With a nice cup of tea it’s good for what ails you – but nothing at all will ail you after a bite of Ilise’s acclaimed mondel bread which comes from an old family recipe. This sweet treat – a cross between biscotti and shortbread – has appeared on our holiday open house menu every year since we began, 21 years ago. Let’s hear more of the story in the mondel-chef’s own words – take it away, Ilise!
This mondel bread recipe is from my great aunt Dorothy. She always made it with almonds, but since many in our family are not big fans of nuts in baked goods (I know this is sacrilege for many people) or have nut allergies I tend to make my version without nuts - one with just plain cinnamon sugar and the other with chocolate chips. However this recipe is very flexible and you can add just about anything.
This recipe may seem a little less than exact, but that’s the way I got it. At least this was a recipe that used standard cup sizes as opposed to saying “use one yahrzeit candle full of oil or sugar, etc.” Because back in the day that was common to see in these family recipes, and who even knows how much a yahrzeit candle held back then because now there is no standard size.
Click on the pictures below to enlarge them and read the captions.
- 1 cup oil (a little less)
- 1 cup sugar (a little more if needed)
- 3 cups flour (a little more if needed)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture – Use a ratio of 3 tablespoons of sugar to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream together eggs & sugar. Then add oil, vanilla and lemon juice and mix well.
- Add the flour last. I add the flour in 3 parts, mixing after each addition with mixer on low.
- Put the batter in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 - 20 minutes (makes it easier to work with).
- Cut batter into three parts and make logs a couple of inches shorter than the length of a cookie sheet. (I use a well-floured strip of plastic wrap to help me shape the batter into a log.)
- Put two "logs" on each cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
- Cut into pieces, lay on side and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on cookies. Bake for about another 6-8 minutes.
- Flip the cookies over and sprinkle more cinnamon sugar on them. Bake for another 6-8 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in airtight container. Keeps well for 2-3 weeks. If they last that long.
Once batter has been made, you can mix in 1 cup of chocolate chips or 1/3 cup of sliced almonds. You can also swap out vanilla extract for almond extract.