This is Murphy.
Murphy is my aunt’s partner’s dog. He’s a little canine gentleman through and through–charming and well-mannered, without the intense neediness most dogs his size seem to have. As my aunt says, “He’s a good little Irish boy.” But Murphy has one odd, very un-Irish weakness.
I highly doubt I will ever love anything as much as this dog loves matzo. Where other dogs will do tricks for doggy treats, Murphy will do tricks for matzo. If he sees a matzo box, he’ll start showing off even before he’s asked, because he knows there is salty crunchy goodness in his immediate future.
But whereas Murphy can’t get enough matzo, some of us humans–especially those who have to live on it for a week every spring–aren’t so enamored. So, here is a very un-Murphy-safe way to make matzo irresistible: by smothering it in toffee and then smothering the toffee in chocolate.
Everyone I know who knows of this concoction calls it “matzo crack,” for two very good reasons: it cracks into pieces, and it is nearly as addictive as a street drug. This is more or less the love child of a chocolate-covered pretzel and a Heath bar: crunchy salty cracker on the bottom, shattering tooth-sticking toffee in the middle, smooth chocolate on top.
As with so many of my favorite recipes, this is dizzyingly flexible. I like mine with straight-up dark chocolate and just a sprinkle of sea salt, but any kind of chocolate–dark, milk or white–will do here. I’ve heard of people having great success using a mix of chocolate and peanut butter chips. And when it comes to toppings, if you can put it on chocolate bark, you can put it on this: chopped nuts, bits of dried fruit, minced candied ginger, crushed peppermint candies, coconut flakes…
Sorry, Murph. This one’s just for us.
Chocolate Toffee Matzo (“Matzo Crack”) (makes about 30 pieces)
Adapted from The Kitchn, via my friend Molly
5 matzos (plain or whole wheat)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks/16 tbsp) unsalted butter
7 oz chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Your toppings of choice–nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger, crushed hard candies, coconut flakes, etc.
Preheat oven to 375º F, and line a rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of aluminum foil. Lay the matzo out on the baking sheet in a single layer, breaking up pieces as needed to fit any empty spaces. Make sure the matzo pieces are overlapped a little bit, so that there are no gaps.
In a large saucepan or deep-sided skillet, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once the liquid in the pan begins to bubble, continue cooking and whisking for about 3 minutes, until the caramel is thick and dark and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and pour the caramel over the matzo, then use a heatproof spatula to spread it out in an even layer. (It’s a sticky job, but just you wait–it’ll be worth it.)
Put the caramel-covered matzo in the oven, then immediately turn down the temperature to 350º F. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the caramel has bubbled up and turned golden and thick–toffee-like, essentially. Keep an eye on the caramel to make sure it doesn’t burn; if it looks like it might, turn down the heat to 325º F.
When the caramel has turned into toffee, remove the matzo from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate evenly over top. Let sit for five minutes–the heat from the matzo will melt the chocolate–then use a heatproof spatula to spread the chocolate over the toffee in an even layer. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, plus whatever toppings you like.
Let the whole thing cool completely–refrigerate, if you’re in a hurry–until the chocolate is hard to the touch. Break the candy into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week (if you can make it last that long).