Mandel Bread with dried fruit is a delicious twice-baked Jewish cookie similar to Biscotti. These cookies are perfect for when you’re in the mood for something sweet.
Oh, and the best part… if you hate doing extra dishes as much as I do, this Mandel Bread Recipe is like a dream come true. All you need is one bowl and a spoon! When I say one bowl, that translates to, no mixer! Did I mention it is Pareve (non-dairy) too?!!
What is Mandel Bread?
Mandel Bread actually comes from the Yiddish name Mandelbrot, which means almond bread. However, it is a type of twice-baked cookie with roots in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine. This Mandel Bread is also known as Mandelbrot Cookies and Kamish Bread.
Similar to Italian Biscotti, these Jewish cookies are baked twice. This technique yields a crunchy, crisp, and light-textured cookie that pairs perfectly with a warm beverage.
All-purpose flour: I highly recommend measuring the flour correctly because just a couple extra ounces of flour can really change the texture of the cookies. The most accurate way to measure flour is to use a digital scale. Weighing flour is better than measuring it by volume. To accurately measure flour without a scale, spoon the flour into your measuring cup until the flour reaches just over the top of the cup. With the back of a knife, scrape off the excess flour so that it is level.
Oil: The fat in the oil provides the necessary moisture to help prevent the cookies from drying out. Use oils that don’t add a strong flavor, like Canola or vegetable.
Sugar: For sweetness.
Vanilla: Adds flavor and brings out the flavors of other ingredients. If you don’t like vanilla, you can also use almond extract.
Cointreau or brandy: Additional delicious flavor. You can substitute it with orange juice or water.
Baking powder: Gives the cookies lift.
Eggs: Bind the cookies and also help with leavening.
Almonds: Raw, unsalted, and coarsely chopped.
Pulse in a food processor until coarsely chopped up, or use a sharp knife.
Dried fruit: Chop your dried fruit into pieces about the size of raisins. I used cranberries, apricots, raisins, and figs. Other great options are cherries, pineapple, papaya, and candied orange peel.
White chocolate: Completely optional; the cookies are great without it too.
How to Make Mandel Bread?
Step 1: Mixing the wet ingredients: This ensures that the ingredients are well combined.
Step 2: Adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently kneading them together: This allows all the ingredients to come together and form the dough. Mix until the ingredients are combined. Now it is time to add the chopped almonds and dried fruit.
Step 3: First bake: Separate the dough into 2-3 equal parts and form logs. Bake logs until golden, puffed, and just firm to the touch (about 15-20 minutes).
Step 4: Second bake: Once the baked “logs” are cool enough to handle, slice at a 45° angle. Place the cookies back on the baking sheet, cut sides up. Then, bake a second time. This second bake creates that crispy texture the cookies are famous for.
If the dough is sticky: Wet or oil your hands. This way, shaping the dough into logs is much easier.
To slice the logs: Use a serrated knife in a back-and-forth motion for best results. Cutting the cookies in a rectangular shape or at an angle is a personal preference. Slicing at a larger angle will result in longer cookies, and a smaller angle will produce smaller cookies.
Leave room on the baking sheet. The dough does spread a bit as it bakes, so be sure to leave a few inches between the logs.
The final texture of the cookie depends on the total baking time. For a slightly softer texture, reduce the time of the second bake. Similarly, if the cookies are too soft, increase the duration of the second bake.
The thickness of the biscotti is a personal preference. Keep in mind that cutting them thicker or thinner will affect the final yield. A thinner cut will yield more biscotti versus a thicker one.
To make small cookies, shape the dough into three or four logs instead of two. The smaller dough logs will require less baking time, so begin checking on them after 10 minutes.
Store at room temperature in airtight containers for up to 4 weeks. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
After the first bake: The edges will be browned, and the logs will expand slightly. The center will be slightly soft and should bounce back when you press on it lightly.
Jewish Cookies You’ll Love
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Mandel Bread (Mandelbrot) Jewish Cookies
- 3 large egg
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Cointreau or Brandy or orange juice or water
- a pinch of salt
- 3 cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons (15 grams) baking powder
- 1 cup (140 grams) raw almonds unsalted
- 1 cup (170 grams) mixed dried fruit cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, raisins, pineapple, papaya, candied orange peel.
- 3.5 oz (100 grams) white chocolate, chopped optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Coarsely chop the almonds with a sharp knife or pulse them in a food processor.
- Chop your dried fruit into pieces about the size of raisins.
- Mix eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, brandy, and salt in a large bowl until combined.
- Add flour and baking powder; mix until combined. I like to start mixing with a spoon and then using my hands to form the dough.
- Stir in almonds and dried fruit.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. *You can divide the dough into 3-4 equal parts; it depends on how big you would like your cookies to be.
- Shape each into a log about 9" long 3.5-4" wide 1/2" high. Place logs on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake logs until golden, puffed, and just firm to the touch (about 15-20 minutes). Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Then carefully place them on a cooling rack for additional 20 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 250°F/120°C.
- Cut logs into ¾ -inch thick slices on the baking sheet with a serrated knife. The cookies should still be slightly doughy inside.
- Place the cookies, cut side up, on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-40 minutes until dry. The centers of the cookies will be slightly soft, and the cookies should be a light golden brown color. They will be crunchy once completely cooled.
- Optional: Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl in the microwave (or use a double boiler). Melt in 30 second intervals until completely melted and smooth. Dip one side of each cookie in the melted chocolate. Place the dipped cookie onto the baking sheet and allow chocolate to set at room temperature, about 30-45 minutes.