Mandelbrot is similar to biscotti, a twice-baked creation that means “almond bread” in Yiddish. Technically speaking, this mandelbrot has no mandel, though I suspect that using almonds in this would also be delicious.
Mandelbrot is slightly softer than biscotti due to its higher vegetable oil content, but the premise is the same – bake the logs, let the logs cool for a few minutes, then quickly slice the logs and bake the slices a second time. While this might sound like a lot of work, it’s actually very easy to do, and it yields a large quantity – about 3 1/2 dozen – so it’s good for a crowd.
This recipe is adapted just slightly in preparation from Martha Stewart’s Cookies, a reliable source for excellent recipes. My kitchen smelled absolutely delicious when I made this on Labor Day, and the treats were a big hit in Mike’s office this week.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable oil, 1 cup sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-low speed until combined.
Scrape your bowl well and with the mixer running on low, slowly add the flour mixture, beating until combined. Stir in pecans.
Turn dough onto a very lightly floured counter top. With floured hands, divide dough into three portions and shape each into a log about 3 inches wide and 1 inch high.
Place on baking sheets, leaving room between each log; they will spread during baking.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and puffed, but firm to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes. In the meantime, line a second baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place each log on a cutting board and, working quickly to prevent the logs from cracking too much, slice into 1/2 inch slices. Return slices to baking sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar; bake for 7 minutes.
Remove from oven, then flip slices over and sprinkle the other side with cinnamon sugar; bake for 7 minutes more.
Allow to cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.