Valley Fig Growers

Caramel Matzoh Crunch with Figs & Pepitas

Matzoh—flat, cracker-like bread—is the traditional food for the Jewish holiday of Passover, when Jews are forbidden to eat bread or other leavened foods.  One of the most delicious and indulgent ways to dress up plain matzoh is to drench it in buttery toffee and rich chocolate. This dessert for Passover is a beloved tradition that Jewish families look forward to all year.

Turn basic matzoh toffee into an elegant, no-bake caramel matzoh crunch dessert for Passover by topping it with traditional Sephardic ingredients such as chopped California Figs and green pumpkin seeds (pepitas). For extra color and a hint of spice, you can also add pink and white peppercorns. This beautiful confection is a fitting way to end a Passover Seder or simply keep it around as a snack to enjoy during the eight day-long festival. It’s almost impossible to resist! When it’s not Passover, this same technique can be used to make California Fig and chocolate toffee with Saltines or other crispy, flat crackers.

Ingredients

  • 4 boards matzoh
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons Lyle's Golden Syrup or light corn syrup
  • 1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and diced
  • 1/4 cup green pumpkin seeds or pepitas
  • 1 tablespoon pink or white peppercorns (optional)

Directions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place two boards of matzo on each baking sheet.
  2. Melt butter in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  3. Add sugar, water, and syrup to the pan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, do not stir again. (Stirring can cause the sugar to crystallize and make the toffee grainy. If sugar crystals appear on the side of the saucepan, brush them down with a pastry brush dipped in water.)
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and boil until caramel reaches the hard crack stage (300°F) on a candy thermometer), approximately 8 to 10 minutes. You will see the mixture darken, and it will begin to smell like caramel.
  5. Pour toffee mixture over matzoh and spread evenly. Allow toffee to firm up for a few minutes.
  6. While toffee is cooling, place chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave on medium power for 30 seconds. Stir. (If chocolate is not completely melted, continue microwaving for thirty-second intervals and pausing to stir until melted.)
  7. When toffee is set, pour melted chocolate over matzoh boards and spread with an offset spatula to coat toffee evenly.
  8. While chocolate is still warm, top each piece of matzoh with chopped figs, pepitas, and peppercorns, if using.
  9. Allow chocolate to cool completely, about one hour. Break into pieces with your hands. Store caramel matzoh crunch in an airtight container.

Note: When making toffee, it’s important to add an inverted sugar, such as corn syrup, to prevent the granulated sugar from crystallizing. However, many people do not consider corn syrup to be kosher for Passover. Thus, I suggest using Lyle’s Golden Syrup, which is a British cane syrup. You can find it in better grocery stores or online.

Recipe and photo by Emily Paster

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