Sunday, February 25, 2007

marbled mandelbroit

mandelbroit, or komishbroit, is derived from the words mandlen and broit from yiddish which translates to almonds + bread, respectively. i guess these could be considered the jewish version of biscotti. they are typically always parve [no dairy involved] so that they can be eaten with anything and were no doubt popular because they could be kept for long periods of time without deterioration of texture or taste.

having tried quite a few recipes over the years, this mandelbroit is quite decent in that it doesn't leave you with a cracked tooth after biting into it! the version i am showing here is a bit different from the typical one in that it involves removing part of the base dough and flavouring it with both strong coffee and chocolate. this is then reintroduced in two different ways into the main batter which is studded with bright green pistachios and redolent of orange flavours from zest, juice and extract.

pistachio-ed chocolate & coffee
marbled mandelbroit


3 large eggs
½ c vegetable oil
1 c sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp orange or almond extract
1 tbsp fresh grated orange rind
2 tbsp orange juice or vanilla soymilk

2 tbsp dark cocoa powder, sifted
1 rounded tbsp turkish coffee or extra finely ground espresso (not instant)
2 -3 tbsp liquid (use either sabra, orange juice, or vanilla soymilk)

1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 c all purpose flour

1 c whole pistachios or chopped almonds
½ c chocolate chips, optional


mix eggs, sugar and oil together until well mixed and thick.

add the extracts, orange rind and juice or soymilk. mix again.

add the the baking powder and salt and make sure it's all blended.

blend in the flour and stir well. don't add the nuts until later on!

remove 1/3 of the mixture to a small bowl and add the cocoa, coffee and liquid and mix until uniform. add more liquid if necessary; it should still be very thick and not liquidy.

add the nuts to the white portion of the dough and mix well. this will thicken it more. add the chocolate chips, if using.

either grease a large cookie sheet or line with parchment and set oven to 400 F.

divide the white portion into thirds. it is easier to use a well greased spatula so it doesn't stick. place 1/3 of the white dough on the far end of the sheet (do this in the horizontal sense of the cookie sheet). oil your hands and shape it into a long 1/2 to 1 inch oval block. it will probably be closer to one inch thick.

with the side of your hand make a deep depression from end to end. divide the chocolate dough into three portions and add 1/3 in the depression a spoonful at a time.

now with your hands, press the sides to give height to the dough and shape it better. it should be sort of like an elongated football.

if you like you can do all three this way or you can marble it by adding one portion of chocolate and vanilla together and only slightly mixing it together in the bowl. don't be heavy handed about it.

place the dough carefully on the pan and shape it with greased hands. do not place them closely side by side as they expand. leave a good 2 to 3 inches in between. you may need two sheets.

bake the mandelbroit for 25 minutes. it should be moderately golden brown. the dough typically cracks, so don't be alarmed when it comes out of the oven.

remove them from the oven and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. lower the temperature of the oven to 300 F.

with a serrated and very sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch slices on the bias.

return them to the oven for about 45 minutes or longer to dry out. they will dry further as they cool. cook's tip: i place them on the cookie rack on the cookie sheet and place that in the oven. this allows the hot air to dry them from underneath at the same time also. take note that you may have to turn them part way through the second cooking.

let cool completely and store. they will harden up as they cool down and will be good for a month or two well covered. also makes a nice gift.



Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

mmm, yummy - I think these are much nicer than biscotti! and good to know I won't break my teeth on 'em... :)

burekaboy — said...

hiya em - don't laugh, i busted part of my tooth not to long ago on something that was too hard.

i only make these once every 6 months or so. a batch lasts a long time with me.

Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

oh no, not laughing at all! i broke a tooth a while back on a tortilla, believe it or not (ok, it had been in the microwave a moment too long), so i am very sensitive to these issues.

burekaboy — said...

emily - well, i certainly laughed when i read tortilla. now there's a first! either way, cracking a tooth is no fun :((

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Veeeerrrry yummy! Your "Mandelbrot" are very beautiful...

Princess Jibi said...

I love pistachios...
I am scared of buying cakes in the store though. Cause the nuts are quick to get worm. I will definitely try this one of these days...
I notice you never did anything on Eggplant. Dont you eat eggplant?
oh found a website you might like...

beenzzz said...

So, it's more delicious take on the ordinary biscotti? YUM!

ByTheBay said...

Oh drool drool drool! The saddest thing about being gluten-free is probably my bubbe no longer sending me packages of her homemade chocolate chip mandelbrot from AZ. (Though I am slowly learning how to make all the family favorites, like the hamentaschen I just posted about).

burekaboy — said...

rosa - thank you :)) yours looked great, too.

PJ - uggh, u know, my friend's bf got a package from iran years ago from the sister and family and part of it was pistachios. it was filled with worms so i know what u mean. needless to say everything they sent (lots of stuff!) had to be thrown out. i only buy from places i trust and then inspect them well before i use things like that. if u buy from well known companies it's 99% safe; they have rigid food inspection procedures and laws.

beenzzz - dunno about more delicious; i'd say that's a matter of personal taste ;P they are pretty much the exact same thing as biscotti. at least, this way u can add what u want.

BTB - it's such a challenge not to be able to have gluten in your diet. i don't know if i could handle that considering so much of what i eat is gluten based. i used to feel very sorry for my friend who was so limited with everything.

at the very least, you can always opt for asian type pastries which are rice flour based.

i'll check out the hamantashen post you mentioned. it's already that time and YOU KNOW what comes after that!!! (groooaaaan). LOL, i'll be totally gluten free for pessah so i will think of u and karina and sympathize.

avital said...

Thank you so much.. i was looking for new cookie recipes to prepare for my Michloa'h Manot. Your "not traditional" mandelbroit look so yummy (although i'm not a huge pistachios fan.. but i guess i'll try with hazelnuts?). Thanks again!

the chocolate lady said...

Do you know where the name "komishbroyt" or "komisbroyt" comes from?

burekaboy — said...

hi avital - you're very welcome. the recipe is very forgiving; you can add whatever kinds of nuts you like [almonds are always the standard] and hazelnuts would work very well. i like adding the chocolate chips, too. have fun with the mishloah manot. i have a few to make also over the next few days (and fast!!). chag same'ach.

chocolate lady - komishbroit is really not a very common way to call them here where i am. i've only really ever heard them called mandelbroit. only my friends from western canada, especially manitoba (winnipeg) will refer to them as komish or komishbroit. as for the etymology of the words, not such a far stretch as there is a heavy ukrainian population there. as far as i know, it could derive from a sort of jewish derivation i.e. קאמיש as meaning funny or odd [looking] (bread/cookie) or an eastern european one from the word thuskomish cf history of food site. i'm not sure of that one as i don't speak or know ukrainian or the meaning behind it.

apparently, there was some similar cookie, perhaps "thuskomish"?

if you find out, please let me know. it seems like it's quite the mystery for now :P

Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

Maybe "komish" is a First Nations word - like Snohomish? kidding... probably!

ServesYouRight said...


I tried making these last weekend and they were FABULOUS!!! Made a half batch with almonds and half with pistachios. Hard to pick a favorite - 's very very close :-)

Thank you BB - these were awesome!


burekaboy — said...

hey smita :) - glad to hear they turned out so well. hope they were easy to make, too.

you can really tailor the recipe to meet your tastes by adjusting the flavourings and the kinds of nuts you put in. you can also add chocolate chips as i mention or dried fruit like craisins or dried cherries.

oh yeah, forgot to mention you can also gild the lily by dipping them in melted chocolate.

thanks a million for the feedback!