Monday, November 10, 2008

Mexican Chocolate Biscotti

We eat these daily. When we run out, I usually make more the same day. Sometimes I'll switch it up and make Sicillian biscotti with lemon and anise, or a hazelnut or almond biscotti if I've got nuts to spare, but the next batch will always be Mexican chocolate. The whole wheat flour contributes to the nutty, earthy, chocolate-ness without making them seem "healthy." This style of biscotti using only whole eggs for fat, makes a very hard cookie after the second bake [biscotti means "twice-baked in Italian]. I have made these by hand but the dough is pretty gooey, so by the time I stirred in enough to get everything incorporated it was a little overmixed and the resulting texture was more dense than usual, but still good. The chemical reaction between the soda and the chocolate helps the crumb immensely. They aren't so hard you'll fear for your teeth, but they do soften nicely when dunked in coffee. They can keep for months in a sealed container... but we always finish them well before that.

Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Biscotti

You can chop some of the chocolate and add it at the end if you want chunks... but you'll also have to wait a couple hours for the chocolate to set before you can cut them cleanly for the second bake. The sesame seeds and tahini add a great mole-esque flavor, but they're easily omitted. I've made these with honey, but the texture was off. You can also use all purpose flour for all or part of the flour mix.

4 oz Mexican chocolate squares (Popular, Ibarra, or the like -- or 4 oz regular bittersweet)
cup sugar
cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 1/2
tsp cinnamon (add an additional 1t if using regular chocolate)
1 1/2
tsp sesame seeds
tsp baking soda
tsp baking powder
tsp kosher salt
1 Tbl tahini (seame paste)
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Set oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.

Combine chocolate squares and sugar in a microwave save bowl and nuke 1 minute or until chocolate is soft, stirring every 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a standing mixer. Whisk remaining dry ingredients in another bowl and set aside.

Add eggs and vanilla to sugar. Mix on medium speed until creamy, then add tahini and mix until combined. Switch to low speed and add dry ingredients a 1/2 C at a time; mixing until just combined. The dough will be very sticky, but resist the temptation to add more flour.

Spoon the dough into two logs 12-15 inches long and at least 1 ½ inches apart on the cookie sheet. Using saran wrap as a barrier, pat the logs smooth with your hands. Bake approximately 35 minutes or until log begins to crack along the surface. Transfer to a large cooling rack and cool for at least 10 minutes or cool enough to handle.

Turn oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Transfer logs to a cutting board. Slice logs on a diagonal 1/4” to 1/2” thick. (If you have a storage container in mind, it helps to measure your diagonal to it so they’ll fit inside.) Arrange slices on the cooling rack and place in the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes or until biscotti reach the desired crispness. (If you don’t have a large cooling rack, place on the cookie sheet and flip halfway through.)

The drier/harder they are, the longer they keep…up to a few months in an airtight container.


  1. What about adding a little hot chili powder to this recipe? That might be really tasty with the chocolate.

  2. I've tried it and it is... but it doesn't work as well with my morning coffee. Maybe if I drank hot chocolate every morning I'd consider switching.