Grandma Annie’s Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread

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Mandel bread is a traditional twice-baked Jewish cookie similar to biscotti.

My Grandma Annie made the world’s best mandel bread, a traditional Jewish cookie similar to Italian biscotti. Every time she came to visit us, she would walk off the plane sporting a big smile and carrying a cookie tin in each hand. Her mandel bread never lasted long at our house, so we’d always bake more during her stay, tripling the recipe so we’d have enough to share with all the neighbors. Eventually, the whole block came to love her visits!

Like biscotti, mandel bread is twice-baked and crunchy. However, it’s made with more fat than biscotti, so the resulting cookie is a bit richer and less dry. You don’t need to dip it in coffee or tea to enjoy it—it’s delicious all on its own. Most mandel bread recipes are non-dairy and call for oil (including my grandma’s), but I use butter because it tastes better.

What You’ll Need To Make Mandel Bread

How To Make Mandel Bread

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Whisk to combine.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract.

Beat on medium speed until combined.

Add the eggs.

Add the eggs and continue beating on medium speed until thickened and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the dry ingredients.

Mix on low speed until just incorporated.

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 to 2 hours. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and shape the dough into 2 logs about 2 inches wide, 13 inches long, and 1 inch tall.

Place the logs on two parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly golden, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through. Remove the pans from the oven and place on cooling racks. Let the baked logs cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 250°F. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Once the logs have cooled, cut them diagonally into 3/4-inch-thick slices (I do this directly on the baking sheets, but you can transfer the logs to a cutting board, if you’d like).

Flip the cookies on their sides and 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 the temperature has reached 250°F!) and bake until golden and crisp, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool, then store in airtight container. (Note: the cookies will get crunchier as they cool.)

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Grandma Annie's Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread

Mandel bread is a traditional twice-baked Jewish cookie similar to biscotti.

Servings: 32 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
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (or 1 cup vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts or slivered almonds (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and the nutmeg.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the melted butter, 1 cup of the sugar, the vanilla extract and almond extract. Beat on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs and continue beating on medium speed until thickened and pale yellow, 2 to 3 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 to 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set two oven racks in the centermost positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and shape the dough into 2 logs about 2 inches wide, 13 inches long, and 1 inch tall. Place the logs on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly golden, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through. Remove the pans from the oven and place on cooling racks. Let the baked logs cool for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 250°F.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
  5. Once the logs have cooled, cut them diagonally into 3/4-inch-thick slices (I do this directly on the baking sheets, but you can transfer the logs to a cutting board, if you'd like). Flip the cookies onto their sides, and 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 the temperature has reached 250°F) and bake until golden and crisp, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the mandel bread cool on the baking sheets on the cooling racks, then store in airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. (Note: the cookies will get crunchier as they cool.)
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The dough can be frozen for up to 3 months: Shape the dough into logs, wrap each securely in plastic wrap, and place them in a sealable bag. When ready to bake, remove the logs from the freezer, thaw the dough until pliable, and then proceed with recipe. To freeze after baking: After the cookies are completely cooled, double-wrap them securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 169
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 90 mg
  • Cholesterol: 33 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Made these today and they turned out fabulous! I used chopped toasted pecans and mini chocolate chips. Directions were easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!

    • — Susan Swearengin on December 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’m not much of a baker. Too precise for my taste. But I made these yesterday. They are delicious! I love that they’re not as hard as biscotti and WAY more tasty! My family loved them, too! Thanks for the great recipe. I LOVE so many of your recipes. I tell my friends about your web site. You are a GREAT cook/chef. 🙂

    • — Michelle on December 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I am making these tonight, and following your recipe precisely as it’s my first time trying this recipe. What is the reason for the COOLING period (after Round 1 of baking) before slicing? Thanks.

    • — Barrie on December 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Barrie, The loaf will crumble if you try to cut it when it’s too hot.

      • — Jenn on December 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • These look great. I was wondering if nuts and some chopped dried apricots would work? Sorry, not a fan of chocolate chips!

    • — Ann on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this twice this year- delicious! Just looking at the recipe now to make for Chanukah-did you change it? I seem to remember it was 14 tablespoons butter- now a full two sticks- curious if you did change it and why. Thanks.

    • — Mindy on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Mindy, Yes, I made the mandel bread recently and accidentally added the two full sticks. They turned out even better, so I changed it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi! Is it possible to make these gluten free, swapping in 1:1 gf flour? I’d love to try this recipe but can’t consume regular flour.

