My grandma was a great cook and baker – and lived till she was 97!  Before she passed away, she handed me a glad bag filled with index cards – all written in her not so neat scrawl, but with many notes in the margins and “Excellent” written next to this one. These have been on my to-bake list for about 2 years…and today – this first day of high school for Greg – I was feeling jittery and unsettled and decided that baking these would be a perfect thing to do.  (Even though I had MANY many other things I should do.)  I can’t compare with other mandelbreads because I’ve never had any other but these were good!  Addictive.  Alisa really liked these a lot.  She loved the nuts and chips and the feel of the cookie.   Ali and her extended family enjoyed them too!  Mandelbread is shaped like Italian biscotti – but it is lighter, less dense and much softer (well, my grandma’s recipe is) than biscotti.  Cake-ier too.  These are great for those who don’t love things too sweet but love a taste of something homey and simple at the end of the meal.  These cookies are also easier on your teeth than biscotti which is (sadly) nice as we age.  You can keep these plain – or add nuts, chips, coconut or anything else you can think of.  My friend Ellie said her grandma put in candied cherries – another idea!  Enjoy –

Oh, and btw – these are non dairy.

(grandma’s) mandelbread cookies (from my grandma Ruth’s index card):

3 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable)
3 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

optional – 1 cup mix – ins –  (I used 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips but plain is also good or with just nuts.  Also coconut might be nice if you are a coconut lover.)

Toast nuts first if you are using.  Chop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place rack in middle of oven.  Beat 3 eggs with whisk attachment – or with hand held beaters – for about 5 minutes until thicker and yellow.  Slowly add sugar and continue to beat for another 5 minutes.  In the meantime measure the flour, baking powder and salt and set dry ingredients aside.

I switched to the paddle attachment  at this point – but you can do the rest by hand as well.

Add the oil on lowest speed and then the vanilla extract.

Gently fold in the dry ingredients in 3 additions – being careful not to over-mix.

Add nuts, chips – or whatever mix-ins you prefer.

Place the dough in a big mound on a parchment lined sheet pan – making a long large log (you can also make 2 smaller logs).

Bake for about 35-39  minutes until lightly browned and the top is hard and you can try a toothpick too.  It is a little tough to judge – but try your best.

Let cool on pan for a bit, then slice the log as you do in the blue corn biscotti (there are photos there) and place on sheet pan – laying down each cookie – packing them in – then bake these again – for about 4 – 5 minutes on each side @375 degrees.  (My grandma wrote “broil until brown” but I decided to just bake again for a bit – nervous to broil as she also wrote “watch it!!).  Pick what you prefer.  The more you bake the harder the cookie will be.  I wanted these soft so I only baked for a little bit.

Let cool and enjoy with coffee or yes, in vanilla ice cream too!

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