During over two decades as kosher caterers in Columbus, Ohio, Paula Levine Weinstein and Julie Komerofsky Remer made a lot of mandel bread. This simple recipe, which makes a big batch of the biscotti-like cookies, was a customer favorite. Though mandelbrot literally means "almond bread," their version uses walnuts instead.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Our Customers' Favorites, by Paula Levine Weinstein and Julie Komerofsky Remer (Columbus, Ohio).
Miri's Recipe Testing Notes and Tips:
While testing this recipe, I found that the shaped loaves puffed more than expected, probably thanks to the large quantity of baking powder in the recipe. If you'd prefer flatter mandel bread, make the logs fairly flat, or consider reducing the quantity of baking powder slightly.
The original recipe suggests adding the vanilla extract after the wet and dry ingredients are mixed, however to ensure even integration, you may wish to mix it in with the wet ingredients at the start of the recipe instead.
The original recipe calls for dipping the sliced mandel bread in cinnamon sugar, but does not specify quantities; for the full recipe, you'll need to start with about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Add cinnamon to taste, mix together, and place in a shallow dish for easy dipping.
The recipe makes a rather large quantity of mandel bread, but the recipe quantities are easily divided. If it's your first time making the recipe, you may want to try a smaller batch first.
Weinstein and Remer suggest baking the sliced mandel bread for 5 minutes. I found this yielded fairly soft mandel bread. If you prefer a drier, crunchier cookie, they'll need a longer second bake -- around 15 to 20 minutes.
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups oil
- 8 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons baking powder
- 3 cups chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 3 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a mixture of cinnamon and sugar in a large, shallow dish and set aside (See notes, above).
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, oil and sugar.
3. In another large bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.
4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add the nuts and vanilla extract and mix well.
5. Form the dough into three logs. Place on the prepared baking pans and flatten them a bit on the top so they'll come out wider rather than rounder.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
7. With a large serrated knife, slice the logs on the diagonal about an 1/2-inch thick (or about as thick as the wide part of your thumb).
8. Dip both sides of each mandel bread slice in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, returning each slice to the baking sheets as you work.
9. Return the mandel bread to the oven for at least 5 minutes to dry the cookies more. (If you prefer drier, crunchier cookies, allow them to bake longer; see notes above).