Grandma Annie’s Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread

5 stars based on 2 votes

chocolate-chip-walnut-mandelbread-1

My Grandma Annie made the world’s best mandel bread, and she didn’t travel anywhere without it. Every time she came to visit us, she’d walk off the plane with a big smile, cookie tins in hand. Her mandel bread never lasted long so we’d always bake more with her, tripling the recipe so we’d have enough to share with our neighbors. Eventually, the whole block came to love her visits!

If you’ve never had mandel bread, it’s a traditional Jewish cookie similar to biscotti.  Like biscotti, mandel bread is twice-baked and crunchy. The main difference is that it’s made with more oil or butter than biscotti, so the resulting cookie is a bit richer and softer. You don’t need to dip it in coffee or tea to enjoy it — it’s delicious all on it’s own.  I should note that mandel bread (literally, almond bread) is traditionally made with almonds but my grandma always made hers with chocolate chips and walnuts, so that’s how I do it. Also, most mandel bread recipes are non-dairy and call for oil (including my grandma’s), but I use butter because it tastes better.

To begin, whisk together the dry ingredients.

Beat the melted butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract until creamy.

Stir the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then add the chocolate chips and nuts (if using).

Chill the dough for about an hour, then form it into two 2-inch wide logs on a baking sheet.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly golden.

Let the logs cool, then slice them diagonally into cookies about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then bake again in a low oven until crisp, about 45 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Grandma Annie's Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread

Servings: 35-40 cookies
Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (use up to 1 cup if desired)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar (combine 2 tablespoons sugar with 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract. Beat on medium speed until creamy and pale yellow, a few minutes. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated, then mix in the chocolate chips and nuts (if using). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill until firm, 1-2 hours (you can speed this up in the freezer if you'd like).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape the dough into 2 logs about 2 inches wide, making sure they aren't too close together or too close to the edges of the pan. (If it's still sticky, dust your hands with flour.) Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Turn the oven down to 250 degrees. Let the baked logs cool for about 15 minutes, then slice them diagonally about every 3/4-inch. Flip the cookies on their sides (I squeeze them onto one baking sheet but you can use two if necessary), then sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar over top. Flip the cookies over and repeat with the remaining cinnamon-sugar. Place the pan back in the oven (be sure you turned temperature down to 250 degrees!) and cook until golden and crisp, about an hour. Let cool, then store in airtight container. (Note: cookies will get crunchier as they cool.)

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    I made these and they were amazingly delicious and easy. The flavors all meld together in a very addictive way. They look like biscotti, but they have a softer, sturdier texture. I even mailed them to my daughter in CA from NY and they arrived in perfect shape.
    I have a friend who used to give me her mandel brot as a gift for many reasons, but she refused to share her secret family recipe with me. Well, guess what…I don’t need or want her sacred recipe anymore because this one is superb and tastes just the same or better! I am thrilled! Thank you once again!

    - Karen T on December 9, 2014 Reply
  • What is the difference between using oil or butter

    - Rockie on October 31, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Rockie, In this case, the only difference is that the butter adds flavor.

      - Jenn on October 31, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are the best ever!!! I have made them for several people facing difficult situations to help them cope (i.e. hip replacement surgery, a job loss, death of a relative). I always recommend keeping them in the freezer, and eating them as you want them with a cup of tea. My favorite go to gift!!!

    - Lisa on July 17, 2014 Reply
  • We just finished a delicious breakfast centered around this special version of Mandel Bread. This was the first time that I have put nutmeg into Mandel Bread, and also using butter versus oil. This recipe is totally “makeagainable”, and while the author’s grandma Annie was not my grandma, I will be uttering her name every time this is made in our home.
    Thank you for sharing your family recipe.
    Cheers,
    Jeff

    - Jeff Winett on November 26, 2013 Reply
    • That is so sweet, Jeff. I am so glad you enjoyed it!