    • — Dorothy Sood on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Dorothy, I’ve never made these gluten-free so I can’t say from experience, but I suspect it will work. Oftentimes readers will comment that they’ve made a recipe gluten-free and report back, but it looks like you’re the first for this one so you’ll be the guinea pig. 🙂 Please LMK how they turn out if you try them!

      • — Jenn on December 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • These are better than any mandel bread I ate as a child. They’re better than the chocolate chip biscotti I make each year. I absolutely loved them. Thanks.

    • — Stephanie Christopher on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    This recipe was delicious, but mine came out really airy and dry while yours looks more dense and cookie like. Would you know why, did I cook it too long? just curious.

    • — tammy on November 12, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Tammy, it sounds like the texture you got was correct. The butter doesn’t really make for a thicker, more buttery cookie; it just gives it more flavor than the oil. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn
    I’d love to try a pumpkin Mandelbrot for the holidays this fall. Do you have any advice that might be an adaptation of this recipe? Thank you.

    • — Ilene on August 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ilene, I wouldn’t recommend incorporating pumpkin into the mandel bread. Pumpkin doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own but adds a lot of moisture (so it could throw the wet and dry ratios off). Instead, I’d use the recipe and add a teaspoon or so of pumpkin pie spice. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn, It’s Patriciann again … now that I cut the Mandel Bread in 3/4 in slices, they look AWESOME!! I knew u wouldn’t let me down. Thank u so much for a Great recipe.. My Dr. will love them.. I used chocolate chips n walnuts, n as u suggest all butter in the mix.

    • — Patriciann on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad they turned out nicely — hope your doctor enjoys them! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn! I have never made Mandel bread before and it’s a little hard to tell from the photo. Approximately how tall and/or how long should the log be?

      Thanks!
      Noreen

      • — Noreen on August 1, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Noreen, The logs should be about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on August 4, 2020
        • Reply
  • I just finished making the Mandel Bread. I don’t know what I did wrong. I am so meticulous with my measurements as well as my ingredients. For some reason, they really spread a lot. I did the 2-inch as u said to do. They didn’t rise a lot at all; they’re almost look flat.. I’m ready to cut then. I planned to give them to my Pulmonary Dr who is Jewish n loves Mandel Bread but I don’t know if I should??? I don’t know what to do. I am ready to cut them now n see how they look. I love ur recipes n ur site. Won’t keep me from trying again!

    • — Patriciann on June 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Patriciann, Sorry to hear you struggled with this! How did it come out?

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • My family enjoys this recipe but can you add the metric measurements to the print copy? It is not there.

    • — Irene on June 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Irene, I just added metric measurements (and so glad you like them)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I only have whole wheat pastry flour and spelt flour available right now. Do you think either would work for this recipe? Thanks for so many delicious recipes!

    • — Shelah on May 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Shelah, Glad you like the recipes! I wouldn’t recommend spelt flour and while whole wheat pastry flour may work here, it’s really hard to say without trying it myself. For the most predictable results, I’d stick with the all-purpose flour. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on May 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • I have made this recipe several times. I weigh all ingredients for consistency. My family loves the flavor and texture. Today, on the second bake I actually used the lower baking temperature and 1 hour toasting time, turning the pan every 15 min and flipping the slices for the last 30 min. Much better. Usually toast each side for 7 to 8 min at 350°. I keep cinnamon sugar in a shaker bottle (my proportions) and sprinkle the loaves lightly before baking and the cut slices lightly each side. Sprinkle second side when you flip for last 30 min. They are great with no sprinkling of cinnamon. Remember bakers, you can adjust the spices to your taste! Leave out flavors you do not alike. Use ones you do like. Change up the mix-ins to add up to 1 cup or 1 1/4 cup. I prefer using just 3/4 cup of oil and 1 slight cup of sugar. Also refrigerate my dough on a 1/4 sheet pan lined with plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap or food grade gloves to pat the dough into a flat loaf as long as pan and half as wide. The wrapped dough can be refrigerated for as long as you like. When ready to bake split dough down the middle length wise and roll on to larger baking sheet lined with Slipat or parchment. Using your gloved hands or plastic wrap pat into the suggested size. Perfect cookies every time. Remember there are different cinnamons out there. Choose a mild flavored one or combine a few cinnamons to find one you like. Lowering the oil or butter will give you biscotti! Also good!

