I'm a firm believer that Christmas just ain't Christmas without cookies. Even though I rarely bake cookies at any other time of year, every December I find myself whipped into a cookie-baking frenzy, baking one batch after another.
Also, it ain't Christmas without chocolate- preferably of the rich, dark, bittersweet variety. I'm not too picky about it, either... I don't care it it's been baked into cookies, rolled into truffles, whisked into hot milk, or melted into fondue, so long as I can get my fix.
How convenient that these biscotti manage to meet both of those requirements in one handy little dunkable package, no?
Inspired by my favourite brownies, these crisp thin biscotti slices are deeply chocolatey and dotted with chunks of chopped walnuts and bittersweet chocolate. All they need is a mug of hot coffee for dunking, a big comfy chair and a good book to make for the perfect escape from pre-holiday madness (or the perfect prescription for post-holiday recuperation).
However, if you do plan on making these, the one word of advice I have is to make sure not to skimp on the quality of your chocolate. Chocolate chips and baking chocolate have their uses, but this is not one of them... the deep chocolate flavour of these cookies can only be achieved by chopping up a good-quality bar of chocolate usually intended for eating straight-up. So spring for some Ghiardelli or Lindt or the like. Trust me, it'll make all the difference in the finished cookies.
For maximum chocolatey-ness, the cooled biscotti can be dunked in (or drizzled with) melted bittersweet chocolate. I'm a minimalist, though, so I prefer to leave mine
naked errr... plain.
Chocolate Brownie Biscotti
Makes ~ 2 dozen cookies
1 ¾ cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup chopped walnuts
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate bits. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in hot water. Add vanilla extract, then whisk in the eggs until well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a loose, somewhat crumbly dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly until the dough is soft and slightly sticky, about 8-10 times. Shape into a 16-inch-long roll. Transfer the roll to the prepared baking sheet, and flatten into a 1-inch thick slab.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the top of the slab feels firm and dry. Remove from the oven, but do not turn off the heat. Set the slab on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Once the slab is cool enough to handle, cut into ½-inch thick slices using a serrated knife. Place the slices on the baking sheet, cut sides down, and return to the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over, and continue baking for another 10 minutes (the cookies should be just a bit soft in the center - don't worry, they'll harden up once they cool). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.