Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti

Okay, so I know I just posted about some yummy Gingerbread Biscotti not too long ago, but I've discovered another magnificent biscotti recipe that has excited me enough to share it with you here. It's Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti, and it's so rich, so delicious, so Christmas-y, I think I might be making it every December from now on.

I found a recipe on for a chocolate peppermint biscotti that had semisweet chocolate chips inside and milk chocolate on the outside. There was peppermint extract in the batter, as well as cocoa powder to make it even more chocolatey. After reading through that recipe, I got to work on my own, making a few changes to give it more oomph. I thought it needed more peppermint flavor, so I used a combination of chocolate chips and these awesome peppermint crunch baking chips that Andes makes in the batter. If you find those Andes chips in your grocery store, I highly recommend that you pick some up and try them in something because they are sooo good!

Anyway, back to the biscotti. I decided to dip the cooled biscotti in bittersweet chocolate in place of milk chocolate, just because I prefer darker chocolate to pair with peppermint. Finally, the finished cookie was sprinkled with crushed candy canes before the chocolate had a chance to dry. I let my five year-old son do the sprinkling, so some of them were really doused heavily with the candy canes! Fortunately for us, I love candy canes so this was hardly a problem.

I have to say, I think this one really is a winner. I love everything about these biscotti. The fabulous crunch, the deep, dark chocolate flavor, and the refreshing punch of peppermint. To me, it's a great foil to a nice cup of coffee and a perfect Christmas treat. Plus, despite the various steps, they were really simple to make. Too bad I don't really want to share these on the cookie trays this year!

Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti
adapted from
makes about 15-18 biscotti

1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure peppermint extract
1 tsp. espresso powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups Andes peppermint crunch baking chips
4 oz. (or more) bittersweet chocolate, for dipping
1/2 cup crushed candy canes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla, peppermint, and espresso powder, and beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2. In a separate medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and the peppermint chips.

3. Turn the dough out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Shape the dough into a 16-inch log, and flatten to about 2 inches thick. Bake the log for 25 minutes.

4. Remove the log from the oven, transfer the log on the parchment to a cooling rack, and cool for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

5. Transfer the log to a cutting board and, with a serrated knife, slice into 15-18 slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet, cut side up, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes per side (10 min. for slightly softer biscotti, 15 for crunchier biscotti). Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

6. Once cool, melt the bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl: in 30 second intervals, with 50% power, heat the chocolate in the microwave until smooth when stirred. Either dip one end of each biscotti in the chocolate, or do what I did and spread the chocolate with a spoon across the bottom of each biscotti. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle crushed candy canes on top. Allow to dry completely before storing in an airtight container.

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