This crunchy sweet treat is easy enough for kids to make, with a little parental supervision. Whether your family is addicted to salted caramels or more traditional in your chocolate cravings, this Passover candy can be adapted to fit the bill. Just be sure to ferret some away...it goes fast!
Chocolate-covered matzo bark keeps for a week in an airtight container and makes a great gift when wrapped up in a pretty box. Plus, it's so easy to make, kids can create a variety of treats by tweaking the recipe with white chocolate instead of semi-sweet, chopped toasted almonds, or whatever else they'd like to throw in to add their own personal touch.
What You Do:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed cookie sheets completely with foil. Cover the bottom of your pans with baking parchment paper (on top of the foil.) This is very important because the mixture becomes sticky during baking. Line the bottom of the pan evenly with matzo boards, cutting extra pieces of matzo, as required, to fit any spaces on the cookie sheet as evenly as possible.
- Combine margarine or butter and brown sugar in a 3 quart, heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla powder or vanilla extract. If your family likes the salted caramel chocolates that are all the rage these days, add a big pinch of sea salt during this step, too. This is totally optional-- not everyone likes salt with their chocolate! Stir well and then pour or spoon over the matzo.
- Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure mixture is not burning. If it seems to be browning too quickly, remove from oven, lower heat to 325 degrees and put it back in the oven.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle matzo boards immediately with chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate as evenly as possible over the matzo. If you'd like to add chopped almonds or other nuts, sprinkle them over the top now. Then, while it's still warm, break the matzo into small uneven pieces. Chill your bark in the refrigerator until set.
Bark will last for about a week in an airtight container. It looks very pretty served in confectioner's paper cups, and it makes a great finale for a Passover seder. Just beware: this stuff is highly addictive. Be sure to keep it on a high shelf so it's not all gone by the time company rings the doorbell!
Marcy Goldman is creator of BetterBaking.com. This recipe was reprinted with permission and can be found in the new edition of her book, "A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking" (Whitecap Books, 2009). It was previously published by both Doubleday and Broadway. She is also author of "A Passion for Baking" (Oxmoor House, 2007).