pretzel bites.

pretzel bites.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

salted chocolate toffee. matzah never tasted so good.

josh and i just took a class at a place called birthday presence.
i know.
it's a childbirth education class.
believe me. i know.
but my OB told us to take one and she's not an alarmist, read-every-book-about-pregnancy-and-childbirth-or-you'll-fail-at-this type of doctor. so we listened to her and signed up for a six part series on monday evenings.

and now for the embarrassing truth: i loved the class. and so did josh. having these couple hours every week to be together and talk seriously and openly and honestly with other soon-to-be-first-time-parents about our hopes and fears for labor and delivery was really just wonderful. and i genuinely liked the people in our class and felt entirely happy and good and comfortable with these near-strangers as we shared details of our OB visits, practiced labor positions, discussed medical interventions, and giggled about things that aren't appropriate to write about on a food blog. 

so i decided to bake something for them. the sunday before last i set out to make salted caramel brownies to share the next day. there is no combination i'm more fond of these days than chocolate and salted caramel, so i figured i couldn't go wrong. but of course i did. because the truth is, there is no single brownie that can be more delicious than the ones that come in a box. the ones that just require a little water, some oil, and a couple eggs. duncan hines, betty crocker, it doesn't matter. they're all perfectly rich and chewy and delicious. their consistency is just right and they taste the way brownies ought to. not so much with the homemade brownies, despite the fact they had salted caramel swirled throughout them. they tasted fine. a little bland and a lot dry. not nearly good enough to bring to class. to make matters worse, i had lost my opportunity because the following monday, the date of our last class, was to fall during passover so actually baking something better than bland, dry brownies was pretty much out of the question. i sulked. i pouted. i cursed. i complained. josh suggested that i take this opportunity to take a few deep breaths and go with the flow. why don't i think of it as a labor coping mechanism even, he said. josh says things like this. he stays calm. and optimistic. he looks on the bright side. it's one of the reasons i love him. it's also one of the reasons i occasionally want to stuff dry, bland brownies in his mouth.

i didn't bring them to class. when the class was over we went out for ice cream and ate it with hot fudge. it made up for the disappointment. sort of.
but the thing is, i really really did want to bake something to bring to the last class. and i couldn't let passover stand in my way! so i decided to make chocolate covered matzah toffee, which, in my opinion, is the single greatest way to consume matzah (speaking of bland and dry).

enough matzah to cover a cookie sheet
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 12 oz. bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
flaky sea salt

to make the toffee:
1. preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and lay the matzah down flat on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
2. melt the butter and sugar together until it reaches a boil, stir to combine. pour the combination evenly over the matzah. bake for four minutes then remove from oven.
3. evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the matzah and return the pan to the oven for 1 minute, then remove.
4. spread the melted chocolate chips evenly over all the matzah sheets, then generously sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
5. let it cook in the oven, then break it into small pieces and enjoy!

this is seriously the best way to consume matzah, and it was a hit in our class!