Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mondel Bread

I kept a recipe for this type of cookie for years...I'm talking about 30 years...but when I looked through my box of family recipes it was nowhere to be found. This recipe I was looking for was handwritten from my Mother-in-law's best friend, Lenore. I didn't know all the time I was making it, years ago, that it was actually this Jewish biscotti type cookie, Mondel Bread or Mandelbrodt.

My recipe was just called Lenore's Cookies. They were just like these. Crunchy and delicious, made with oil and nuts and great with coffee or tea. Traditionally, these cookies are made with almonds but really any nut will work, this recipe uses walnuts, the healthiest of the nuts...a good excuse to eat them!

These cookies are just as I remembered. They're made in a similar way to biscotti, which we love at our house, and they will store best in a cookie tin.

The recipe is easy to make. You can form 3 or 4 logs. I could only fit 3 logs on my baking sheet because they do spread as they bake.

The tops are sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar but if you don't like cinnamon just use sugar and they'd be just as good.

Once the logs are baked, let them cool, then slice, just as you do for biscotti.

Then lower the oven temperature and bake the slices again.

Mondel Bread ( adapted from here from "Good to the Grain" by Kim Boyce)

Makes about 3 dozen
3 cups AP flour (13.5 oz.)
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil ( I used canola oil)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt ( my addition)
2 tsp. vanilla ( You can also add some almond extract if using almonds)
2 cups pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped ( or almonds if you like them)
Cinnamon and sugar (for sprinkling on top)
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs.
2. Add the sugar, oil and vanilla and beat well.
3. Add in the flour, baking powder and nuts and combine til a smooth dough forms.
4. Cover the bowl and place in the refridgerator for 2 hours.
5. After 2 hours, preheat oven to 350.
6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and shape the dough into 3 or 4 logs on the baking sheet.
7. Sprinkle each log with the cinnamon and sugar and bake for about 30 minutes or til the logs feel firm and are getting golden along the edges.
8. Lower the oven temperature to 300 and remove the logs from the baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
9. Once cooled, slice the logs 3/4" thick and place on the baking sheet, without the parchment liner. ( I wanted to get them all one the sheet so most I placed flat and a few I placed upright. There was no difference in the baking. They all came out the same.)
10. Cool and store in a large cookie tin.


  1. So even just baking them flat you didn't need to double bake? Fascinating. I've only made biscotti once, and I chose bake them standing to avoid the second (third?) bake. But I'm curious as to why these are more forgiving, is it a lighter dough/cookie than biscotti?

  2. Hi Adam,
    Yes, you still need to bake them twice just like biscotti.
    I wanted to get them all on the baking sheet for the second bake ( to get them crisper)so for most of the slices I was able to get them on the baking sheet on their sides, but a few fit on the sheet standing upright but they all baked the same.
    There's no need for a third bake.
    The dough is actually more cookie like but there's quite a bit of oil in the dough so they're nice and crunchy. Give them a'll love them!



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