Last year on Passover my comrade-in-arms, Susan, and her husband and daughter came to our Seder. She brought with her a bag of mazto crackers that had caramelized sugar and salt on them. Never having had this particular concoction before I smiled, said thank you, and went to plate them to put them out for the buffet. But then Adam’s step-mother grabbed my arm and said, “Oh, God, THOSE!” which caught my attention. And, let’s be honest, it would have caught yours too. Of course, the fact that SUSAN brought them should have been enough to make me stand at attention, but I suppose with the pressure of guests I was a bit distracted that day.
Let me explain… you start off with plain matzo, which isn’t necessarily the tastiest item all by itself. (Add some eggs, or some margarine, or my favorite cream cheese and lox and you’ve got something going on, but by itself? A bit like, well, cardboard.) But then you add some other things… like brown sugar, sea salt, and oh, yes, butter… lots of butter. And then you have a treat of epic proportions.
In an attempt to save my waist line from the effects of gobbling down the whole bag of leftovers, I subtly slipped them into Adam’s step-mom’s purse! Hah! But, that was not the last laugh because I lasted less than a week before I Googled this creation and found my hero Deb at Smitten Kitchen had a recipe. But her’s had chocolate and nuts, which, while no doubt delicious, seemed a bit like overkill to me. So I tweaked a bit here and there and made a batch myself. Good lord it was so good I had to send half of it to Adam’s office with him and half to the kids’ school just to get it out of my greedy little hands. And then I made another batch. Won’t I ever learn?
Now it’s passover again and I’ve made enough for an army. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
12 matzo crackers
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I use muscovado)
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (I use muscovado)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In a heavy bottomed 3.5 quart pot melt together the sugars and butter until it boils. When it starts to boil let it cook for another 2-5 minutes being careful that it doesn’t boil over or burn. While the sugar and butter are boiling prep your matzo. Line it up on sheet pans covered with silpat sheets or tin foil.
Turn the heat off under the boiling sugar and add in the kosher salt and vanilla. Stir quickly to combine.
I find the easiest way to apply the sugar to the matzo is to hold each sheet of matzo over the pot and using EXTREME caution (this is boiling sugar after all) I spoon the mixture onto the top of the cracker and smooth it to the edges, then returning it to the sheet pan.
When all the crackers are coated put them into a 350 degree oven and let it bake for 15 minutes. I rotate the pans in the oven half-way through.
Remove them from the oven and sprinkle immediately with sea salt. When they’ve cooled you can break them apart and eat. Yum!