See these slices of Mandelbrot? I offered one to a friend of mine who is Italian-American and he said “I love biscotti. Thanks!”
And of course he was right. Mandelbrot is the Jewish version of biscotti: cookies (or biscuits) that have been baked twice. First you bake the sweet dough in the form of a low cake and when it is finished baking and cools, you slice the loaf and toast the slices until they’re dry and crispy.
In my family we prefer the slices soft, so I serve Mandelbrot after only one baking, which means they actually aren’t exactly bi-scotti. But they are really good. At your house you can do it either way of course.
Mandelbrot (like biscotti) can be plain or be swirled with chocolate or contain chopped nuts and/or fruit. This is our favorite family version.
It freezes well in case you want to make some in advance.
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon brandy or apple juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup cut up candied cherries
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a mixer set at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until creamy and well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add 2-1/2 cups of the flour, baking powder, brandy, almond extract and salt and beat at medium speed until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Blend in the remaining flour if the pastry is very sticky. Fold in the nuts, cherries, chocolate chips and raisins. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into thirds and shape each piece into an oval loaf about 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick. Place the loaves on the cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve sliced, as is, or toast the slices for extra crispness.
Makes 3 loaves.
NOTE: sometimes I cut the dough in half, rather than thirds, to make larger loaves/slices. These need a few more minutes of baking time.