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If there’s one flavor pairing that really does it for me, it’s sweet and salty.
I can get down with sweet and spicy, but for me, it doesn’t have the same addictive quality.
Salt is simply a magical ingredient (I assume invented by some kind of wizard?) that clings to your palate and begs to be craved. Once it hits your tongue, it’s game over.
Literally, cancel all of your other plans.
You can’t sink your teeth into these toffee bites without going back for more. It’s just not possible – and you can totally trust me on this.
I don’t even have a sweet tooth.
That’s why I find the salty-sweet combination here to be pure bliss. I get just a peek into the sugary side of life, and then layer it with the salty, crisp flavors I truly desire.
I come from an entirely Jewish family, so matzo is totally in my wheelhouse. We didn’t always keep it on hand, but it would randomly appear throughout my childhood like a salty, square-shaped cousin that I was allowed to cover in a cinnamon-scented medley of apples and nuts.
My other cousins definitely didn’t let me do that.
Since the unleavened bread was an elusive treat we would only enjoy on special occasions or holidays like Passover, I was always intrigued by the flat cracker’s majesty.
Today, I’m a recipe developer (a job where I’m fully encouraged to play with my food), and matzo has become an ingredient I love experimenting with. It has endless versatility and can be used as a base, a topping, a breading, and more.
Though we didn’t consistently keep matzo around when I was little, my mom has developed an escalating fondness for frying it over the past few years.
The last time I was home visiting my parents, a French toast-esque aroma wafted up the stairs. I burst through the kitchen doors to find to my dad, spatula in hand, standing over a sputtering pan of egg-doused matzo bubbling in a pool of golden butter.
I know, right? Can you smell it too?
They sizzled to a glorious golden brown in no time, and before I knew it, I was mindlessly swirling a pool of semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top. I dusted the massive tray with slivered almonds, and each one plunked into the chocolate and then quietly settled in.
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, Available via Amazon
Though any coarse salt would give this toffee its bright, surprising snap, I used a bulkier finishing salt for its signature flaky flair and delicate flavor. Maldon sea salt like this one comes in large, thin, elegantly uneven flakes, and enhances the toffee with a clean, pure, salty bite.
I’m a big believer in imperfect, rustic food – breaking this beautiful, seamless pan of toffee into jagged pieces was so my cup of tea.
P.S. Totally enjoy these with a cup of tea.
The matzo holds up incredibly well and, unless you want to keep the toffee all for yourself to eat late at night under the covers, it makes a great gift or stellar addition to the Passover table.
The name says it all. These crunchies are drenched in chocolate, scattered with almonds, so easy to put together, and deliciously irresistible.
Is sweet and salty your favorite flavor duo? If so, you’ll go nuts for these buttery, crisp Chocolate Almond Toffee Matzo Crunchies.
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- Nonstick cooking oil spray
- About 3 1/2 sheets lightly salted matzo
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon large flaked salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a small saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Whisk frequently until the mixture has thickened and turned a light caramel color.
- Spray a large rimmed baking sheet, about 17 by 13 inches, with nonstick cooking spray. Breaking up a few pieces if you need to, arrange the matzo in a single layer.
- Pour the butter and brown sugar mixture over the matzo, and spread with a spatula so that it saturates every piece. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Put the pan back in the oven until the chocolate begins to melt, about 1 minute.
- Use a spatula to spread the chocolate over the matzo. Sprinkle with the almonds and salt, and then allow the “toffee” to cool completely.
- Break it up into pieces and serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Category: Candy
- Method: Stovetop, Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: Passover, chocolate-covered matzo, toffee, almond, chocolate
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Melt the Butter and Brown Sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small saucepot on the stove, whisk together the butter and brown sugar until thick.
This mixture isn’t cooked to full caramel hardness, so stirring rapidly with a whisk works well to incorporate the sugar into the melted butter.
It will be a light caramel color when the two ingredients have fully combined.
To make legit chewy, gooey caramel candy, this recipe will do the trick.
Step 2 – Pour Sauce Over the Matzo and Bake
Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and lay the matzo down in a single layer, breaking up the pieces where necessary to get full coverage.
Pour the butter and brown sugar mixture over the matzo.
Evenly spread the sauce with a spatula so that every piece is saturated.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown.
Step 3 – Add the Chocolate, Almonds, and Salt
Remove the warm matzo from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
Place the pan back in the oven until the chocolate begins to melt.
Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the matzo.
Immediately sprinkle with the almonds and salt.
Step 4 – Cool and Break into Pieces
Allow the toffee to cool completely, and then break it into rustic, uneven pieces.
Store in the fridge so that the matzo keeps its crunch.
These Crispy, Buttery Crunchies Are Passover Perfection
Although matzo is available at most American grocery stores year-round, you can swap Saltine crackers into this recipe in a pinch. You’ll still get a salty vehicle that soaks up the buttery brown sugar sauce, but the final product will be a little thicker.
Since matzo comes in a few flavors, I like to experiment with using it as a base for all kinds of crunchable snacks. The “everything” version (laced with garlic, onion, and poppy seeds) makes a supreme surface for smearing cream cheese. When I need something sweet, I slather egg matzo in chocolate hazelnut spread and call it a day.
Want more ideas for sweet and salty homemade treats? These recipes will steer you in that very delicious direction:
Get playful with your toffee toppings. Maple, walnuts, peanut butter? What salty-sweet-fusions do it for you? Share your favorites in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Maldon Salt Company. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on April 20, 2009. Last updated: February 19, 2019 at 11:48 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”