March 29, 2018

Chocolate Peanut Butter Biscotti

I am currently sitting in a fluffy robe looking out onto some palm trees in the Bahamas after a long day of poolside reading. Sounds perfect, right? Yes, except for one thing. I am starving. With personal pizzas at $20+ and sodas at $6 and some inexplicable hostility towards snack-sized portions so you HAVE to buy full-sized meals, it's going to be a long weekend. And for me, the travel is just beginning. I'll be in 6 cities in the next 6 weeks or so, so I'm going to need some good snacks. One of my family's go-tos is biscotti. Any flavor will do, as long as they're sweet, crunchy, and made in dozens.

Normally biscotti are relatively healthy for a dessert. There's minimal fat since eggs are the main liquid and binder, and dried fruits and nuts are filling and healthy. This peanut butter biscotti recipe does stray a bit, but the flavors are worth it. There's peanuts, peanut butter, and mini chocolate chips, and you can up the chocolate flavor by dipping or drizzling with more chocolate or even subbing in some cocoa powder for part of the flour.

The recipe starts by combining the butter and sugar. You don't need a stand mixer or even a hand mixer to do this since the butter is melted, but, like most biscotti doughs, it will become extremely thick later so a stand mixer is still helpful. I then add the eggs and a splash of vanilla before adding plenty of peanut butter. I typically use smooth peanut butter when baking so I can control the crunch by adding the peanuts separately, though crunchy peanut butter would still work. The dry ingredients are pretty simple: just flour, baking powder, and salt. Those are mixed in until just combined, and then it's time for the chunky bits. I use chopped roasted peanuts and mini chocolate chips so that there's the peanut and chocolate flavors I promised and it's all evenly distributed so each bite is perfect.

What makes biscotti so special is that they are baked twice. The first round is when the dough is shaped as loaves that take a while to bake. The second is when the loaves are sliced into the shapes you're more familiar with eating, and their size depends on how wide your initial loaves are. This dough does spread a bit, so make it more narrow than you'd like the final product to be. Make sure it's cooked through and reasonably cool before cutting into slices. If you're going to dunk them in chocolate or add a nice chocolate drizzle, make sure your slices are cooled completely and always temper your chocolate if you don't intend to eat it immediately. It's worth the hassle for shiny, snappy chocolate.

This biscotti, like other recipes, is great for taking on the go because it's perfectly portioned and takes forever to stale. If peanut butter and chocolate aren't your favorites, I also have recipes for gingerbread biscottiorange almond biscotti, and pumpkin white chocolate biscotti. Even if you aren't traveling soon, these make for great gifts and also great snacks to have on hand for gatherings like Easter. If you're looking for some cookies to hold you over through Passover, nosh on these chocolate pecan thumbprint cookies for a few days first.

10 T Butter, Melted
2 3/4 Cups Flour
2 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Eggs
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
2/3 Cup Roasted Peanuts
3/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Heat oven to 350F and line three cookie trays with parchment.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and peanut butter. Mix the flour in until just combined. Fold in the peanuts and chocolate.

Divide the dough in half and place each in the center of the baking sheets. Shape into logs. Bake until set and golden brown around the edges, 25-30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325F.

Once the logs are cool, cut into 1/2" thick slices. Spread onto the trays and bake for 8 minutes; flip, then bake 8 minutes more.

Makes ~4 Dozen
Recipe Adapted from Food Network

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