Mandel, meaning almonds, brodt meaning bread – is the name of this old fashioned cookie, the Jewish cousins to the Italian biscotti, are morish to an extreme, one bite and you will be looking for any excuse for a cup of tea to eat your mandelbrot with.

The almond is one of only two nuts mentioned in the Torah. Jacob actually sent almonds as a gift to the Egyptian prime minister. And Aaron’s rod was made from the wood of an almond tree.

Almonds are incorporated into so many traditional Jewish dishes both Sephardi and Ashkenazi and are among the traditional fruits served on Tu’Bshvat.

  • 180ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
  • 200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 375g (3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 115g (4 oz) almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 25g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 180℃(350℉). Line two baking sheets with baking paper set aside.

Put oil, 200g (1 cup) sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium-low speed until combined.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Stir in almonds.

Divide dough into two equal parts; place each portion of dough on the prepared cookie sheet and using slightly wet hands, shape each into a long log.

Bake logs until golden, puffed, and just firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer logs to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, gently cut logs into 1/2-inch thick slices. The cookies should still be slightly doughy inside. Work quickly, as slices will crumble if allowed to cool. Transfer slices to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Mix the 25g (1/4 cup) sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle cookies with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Return the cookies to the oven and bake until golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes.