The only seder I've ever attended was at the home of my childhood best friend when I was ten. My entire family was there and the moment of highest drama came when my baby brother, who was sitting on my mother's lap, reached over and helped himself to some horseradish from the seder plate. He cried and made faces, and my friend Lizzy, realizing the comic potential of eating horseradish, also had some and made a dramatic show of how terrible it was and ran to the kitchen for water. There were six children at the table that night and I remember no sense of solemn occasion but rather great hilarity throughout the evening.
That Passover aside, there's something about Passover that seems more matched to Thanksgiving rather than Easter in terms of being a big holiday meal and a time to gather with family. I find myself for reasons of family and tradition regretting that the religion of my upbringing (culinarily known for giving the world fishsticks on Friday) does not have a Passover celebration.But even though I do not come from Passover-celebrating people I have not let that stop me from making this matzoh buttercrunch which is ridiculously easy to make (really, it could not be simpler) and ridiculously addictive to eat.
Matzoh Brown Sugar Buttercrunch
adapted from Marcy Goldman in the Los Angeles Times via The Best American Recipes 2002-2003 and Bakers Field Guide to Holiday Candy and Confections
4 to 6 whole lightly salted matzohs
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
6 to 8 oz of chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cover a jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil and on top of that a piece of parchment paper (or spray the pan with that non-stick spray stuff). Cover the entire surface with a layer of matzohs. You'll have to break them to fit around the edges.
3. In a saucepan, combine sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring until the butter and sugar melt, bring to a boil and then boil for two to four minutes. I did this for closer to four.
4. Pour the sugar butter mixture over the matzohs trying to cover all of them evenly and use a spatula to make sure they're covered evenly.
5. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the surface with the chocolate chips and wait five minutes. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the surface of the matzohs.
6. Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes (says Marcy Goldman) or refrigerate for 30 minutes (says the Bakers Field Guide). I went with 30 minutes in the freezer because I had more room there. Break the matzoh into pieces. Store in an air tight container.