Matzo crunch is a sweet treat that relies on texture. As its name suggests, it’s a crunch-fest. Between the crispy and airy matzo, the melting chocolate and the crackling caramel, you never get bored (in your mouth). The beauty of this Passover-appropriate dessert is its simplicity and decadent flavor. There’s no need to complicate a good thing. Make this quick, shareable vegan dessert with just three ingredients.
Matzo crunch is a layered confection of whole grain matzo crackers, hard caramel and dark chocolate. Once it has set, you break the dessert into small, jagged pieces, the same way you would chocolate bark or brittle peanuts. The matzo is crispy, light and flaky, the caramel is crisp and sweet, and the chocolate is silky and bitter. I like to use salted wheat matzo because I just can’t get enough of the sodium chloride, but the unsalted variety is readily available at many grocery stores. Your dairy preferences and limitations will dictate the type of chocolate you use. I enjoy the bitterness of dark chocolate paired with caramel, but you can use any type, whether it’s vegan, milk, white, or non-dairy; all it has to do is melt. Toppings are completely optional. They can add to the flavor profile and aesthetics, especially if you’re using something like hazelnuts or crumbled and salted potato chips, but it’s definitely not necessary.
Assembly is almost as simple as the ingredient list. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and arrange a few squares of matzo side by side. In a saucepan or stainless steel pot, make a straight caramel. I usually use a frying pan and add a few tablespoons of water to the granulated white sugar to ensure even caramelization. This will take eight to ten minutes over medium heat. Once the caramel is a medium brown color, like the color of strong tea, turn off the heat and quickly pour the caramel over the matzo. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to spread the caramel over the crackers in a thin layer, as evenly as possible.
The following recipe makes excess caramel. I do this because I think it’s easier to spread an even layer with more caramel than to stretch a small amount precisely and quickly. You’ll have more left in the pan, and any caramel you don’t want on the crackers (it might build up, for example), can be wiped off the edge of the matzo and broken off once it has hardened. A little could sneak under the matzo, and that’s fine too. After about a minute, the caramel will begin to harden in the thinner areas. Scatter a few handfuls of chocolate chips over the surface of the caramel-coated matzos and place the entire tray in a 300°F oven for two minutes. It’s just long enough to completely melt the chips; there is no cooking here.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, using the back of a spoon or an angled spatula, spread the chocolate in a thin layer, completely covering the surface. If you add fun little bits like nuts or chips, add them now. Place the tray in the fridge for about 20 minutes or until the chocolate has set. Break the matzo crunch into pieces and serve. You can store leftover pieces in an airtight container, but they might lose some of their snap if you live in a humid area.
3 Ingredient Crunchy Matzo
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 squares of matzo (I prefer salty matzo.)
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Sprinkle with flaky salt, chopped nuts, coconut, or other toppings for garnish (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of water for the caramel (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Arrange two whole matzo crackers next to each other on the platter.
Make the caramel in a skillet over medium heat. Add sugar and water (if using). The sugar will liquefy and after about 7 minutes it will begin to brown. If the caramel browns unevenly, carefully lift the pan and swirl it around. (Swirling the pan will effectively “stir” the caramel without you having to use a utensil or stir the caramel in a way that could cause crystallization.) Remove from heat when medium brown in color.
Drizzle half the caramel over the matzo and spread it in a thin layer on top. Use the extra caramel to treat “bare” areas on the crackers. Leave this game for a minute. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over caramel. Place the entire sheet in the oven for two minutes to melt the chips. Use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate in an even layer, covering the entire surface of the matzo. Sprinkle with optional toppings and place in the fridge to set. Once cooled, break into pieces and serve.