The book:  Susan Feniger’s Street Food, by Susan Feniger, Kajsa Alger, Liz Lachman (Clarkson Potter, $27.50 – here’s my complete review)

The recipe:  Matzo candy with caramel, chocolate, and halvah

Why I tried itI just loved the idea that somebody would try to take matzo, the blandest starch ever (putting the carb in cardboard for 3000 years!), and make something completely droolworthy out of it.  Could it actually work?

Why I loved it:  The very flaws that define matzo – its boring, brittle blandness – make it just about the perfect delivery system for a decadent layering of caramel and chocolate.  It’s just about the easiest dessert I know how to make, too, a making-the-best-of-what-you-have-on-hand kind of dessert – which seems somehow to true to matzo’s Exodus roots.

Estimated preparation time:  Hardly more than 30 minutes, if you remembered to start by preheating the oven and can find your corn syrup.

Matzo candy w/caramel, chocolate & halva (CH 7)Matzo candy with caramel, chocolate, and halvah

Olive oil spray
1 (11-ounce) box unsalted matzo crackers (11 crackers)
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 pound semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 pound (1 cup) halvah

1.  Set the oven to 300 degrees. Spray 3 baking sheets with olive oil spray, or spread a small quantity of oil over the sheets with a basting brush.

2.  Lay the matzo out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.

3.  Put the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the butter melts. Raise the heat to medium and cook until the mixture is bubbling rapidly, 3 minutes. Add the baking soda, turn off the heat, and stir. The caramel mixture will be thick and bubbly.

4.  Spread the caramel over the top of the matzo crackers, covering their entire surface. Put the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the caramel-covered matzo. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the chocolate pieces so that they melt and coat the caramel matzo evenly. Then, while the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle with the halva. Let the matzo cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour or longer.

6. Break the cooled matzo into smaller pieces, and serve. Store any extras in the refrigerator in an airtight container or plastic bags.

Reprinted from the book Susan Feniger’s Street Food.  Copyright © 2012 by Susan Feniger.  Photographs copyright © 2012 by Jennifer May.  Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.