Martha's Tender Mandelbrot
I'd never eaten mandelbrot before but as soon as I finished baking them, I realized they were similar to a Greek cookie (paximathia) I grew up eating. This particular recipe is a straightforward almond cookie, low in sugar, perfectly paired with tea or coffee.
This formula calls for Wondra - which I happen to have - but I'm not convinced that product will always be available (and I'm not sure how different the texture would be without it). These cookies are dry but tender, and they do drop a lot of crumbs when you move them around.
A few notes about this recipe:
- The recipe calls for corn oil, but I only had vegetable oil. I'm not sure what impact this might have had to the finished cookies, but it is possible there would be a textural or flavor difference.
- The recipe also calls for slivered almonds, but sliced almonds were all that were available. While the taste wouldn't have changed, the slivered almonds might have cut differently and resulted in a cleaner cut cookie slice before the second bake.
- By the time I began to put the slices in for the second bake, the oven had been on for quite some time and was running a little hot. I found that 12 - 15 minutes on the pan at 325 for each side was resulting in solidly browned cookies. I left the temperature at 325 but baked the slices for 5 - 10 minutes to get an even golden brown color.
Martha's Tender Mandelbrot
2 c Wondra flour (Wondra flour is a quick-mixing combination of wheat and malted barley made by Gold Medal. It comes in a slim cylindrical box.)
1 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
1/4 c corn oil
1/2 c slivered almonds
17" x 11" jelly roll pan, lined with foil
2 cookie sheets, ungreased
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Position racks in lower and upper thirds of the oven.
- Combine the Wondra flour and baking powder and whisk together thoroughly. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 4 - 5 minutes, or until light and thick.
- Beat in the oil.
- Stir in the flour mixture, then the almonds. Batter will be thin.
- Scrape the batter out in 2 long strips down the full length of the jelly-roll pan. Batter will flow considerably.
- Use a rubber spatula to neaten and separate the 2 strips of batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes on the lower oven rack.
- Remove the pan and reduce the oven temperature to 325F.
- Cool the loaves 5 or 10 minutes on the pan.
- Turn the foil liner over, with the long flat loaves still attached.
- Peel the foil from the bottom of the loaves.
- Transfer the loaves, right side up, to a cutting board.
- Use a serrated knife to cut each loaf on the diagonal into slices 3/4" wide.
- Lay the slices, cut side down, dividing them between two cookie sheets.
- Bake the slices at 325F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Rotate sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
- Turn each slice over and bake for 12 to 15 minutes more, or until golden brown.
- Rotate cookie sheets as before.
- Cool cookies completely before storing.
Makes 44 cookies
May be stored, airtight, for several weeks
This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.