Matzo bark offers a great dessert base to get creative with flavors, but during Passover, there may be additional restrictions on what is permissible among items that would normally be considered kosher.
Many foods are industrially processed in facilities that also process many other foods, so you need to be especially careful about looking for packages marked kosher for Passover. Because traditions differ between Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews, it's always good to double-check the label for ingredients that may not be permitted in your tradition. If you are a non-Jewish guest at a Passover Seder, be sure to check labels and double-check with your host if you are going to bring food.
Because the Passover seder is a meat meal, the recipe below uses kosher for Passover margarine. Having tried the recipe with both kosher for Passover margarine and butter, the butter does give a richer flavor. But you should note that butter is only acceptable if you plan to serve it with a dairy meal.
Matzo Crack is also a great way to use up leftover matzo post-Passover, in which case you can go to town with topping combos like peanuts, roasted nuts, sesame seeds, and banana chips, items that are considered kitniyot and not permitted during Passover in Ashkenazi traditions.
While saltine or soda cracker bark has been around for ages, Marcy Goldman, author of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, is widely recognized as the original Matzo Crack or Matzo Crunch creator. This recipe is adapted from Marcy's recipe and my own Chocolate 'Crack' recipe.
- 4 to 6 sheets of kosher for Passover matzo
- 1 cup (2 sticks) kosher for Passover margarine
- 1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar, firmly packed
- 12 ounces high quality dark or semi-sweet kosher for Passover chocolate
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Cut out 2 sheets of aluminum foil—each should be approximately 20 inches in length. Place the sheets on top of each other and fold over several times on the long side to join the sheets of foil and form a seam (forming the seam is crucial, otherwise your pan will be improperly lined and the caramel syrup will end up seeping under the foil. Take the large aluminum sheet and line a 12- by 17-inch rimmed baking sheet.
Place matzo side-by-side in the pan as tightly as possible without overlapping. Use matzo pieces to fill any gaps at the bottom of the pan. Set aside. Chop chocolate so pieces are about the size of standard chocolate chips and set aside.
Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Set aside. In a medium saucepan melt margarine over medium heat stirring frequently with a spatula. Once margarine has melted, add brown sugar and vanilla, stirring to combine. Cook until mixture is an even dark brown color and has begun to bubble, about 5 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and pour over matzo using spatula to spread.
Bake matzo for 5-10 minutes or until margarine mixture begins to bubble and crackers begin to lightly brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate allowing the heat to melt the chocolate for a few moments. Spread chocolate evenly with the spatula so all of the matzo is completely covered. Add any chopped toppings, sprinkling evenly over the surface. Refrigerate until chocolate sets and hardens. Sprinkle with salt then break apart and serve.
Aluminum foil, jelly roll pan