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Author Notes: This is a recipe from my grandmother that's probably the family favorite.
Mandel bread is sort of Jewish version of biscotti -- dry, twice-baked cookies, usually made with almonds (mandeln, hence the name mandel bread). Don't get me wrong -- these are fine. But what my grandmother made was something entirely different, and much more yummy. There are no almonds, and these are more moist and flavorful than traditional mandel bread. They're more of a jelly cake/cookie, baked and sliced -- I suppose the slices sort of resemble mandel bread in shape, hence the name.
I've never seen a recipe like this anywhere, or heard of it outside my family. I don't know who came up with it -- just that it's been in the family for a very long time. I've updated it a bit (there are actual measurements for the ingredients, and I use a food processor to deal with the orange, which is easier than grating it by hand), but only a bit. A note about the preserves: like my grandmother, I usually use homemade, but store-bought jam is fine as well.
Makes 2 loaves
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup oil
- 1 6-oz. can pineapple juice
- 1/2 large navel orange, rind and all, cut in chunks
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powdr
- 6 3/4 cups flour
- 2 cups damson plum preserves
- 1 cup strawberry preserves
- 1/2 pound chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 15-oz.box white raisins
- 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Combine eggs, juice, oil, sugar, and orange in a food processor. Pulse till orange is blended in thoroughly. Add baking powder, baking soda, and flour to make a malleable dough. Set aside.
- Mix the two preserves together. Set aside. Mix nuts, if using, and raisins with the cinnamon sugar. Set aside.
- Divide dough into two parts. Roll one out between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap to a rectangle about 18" by 12". Spread half of preserves over dough, leaving a half-inch margin. Sprinkle half of raisin-cinnamon sugar on top. Roll up from long side like a jelly roll. Tuck ends under.Transfer carefully to a silpat-lined or foil-lined and greased cookie sheet (lining the sheet is a must, since the preserves have a tendency to leak out). Repeat with other half of dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour, or till golden. Cool and slice. This freezes well. You can also make the dough ahead and refrigerate overnight. Like many baked things with fruit and nuts, this improves after a day or so, when flavors meld.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Jewish-Inspired Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Dried Fruit
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Cookie from Anywhere in the World
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Family Recipe, Part 2
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