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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mandel bread (Jewish Biscotti, if you will!)

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Because we are celebrating our Moms today, I thought it only fitting I give you one of Bernice’s recipe for a Jewish classic — Mandel bread. Great to serve on Poker and Mah Jong night at the coffee break. Bernice used to put out quite the spread, including a few cakes from the famous — now defunct — Ebbinger’s Bakery of Brooklyn. Maybe a Blackout Cake, and a Babka, some sliced Halvah, and of course a Hawaiian pineapple sliced in the skin with Maraschino cherries and spear skewers. Ah, those were the days!

1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups A.P. flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar and oil and mix well. Add eggs one at a time. Add extracts. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add to liquids. Stir in chopped walnuts and raisins. Take 1/4 of the batter and put into a separate bowl. Stir in cocoa powder. Grease and flour a metal ice cube tray (you can also use a loaf pan) and pour in batter. There will not be much batter, they are small. Add 6 dabs of cocoa batter in top and with a fork swirl it through the batter to look marbleized. Bake in a 350 oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and remove from pan. Slice into 1/2 inch slices, and place flat on a sheet pan. Turn oven up to 375 and bake slices 5 minutes on one side then flip over and bake 5 minutes on other side, or until they look toasted. Let cool and eat all of them! Of course you can dip them in chocolate!