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Word-of-mouth sensation: Matzo Buttercrunch

Chocolate-covered caramel matzo earns its place at Passover dessert table

By Associated Press
Published: April 24, 2024, 6:04am

On Passover, dessert options can feel limited. No leavened foods are allowed, so the usual recipes for cakes, cookies and the like are off the table (literally).

Flourless desserts and/or desserts made with matzo meal are fair game, and there are some great recipes out there (and plenty of not-so-great ones). For me, there is only one non-negotiable, must-have Passover dessert: chocolate-covered caramel matzo.

Or, as it’s more commonly known, Matzo Buttercrunch.

The talented baker Marcy Goldman came up with and named this recipe in the mid-1980s, and printed it in her first cookbook, “ The Treasury of Jewish Cooking.” It became a word-of-mouth sensation, shared from cook to cook first on paper and now all over the internet.

Sometimes, it’s called Matzo Crack (it’s that addicting).

But there are still folks who have not experienced it, and I can’t bear that thought.

The basic premise: You make a simple caramel/toffee mixture with melted margarine or butter and sugar, with a bit of salt. This mixture is poured and spread over sheets of matzo, and then baked to further caramelize it and cause it to set. Chocolate chips are sprinkled over the hot, caramel-covered matzo, allowed to soften, and then spread in a top layer of melted chocolate, which cools and firms up.

I like to finish with some flaky sea salt or chopped peanuts, sprinkled on right after you spread the melted chocolate. (Make sure there are no allergy concerns if you use nuts.)

Then, the cooled matzo is cut or broken into pieces.

A Montreal native, Goldman trained as a pastry chef. “We learned that just because something is Passover-appropriate doesn’t mean it deserves a spot on the table. It has to taste fantastic,” she says.

“It’s a misconception that we have to endure Passover food, especially the baking.”

There is a similar, non-Passover, chocolate- and toffee-covered cracker dessert, usually made with saltines or soda crackers. There are also versions made with graham crackers. Looking to appease her picky toddler, Goldman wondered if would work with matzo. And it surely did.

“I never dreamed it would become so viral,” she says of the recipe that’s become a Passover dessert staple/phenomenon.

Goldman makes her Matzo Buttercrunch throughout the month leading up to Passover, explaining that the first batch never makes it to the Seder dinner. Over the years, she has played with lots of versions, a favorite being one with white chocolate marbleized with apricot jam. Pistachios are also a popular topping, she says.


  • Before you even begin making the caramel, prep your rimmed baking sheet. Line it with aluminum foil, covering the pan completely, including up and over the edges. Then place a sheet of parchment over the foil. This keeps the caramel from spreading under the foil and makes the matzo easy to pull off of the pan.
  • Look for kosher-for-Passover chocolate and other ingredients if you want a kosher table during the holiday. If you’re preparing a dairy-free meal, use margarine instead of butter.
  • Don’t be tempted to spread out the melting chocolate chips too quickly. They have to soften from the heat of the caramel.
  • Before breaking the chocolate matzo, I often put it in the fridge it for 30 minutes or more to firm up fully. Then break it up and store in a cool place, even in the fridge, until shortly before serving.
  • I like to add a teaspoon of vanilla to my caramel mixture.

If you’re using margarine, Goldman recommends looking for the block margarine, not the whipped stuff in a tub. She also says you have to whisk the caramel vigorously if you use margarine, so the caramel doesn’t separate.

This recipe can be made up to four days ahead of time. If it’s refrigerated, remove it about 15 minutes before serving to come to room temperature.

Matzo Buttercrunch

Adapted from Marcy Goldman’s website. She notes that the recipe doubles easily and freezes well. She suggests serving small pieces in confectioners’ paper cups as a candy.

4-6 unsalted matzo boards or sheets

1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine

1 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet completely with foil, and then cover that with a piece of parchment paper. This is important, as the mixture becomes sticky during baking. On top of the parchment, line the pan evenly with matzo boards, cutting extra pieces of matzo as required to fit any extra spaces on the cookie sheet as evenly as possible.

Combine butter and brown sugar in a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and spoon or pour over matzo.

Bake 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure mixture is not burning. If it seems to be browning too quickly, remove it from the oven, lower heat to 325 degrees and replace.

Remove from oven and sprinkle the matzo boards immediately with chopped chocolate or chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate over the matzo. While still warm, cut into squares or odd shapes. Chill in refrigerator until set.

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