Sharing Our Stories Through Food: Nany Frieda’s Mandelbread

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Submitted by Carley Brooks

My great grandmother, Nany Frieda, always had freshly baked cookies when we came to visit her in Miami. Chocolatey mandelbread and delicate rolls of chocolate rugaleach topped with colorful sprinkles greeted us every time. Sometimes my brother and sisters and I were lucky and Nany Frieda would let us help her bake. The house smelled of sweet cinnamon and sugar. I always associate those smells and those cookies with Nany Frieda. As I got older I learned from my mom that when she was a little girl, Nany Frieda NEVER baked anything. She always knew the best bakeries to bring home delicious pastries for her grandchildren, but it wasn’t until she had GREAT-grandchildren that she poured her love into baking her own treats for us. Now, each Rosh Hashana, and other times of year when I’m thinking of Nany Frieda, I love to bake her mandelbread for my kids. You may want to make a double recipe, they go quick!

Makes about 30 cookies


  • 3 C flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 C oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 T vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 C or more chocolate chips
  • cinnamon & sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except choc. chips, in a stand mixer.
  2. Mix to combine, the dough will be a bit greasy.
  3. Add chocolate chips (be generous!) and blend.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Form 3-4 oval loaves with the cookie dough and place on prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove loaves and allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Using a serrated knife, slice the loaves into individual cookies and lay flat on the cookie sheets.
  9. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon & sugar and bake for 8 minutes.
  10. Flip the cookies, dust the reverse side with cinnamon & sugar and bake for another 8 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!