There has been a Hew and Cry for my Matzoh Crunch recipe which until now has been top secret (however retrievable on the internet as are all things). On the second night of Passover we went to the Solomon’s – Alan’s cousin’s home – just like we always do every year for the past million years. It was bittersweet this year. This is the last Agoura Hills Solomon Passover because they are moving to New Jersey to be close to David’s new job. David has already started work and so he was not at home to preside over the Seder this year – it was led by Deb who did a beautiful job on the last Seder in their California home.
I know it’s not easy and it’s a big jolt and jarring change in their lives but they are on to new pastures and we, of course, are totally excited for them and it will be very fun to visit in their new gorgeous home in the East. The kids will follow them undoubtedly(Jen has one more year of college here in California and Max is just starting that fun journey!) and they will grow to love the snow and the many joys and gifts of the East (which us old folk already know and appreciate). Not to mention that NYC is just a short jaunt away and it’s one of my very favorite places. Deb – we’ll be out to bother you in no time flat!
So last night was Passover and Deb made a most amazing Seder dinner for 15 people or so – in just a few short hours as she had just returned from a trip to the new homestead where she met with painters and electricians and sound people and all of that good stuff (and she’s off again in the next day or so to do a college trip with Max – racking up those frequent flyer miles Deb!). Because of her insane schedule, she relented and let me do a little more this year than she usually permits so that was fun. My contribution was brisket (will post about that later), hard-boiled eggs cooked and peeled by my darling husband, flourless chocolate cake – always a huge hit, and the famous matzoh crunch.
It’s always a jam to get there because of traffic and it’s always a work-day so it seems. So at 3:40 I left work, ran home, changed clothes, decorated the cake plate, put together a Passover care-package for my mom (she complains bitterly about the food at Ocean House and they were doing a Seder there which I feared might not end well . . .), loaded up the car, jumped in the car, drove to Ocean House, dropped my mom’s care package off, picked Alan up at work, picked-up Maryam, Jared’s girlfriend and off we went. Traffic up PCH, a beautiful ride over Canan Dume and we landed at the Solomon’s without any spilled food, just before 6:00 p.m. Of courses Deb had done a ton of cooking herself including chicken, broccoli, quinoa salad, potatoes, like that. We plattered up the food from Venice, chatted with the folks (the Solomons have very lovely friends), and the Seder began. A lovely evening about Freedom. Even though it’s all Jewish – the issue of Freedom is universal and obviously important for us all. It’s a day that gives me much pause for thought and at times during the day makes my heart ache for the world we live in. And then there’s Matzoh Crunch.
Preheat oven to 375°
4-6 unsalted matzohs. I used to use water matzoh – just the regular kind but not egg matzoh. This year I inadvertently used whole wheat and it was perfectly excellent. At the Seder I tasted Gluten-Free matzoh which was very lovely and I’ll try that next year.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¾ cup coarsely chopped good semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips if you’re desperate
Line a large cookie sheet (preferably the kind with sides) completely with foil. Then cover the bottom of the sheet with parchment paper – that’s right – on top of the foil. This recipe tends to be a big mess and gets super sticky during cooking.
Lay the matzohs out evenly on the cookie sheet, breaking extra pieces as required to fit any spaces. Do NOT layer the mazoh. Just a single layer.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Then boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the matzoh covering it completely. You may need a spatula to spread it a little but probably not.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350°. Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the mixture is not burning. If it is getting too dark, remove the pan from the oven, lower the heat, to 300 and replace the pan.
Remove the pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. Let stand for 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate over the matzoh. Let it cool. Before completely cool, break it into shapes. Maybe use a knife while the stuff is still in the pan. Chill the stuff, while it is still in the pan, in the freezer until set. You can then store it in plastic baggies.
p.s. The best pieces are the ones where the caramel snuck underneath so there’s a little caramel on the bottom and then the caramel and chocolate on the top. Killer. You’ll see.