    • — Grandma Reno on May 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen
    I have a sugar question for the mandel bread recipe:

    Is the 2 Tablespoons of sugar in the recipe for your mandel bread just for the topping? Or do you literally add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons to the mixture plus another 2 tablespoons for the topping?
    Thanks
    Debbie

    • — Debbie on April 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, The dough gets the full 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. of sugar and the topping gets 2 Tbsp. of sugar and 3/4 tsp. of cinnamon. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2020
      • Reply
      • I’m baking these cookies right now so it’s too late to change anything, but what you’re saying here is different than how the above recipe is written. Did you change it?

        • — Michelle on December 12, 2020
        • Reply
        • Yes, so sorry for the confusion, Michelle! I recently tweaked the recipe.

          • — Jenn on December 13, 2020
          • Reply
  • Have made these several times and love them–delicious–however my question is why do you think the last couple of times I made them I did not get that many cookies out of the batter — maybe about 20. thanks for your answer

    • — shirley on March 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • That’s really strange, Shirley! You’ve made and have gotten the full yield of 35 to 40 pieces before? Any chance you’re cutting them thicker now? Have you made any adjustments to the recipe?

      • — Jenn on March 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • What is the best way to fill mandel bread with jam? Do you make a trough down the center then pinch the dough together or do you spread the dough out, add the jam, and roll the sides over the jam and pinch the side and ends together?

    • — Jodi on September 30, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jodi, I’ve never filled mandel bread with jam, but based on your description, I think the first of the two alternatives would probably be easier. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on October 1, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn: I made these Mandel bread last night, and they turned out excellent!!! I tried them with my morning coffee this morning and they were delicious, tender but not falling apart after dipped in the coffee . I did not have almond extract, so I used pure orange extract instead and added some orange zest which I had on hand, I also used butter, one cup of cane sugar and left the chocolate chips out. They turned out excellent!!! I tried your double chocolate biscotti and the Walnut & cinnamon biscotti, both turned out amazing!!! Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes.

    Sandy
    Vancouver BC

    • — Sandy on September 10, 2019
    • Reply
  • I’ve loved all of Jenn’s recipes and I’ve made many through the years; sadly, this one didn’t work for me (this is such a personal thing – this recipe might be perfect for someone who grew up eating mandel bread similar to this!). I hesitated when the recipe called for cinnamon as I don’t remember there being cinnamon in the mandel bread I ate as a child. But I added it and was sorry I did; I also added chocolate chips and walnuts but could only taste the cinnamon. I love cinnamon, just not in mandel bread. I didn’t care for the texture either; not crisp, not soft, more like a cookie in biscotti form. Brought them to a weekend get together and none of us cared for them. I managed to eat a few dunked in my morning coffee but tossed the rest. I might tweak this recipe but I’ll keep searching for a mandel bread recipe that’s more similar to what I remember eating as a child.
    Do try Jenn’s Strawberry Cake and French Apple Cake – both are fantastic!

    • — DV on July 8, 2019
    • Reply
  • Have made these quite a few times now. Butter is better, so that’s what i use. Used Brown Butter one time but just as good with plain butter. I use almonds, almond extra, and dried cherries and a touch of orange zest. Thanks.

    • — Rich on July 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,

    Stumbled on your AMAZING website today. My lovely mother turning 80 this February misplaced her recipe for Mandelbrot recently and we can’t find it. I am hoping when I make your Grandma Annie’s it will be just like my late Baba Esther’s recipe! I love that you use butter in place of oil and choose many organic ingredients. One note I would like to share with your followers (which I am sure you are aware) is that not all butter is the same in taste and salt whether organic or not / salted or unsalted. It can change the taste of food and baking! Great to research if one is not sure.

    One question: can I substitute unrefined cane sugar for refined white sugar?
    I will post my results once baked.

    Thank you for sharing all your delicious recipes…can’t wait to make many of them!

    Cheers,
    Kayla

    • — Kayla on January 31, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kayla, Glad you happened upon the website and thanks for your input regarding butter – I’m sure that will be helpful to readers. And yes, I think you could use unrefined cane sugar without a problem. Hope you enjoy the mandel bread!

      • — Jenn on January 31, 2019
      • Reply
  • If I used salted butter, should I omit the salt?

    • Hi Shelley, While it varies by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can use the salted butter and reduce the salt in the recipe as needed. Hope that helps!

  • Tried this recipe for the first time, easy and looks yummy. However, the flavor was not what I expected. It had an anise type flavor, is this the way it should taste. I did use oil instead of butter, other than that followed recipe.

