Children of all ages enjoy these walnut-studded cookies. They are traditionally made with almonds – or mandel in Yiddish- which explains the name of the cookie. Serve these wonderful cookies with coffee after a traditional Hanukah meal. If you make enough of them, you can even use them instead of chocolate gelt when playing dreidel.
To make Mandelbrot you need the following ingredients for the recipe:
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract (optional)
2 cups of coarsely chopped almonds
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to keep the cookies from sticking.
Begin with a large bowl in which you have added the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the items together and set the bowl aside. In a second bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs until they are well blended. Increase the mixer speed to high and add two teaspoons of sugar at a time until the mixture becomes foamy and thick. This will take approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the oil and vanilla (and almond) extract and beat for very briefly. Then, on the lowest speed, gradually add the flour and chopped almonds until the dough holds together. The dough will be soft but not too sticky. You may add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky.
Divide the dough into halves. Dampen your hands and roll each half into a 3 inch by 12 inch log. Place the logs 4 inches part on the baking sheet. Put the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake it for at least 45 minutes. The dough will be golden brown and firm to the touch when it is ready to remove. Remove the Mandelbrot logs from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes.
Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the logs into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch slices. Put the slices back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional five minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook five more minutes or until the cookies are entirely dry. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely on wire racks. They can be stored for up to three months in an airtight container. You can also make them ahead and freeze them for later use.