A variant of my family’s “Ritz Cracker Candy” given a delicious makeover for Passover with matzos, sweet heat, and desert fruits.
For the bark:
- 4 to 6 sheets matzo (egg matzo adds a nice richness)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- A big pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups good quality semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
Each batch takes about 1 1/2 cups. My recommended combination is as follows.
- Light dusting of cayenne, cinnamon, and sea salt
- Chopped pistachios and almonds
- Roughly chopped dried apricots, figs, and dates
There are other combinations and varieties to try but this has always been my favorite.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.
Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzo, covering all parts.
In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks (it looks a little foamy). Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 14 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn.
Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips and return to oven for an additional minute to minute and a half. Once out, the chips will be very easy to spread over the toffee bark matzos. An offset spatula or silicone spatula works well. While chocolate is still hot, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and cayenne. Follow with almonds, pistachios, dates, figs, and apricots. Finally, add a few flakes of sea salt to round out the flavor. Gently press the toppings into the chocolate to help them adhere to the bark since the chocolate will start to cool very quickly.
Allow to cool completely – you can speed this up by placing the trays of bark in the freezer or refrigerator. Once cooled through, break into bite sized pieces and store in an airtight container. Finished bark will last about a week but only if you have the self-control of a saint (realistic estimates are a day or two).