When I was a kid, my absolute favorite cookie of all time was my Great-Grandma Eva’s mandelbread. I was not alone in this: they were a family favorite that no one could get enough of. And no one could ever replicate properly. (Some family members say this is because Grandma Eva made them by hand; she always insisted it was because she stuck her thumb into the dough just before forming it into loaves.) I used to make it with her when I was little, but alas she passed away before I ever thought to get the recipe from her. No one has it that I’m aware of. It’s lost in the mists of time.
Now, the thing about Grandma Eva’s mandelbread is that, unlike most mandelbread or biscotti recipes, they were not twice-baked. This gave them a soft, crumbly texture instead of the hard, tooth-breaking texture of most of its ilk. I decided, for posterity and in homage to Grandma Eva, that I would start trying to find a replacement recipe that — I hope — might one day be as good as hers.
These are not those cookies. They’re quite tasty, but they’re not Grandma Eva’s mandelbread. More testing will be required.