BAKE ME: My Mama’s Mandelbrot


My mother is an excellent baker. Her banana chocolate chip muffins are famous among my friends and family. Everyone fights for them. Especially the muffins that fall a little bit or are slightly under-cooked. I am drooling just thinking about them.  She is equally famous for her mandelbrot, the Jewish version of Italian Biscotti.  A couple weeks ago my mother sent a box of her homemade mandelbrot to my brother via UPS and she didn’t send me any! Her reasoning for not sending any to me was that I was fully capable of making my own. She was right but I was insanely jealous of my brother.

I have never made them before as I have been scared I would fail miserably. In my family there is the great mandelbrot debate. Crunchy vs. Chewy. I am firmly in the crunchy camp but I am always afraid of over-baking them. Burnt mandelbrot are not very tasty. Last week I decided it was time to give her recipe a try. She typically uses almond extract and lemon zest.  I deviated a little bit and put my own twist on her recipe. The results were delicious!

Ellen’s Mandelbrot Recipe


All Purpose White Flour, 3 cups

Baking Powder, 1 tablespoon

Sea Salt, ¼ teaspoon

Eggs, 4 room temperature

White Sugar, 1-1/2 cups

Vegetable Oil, ½ cup

Vanilla Extract, 1-1/2 teaspoons

**My mother uses a mix of 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ of almond extract for some extra nuttiness.

Orange Zest or Lemon Zest, 1 tablespoon

**I prefer the orange zest.

Chocolate Chips or Taza Chocolate Covered Cocoa Nibs, ½ cup

Cinnamon Sugar, to dust with (see below)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Beat the eggs with the sugar until the mixture is thick and pale.
  4. Add the oil and vanilla extract.
  5. Beat in the sifted dry ingredients.
  6. Add the orange zest and chocolate last.
  7. Add additional flour if the dough is too sticky.
  8. Shape the dough into two (2) big logs, about two (2) inches in diameter. Dust with cinnamon sugar.
  9. Place the logs onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned.
  10. Remove the logs and cut into slices. Dust with more cinnamon sugar on both sides of the slices.
  11. Put the slices back onto the greased cookie sheet, cut side down, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes on each side.
  12. Cool on a rack and then store in an airtight container.

One thought on “BAKE ME: My Mama’s Mandelbrot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s