Arlington-based Shoebox Oven, a “very tiny merry” online boutique bakery run by Howard University grad Krishna Brown, is proving that Passover desserts are more than just matzoh meal. Brown’s carmelized matzoh crunch is a recipe spin-off from famed Chez Panisse pastry chef David Lebovitz. She replaced his bittersweet chocolate for its white (not technically chocolate) cousin. The recipe is foolproof and, as Brown points out, “matzoh is like two bucks for a huge case.” She recommends a sprinkle of finishing salt, such as Maldon or Hawaiian Alaea pink salt.
This is a quick, throw-it-together kind of recipe—much like the hasty genesis of matzoh during the biblical Exodus.
Shoebox Oven’s (Kosher for Passover) Caramelized Matzoh Crunch
4 to 6 sheets of matzoh
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted or salted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
A handful of Maldon salt or Hawaiian Alaea pink salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 11” x 17” baking sheet with foil, making sure it goes up the sides and all around. Line the bottom of the sheet completely with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in odd-shaped corner spaces.
In a medium-size, heavy-duty saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar and cook over medium heat until the butter begins to boil. Boil for three minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour over matzoh, spreading with a heatproof utensil. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the syrup darkens and thickens. (Be very attentive, however, making sure it doesn’t burn. If it shows signs of burning, reduce the heat to 325 degrees.)
Remove from oven and immediately cover with white chocolate chips. Let stand for five minutes, then spread smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle with salt, then scatter toasted almonds, pressing them into the white chocolate. Let cool completely (try chilling the bark in the refrigerator to expedite cooling). Then break the bark into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.