Two B’shvat: Mandelbread Recipe

The children’s song goes, “Tu B’shvat is coming… the holiday of trees… Tu B’shvat is coming… the holiday of trees…” That’s really the only line of the song I know, but it covers the most critical details of the story for me.

It is time, once again, to get our Tu B’shvat on. This year I am prepared to celebrate the way all good Jewish holidays should be celebrated: with food.

For me, there is nothing more fitting for Tu-b’shvat than making mandelbread filled with nuts, carob chips, and dried fruit. Mandelbread is an almond-flavored cookie but from there you can really make it your own. This pareve mandelbread recipe is a fantastic project for kids to do with a grown up, but before you begin baking, you must decide what you want to put into your cookies. I encourage you to get creative. From filling to texture, it is a cookie that can be perfectly tailored to your taste. For example, my beloved mother-in-law prefers her mandlebread crunchy like biscotti, while my sons like theirs filled with as many carob chips and fruit as can fit. Many traditional Tu-B’shvat fruits can be incorporated into mandelbread: almonds, figs, carob chips, dates – it’s all delicious.


Yield 24


  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar (I use a ½ cup of Stevia and they turn out great)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, carob chips, dried fruit, or other mix-ins of your choice (chop as needed)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You will need baking sheets; I like to use a silicone liner on each baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in nuts, carob chips, dried fruit, and anything else you want to fill your mandelbread.
  3. Whisk together four of the eggs, the oil, and the vanilla/almond extracts in a medium bowl until well incorporated.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. If the mixture seems too dry, stir in the remaining egg. Though the dough will be a bit sandy, it should hold together; I typically use all five eggs. Use your hands and a bit of extra flour to knead the dough to ensure it is uniform.
  5. Divide the dough into quarters and bake two loaves per cookie sheet. Work each section of dough into a rectangular(ish) shape 8 to 9 inches long and about ½ inch high. The dough will be a bit oily and will have some tension to it; feel free to use a rolling pin. Before placing the mandelbread in the oven, score the surface of the dough where you will cut each loaf approximately 6 times. This will make the cookies easier to cut before the final baking.
  6. Bake one sheet (two loaves) at a time for 15 to 20 minutes until the mandelbread loaves are dry to the touch on top; the center of the bread should not be cooked through. Remove from the oven and transfer each semi-baked loaf to a cutting board. Cut along scored marks.
  7. Re-bake for 10 minutes or longer, depending on how crisp you like your mandelbread.
  8. Transfer the slices to a wire rack to cool completely.

Finally, although the dough itself is parve, my grandmother always felt a good mandelbread should be covered with butter, sprinkled with sugar while hot, and always eaten in good company.