December 11, 2013
Spicy Double Chocolate Biscotti
I'll just come out and say it: I'm not good at video games. Especially not Mario Kart. I mention it because I am currently watching my husband play Mario Kart. Backwards. He's in 3rd place. I can't even get better than last place going the right way -- in fact I frequently end up going around the track the wrong way. Clearly opposites attract.
That's all I have to say about that.
And now we have some truly delicious biscotti to discuss, so let's get right to it. (Listen, transitions aren't really my thing, okay?)
If biscotti and brownies fell in love and got married and had a baby on their honeymoon in Aztec country, this would be the result. Deeply chocolatey, crisp, but not too dry, with a hint of spice that just tickles the back of your throat. You could easily add as much spice as you prefer, but I like to rein it in and just add a smidgeon. I love how the kick of spice lends extra depth to the cocoa flavor and makes interesting what might otherwise be run-of-the-mill.
And do you know what I love with a Spicy Double Chocolate Biscotto? More chocolate. Hot, with milk, in a mug. Heavy on the whipped cream.
(Insert happy face here.)
Spicy Double Chocolate Biscotti
adapted from "Dorie's Baking: From my Home to Yours"
1 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder (the darker the better)
rounded 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
rounded 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. butter, at room temp
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and cayenne into a bowl. Add salt, and stir to combine. Set aside.
Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix again until incorporated. (It may look slightly curdled, and that's fine.) Gradually add dry ingredients, one third at a time. Mix until dough just comes together. It should be tacky but not very sticky. Stir/fold in chocolate chips.
Heat oven to 375, and line a cookie sheet with parchment. Shape dough into a 1” thick log on the lined baking sheet. The more rectangular your log, the more evenly your cookies will bake. Mine was about 5 inches wide and maybe 12 inches long. (See below.)
Bake for 20-25 mins. (I like my biscotti more moist, so I did 20 minutes. If you like yours more crisp, let them bake a bit longer). The top may crack a bit but should still be soft and form a dent when lightly pressed. Remove from oven (but leave the oven on).
Let it cool down a bit. When cool enough to touch, but still warm, cut into 1” thick slices using a serrated/bread knife using a gentle sawing motion. The pieces crumble a bit on the edges -- no worries.
Arrange the pieces 1/2 - 1" apart either upright or laid on one side. Return to the oven to bake another 8 - 10 minutes in order to crisp up. If you are placing them one side down, it’s advisable to turn them over after 4-5 mins. (Again, I baked mine the shorter amount of time because I like them still a bit moist.)
Once the cookies have reached your desired level of crispness, remove from the oven and let cool completely, keeping in mind that they will crisp up further on cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.