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New twists on an old tradition

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Talia Rosenblatt, Robyn Rosenblatt

BAKING BUDDIES Talia Rosenblatt helps her mom Robyn make chocolate- and toffee-covered matzah for Passover. (Photo:

Matzah gets a bad rap. The Old Testament calls it “the bread of affliction,” referring to the slavery inflicted on Israelites in Egypt. During the week of Passover (this year, April 5-13), observant Jews substitute all leavened bread with the large, square crackers reminding us that, during the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites did not have time to let their bread rise.

Today, some call the bread of affliction an affliction in itself, branding it bland and cardboard-like. But through thousands of years, some surprisingly delicious matzah transformations have been invented. So delicious, we think, that you might be tempted, Jewish or not, to try them outside of Passover.

Robyn Rosenblatt

HABIT-FORMING Robyn Rosenblatt says her chocolate- and toffee-covered matzah is so addictive, her family calls it Matzah Crack. (Photo:

Robyn Rosenblatt and her family love matzah so much that they have rules for it. “Everyone is obsessed,” Robyn says. “We have to be careful not to open the box too soon before Passover, otherwise there won’t be any left for the week of.” Robyn’s kids – Ellie, 15, Talia, 12, and Ian, 11, all students at St. John’s – have gotten creative. “We love matzah pizza, peanut butter and jelly matzah, butter on matzah. Matzah with cream cheese is a breakfast staple, and my daughter makes matzah nachos – broken-up pieces with shredded cheese melted in the toaster.”

But the favorite, the thing they call “Matzah Crack” because “it’s so addictive,” is a recipe handed down from Robyn’s sister-in-law Tracy Kapiloff. “We started making it when, I think, Tracy’s girls outgrew the desire to make it as they got older. We’ve been making it since my children were very little.”

Talia Rosenblatt

Talia Rosenblatt samples the Matzah Crack she helped her mom, Robyn, make. (Photo:

Talia, Robyn’s middle child, is the Matzah Crack chef. “All my kids have helped me, but it’s really Talia who loves to bake with me the most,” Robyn says. “My mother [Amy Kapiloff] is the big cook for major family meals – she’s slowly turning things over, but she’s still in the driver’s seat – and I’m always in charge of dessert. This is our go-to Passover dessert, along with fruit and chocolate strawberries. We make it, and we make too much, and we share it with friends and neighbors and send it home with people after the [Passover] seder.”

Matzah Crack

Matzah Crack in all its addictive glory. (Photo:

Robyn Rosenblatt’s Matzah Crack

4 to 5 sheets matzah
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Toasted pecans (optional)
½ teaspoon flaky salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then parchment paper. Cover the baking sheet with matzah (you will need to break pieces to fit the entire pan).

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture bubbles. Continue cooking and stirring for another 3 minutes until it “gets fluffy and thickens.”

Carefully pour the hot caramel on top of the matzah and spread it evenly with a spreader. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the caramel is bubbly and crackly all over. Remove from the oven and immediately pour the chocolate chips over the top. After 2 minutes or so, use a spreader to spread the melted chocolate over all the matzah. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle with flaky salt. I sprinkle half of the matzah with toasted pecans (some of my kids like nuts and some don’t). Refrigerate for at least an hour, then cut into squares. Matzah Crack freezes really well.

S’mores Matzah

S’mores Matzah is everything we want in Chocolate Matzah – caramelly, crunchy, chocolaty, crackly, buttery – plus toasted marshmallows.

S’mores Matzah

For a variation on Matzah Crack, try adding some toasted marshmallows on top.

4 sheets matzah
2 sticks unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Follow the instructions for Matzah Crack through baking. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the marshmallows over the matzah, leaving some space between them. Turn the oven on broil and move the rack to the top of the oven. Put the matzah back in the oven and watch it closely as the marshmallows toast, about 1 minute. Once they start toasting, remove from the oven.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips between the toasted marshmallows, and let them sit for about 5 minutes to melt. Using an offset spatula, spread the melty chocolate chips between and atop the marshmallows. This will be messy. Refrigerate for at least an hour, then cut into squares.


MATZAH GRANOLA Used in place of oats, the matzah crackers soak up a sweet mix of brown sugar and maple syrup to make another delicious matzah snack or breakfast.

Matzah Granola

Another surprise is Matzah Granola. Used in place of oats, the crackers soak up a sweet mix of brown sugar and maple syrup, resulting in one more addictive matzah snack.

5 sheets matzah, crumbled into ½-inch pieces
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped almonds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
½ cup raisins

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, mix together the matzah, coconut, walnuts, almonds and salt. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar, maple syrup, olive oil, cinnamon, and allspice, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the matzah mixture and stir to coat.

Spread the granola evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, rotate the baking sheet, and bake for another 12 minutes. Cool, then stir in the raisins. Serve with yogurt or alone as a snack.

Talia Rosenblatt, Robyn Rosenblatt

Robyn and Talia stir caramel to pour over the matzah. (Photo:

Matzah Brei

Matzah Brei, or “fried matzah,” is a cross between a matzah version of chilaquiles and French toast. A simple base of matzah pieces and beaten eggs “fried” in butter, matzah brei can go savory – basically, eggs scrambled with crispy matzah pieces, maybe treated like chilaquiles with cheese and salsa – or sweet – matzah and eggs topped with cinnamon sugar, jam and sour cream, or a drizzle of maple syrup.

Ruth Reichl’s Matzah Brei, from the July 2004 issue of Gourmet

4 sheets matzah
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Crumble the matzah into a large sieve placed over a mixing bowl to catch the crumbs. Hold the sieve under running cold water until the matzah is moist and softened but not completely disintegrated, about 15 seconds. Transfer to the bowl with crumbs, then add the eggs and salt and mix gently with a fork.

Heat the butter in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides. Add the matzah mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the eggs are scrambled and the matzah has begun to crisp, about 3 minutes.


Note: For a unique history of matzah – and a fun dose of old New York – check out the 2015 documentary Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream (it’s free on Amazon Prime). The movie tells the story of the last family-owned matzah factory in America before it left its original, five-story factory in New York’s rapidly changing Lower East Side, where Jewish immigrants settled in the first part of the 20th century.

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