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

  • Good Morning,
    I just put my dough in the fridge. I make this recipe every year. It is our favorite mandel bread. Every year my husband asks for it even though his own father makes a different mandel bread each year for the holiday and gives us half of it. Thank you for this recipe. It is truly wonderful and easy to make.
    Warm regards, Nancy

    • — Nancy on March 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jenn,

    I would like adapt this recipe for Passover. Have you made it with Matza Cake Meal? Would it be a 1:1 swap? Are any other changes necessary? This is my favorite holiday cookie and my family eats two full batches at every seder! Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you.

    Julie
    Los Angeles, CA

    • — Julie on March 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, I’ve never tried this with matzo cake meal, so I wouldn’t recommend it – I’m sorry! I’d recommend looking for a mandel bread that is kosher for Passover.

      • — Jenn on March 23, 2021
      • Reply
      • Jenn, Thanks for your quick reply. I have an old passed down recipe that I have been using that is similar but has more eggs and you cream the butter instead of melting. Here are the quantities, if you want to try out a Passover version:
        2 sticks butter (or vegan butter sticks)
        2 cups sugar
        6 eggs
        1 tsp vanilla
        2 3/4 cups matzah cake meal (or GF matzah cake meal)
        3/4 cups potato starch
        1/2 tsp salt,
        1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
        1 cup nuts (optional)
        sugar/cinnamon mixture for rolling cut pieces.
        Cram butter an sugar -add eggs, vanilla, mix in the combined dry ingredients , but do not overtax – stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
        Same method of shaping into 4 logs and bake 45 min at 350
        turn oven down to 250 then return cut log slices rolled into cinnamon/sugar while still warm and bake another 45 minutes, turning half way from cut side to cut side.

        • — Julie on March 23, 2021
        • Reply
        • Thanks for sharing Julie — happy Passover!

          • — Jenn on March 24, 2021
          • Reply
  • Have made your pecan biscotti several times and I’ve been craving it recently, but have grandchildren on top of me right now and figured they’d prefer this instead. They are really good, but, and I’m sure it’s me, they fell apart when I turned them over to sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon on top. Maybe I didn’t have them thin enough when they were cooking, by that, required more cooking time. Either way, they are very good, but I’m going to stick to your amazing biscotti. 😀

    • — Daffydil on February 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • These mandelbread cuts are unbelievably delicious, with the perfect combination of Cinnamon and Chocolate. I made two batches and learned that it’s really important to chill the dough for a couple of hours. I used only one tsp of vanilla, and added a touch more cinnamon for the finishing sugar sprinkle.

    • — Mimi on February 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made your Mandelbrot and I really appreciate this recipe! I have tried others but I would lose the shape and end up with a wide cookie. I am so grateful you said to refrigerate dough! This step makes a big difference. Thank you!
    I will definitely make again.

    • — Alisa on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are delicious, and memorable cookies, which are now on my Fav cookie, and Christmas cookie lists. These keep well, if made ahead, and I hide them. Thanks, Jen!!

    • — Tavo on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this recipe for the holiday and gave it as gifts for my friends!
    I’ve made many biscotti recipes but this was is so good and unique with the cinnamon sugar topping. Don’t forget that topping it makes these cookies so good! I froze these cookies and froze beautifully! Biscotti always takes more time than a regular cookie but so worth it! Will definitely make again.

    • — Joy Eggleston on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made these three times already (and I don’t usually bake cookies)! I made half the recipe with just chocolate chips and half with chocolate chips and almond slivers (kids prefer without nuts). Very easy recipe. Do not skip chilling the dough before shaping into logs, otherwise it’s very sticky.

    • — Beth on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Loved the hint of nutmeg in these cookies—I grated fresh nutmeg!

    • — Kerrie on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Easy recipe to add to your recipe files I added walnuts. Next time I will try dark chocolate or fruits. Recipe freezes well

    • — Hazel on January 29, 2021
    • Reply

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