Making Holiday Mandelbrot

Author: Meera, December 20, 2015

Before my husband passed away at 46 from complications after a heart transplant, he used to accompany our son and his boy scout troop to Dodge Ridge for an annual ski trip (depending on the snow levels). The mandelbrot (twice-baked biscotti) I packed for them was always a hit, and each year the scouts would request it.


Making this biscotti has become an annual tradition for me at this time of year. I usually make several batches, dividing the dough into equal size balls first and then molding them into logs for baking. Mandelbrot is a Yiddish word, meaning almond bread (“mandel” for almond, “brot” for bread).



Mandelbrot in a festive holiday box on on a pretty plate makes gift-giving easy

Mandelbrot served on a festive holiday plate or in a tissue-lined box makes a welcome gift




The pieces should be stored in an airtight container for gift-giving or for parsing out over the holidays with a hot cup of tea or mulled wine (my favorite mulled wine recipe relies on a ratio of 6-2-1 of claret, cider, and orange juice, plus honey and spices and citrus peel).


Our Family Favorite Mandelbrot





1 cup sugar

3 eggs

3/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

dash of salt

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds (alternatively: pecans or walnuts)




The logs should be evenly spaced on the oiled cookie sheet

The logs should be evenly spaced on the oiled cookie sheet





Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Spray oil over a baking sheet.

Cream together sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, and almond flavoring in the large bowl of an electric mixer.

Add flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, and nuts and blend well.

Divide the dough into three equal balls.

Roll each ball in your hands to make a long roll, the length of the cookie sheet.

Repeat the process with the remaining two balls.

Place the three rolls at least 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet (they’ll expand and flatten slightly during the baking).

Bake for 20 minutes (the rolls will appear golden brown)

Remove from heat and let cool while you make the topping.



Cinnamon sugar topping will give the biscotti its sweetness

Cinnamon sugar topping will give the biscotti its sweetness




Whisk together 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon until thoroughly blended.

Sprinkle the rolls with the cinnamon-sugar topping.

Return the biscotti to the oven for approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove and let cool.

Make 2-inch wide slashes on the diagonal.

Store the biscotti in an airtight container.




For more delicious recipes, farming tips, and a cozy whodunnit, check out my newest novel, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online and brick-and-mortar stores.



The book cover for my debut novel, the first in the Henny Penny Farmette mystery series
The first cozy mystery in the Henny Penny Farmette mystery series by Meera Lester, from Kensington Books


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