I’ve seen a lot of Passover desserts in my day. Unfortunately, many of them just don’t take the unleavened cake – they’re dry, flat, and dull. Several years ago, while teaching a Jewish holiday cooking series at my synagogue, my friend Hayley showed me a recipe that quickly become a staple in my kitchen: Matzah Toffee Crunch. At the time, I felt like I had been living under a rock, since everyone I knew had a version of the treat. Of course, their versions went by all sorts of funny names, (“matzah crack,” “Passover brittle,” the “anti-diet plan,” etc…), and they all consisted of a similar recipe involving sheets of matzah, caramel, and chocolate.
For this week’s recipe you’ll need some already-made Matzah Toffee Crunch on hand. If you haven’t tried this perfect for Passover confection yet, you’ll want to. Here are some recipes to get you started:
The Basic Matzah Toffee Crunch (and my personal favorite) via Epicurious
A version of the above with sea-salt and pistachios via HuffingtonPost For more variations, be sure to check out this post from ZoeBakes.
TIP: Yehuda Matzos also makes a Gluten-free matzah that works with this recipe!
Although it’s hard to improve on this Passover fan favorite, I knew there was a way to really push it. As a bonafide chocoholic, the first thing that came to mind, of course, was more chocolate. Thus, the Matzah Toffee Truffle was created. In the (albeit rare) event that you find yourself with extra matzah toffee crunch lying around, use it to make these rich, indulgent chocolate truffles. The truffles are fun to make and are the perfect way to end Passover on a high note.
*Note: I am working in conjunction with PJ Library on several recipes featuring Yehuda Matzos. Although I am being compensated for my recipes, my opinions expressed regarding Yehuda Matzo are honest and entirely my own.
Like many others, I am a sucker for the spices that accompany this time of year, and appreciate the warmth they bring to any dish. But pumpkin pie, in particular, with its creamy pumpkin custard speckled with warm cinnamon and nutmeg, encased in a flaky crust and dolloped with fresh whipped cream? Well, that is a can’t-miss dish for me, and I can’t imagine ending a festive fall meal without it. It’s no wonder that for generations, pumpkin pie has been the go-to dessert for American families.
That’s all about to change.
Several years ago, during one of our many get-togethers, my mom pulled a fast one on the family, and replaced our much beloved pumpkin pie with the less traditional pumpkin flan. And while there were many skeptics in the bunch (myself included), once they had a single taste of the creamy, rich flavor and burst of spice from a little orange-tinged bite of the pumpkin flan, there was simply no going back. The verdict was in. We had a new fall dessert! Since then, serious jeers abound if we get together in the fall, and there is no pumpkin flan in sight.
I understand that flan, in general, is a polarizing dish. Trust me, I’ve tasted my fair share of egg-y, rock solid, just plain bad flan. But if you’ve never tried Cuban-style flan, you’re doing yourself a disservice, as its thick, creamy custard with sweet caramel sauce oozing down the sides, is more akin to a crust-less cheesecake than anything else. And when you combine that with the distinct flavors of fall that can only be found in a pumpkin pie, what results is an undeniably can’t-miss dish. It’s truly a perfect ending to any fall festive meal, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Shabbat, or in this year’s case, even Channukah. Promise.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and add your empty pan in the oven to warm.
Mix first seven ingredients (from evaporated milk to salt) in a blender, and set aside.
In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar becomes a deep amber color (about 15 minutes).
Working quickly, remove the empty pan from the oven, and pour in the now melted sugar. Swirl the pan around, so the sugar covers the entire bottom of the pan. Pour in the milk and egg mixture over the caramelized sugar.
Insert the now full pan into a larger pan, and fill the larger pan about half-way up with water (a water bath).
Return the flan pan and water bath to the oven, and bake for about 70-80 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove the flan pan from the water bath, and set on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When you are ready to serve the flan, run a knife along the edge of the pan, place a rimmed serving platter over the pan, and invert it. The flan should fall easily, and the caramel sauce will coat the top and run along the sides.