April 15, 2019

Toffee Macaroon Matzo Bars






Ingredients

2-3 sheets plain matzo
10 oz semi or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened finely flaked coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk*
3/4 cup toffee chunks**


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly butter a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.

Place the matzo in the bottom of the pan, breaking as needed to fit and cover the bottom of the pan as much as possible.



Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips, then the coconut, and almonds over the matzo. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top, and spread with the back of a spoon or spatula until the mixture is evenly coated.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and immediately evenly sprinkle with toffee chunks.

Allow to cool on a wire rack completely before slicing.  This will take a lot longer than you expect.




Store in the refrigerator or on a cool counter in an air-tight container. Freeze leftovers up to 6 months if desired.

*Make sure to use sweetened condensed milk that is marked as Kosher for Passover or use one of the many recipes for making it yourself that are available online.

**I placed this toffee in a resealable bag and hit it with a rolling pin to break it into chunks. I sprinkled both the larger chunks and smaller bits.
My thoughts:


I was trying to think of a new dessert or treat for Passover this year, we are not religous but I normally make something each year. The pineapple coconut matzo granola I made years ago was great but not exactly a dessert. I love making macaroons but I felt like something different. I was going to make matzo toffee and call it a day but then I had a better idea.

Last year I discovered Magic Bars (or Hello Dolly Bars or 7-Layer Bars) for the first time. I think bars are more popular in other parts of the country and are a bit old fashioned but I did not grow up eating them. We always had brownies or black bottoms, not bars!  I made what I called cocoanuts bars last year then for New Year's Eve to go with our numbers theme, I made speculoos butterscotch 7-layer bars. They are so easy to make and the flavors are really open to tweaking.

Why not replace the cookie layer with matzo? While I love these bars they are very sweet, and I've tried a few things to cut down on the sweetness, namely using very dark chocolate and/or unsweetened coconut but it's a bar that uses sweetened condensed milk as a binder. There's not much you can do! Using a cookie layer doesn't help either. Why not use matzo instead? It's not sweet, is perfect for Passover and doesn't need butter to help it stick together and cover a baking dish which makes the bar lighter as well.

Once I decided to make Matzo magic bars, I had to think about flavors. I thought I'd combine those popular Passover treats--matzo brittle and macaroons--into one bar. I didn't want to just layer coconut on the toffee and call it a day so I made toffee and sprinkled it on top and made the bars the traditional way but substituting matzo for cookie crumbs. When you sprinkle the toffee while the bars are still hot, it melts into the bars but doesn't turn totally liquid which is exactly what you want.

These were so good, my husband gave them the ultimate compliment-they were legit delicious, not just good for Passover! Passover desserts can be tricky so this is high praise indeed. Of course, you don't have to make these solely for Passover, they are a treat any time of the year. The toffee really is the crowning touch--it adds so much flavor and a contrasting texture to the coconut and matzo.




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