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 twice-baked, crunchy Jewish cookie similar to biscotti. Whenever she visited us, she’d walk off the plane with a big smile and 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 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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Comments

  • I just made these last night for my neighbor gifts. They are wonderful and hopefully make it to my neighbors!

    Thanks for another great recipe.
    Happy Holidays.
    Lauri Selib

  • Outstanding! I come from a family of bakers. One member, with a very discernable palate exclaimed after tasting this recipe, “these are better than mine.” I’ve been hooked on this site ever since. They freeze perfectly too!
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Jenn’s Grandma and Jenn.

    I’m making these for Thanksgiving along with the traditional desserts so guests can have them with their coffee.

    I’ll add cranberries and walnuts and dust some a candied ginger/pumpkin spice/sugar mix instead of the sugar and cinnamon.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Jenn’s Grandma and Jenn. This is my go-to cookie now for Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc.

  • how many total/ regular servings is this thank you

    and it is delicious

    • This makes between 35 and 40 cookies. So glad you like it!

  • These are outstanding! This is my go to treat i send in the mail for care packages. Everyone loves!

  • My family usually prefers a softer Mandel bread. Can I skip the second bake?

    • Sure Susan, that should work.

  • what oven temp do I bake this at?
    I used to make this and lost the recipe.
    Thank you

    • — frances vassall
    • Reply
    • Hi Frances, Initially the mandel bread should be baked at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. After removing the mandel bread from the oven, turn it down to 250 degrees for the second round of baking. Hope you enjoy!

      • Hi wondering why you didn’t make this change to the original recipe above?
        Had I not read the reviews I wouldn’t have known this. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Sounds delicious 😊🙏

        • — Yvonne Dumas on December 6, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Yvonne, sorry for any confusion. I think most people view the full recipe at the bottom of the page so I didn’t indicate the temperature change up above. I’ve just updated that part of the recipe to include that. Hope you enjoy when you make them!

          • — Jenn on December 7, 2020
          • Reply
  • Iv made this recipe before and it’s amazing!!! Wondering if I can use coconut flour instead of regular flour

    • Merri, I’m not very familiar with coconut flour, so it’s hard to say. I do think that coconut flour behaves differently than all purpose flour, so not certain it would be a great replacement- sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  • These look great! I’m cooking for a large party. How many does the recipe yield?

    • Hi Andy, it should yield 35 – 40 cookies. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • Oh man! These sound awesome and I haven’t had Mandela brodt in too long of a time! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • These look amazing ! Do you think the
    recipe would work with half butter half oil?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Alisa, I do 🙂

  • Good recipe. Get rave reviews each time I make them. I add extra chocolate chips to take them up a notch.

  • To add to the last comment: I also use white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour–for a little added nutritional value. It works well. Also used canola oil instead of butter and cut down the sugar just a tad. Again, recipe still comes out tasty.

  • Very good recipe. I added a couple of tablespoons of potato starch/flour, as many mandelbrodt recipes do. I think it adds a certain lightness to the texture.

  • I always thought my Grandma made the best version of mandel bread in the world, but your Grandma Annie’s is very close and may even be an improvement–especially with your modification using butter, nutmeg, and more vanilla extract. I didn’t put chocolate chips in mine. I grew up on pecans and raisins in Grandma’s, so that’s how I made this. I’ll experiment next time, leaving out raisins, and adding different nuts (walnuts and/or almonds) and may try the Ghirardelli chips, as you show. I love the addition of nutmeg, which I’m convinced improves just about everything. If my husband and I don’t finish the whole batch before seeing the kids tomorrow, I’ll give them some to try and compare with our family recipe. I also like how you cut them into large, dense pieces, rather than delicate little things. That’s the same “look” my grandma made. Anyway, they are the most delicious cookies, so much a part of my childhood, and making either recipe brings back memories of family traditions. So addictive and wonderful! Thanks for sharing your grandmother’s recipe! Also, many thanks for posting the step-by-step wonderful photos. They help me know I’m right “on track” as I follow your recipes.

  • These biscotti were a big hit with my family last night after dinner. I have my husband’s aunt’s old recipe, which is tried-and-true – but I decided to put my trust in Jenn and give her version a try. Good decision! Next, I plan to try her double chocolate biscotti. My family can’t wait

  • 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!

  • What is the difference between using oil or butter

    • Hi Rockie, In this case, the only difference is that the butter adds flavor.

  • 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!!!

  • 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

    • That is so sweet, Jeff. I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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
    • Reply
  • Almost as good asmy grandmothers! Actually they are just as good, maybe better (she used oil too) but shhhhh

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Have made many different recipes for mandel bread, but my husband loves this one the most..
    .

  • These are amazing! I wouldn’t change a thing!

  • 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 🙂

  • 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
    • 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.

  • Breakfast Cookies….yum. Gotta try these

    • — Linda Chaviano
    • 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!

  • One word says it all,,,, Heavenly
    Norm at Americlense Technologies

  • I made it couple nights ago, very easy to make and soooo good! I like it with my cup of coffee.

    Thanks Jenn

  • 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!

  • I made these this past weekend. Talk about amazing!!!! Thanks for sharing this terrific recipe!

  • These sound marvelous. I enjoy Biscotti but think a softer version would be much better!

    Thanks for sharing this family recipe!

  • 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.

  • These look amazing. So sweet that they come with memories of your grandma. 🙂

  • 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!

  • 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 🙂

  • I’m making these right now! I’ll let you know how they turn out 🙂

  • 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 !!

    • Thank you for this sweet comment, Daymel…I’m so glad you enjoyed my grandma’s mandel bread!

  • 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.

  • I LOVE my husband’s Grandma’s biscotti so I know I’ll love this! It looks so amazing!

  • Reminds me of my Gramma! I am definitely going to make these:)

  • This looks great! I’d not have thought to sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. I will definitely be making these. Thank you

  • 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.

  • 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!

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