Mandelbrot–Gluten-Free Style!

Last week, Indy, my 9 year-old son, wanted to make “special” cookies. So he grabbed several of my cookie recipe books, thumbing through them until he found a recipe he thought sounded good.  I took one look and blinked.

First, I’d never heard of Mandelbrot. According to the recipe, it’s a German-Jewish almond cookie baked in a similar style to Italian biscotti. Which meant that these near-cookies (because let’s face it, they’re not as sweet as–oh say–chocolate chip cookies) needed to be baked twice!

“Are you sure? It’s a lot of work.” But he wouldn’t be swayed, so we took a look at the recipe and modified it to fit a gluten-free diet. We spent the evening in the kitchen. And it was most definitely a huge success. Aside from the Mandelbrot tasting fabulous, my son glowed with pride.Mandelbrot Finished


1 1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 C garbanzo bean flour
1/2 C all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
5 large eggs
1/2 C melted unsalted butter
1 1/4 pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 C coarsely chopped walnuts
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Coarsely chop walnuts and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and 1/4 cup of sugar. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, remaining sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Add flour mixture until well-blended. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.

Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough in half. Shape the two parts into logs that are two inches wide and twelve inches long. Place the logs on parchment lined cookie sheets.

Mandelbrot 2

Beat remaining egg and brush the egg over the logs until well coated. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture across the top of the logs. Place logs into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Once baked, remove from oven and completely cool the logs on the cookie sheets.

Transfer logs onto a cutting board and cut the logs into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the slices back onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake cookies an additional 15 minutes or until desired crispness. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely. Mandelbrot will keep at room temperature for about four days.

*One note, true Mandelbrot has almonds, but our recipe called for walnuts. Next time, we’ll try it with the almonds, but this very is oh, so delicious! 🙂


8 thoughts on “Mandelbrot–Gluten-Free Style!

  1. I saw the title and thought, why is Mary making mandel bread? Chanukkah’s over and Passover’s not for another month. And then I thought, but Mary’s not even Jewish! And THEN I thought – I should just shut up and keep reading. 🙂

    What a fun way to spend the day.

    • LOL!

      Seriously though, my one son is such a picky eater that I encourage him to try any and everything. So when he brought up the idea, I went with it. And what do you know, he loves it!

      Now if only I could convince him that dinner can be just a yummy–despite the green vegetables. 😀

  2. What a cool idea, Mary! I’m going to hand my cookbooks to my sons and tell them to pick something and cook it for me. I know that’s not exactly how it went down in your house, but all my guys are old enough and it’s about time to turn the tables on them. 😉

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