    • Hi Cid, Sorry these were a bit of a disappointment. Not sure why they’d taste like anise as they don’t contain any anise! I do think that these taste much better with butter, so I suspect that the substitution of oil did impact how they tasted.

  • Another 5 STARS recipe from Jen! I am so excited to take to the family annual Biscotti Bake! I feel like an accomplished baker! Thanks again!

  • I’ve never had a mandel bread before but I was trying to make a cookie that would last a plane ride to my mother in law’s house and make plenty for them there. I made the coconut macaroons and this. They were both awesome. My “logs” did run into each other a little bit but it was not big deal. I was a little confused by the directions which said to make the logs 2 inches wide. Mine were a little bigger to get them all on one pan but not by much. They are so good with some coffee (my go-to drink :). And I must say I have tried probably about half of your recipes and I can’t find a reason to change any of them. Everyone thinks I’m such a good cook now even though I just tell them I found the best website. So thanks for making me the cook I always told my mother I never wanted to be 🙂

  • My mother was a fabulous baker. As an immigrant from Poland, she was not accustomed to measuring spoons or measuring cups and never used them. She also never used a recipe. As a child, I never thought twice about it but when I started baking, I realized what an amazing feat to base your baking recipes on instinct. That being said , these mandel bread taste very, very similar to my mom’s. I have made them many times and shared them with friends and family. Everyone loves them. They are slices of perfection. Thank you for sharing the story about your grandmother and her delicious recipe.

  • How many days can I make them in advance and should they be kept in the refrigerator?
    Luv your recipes!!!

    • Hi Susan, So glad you like the recipes! These keep well – I’d say you could make them several days in advance. It’s a good idea to refrigerate; just be sure to bring to room temperature before serving.

  • Delicious! This recipe makes the best mandel bread! I did only use half of the cinnamon and sugar for the second bake and it was plenty.

  • Do you have a Passover Mandel bread recipe?

    • Hi Theresa, I’m sorry — I don’t! I do have a number of other kosher for Passover dessert recipes if you want to take a peek here.

  • This recipe is delicious! I have made my cousin’s recipe for years, but this one is much better.

  • Over the past 30 years, I have tried many mandel bread recipes. Many were tasty, but none was like I remembered having as a child, until now. Grandma Annie must have known my neighbor and shared her recipe. This mandel bread is just as I remember. Thanks so much for kindling fond memories.

  • I am 72 years young and this recipe took me back to my childhood days in my Grandmother’s kitchen! WOW! These are fantastic and just like Gramma used to make. Was introduced to your website about two years ago and use at least one of your recipes once a week. Everything I have ever made from you has turned out great. Thank you so much!

  • I know u can freeze the Mandel bread but can u freeze the dough

    • Sure, Brianna – that should be fine.

  • Any suggestions about freezing cookies, or what types freeze best? I lost my mandel bread recipe and can’t wait to make yours!
    Thanks and blessings to you and family.

    • Hi Penny, These freeze beautifully for up to a few months.

  • Okay…..the original recipe is delicious and I’m a recipe follower….except this time and I made a slight change. In place of the chocolate chips, I used 1 cup of dried apple (next time I will use 2 cups), replaced the extracts with 3 tablespoons of boiled cider. They are very tasty and next time I may add cinnamon or caramel chips. This type of biscotti is very tender but doesn’t fall apart when dunked.

    • Boiled cider! I love boiled cider – def gonna try it in my mandel bread!
      A hint for you – try it in apple crisp topping – it’s so tasty there (and everywhere!), plus I cut a little butter.

      • — Lori on June 27, 2019
      • Reply
  • My husband’s deceased grandmother made the best kamish bread. It was famous! I used this recipe to try and see if I could live up to it and his family LOVED it. Even said it may be better. It reminds them of her and they are so happy when I make it. I’ve made this recipe using this site so many times I have it memorized! They originally thought I used her original recipe but unfortunately I could not find the recipe card she wrote it out on. I google searched into I found one that seemed similar and this was a WINNER. It is easy and the results are perfect. I’ve made it with butter and oil depending on what I have around. It turns out great either way. Thank you so much for this and for giving my husband’s family a tasteful reminder of their past.

  • I left out the chocolate chips and just did walnuts, it was delightful

  • This recipe is perfect. Don’t tell my mom…

  • A search for Cinnamon Mandel bread lands here. Is it the same recipe without the chocolate chips?

    • Yes it’s the same. Enjoy!

      • Thanks for the quick reply. Happy New Year !

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