My grandma was a fighter.
She was the sassiest person I know, my biggest supporter, she always spoke her mind (and said things like, “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out,”), and she made a mean batch of mandel bread.
Earlier this week, my mom said to me while she was standing in our kitchen, “all i want to do is bake. This is my happy place,” and after a few hours of mixing & kneading dough, she told me that she had more energy that she’d had in days. We ate a few pieces of mandel bread together (kind of like biscotti, but better!) and remembered my grandma.
And THAT is the power of baking, cooking, and food in my opinion. It’s the memories, its ability to bring people together, and joy that comes from a good recipe, even when you thought there was no joy to be felt. So grandma, this one’s for you.
Grandma Dottie’s Mandel Bread
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup mixed nuts and raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar. Then add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until fully combined. Fold in the flour, baking powder and nuts.
3. Flour the bottom of a baking pan and pour dough into an even layer in the center of the baking sheet (about 1/2 inch thick) *it won’t cover the whole pan, not even close!
4. Bake for 30 minutes then remove from the oven. Slice into 1 inch thick bars (like biscotti) and flip. Bake for another 10 minutes.
5. Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days – or eat them immediately with a loved one and remember how important family is, how lucky we are to have good people in this world that support us, and how precious life is.
^ Wasn’t she the CUTEST?! Best grandma ever, I’m telling you. And shoutout to my brother for capturing these moments!