Mandlebrot Magic

Mandel bread, also called mandelbrot, is a type of cookie similar to the Italian biscotti and popular in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine. The cookies were popular throughout the 19th century among Eastern European Jews. They grew in popularity, known to be a dessert that kept well and traveled easily.

According to Gil Marks, author of the “Encyclopedia of Jewish Food,” mandel bread is thought to have originated in Germany and traveled eastward, like many other Jewish baked goods. In the early Middle Ages, Italians created the original biscotti by partially baking the dough, cutting it into slices and then returning the pieces to a cooler oven to crisp. The second time in the oven extracts the moisture and lengthens the shelf life of the cookie. This easy preparation and longer shelf life made it ideal for a Shabbat treat. During Passover, it was common to make mandel bread with matzah meal instead of flour. The Yiddish word “mandlbroyt” translates to “almond bread,” as the baked good often included almonds. Among the Ukrainian Jewish community, mandelbrot is known as kamishbrot. By the 1940s, mandel bread had made its mark in plenty of Jewish cookbooks.

National Grandparents Day is celebrated this year on Sunday, September 10. To help celebrate, Heritage Pointe residents and their families and friends are invited to a Mandlebrot baking contest! Friends and families of Heritage Pointe residents are encouraged to enter and compete for fame, glory and bragging rights. Bring three or more pieces of home-made mandlebrot to Heritage Pointe on Sunday, September 10. Drop off between 10:00-10:30am. Please call 949-364-9685 if you have questions about the contest.

This mandelbrot recipe is the Jewish equivalent to biscotti, and American-ized by adding chocolate! The cookies are twice baked, first in logs and then in slices. Store this in an airtight container, and the cookies will keep for about two weeks. Makes about 36 pieces.



  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  1. Beat together eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla extract until well blended. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder; and stir into egg mixture until well mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and almonds. Form two logs, 3 inches in diameter, and place onto the baking sheets.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and cut into 1-inch diagonal slices. Lay slices on their sides on the cookie sheet and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove to cool on a wire rack.

Credit to Chef Susan Yale