Faith Kramer
Past President, Hadassah Oakland Ruach Chapter

Mouth-Watering Matzah Crunch Dessert for Passover

Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

If there is one universally loved Passover dessert, it’s Matzah Crunch, with its layers of crispy matzah, sweet caramel and rich chocolate.

Since its introduction by Marcy Goldman in 1985, the recipe has gone viral and has spun off lots of variations. It has become a sweet highlight at the end of many Pesach (and other) meals. You might know the confection under another name, such as Caramel Matzah Crunch or Toffee and Chocolate Matzah Crunch or even Matzah Crack, but you might not have realized how easy it is to make.

The recipe is featured in Goldman’s cookbook A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking and elsewhere in print and online. It has Hadassah connections as well.

The confection was a holiday standard of my late mother-in-law, Joan Kramer, who introduced me to Hadassah and sponsored my lifetime membership. Her version was topped with chopped nuts.

Goldman has a Hadassah connection, too. When she was growing up, her mother would tell her about how the “ladies at Hadassah would make very fine squares and bars” to serve at meetings and that “the hallmark of a great baker is the competence they have in making one of these wonderful little recipes.”

Goldman herself says, “I think that was a goal for me as a baker … to make something the Hadassah members would serve at one of their meetings.”

Below is my version of this now-classic treat. A few caveats: Be sure the butter or margarine is at room temperature. Use bars or sticks not tub margarine. Add the salt if using unsalted butter. Always be careful when handling hot sugar.

I use two cups of chocolate chips to get a substantial layer of chocolate. (The original recipe called for about half of that.) Use parve chocolate chips and margarine for parve or vegan Matzah Crunch. Choose Passover-certified ingredients as appropriate.

Make room in the freezer before starting, since the crunch needs to chill in the pan until the chocolate sets.

Matzah Crunch
Adapted from Marcy Goldman
Makes 6-8 servings

4 sheets plain matzah
1 cup butter or parve stick margarine, room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt if using unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or coarsely chopped chocolate)
1-2 cups chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a large, rimmed baking sheet pan (approximately 18” x 13”) with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. (Optional: Line foil with parchment paper, cut to completely cover the inside bottom of the pan to make the crunch easier to remove later.) Place matzahs in a single layer on top of the parchment or foil. If necessary, break some of the pieces of matzah into large enough parts to completely cover the bottom of the baking sheet.

Combine the butter or margarine and the brown sugar in a saucepan (adding the salt if using unsalted butter). Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Pour or spoon over the matzahs, covering them completely.

Place baking sheet in oven and then turn heat down to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. Check every 3 minutes to make sure topping is not burning. (If the toffee layer seems to be in danger, remove pan from oven. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Replace pan and continue to bake for total of 15 minutes.)

After 15 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with the chocolate chips. Let stand for 5 minutes and then spread the melted chocolate evenly over the matzah. (If chocolate isn’t soft enough to spread, place the pan in the turned-off-but-still-warm oven until the chocolate is spreadable.) Immediately sprinkle with nuts and cut (a sharp knife or pizza cutter works well) or break into 3” pieces or squares. Place in freezer, still on baking sheets, just until chocolate is set.

Use foil overhang to lift Matzah Crunch out of baking pan. Place pieces in an airtight container in single layers between wax paper and store at room temperature for up to 4 days.

About the Author
Faith Kramer, a former president and current board member of the Hadassah Oakland Ruach Chapter, is a member of the Hadassah Writers' Circle. The California-based food writer is the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” (The Collective Book Studio). She writes a twice-a-month recipe column for the J, Northern California’s Jewish News Source. See more about her cookbook, other writing, and recipes at She can be reached at
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