There are a lot of new verbs in the English language that a short time ago were only nouns; text, blog, pin. I did not grow up with these verbs and occasionally find them confusing. I have learned to text, though I don’t have the thumb dexterity that seems to have evolved in humans younger than me. Obviously, I am learning to blog. And most recently, I am attempting to pin. I am not completely sure that I understand the intrinsic value of all the “liking” and “repining” that gets announced with great fanfare to my inbox. What I do understand is that Pinterest enables me to search for pictures of stuff that appeals to me, and then allows me to store those images in an organized manner. (I only wish the rest of my life was so neatly organized!) I have heard that people get addicted to Pinterest. I don’t think I am an addict yet, but there have been a number of missing hours in my days lately and a marked increase in the number of pins on my Pinterest boards.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that much of the time that I spend on Pinterest, I am looking for baking ideas, specifically mailable baking ideas. There is a lot of amazing looking food out there and some very talented cooks/bakers/decorators. I am accumulating a sizeable collection of recipes for Monday Box ideas.
One category that I keep coming back to is biscotti because, as I have mentioned every time I post a biscotti recipe, biscotti are fantastic travelers and keep well for several weeks.
I would like to introduce you to biscotti so rich and chocolaty, that adding any additional dips or drizzles would be over kill. I understand that there are those who say that there is no such thing as too much chocolate (I live with several such individuals), but believe me when I tell you that this biscotti is perfect as is.
I am excited about this recipe because I think it’s an excellent way to mail chocolate cookies, even to really hot places. By leaving out the chocolate chips (you can substitute chopped nuts if you like them) the biscotti would still be very chocolaty and there would be nothing to melt in transit.
When coffee and chocolate flavors are combined in a recipe, they make each other bolder and richer. The chocolate flavor comes from Dutch process cocoa, ground semi-sweet chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips. The coffee flavor comes from powdered espresso and coarsely ground espresso beans. The resulting biscotti are crunchy, sweet, and full of mocha flavor.
Chocolate Espresso Biscotti
Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy
Makes about 40 biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons coarsely ground espresso beans
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and chopped chocolate. Pulse until the chocolate is ground into the flour mixture.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
- Gradually add the flour mixture just until combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and ground espresso beans.
- Divide the dough in half and form two logs about 14” x 2”. Place on baking sheet at least 4” apart.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Logs should be firm but not hard.
- Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Leave the oven on.
- On a cutting board using a serrated knife, cut each loaf into ½ inch slices. (If the slices are crumbling, let the loaf cool a little longer.)
- Stand the slices, ½ inch apart, on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until the surface of the cookies is dry ( though the chocolate chips will be gooey).
- Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Note: If you use natural cocoa powder instead of Dutch-process , use ½ teaspoon of baking soda instead of the baking powder.
Packing tips: Wrap pairs of biscotti in plastic wrap, then store in an air tight container or zip lock bag. If shipping in hot weather, leave out the chocolate chips. Chopped nuts can be substituted for the chocolate chips, if desired.