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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mocha Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

Biscotti are well known delicious Italian cookies... or are they? I mean they are delicious, there’s no question about that. But being Italian my entire life, you would think that I would have realized sooner rather than later that the word “ biscotti” simply translates as “twice baked.”

As most children of Italian immigrants will agree, their parents called anything that you or I would call a cookie, biscotti. You can see how this may have caused some confusion.

For my entire life I thought I was enjoying biscotti when in fact they were mere cookies!

Finding good biscotti recipes has presented other challenges. I’ve tried any recipe that I could get my hands on.

Grandmothers, aunts and friends were among those who were kind enough to part with their authentic biscotti recipes.

Much to my disappointment I ended up with piles of tasteless little bricks!

This may have had something to do with their lack of standard measuring utensils or the fact that the recipes were never provided in written form. They were usually recited by memory and we can all appreciate the margin for error that existed with this method.

I had basically given up on the hope of finding a really good recipe. However, it’s hard to believe that I’ve recently managed to find three recipes that make amazing Triple Chocolate Orange, Lemon Pistachio and Mocha Chocolate Chunk Biscotti. I’ll share one of the recipes with you on this post although it was hard to choose which one!

Cookies and biscotti, I love them both, but I think it’s the “twice baked” that makes biscotti “twice as good!”

Mocha Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
4 squares semi sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  1. In a small bowl beat eggs and instant coffee until well blended.
  2. Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until well blended.
  4. Add egg mixture and with beater mix well.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture blending well after each addition.
  6. Stir in chocolate.
  7. Place dough on lightly floured surface; divide in half and roll each piece into a 14 inch log.
  8. Place on greased baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned then remove from sheet onto cutting board, cool 10 minutes.
  10. Using a serrated knife cut into ¾ inch slices.
  11. Stand slices upright on baking sheet and bake an additional 10 minutes or until dry and crisp.
  12. Cool completely on cooling racks then store in a tightly covered container at room temperature. Yield 3 dozen biscotti.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • To avoid bottoms of biscotti from over browning place a sheet of aluminum foil on the lower oven rack at the start of baking.·
  • Omit chocolate chunks and after baking dip the biscotti halfway into melted semi sweet chocolate.
  • Using parchment paper instead of greasing pan makes cleaning up easier.
  • Recipe states that it yields 3 dozen biscotti but if you cut them diagonally it will yield between 2 to 2 ½ dozen. Personally, I think longer diagonally cut biscotti make a better presentation.
  • If by any chance you manage to have any leftovers, these biscotti freeze very well.
  • Even the “unbaked’ dough of this “twice baked” treat is hard to resist!

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