my enjoyment of matzah will never near that of my father’s, I do happily eat my fair share come Passover time: scrambled with eggs as matzah brei, as a scooper for hummus, or simply spread with butter and a topped with a sprinkle of salt.

However, in our family, there is one ultimate way to eat matzah:

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That would be Chocolate Toffee Matzah, a Passover confection that my mom and I have been making for over a decade. This indulgent matzah treat is clearly a Passover dessert darling of many beyond our family, as I have seen countless similar recipes printed across the internet. However, I would be remiss to not share this delicious family tradition here on sugarcured.

A quickly boiled toffee topping of melted butter and brown sugar is placed on sheets of matzah, baked for a few minutes, and then topped with chocolate chips. The softened chocolate is spread atop the toffee and allowed to set in the fridge. In a couple of hours, chocolate toffee matzah bliss in yours.

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If you are a matzah hater, this recipe will make you a convert. If you’ve never had matzah before, I hope this recipe makes you run out and buy a box (although word on the street is that you can adapt this same technique with saltine crackers). And if you are a matzah lover, I hope this recipe will only make you show it all the more lovin’.

Chocolate Toffee Matzah

5-6 sheets of matzah

½ cup (1 stick) butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 400. Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Lay down sheets of matzah to cover the entire surface of the pan (you’ll have to break the sheets to make them fit). In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together. Allow mixture to come to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Pour toffee mixture over matzah and spread it to evenly coat the sheets. Bake for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Return to oven for 1 minute. Remove from oven and spread the melted chips out evenly across the matzah. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature and then place pan in refrigerator for at least 3 hours before breaking into smaller pieces. Store broken pieces in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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