I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. Like many suburbs of Chicago, there was a large Jewish population. My father's side of the family is Jewish, but my mother's side is Thai. However, my mom had a good Jewish friend who had a mandel bread recipe that everyone loved. I remember that recipe was permanently tacked to our kitchen bulletin board. It was slightly crinkled and had a small stain.
Everyone went crazy for this cookie every time my mom made it. If she brought it to a holiday gathering, it was the first thing gone.
You may have noticed this mandel bread looks a bit like biscotti. I like to think that if biscotti and a cake-like cookie had a baby, mandel bread would be it. It's a weird combination. But it makes more sense once you've eaten one.
A Few Tips
This recipe is pretty straightforward, but just a few tips to make sure you get this mandel bread perfect.
Be sure to chill the dough. It makes it a lot easier to shape later on.
Next (kind of random) tip: don't bake on a previously frozen baking sheet. It will make the mandel bread bake really unevenly.
Shape the dough into 3 rectangles about 8 x 2 1/2 inches and 1 inch high. It doesn't have to be exact.
Next tip: If you usually bake on silicone baking mats, switch to parchment paper for this one recipe. The reason for this is because you'll need to cut the cookies partway through baking in order to bake them a second time. Just to be safe, I would steer clear of the baking mats. Carefully slide the parchment paper with the mandel bread on top onto a large cutting board. When you're done cutting, you can slide it back onto the baking sheet.
Cut the mandel bread at a bias (an angle). It makes them longer and more suitable for dunking in drinks. I did not cut them this way because I wanted them to be shorter for my cookie boxes.
And finally, if you want these to look super pretty without the chocolate smearing, bring the knife straight down. Do not slice. Then wipe the knife with a warm damp cloth.
I do not do this because I am lazy and don't care.
Enjoy this amazing cookie!
- 3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium for 2-3 minutes. Mixture should start to look lighter in color.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing until just combined between batches. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Put the batter in a bag or container and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350F. On a single baking sheet, form three 8 x 2 1/2 inch rectangles of dough, about 1 to 1 1/4 inches high. The 3 rectangles will be adjacent to the long ends of the baking sheet and be about (see pictures above).
- Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Slice at a bias into 1 to 1 1/4 inch pieces.
- Flip pieces on their side. Bake for another 7 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.