Here’s a make-ahead Passover dessert that’s as decadent as it is easy to make! Crunchy matzo crackers are topped with layers of toffee, semi-sweet chocolate, and chopped toasted nuts.
Even better, Matzo Toffee is vegan, so you can serve it after any Seder meal.
A Family Favorite
I first learned about this kind of toffee from my Aunt Belinda, who taught me how to bake all kinds of delicious treats when I’d stay at her house as a kid. We made it with a recipe that used saltine crackers in the same way matzo is used here (not on Passover, of course!).
We followed a recipe clipped out of the newspaper called “Secret Toffee,” but I’ve also seen it called “Christmas Crack” and made around the winter holidays.
How to Make Matzo Toffee
The method is simple: a two-ingredient toffee is simmered on the stove, then poured over a layer of matzo, and briefly baked until bubbling hot.
In this case, the ingredients are margarine (it’s commonly used in kosher baking, since according to kosher law, dairy cannot be eaten alongside or directly after a meal with meat) and brown sugar. If your Passover meal is vegetarian or you do not follow kosher law, feel free to use butter.
Chocolate chips are sprinkled over top to melt from the heat of the toffee, and lastly, a generous layer of chopped nuts adds crunch. I also like to sprinkle on a little bit of flaky sea salt to cut all of the sweetness. It makes the matzo toffee truly irresistible.
How to Store or Freeze Matzo Toffee
Matzo toffee will keep in a tightly lidded container or zip-top bag for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to two months. You can make it a few days in advance of your Seder dinner, and it’ll stay crunchy and delicious for all of Pesach and beyond.
Of course, it doesn’t last that long in my house—it’s just too good.
More Passover Favorites!
Chocolate and Hazelnut Matzo Toffee
- 4 sheets (4 ounces) plain matzo crackers
- 1 cup (8 ounces) margarine
- 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
- 1 (10 to 12-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, or almonds
- 1 teaspoon flaky salt (optional)
Prepare the oven and the baking sheet:
Preheat the oven to 400oF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum, then parchment. Place the matzo crackers on the baking sheet in a single layer, breaking two of the pieces so it all fits in the pan.
Make the toffee:
In a medium saucepan, combine the margarine and sugar over medium heat. Let the mixture come up to a boil, stirring occasionally, then continue to boil for about 3 minutes or until a candy thermometer measures at soft crack stage (270-289oF).
It takes about 10-11 minutes total for the mixture to get up to temperature—your timing may vary depending on the size and thickness of your saucepan and the power of your stove. A thermometer is the easiest way to ensure consistent results.
Add the toffee to the matzo: Pour the toffee mixture evenly over the matzo. Working quickly, use an offset spatula to spread it out in an even layer.
Place the baking sheet in the oven, and bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the butter/sugar has become bubbly all over.
Add the chocolate and the nuts:
Remove the matzo toffee from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top. Wait about 3 minutes for the chips to melt (I like to leave the baking sheet on the stove on top of the warm oven for this step). Use an offset spatula to spread the chips out in an even layer over the toffee.
Before the chocolate cools, sprinkle the toasted nuts and salt (if using) over the top. Tap the sheet pan against the counter a few times to help the nuts settle into the chocolate—this will help them adhere better when the toffee has set up.
Cool and cut the toffee:
Let the toffee cool completely—this will take about 2 to 3 hours, depending on how hot it is in your kitchen. Cut it into squares and serve.
The toffee will keep in a tightly lidded container or zip-top bag for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 2 months.