The literal translation of Mandelbrot is “almond bread,” a name that gives you no hint that it defines a twice-baked cookie. Popular among Ashkenazi Jews, the cookie has all the characteristics of a biscotti — it’s baked in a log, sliced and baked again. In fact, there are some people who think that the sweet may have originated among Jewish people who lived in the Piedmont area of Italy, where biscotti are common. That these Mandelbrot are without made with mandel, or almonds, is a technicality to be glossed over. The important thing about them is that, even after two bakes, they’re cakey, not hard or dry; they’re speckled with chocolate chips and flecked with cinnamon and reminiscent of the best chocolate chip cookies; their ingredients are simple kitchen staples, so you can bake a batch on the spur of the moment.
I was immediately drawn to the idea of this recipe because one of the things I don’t always love about biscotti-type biscuits is the fact that they are so hard. The promise of “cakey” was exciting!
These come together in no time at all – it does use pantry and fridge staples which makes it easy to whip up on a whim! I made 1/3 of the recipe for approx. 20 biscuits and followed the recipe to a T, except that I didn’t use cinnamon in the sugar (I used a raw turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top for some extra texture, I don’t much like cinnamon and chocolate together) and I used regular chocolate chips because that’s what I had on hand. They seemed to work ok!
The dough is super sticky to work with so when you are making the log on the baking tray initially, you might think it won’t work out. Just do your best (lightly oiled my hands to handle the dough and than helped) and know that when you slice them they will work out beautifully anyway!
I LOVED these – the simplicity of the flavours, the cakey texture, the crunch of the sugar sprinkle. SO, SO good!
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Chip Not-Quite Mandelbrot on p 104 of Dorie’s Cookies!
Want more cookie recipes? Buy Dorie’s Cookies on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store geographically closest to you) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us over on Tuesdays with Dorie and bake your way through the book!
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “Dorie’s Cookies” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
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