This recipe is part of Crispianity: a column devoted to all foods crispy and crunchy, two of the most underappreciated attributes of a great dish. Author Adeena Sussman is a food writer and recipe developer, pairing here with her photographer friend Evan Sung. Sussman’s most recent cookbook, coauthored with Lee Brian Schrager, is America’s Best Breakfasts: Favorite Local Recipes From Coast to Coast.

Passover, the holiday where unleavened, cracker-like matzo figures prominently in many a meal, begins Friday night. According to tradition, we eat matzo to represent the bread that didn’t have time to rise when the Jews were released from slavery and had to hightail it out of ancient Egypt seemingly on a moment’s notice. Passover begins with seder, an evening of time-honored rituals that includes eating symbolic foods and reading the Passover story, followed by a festive meal (think of it as the original dinner theater). At my family’s seders, we’d always buy something called “chocolate matoa” that wasn’t really matzo  at all, but rather a solid block of nut-studded chocolate perforated to resemble this symbolic food. There was also real-deal matzo covered in a thin layer of waxy, poor-quality chocolate, which seemed to get soggy before you even opened the package.

Matzo desserts remained frozen in an unfortunate holding pattern until the advent of matzo crack, about 20 years ago (for an in-depth history of the dessert phenomenon, see my friend Leah Koenig’s informative article here). Nowadays it isn’t really Passover unless you boil up a buttery caramel, pour it over some matzo boards, bake until bubbly, and top with chopped chocolate that melts before the whole affair cools into a toffee-like confection. It’s undeniably delicious, but I found it cloyingly sweet — and felt it could be crunchier. I began by replacing regular matzo boards with thinner “tea” matzos, which I discovered you can cut into uniform sizes by sawing gently with a serrated knife. Then, by deliberately overbaking the thin layer of caramel I spread atop the matzos, it burnt ever so slightly. The standard semisweet or milk chocolate chips were swapped for intense 85 percent chocolate. A scattering of deeply toasted hazelnuts, a sprinkling of Maldon sea salt, a chill in the fridge to firm things up, and you’ve got a crispy-crunchy, complex confection you may find yourself making long after Passover ends.