Holiday Chocolate Biscotti

 

Chocolaty, crunchy, nutty and sweet―a spike of peppermint delivers a holiday treat. Wrap a batch in handsome packaging to gift about, the recipients will squeal with delight, no doubt!

 

Cakewalker - Holiday Chocolate Biscotti

By this time in December I’m in FTBM (full throttle bake mode). The oven seemingly radiates 24/7 at 350°, running two stand mixers simultaneously is common, and I stop down long enough to put meals on the table, and take kids to and fro. I lose count of the pounds of sugar and butter I’ve gone through, but it doesn’t matter because I’m in my zone.

In my house we gift food at holiday time, and have been doing so for years. Most of it stays local, but some travels across the nation. If there’s one thing I know for sure, the recipients treasure what comes their way, and I draw great pleasure in the annual ritual of extending a little of myself to others.

My friend Sheryl at Mama’s Gotta Bake is joining the ranks of treat making this year―she’s going with a scrumptious Almond Bark. Sheryl has charming wit peppered with the right amount of sarcasm to make her posts a delight to read. I got a chuckle from a recent entry where she lamented traditional gift giving, the retail kind derived from shopping at department stores where after hustling and bustling she found lackluster response from some on her list. You owe it to yourself to visit her place: this pastry school trained lady takes swoon-worthy photos which will have you salivating like a Pavlovian dog in no time. Woof.

I understood her dissatisfaction. And it got me thinking. Perhaps I should shake things up this year? Introduce something new in the regimen, a little departure from goods and desserts I can do in my sleep. I knew precisely where the inspiration was―the very board where I pinned one of Sheryl’s fabulous recipes a year or so ago.

Holiday Chocolate Biscotti by CakewalkerRecipe adapted from Mama’s Gotta Bake via Carole Walter

Holiday Chocolate Biscotti

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: About 40 cookies

Holiday Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolaty, crunchy, nutty and sweet, a spike of peppermint delivers a holiday treat. Not only are these festive cookies easy to make, they are equally as impressive on a dessert table or in a gift box.

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted and cooled to tepid
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 bag (12 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Chocolate glaze:
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 8 ounces good quality semi- sweet chocolate
  • Garnish
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint candies

Instructions

  • Position the racks in the oven in the upper and lower thirds. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper or an equivalent nonstick liner.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and salt on medium speed until lightened in color, about two minutes. Gradually add the sugar, scrape the bowl. Now whisk in the vanilla. In a slow, steady stream pour the tepid butter down the side of the bowl and beat for 30 additional seconds.
  • Using a spatula, scrape the bowl again, then gently stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Fold in the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing only until ingredients are incorporated. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the pans and form four logs (2 logs on each pan) measuring approximately 10 inches long by 2 inches wide―lightly dusting the hands with flour helps to work and shape the dough.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until set on top. Let logs cool on pan for at least 20 minutes.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 325°F. Employ a serrated knife and cut the logs into 1/2-inch slices. Turn the slices cut side up, and return to the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Turn the biscotti onto their other sides and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until cookies are crisp. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool completely.
  • Make the glaze: Place the water, corn syrup and sugar into a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the chocolate; let it sit for 3 minutes, whisk until smooth. Let the glaze stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly and thicken. To assemble, dip the ends of the cookies in the glaze allowing any excess to drip off, sprinkle the dipped end with crushed peppermints and place on parchment for several hours until the chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

I used Guittard chocolate from San Francisco in this recipe, but any good quality product will fare well. Shaping the logs as directed yields a cookie about 3 inches in length. You may shape the logs larger by forming two, instead of four―you’ll get a longer biscotti, but an increase in baking time will be required. The glaze recipe makes an ample supply for dipping.

http://cakewalkr.com/holiday-chocolate-biscotti/

Bite of Holiday Chocolate Biscotti - Cakewalker

To Sheryl, best wishes as you work through FTBM this season and thank you for the inspiration.

And to my readers, thank you for your devotion and support in my little corner of the web. I truly appreciate your time and comments.

To all, as this is my last post for 2014, may you and yours have a joyous holiday season, and an extraordinary year in 2015. Cheers!

Comments

  1. Full throttle bake mode. . I love that! 🙂 I also love gifting food . . I think it’s so special and love baking for people. . love love love this festive biscotti!!! and the chocolate glaze! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday and see you in 2015!!

  2. Holiday baking is so much fun, isn’t it? This is terrific — and I love the pictures. I hope your holidays are wonderful!

  3. You know you opened with a poem, right? Of course you do, or maybe it was just the holiday spirit talking. These chocolate biscotti would make anyone speak in rhyme! GREG

  4. I finally got all my holiday baking completed yesterday. Breathing a big sigh of relief…I do think I need to shake things up next year. Maybe I’ll start with your divine chocolate biscotti! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in the coming year!

    • Brooks Walker says:

      It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, Liz. I hope your Christmas was merry and may 2015 bring you good tidings!

  5. We’re doing purely food gifts this Christmas for the first time and I have to admit, I’m even more excited than usual for Christmas morning—these look amazing, Brooks! I love how biscotti has that powerful crunch but wilts ever so deliciously in espresso.

    • Brooks Walker says:

      I’d bet your gifts were well received, Angela, and your apt description of biscotti makes me want one with coffee. All the best to you in 2015!

  6. Hi Brooks, wishing you and yours a warm and wonderful holiday! Can’t wait to see what delectable treats Cakewalker will write about in the coming new year! All the best, Sheryl

  7. I’ve made chocolate biscotti before but never dipped them in chocolate. I want!

    Happy New Year!

    • Brooks Walker says:

      Try a batch, Maureen—they’re every bit as festive as they appear. Happy 2015 to you and yours!

  8. How delightful! I would love to be having some with a cup of coffee right now!

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