Chosen Bites: A sweet yet crunchy dessert

Take a bit of chef Laura Frankel's pistachio and cranberry Mandelbrot coated in chocolate and served with a side of blood orange sorbet.

January 27, 2011 10:42
2 minute read.
Mandel bread

Mandel bread. (photo credit: Courtesy of Gourmetkoshercooking)


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Delicious and light! These classic European cookies take on a modern edge with the addition of pistachios and dried cranberries. Up the ante by dipping them in melted dark or white chocolate and serve with homemade blood orange sorbet.  I love a cookie that stands up to a dunk in my favorite coffee or tea. These cookies fit the bill. They are firm and full of flavor. I keep a batch frozen in the freezer ready at a moment’s notice.

Mandelbrodt or almond bread is a Ashkenazi confection that is usually twice baked. Similar to Italian Biscotti, mandelbread are formed into loaves, sliced and baked. To keep the mandelbread parve, used dark chocolate for dipping instead of white.

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Makes 24 biscotti

-2 cups all purpose flour
-½ cup almond flour
-¾ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
-1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
-3 large eggs
-Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-3 ounces chopped pistachios
-3 ounces chopped dried cranberries
-6 ounces dark or white chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line a baking sheet with a DOUBLE layer of parchment paper
3. Place flour, sugar and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the eggs, lemon juice and zest and the vanilla. Mix the ingredients together just until they dough forms (do not over mix or the cookies will be tough).
4. Add the pistachios and cranberries and mix just to combine.
5. Turn the dough out onto a baking sheet and form it into a 2X12 inch log
6. Bake the dough until the top is lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Let the log cool slightly. Cut into ½ inch thick slices. Return the cookies to the baking sheet and sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake the cookies again until the sugar melts-about 5 minutes.
7. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave or double boiler. Dip the cookies into the melted chocolate and allow to dry on parchment. Serve with tea or favorite sorbet.

and now for the ...Blood Orange Sorbet

-3 cups water (bottled water yields a tastier sorbet)
-2 ½ cups sugar
-2 cup fresh blood orange juice
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-Finely grated zest of 2 blood oranges
-1 egg white
-Pinch of kosher salt

1. Bring the water and sugar to a simmer until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and add the blood orange juice, lemon juice, zest and salt. Chill for at least 4 hours.
2.  Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until it is foamy. Add the egg to the juice mixture and process the sorbet in a machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the sorbet to a covered container and freeze until hard.

Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

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