      - Jenn on November 26, 2013 Reply
  • My bobba died when I was 21. I’m now 69. I lived with my parents and had no idea how to cook or bake really. When I was very young I used to try baking. Normally ‘rock cakes’ and only my dad would eat them. Being so not into kitchen stuff it never occurred to me to get recipes from her. Her pickled cucumbers and khrain were the best. Cleared your sinuses. Never tasted anything like them since. Well the grandparents both sides came from the Ukraine – then known as Russia. They came before the revolution but not to the USA but to England. I only knew my dad’s parents. I made aliyah in 1968. I became a very good cook and baker, is that the right word? It’s amazing how much English one can lose. Well about 20 odd years ago I stopped cooking and baking. I got divorced very amicably and my 2 kids were in the army. When I finally had to go back to the kitchen – husbands wives grandchildren – i had lost my touch and confidence. I was making spaghetti bolognaise, spaghetti alfredo, roast beef which is ridiculously expensive here. I’ve now stopped altogether and my daughter makes Friday night supper with occasional help from my daughter in law and my granddaughter helps. All this is to tell you that I’m feeling the urge to get back into the kitchen. Your recipe looks and sounds delicious. I hope! I’ll be able to start again. I also love talking to people online so if anyone feels like dropping a line…. I hope I haven’t bored you all to tears.

    - Judy on July 25, 2013 Reply
  • there is a reason why those are called “mandel” (german for “almonds”)
    One cannot just replace the real almond flavour with an artificial extract.
    Sliced almods are a must here.

    - Ivana on March 15, 2013 Reply
  • These were really good! I didn’t bake them quite as long on the last baking time. I like the fact that they weren’t as dry or hard as biscotti. Will definitely have to make these again.

    - Esther on March 13, 2013 Reply
  • I made these just before an open house and our house just sold. It had to be the delicious aroma of the mandel bread that sealed the deal.

    - Louise Fisch on March 11, 2013 Reply
  • I made a double batch of these (delicious) to bring over to a friend’s house. After they cooled, I put a few in ziploc bags and put them in the freezer. I forgot about them for about 6 weeks, but when I took them out one-by-one to eat them, they tasted the same as they did fresh. Good option to just keep in the freezer for surprise guests (or a quick snack).

    - Rachel Bridgeman on March 11, 2013 Reply
  • Almost as good asmy grandmothers! Actually they are just as good, maybe better (she used oil too) but shhhhh

    - Sharyn on March 10, 2013 Reply
  • I’ve had this recipe on my to do list since you posted it. I made them today and used sliced almonds and 60% bittersweet chocolate chips. They came out great. I can always count on your recipes. My husband wanted to sample them before the second baking. I plan to share some with our new neighbors tomorrow.

    - Danita on March 10, 2013 Reply
  • Excellent!!! This is one of my favorite recipes ever. I have made these for a friend who had hip surgery and for my brother far away when he lost his job. I gave them instructions to put these in their freezer and enjoy one or two daily with coffee/tea and know I was thinking of them. A great way to show someone you love them. My husband and kids love these too!

    - Lisa on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Have made many different recipes for mandel bread, but my husband loves this one the most..
    .

    - Carol on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • These are amazing! I wouldn’t change a thing!

    - Grace on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • I made them last weekend and they turned out very good!! My family loved it! The almond extract adds a very rich taste. 5 out of 5 :)

    - Annie on January 14, 2013 Reply
  • I made these cookies yesterday. They came out beautiful, but a little salty or bitter–what did I do wrong? Should I omit the salt next time? or cut down on the baking powder?

    - Daphna Gerendash on October 20, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Daphna, You could always cut back on the salt. As for the bitterness, are you using a good aluminum-free baking powder? I like the Rumford brand. Baking powders with aluminum can give baked goods a bitter or metallic aftertaste. Also, if your baking powder is not fresh, it can give baked goods an “off” taste.

      - Jenn on October 22, 2012 Reply
  • Breakfast Cookies….yum. Gotta try these

    - Linda Chaviano on October 10, 2012 Reply
  • Just tried this–it was divine, so different from the usual. I did bake a bit longer than directed. I like them very crisp!

