It snowed in Houston last night! Like actually left a white winter wonderland legit snowed not just a couple of flurries that we Houstonians wish were snow. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and eat these chocolate-orange biscotti all day. Considering it has taken me a couple of years to find a chocolate biscotti recipe that I’m happy with, the timing for the snow and this blog post seems just perfect.
My past attempts at chocolate biscotti have been disappointing because they were either too dry or too much like a cookie. Good biscotti needs to be somewhere in between – crunchy enough to hold up well when dunked in hot chocolate or coffee but still have a little chewiness without being too soft. This recipe from Union Square Cafe hits the sweet spot. These biscotti have the perfect texture and just enough chocolate flavor to complement your favorite coffee.
The original recipe mixes in mini-chocolate chips but I decided to use candied orange peels. The chocolate and orange combination is a classic and the candied orange peels add just enough extra flavor and sweetness that there’s no need for additional glaze or icing on these. I found the candied orange peels at a local restaurant wholesaler but you can also order them on-line from Amazon or King Arthur Flour.
Biscotti dough is very sticky and can be hard to work with. I find it easiest to first use a wooden spoon and spatula to scoop the dough into 2 long mounds on to baking sheets lined with silpat baking mats. Then I use some plastic wrap in addition to a light sprinkle of flour to shape the mounds into long logs. Because these biscotti tend to spread during the initial baking, I bake the logs on 2 separate baking sheets.
Snow, soft sweaters, hot chocolate, and chocolate-orange biscotti – this is how I want every weekend to start this winter.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup chopped candied orange peels
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract and espresso. Mix for 10 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for 10 seconds at medium-low speed after each addition. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing at low speed until dough comes together. Add candied orange peels and mix just until they are evenly mixed in.
- Divide the dough in half and scoop each half onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle each mound of dough with some flour. Using a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, shape each half into an 11 inch long log about 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick.
- Bake the logs until biscotti have spread, have a few cracks on top, and bounce back slightly when pressed with fingertips, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking liners. Working with a sharp serrated knife, cut the cooled logs into 1/4 to ½ inch thick slices. Place the sliced cookies cut side down on the prepared pans. Bake until biscotti are slightly crisp, 10-15 minutes, rotating sheets and flipping biscotti halfway through.
Recipe adapted from Union Square Cafe via The New York Times.