Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack
It goes by many names – Chocolate Matzo Brittle, Matzo Toffee Crunch, Chocolate Caramel Matzo Candy or just simply Matzo Crack. I call it Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack. Whatever you call it, you will no doubt agree, it’s absolutely Divalicious! This spin on the old Saltine Cracker Candy, often made for Christmas and commonly referred to as “Candy Crack”, has become a Passover holiday staple. It’s got everything you could want in a treat. Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack is sweet, salty, crunchy, nutty, and of course, layered with caramel and chocolaty goodness. So, in the world of Jewish holidays, where bread is replaced with Matzo, it is indeed Passover Crack. It is highly addictive, living up to its namesake reputation. It’s also very easy to make and does not require a candy thermometer.
Happily, because Matzo is available year round, you can make Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack any time. I prefer Streit’s Lightly Salted because it is perfectly crisp and just as it says, lightly salted, which makes for a fabulous candy. In fact, if you traditionally make Saltine Candy for Christmas, I’m going to be bold and suggest you actually swap the Saltines for Matzo. You will not be disappointed. The Matzo retains a crispier texture, holds up better to the toffee and cuts with greater ease, producing a more uniform candy. Matzo is not just for Passover anymore and this candy is divine anytime!
What is this Passover Matzo You Speak of?
All of this sweetness and you ask – what and why Matzo? Passover or Pesach, is one of the most widely observed, important Jewish holidays, regarded as a spring festival. The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation, by God from slavery in Egypt and their Exodus from slavery into freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses at about 1300 BCE.
Passover is a holiday rich in tradition and symbolism. And like many great biblical stories that are observed today, a special meal is prepared as the centerpiece of the holiday we celebrate today. The rituals unique to Passover celebrations commence with the Passover Seder, a Hebrew word meaning “order, arrangement”. Seder customs include telling the story of the Exodus and the 10 Plagues, drinking four cups of wine, asking the four questions, singing traditional songs, eating Matzo, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate, and reclining in celebration of freedom. The Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world.
Because so much of what I write about and share on this site is also centered on food and the rituals and celebrations that are associated with holiday meals, I’m going to point you in the direction of the Wikipedia article focused on the Passover Seder. It really is very interesting and easy to follow.
If you’re hungry to know more about the Exodus, you can certainly find thousands of references online, or, you can start by reading about it here. Please note, I personally find that the version of every religious celebration narrated for children is far clearer and entertaining (read, “simple”.) So, click here for the complete story of Passover most appropriate for those under 12. Or, click here to read the version that will hold the attention span of a four year old (or, from time to time, me.)
For now, here’s a very concise definition (and I use that term loosely) of Passover and the significance of Matzo.
In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape from their slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves. The tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-born in these homes, hence the English name of the holiday. When the Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise (leaven). Thus, for the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason Passover was called the feast of unleavened bread in the Torah or Old Testament. And so, Matzo (flat unleavened bread) is eaten during Passover and it is a tradition of the holiday.
If you’ve never had Matzo before, preparing a batch of Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack Candy is a great way to start. Enjoy!
Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack Ingredients
- 6 – 7 Matzo “Sheets” (I prefer Streit’s Lightly Salted)
- 1 ½ C. Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
- 1 ½ C. Butter
- 1 C. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I prefer Ghirardelli, 60% Cocoa Bittersweet)
- 1 C. Chopped Pecans, Toasted
Preheat oven to 350° and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the Matzo in one layer on the baking sheet, breaking the Matzo into strips to fill in the ends of the pan and cover it completely.