    - TJ on October 6, 2012 Reply
  • One word says it all,,,, Heavenly
    Norm at Americlense Technologies

    - Norm Seavey on October 3, 2012 Reply
  • I made it couple nights ago, very easy to make and soooo good! I like it with my cup of coffee.

    Thanks Jenn

    - Liz on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • Mandelbrodt is typically made with oil instead of butter so it is “pareve” – can be enjoyed with either meat or dairy meal. I prefer almonds, a little more traditional and I think walnuts tend to taste bitter. My fave is craisins and almonds… then after baked & cooled I dip one side in white chocolate. Yum!

    - Cherie on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • I made these this past weekend. Talk about amazing!!!! Thanks for sharing this terrific recipe!

    - knitmaiden on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • These sound marvelous. I enjoy Biscotti but think a softer version would be much better!

    Thanks for sharing this family recipe!

    - Magi on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • I made these for my fellow teachers at a JDC. I used toasted pecans in addition to the chocolate chips. They were a huge hit! Thanks for such a great recipe.

    - Karyn on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • These look amazing. So sweet that they come with memories of your grandma. :)

    - Cooking on a Dime on September 29, 2012 Reply
  • When I saw the photo of your gorgeous mandel bread, I had to do a double-take. They look exactly like mine. The recipe I use was passed down from my grandmother, Anna! She was a native of Fall River, MA; her parents came here from Russia. Just compared recipes and they are virtually identical except we don’t add almond extract, but we do add a a 1/4 cup orange juice to the batter and also 1/2 tsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder to the mixture you sprinkle on. Maybe we were related in the ‘Old Country!

    - Beth on September 29, 2012 Reply
  • These turned out fantastic!! They are so good and I couldn’t believe how easy they were to make! My hubby was very impressed :) His grandma just passed a way a couple of weeks ago and she used to always make Biscotti so I wanted to make something similar….these met his approval :)

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on September 28, 2012 Reply
  • I’m making these right now! I’ll let you know how they turn out :)

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on September 28, 2012 Reply
  • Ok, this is the bottom line, I surrender ! made these cookies today, thanks to your Grandma Annie her recipe lives on. Made it this afternoon, house smelled luscious !! Loved the walnuts, indeed easier to cut than my traditional biscotti recipe (with loads of almonds), which is excellent as well and no fat, lots of eggs. Our lives are enriched when we step into our kitches and we honor our ancestors, their magic lives on ! Sweet memories indeed !! This is my third recipe from you in less than a week, all excellent. Thanks for sharing !!

    - Daymel on September 27, 2012 Reply
    • Thank you for this sweet comment, Daymel…I’m so glad you enjoyed my grandma’s mandel bread!

      - Jenn on September 28, 2012 Reply
  • My Bubby made mandel broit that was out of this world! Actually, everything she made was delicious! And all made from scratch! Thanks for sharing this wonderful looking recipe; it made me smile and think of all the wonderful dishes we enjoyed made by the loving hands of my Bubby. In honor of your Grandma Annie, I’m going to make her recipe for mandel broit.

    - Paula on September 27, 2012 Reply
  • I LOVE my husband’s Grandma’s biscotti so I know I’ll love this! It looks so amazing!

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on September 27, 2012 Reply
  • Reminds me of my Gramma! I am definitely going to make these:)

    - Randi on September 27, 2012 Reply
  • This looks great! I’d not have thought to sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. I will definitely be making these. Thank you

    - Linda on September 27, 2012 Reply
  • This is what we call a Kamish Broit! its so delicious, I use cocoa powder in the dough instead of chips, and we add prunes (I make a twist by adding cranberrys too!).
    Its a heart warming recipe… feels like pure love.

    - Monica on September 27, 2012 Reply
  • I’ve been making my husband’s aunt’s recipe w sliced almonds for 30 years – but not often, because the oil bothers me. Melted butter – brilliant! Walnuts instead of almonds – the logs will be easier to slice. I’m heading to the kitchen this minute!

    - Lisa S on September 27, 2012 Reply

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