Sharing Food and Memories with Friends and Family

January 23, 2011
Irene Saiger


Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot and Almond Biscotti

Soft, chewy cookies or hard, crisp ones?  As with many foods, over time people develop preferences. I am a firmly entrenched fan of the hard, dry, crisp variety of cookies.  I like them to have enough substance to withstand being dunked in my coffee without melting or disintegrating. In addition to density, I like texture, so I prefer that the cookie includes nuts, chocolate chips, or both. Over the years I have tried various Mandelbrot and biscotti recipes and have found that these two recipes are among my favorites. The Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot recipe is actually a Passover recipe that was given to me by a friend of a friend.  We like it so much that I now bake it all year round. The Almond Biscotti recipe was adapted from one of Judy Zeidler’s cookbooks.  It has a more traditional flavor and is reminiscent of the Mandelbrot that I grew up with.

My mother would often visit family members and end up in their kitchen cooking.  I remember her making schav borscht in Micheline’s kitchen and chopped liver in Tante Marisha’s kitchen.  She enjoyed pitching in and being helpful, and it created a feeling of togetherness.  Although I have cooked in my daughter Shira’s and my cousin Micheline’s kitchens, I sometimes end up transporting challot or cookies from my kitchen in Los Angeles.  It is an expression of my affection, a way to let someone know that I was thinking of them even before I arrived at my destination. This morning I baked both Almond Biscotti and Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot (with Norm’s help) to take to Houston, Texas, where I will be attending my future daughter-in-law’s bridal shower.  As Marcella Hazan the famous cookbook author once said, “After all, what experience of food can compare with eating something good made by someone you can hug?”  Cookies and hugs, perfect.

Almond Biscotti

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3/4 ground almonds

1/2 toasted silvered almonds

2 eggs

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

1 egg white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place dry ingredients in a shallow bowl and mix. Create a well in the center and add eggs, vanilla and sugar and quickly incorporate flour.  Divide dough into two equal portions. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and, using oiled hands, form dough into two logs.  Brush with beaten egg white. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Move logs to a board and carefully slice on a diagonal. Return to cookie sheet, cut side up, and bake for an additional 10 minutes on each side.


Loretta’s Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot

3 sticks margarine

2 cups sugar plus an extra 4 Tbs for sprinkling

6 eggs

2 3/4 cups cake meal

3/4 potato starch

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 – 12 oz. bags of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Reserve 4 Tbs sugar and mix with 2 Tsp cinnamon and set aside. Cream sugar and margarine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.  Add dry ingredients.  Divide dough into 4 equal portions and with oiled hands, form 4 loaves, divided between 2 greased cookie sheets.  Sprinkle each loaf with an equal amount of the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake for about 45 minutes. Slice loaves and place Mandelbrot cut side up, sprinkling with more cinnamon sugar.  Return to oven and bake another 10-15 minutes per side or till crispy.





16 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot and Almond Biscotti

  1. Hi, Irene,
    Thank you very much for the reply and such a great recipes you share!

    Love your blog!

  2. Do you use matzoh cake meal for the mandelbrot? Do you make Almond biscotti for Passover too? If so, how much matzo meal do you use instead of flour?

    • Hi,

      I do use matzoh cake meal and they are really good but I have not made the Almond Biscotti with matzoh meal.

      This is what I found when I did some research but since I haven’t tried it, I can’t swear by it. The other option is to make the same recipe but substitute slivered almonds for the chocolate chips.For 1 ounce baking chocolate (unsweetened chocolate) — 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon oil or melted margarine

      For 16 ounces semisweet chocolate — 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/4 cup oil and 7 tablespoons granulated sugar

      For 14 ounces sweet chocolate (German-type) — 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 2 2/3 tablespoons oil and 4 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

      For 1 cup confectioners’ sugar — 1 cup granulated sugar minus 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1 tablespoon potato starch pulsed in a food processor or blender

      For 1 cup honey — 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water

      For 1 cup corn syrup — 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup water boiled until syrupy

      1 cup vanilla sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 split vanilla bean left for at least 24 hours in a tightly covered jar

      For 1 tablespoon flour — 1/2 tablespoon potato starch

      For 1 tablespoon cornstarch — 1 tablespoon potato starch

      For 1 teaspoon baking powder — 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar; if keeping for awhile, add 1/4 teaspoon potato starch (some people do not accept this as appropriate for Passover)

      For 1 cup graham cracker crumbs — 1 cup ground Passover cookies or soup nuts plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon

      For 1 cup bread crumbs — 1 cup matzo meal

      1 cup matzo meal = 3 matzot ground in a food processor

      1 cup matzo cake meal = 1 cup + 2 tablespoons matzo meal finely ground in a blender or food processor and sifted

      3 crumbled matzot = 2 cups matzo farfel

      For 1 cup of flour, substitute 5/8 cup matzo cake meal or potato starch, or a combination sifted together

  3. Hi Irene,

    Just wanted to let you know I have made the mandel bread recipe 3 times this Passover. It is so good. I have a batch in the oven right now.

    Thanks for posting.


    • Hi Norma,

      Thank you so much for letting me know. I am thrilled to get the feedback. A friend of mine made them but she didn’t leave them in long enough so they are soft.

      Chag Sameach,

  4. Both of these cookies look delicious, I’ll definitely try the mandelbrot for Passover this year.

  5. yummy. My favorite mandelbroit recipe is in the UJ Cookbook. It’s made with almond pieces and chocolate chips. The shortening is oil. My family likes to eat the broken bits and end pieces of the roll before it goes in for the second baking. Then they like to eat the rest of it.

  6. Irene,
    These look delicious! I will definitely make the mandelbroit for Passover. I can always use good Passover dessert recipes.
    Just one question– is it 3/4 “cup” potato starch?

  7. I make biscotti during the year but have never tried them on Pesach. I’m clipping this recipe and hope to try them this year! Thanks.

  8. I can’t wait to have them in Houston with everyone together!

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