Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Passover Chocolate Matzo Buttercrunch and Mocha-Dipped Macaroons from Cleo Coyle

Last Friday evening marked the first night of Passover, one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays of the year. An important food custom that’s followed during this week is to eat no yeasted bread, only unleavened bread (aka Maztos!).


Over the last few years, the basic recipe for Matzo Caramel Buttercrunch has been posted all over the Internet, but it was originally created by Marcy Goldman, author of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. You can see Marcy's famous, original version at her website here. David Lebovitz also adapted her recipe hereToday it’s my turn! I hope you enjoy my version, posted below.

Love and peace to you. Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy Spring! And may God bless us, every one.

~ Cleo Coyle, author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries,
a culinary mystery series set in New York City

P.S. If you missed my Spring Newsletter
last week, click here to read it in your browser!

Cleo Coyle and her partner in crime writing
(husband Marc). Authors of the national
Coffeehouse Mysteries.

"MURDER 203"
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Quick reminder: This Saturday, April 14, Marc and I will be appearing at Murder 203, a mystery conference for writers and readers in Connecticut. Lucy Burdette (Roberta Isleib) will be there, too!

No need to register ahead.
Walk-ins are welcome.

To learn more click here.

To see the events and
panels scheduled, click here.

If you stop by, say hi! We're very much looking forward to meeting our readers and Mystery Lovers' Kitchen audience. 

Cleo's Black-and-White
Matzo Buttercrunch

Adapted from Marcy Goldman's
Matzo Caramel Buttercrunch

To download a PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here. 


1 half-sheet pan, jelly roll pan, or large cookie sheet
   + Aluminum foil
   + Parchment paper
1 saucepan (nonstick if possible, and a silicone spatula is helpful, too)
2 tablespoons (for spreading the melted chocolate chips)


5 boards of unsalted matzos (see my matzo note below)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine (see my butter note below)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (nuts are optional)
1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted pistachios (measure after removing shells)

(a) Matzo note: If you're not observing Passover and you can't find matzos, try Saltines or another cracker.

(b) Butter note: I've done this recipe with butter and margarine. Both work just fine as long as you boil the mixture for the length of time noted in the recipe. I've also used salted and unsalted butter, both taste great.

(c) Sugar note: I prefer the dark brown sugar, but if all you have on hand is light brown, that's fine, too.

(d) Chocolate note: If you don't like white chocolate, simply double the amount of mini chocolate chips. I find the mini chips melt much faster and easier than regular chips. If you prefer chopped block chocolate, that's certainly an option, too.


Step 1 - Prepare pan: This recipe is easy but can be messy so cover your baking pan with aluminum foil first and then a sheet of parchment paper; otherwise, the caramel will stick to the foil.  

Step 2 - Prep oven and nuts: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. If you're topping your chocolate buttercrunch with sliced almonds (or walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts), then toast the nuts for better flavor. To save time, I'll throw my sliced almonds onto a cookie sheet and toast them in the already preheating oven. Nuts generally toast up in 8 to 10 minutes. Stir them once to prevent scorching. When you can smell the scent of toasting nuts, you know they're done or very close to done.

You'll also want to finely chop the shelled pistachios. To finely chop any nut, simply place it in a resealable plastic bag and bang it with a hammer, rolling pin, or back of a heavy spoon.

Step 3 - Lay out matzo boards:  In the half-sheet pan you see in my photos (13 x 18 inches), I fit 5, full matzo boards. You can break the boards into pieces to fit them into the pan.

Step 4 - Make a quick caramel: In a medium saucepan (nonstick is best), melt the butter or margarine and add your brown sugar (dark or light), stirring to combine ingredients. Because the mixture is sticky, I use a nonstick (silicone) spatula. When the mixture begins to boil, start your timer for three (3) full minutes. Keep stirring to prevent scorching and continue boiling. The mixture will foam up as it boils, just keep stirring.

Step 5 - Cover: Pour the caramel mixture over the matzo boards. Work quickly with your nonstick spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the caramel as evenly as you can. As the mixture cools, it will be difficult to work with so spread fast!

Step 6 - Bake: Place the pan in the oven for 12 to 13 minutes. Rotate the pan once in the middle of this baking process to prevent hot spots from burning your candy. The cooking is done when you see bubbles have formed over the entire pan.

TIP: For a delicious buttercrunch (without chocolate)
you can simply stop at this stage and slide the pan into
the refrigerator for thirty minutes. Break the matzos
into pieces and you have Caramel Matzo Buttercrunch.
(See photo below . . . )

Step 7 - Sprinkle chocolate chips and melt: As you can see below, my black-and-white version of this buttercrunch covers half the caramel-topped matzos with semi-sweet chocolate and half with white chocolate. Sprinkle the chips as you see in the photos then place the pan back in the oven for another minute or two. Take care not to allow the chocolate to burn but make sure it's melted enough to easily spread . . .

TIP: Larger chocolate chips may appear
to keep their shape, but if you gently press
down with the back of your tablespoon, you will likely
see they've melted. Once you press them flat, begin to
work them with your spoon, spreading the chocolate as
you would cake frosting. Keep extra chips on hand, ready to
cover any bald spots or you may have trouble getting
an even layer of chocolate.

Step 8 - Finish and chill: Toss your nuts onto the melted chocolate.

Now slide the pan into the refrigerator for thirty minutes. That should harden up the chocolate nicely. When the candy is firm, use your hands to gently break up the big pieces into smaller shapes, and . . . 

Eat with joy!

White Chocolate-Pistachio Buttercrunch


Another quickie
Passover recipe....

To get this recipe in an
illustrated PDF that you can
print save or share, 

NOTE: If you're observing Passover, replace the flour in this recipe with Matzah Cake Meal, use pareve ingredients, of course, and...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or 
learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

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, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


  1. This looks gorgeous, Cleo! I wish I could reach into the screen to try a bite.

    ~ Krista

    1. Lol, I'll send some your way! This is a yearly must-make for our house. A fun recipe to experiment with, as well, given the kinds of nuts and chocolate that can be swapped in and out.

      Thanks for dropping by, Krista, and have a great week...

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. I forgot how much fun Chef Connor had making this last year! When he ran out of matzo he used Club Crackers...so much buttery goodness ;-) Macaroons...if I could sing I would write and ode to macaroons. The weirdest thing about this...I do not like coconut. But wrap it up in goodness like this...well, it makes my heart sing!

    Have a terrific time on Saturday...I am one fan who is petitioning that you come to MI next!!!

    1. Nanc - Young Chef Connor is on target, yet again. For anyone not observing Passover this week, crackers will work just fine in this recipe, as well. Club or Ritz are a great choice - something without salt. On the *other* hand, sea salted chocolate has been so popular that making this with salted soda crackers like Saltines might be a delicious alternative if one is game.

      (Thanks for the nice words about Saturday, too. Marc and I are looking forward to meeting the Murder 203 attendees. I'm sure a good time will be had by all. And we're looking forward to a trip up to your neck of the woods, as well! We'll have to do Cops & Doughnuts together. I hear their macaroons are so good it's almost criminal. :))

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. Cleo, who knew all the things you could do with Matzoh! Wow! My husband said, "That's a keeper." So I'll be making this entire post soon! Chocolate easter eggs and chocolate Matzoh. It's a great week.


  4. Fabulous recipe and enticing pictures on how to make a matzoh crunch. I wish I had some with me in Prague so I could test out the recipe this wee