In lieu of all other desserts – forsaking cakes, ice cream, brownies, pies (reserved for birthdays and holidays only) there’s what I call an “endless biscotti jar” in my kitchen.
In my book, biscotti is the perfect dessert – just the right amount of sweet and crisp for dunking into an after-dinner coffee. Aka mandelbrot in Jewish households, or twice-baked “almond-joy” rusks, biscotti is quick and easy to bake, in endless variety.
Essentially, the basic dough calls for eggs, sugar, flour and ground nuts… the rest I generally make up as I go. Variety is the spice, as they say- so out of the cupboard comes the flavor of the week: ginger cinnamon, maple raisin, brandy cherry, orange chai, coffee, anisette, sesame/halvah and of course, chocolate and coconut!
Shortening? Butter makes the dough richer, oil makes it crispier. And there are recipes I’ve tried that call for neither, and come out just as crispy, especially if I add sweetened coconut to the dough.
The following recipe includes cocoa, chocolate chips, cinnamon, coconut oil. And for good measure, melted chocolate and toasted coconut for dipping.
- Makes about 30 pieces
eggs (2 eggs, plus 1 yolk)
light brown sugar
semi-sweet chocolate chips (reserve half for dipping)
sweetened or unsweetened coconut, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a whisk attachment on an electric mixer, whip 2 eggs plus 1 yolk and granualated sugar until mixture becomes light and frothy. Add coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- Using a food processor, chop almonds; add cocoa powder and brown sugar; pulse until ingredients are well mixed.
- Replace whisk attachment with paddle attachment: Add flour, and mix at low speed. Add almond mixture and about half a cup of chocolate chips and mix on low speed until the ingredients are combined in a sticky dough.
- On a lightly floured pastry board, shape dough into a ball, knead lightly. Cut ball in two and form 2 logs, each about 9 inches long, 2 inches wide. Place logs on baking sheet.
- Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove loaves from oven and let them partially cool. About 10 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325°F. With a serrated knife, carefully cut into diagonal slices about ½-inch thick; dough will be slightly soft inside. Return slices in one layer to a cleaned baking sheet, and bake until crunchy.
- For topping: in a saucepan, melt chocolate chips over low heat. Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and stir until mixture is silky smooth. Toast coconut.
- Allow twice-baked slices to cool completely. Dip into chocolate mixture and top with coconut. Place finished slices back on cookie tray and cool in refrigerator until the topping hardens.
- Serve immediately and enjoy. Noting that this recipe also freezes well.