These Peppermint Chocolate Biscotti are my favorite Christmas cookie, and a holiday family favorite as well! I make these every year, so I have updated the photos more than once. However, since my original post bemoans the fact that they are tricky to take pictures of, I have left some of the originals. And yes I still find them tricky to photograph!
This is one of those instances when I am so sad I could not get the appearance of the finished cookie to match its complete awesomeness. It’s the perfect Christmas cookie, especially if you like mint chocolate the way I like mint chocolate. It is also perfect because biscotti, of course, are one of those great keeper cookies that can live in a Holiday tin on your dining room table for a month without problem. I think I slightly underbaked them during the first stage, which led to not very pretty slices, but truly do not let that stop you from making these Peppermint Chocolate Biscotti. Other than looks, they are easy, and no matter how they look they are delicious.
Original Photo from December 2011
I like biscotti with a crumbly mouth-feel, as opposed to being rock hard and needing a dip in coffee. In other words I prefer biscotti with some fat! The tender crunchiness of these biscotti is further improved by pulverizing part of the flour/cocoa mixture with bittersweet chocolate.
I was inspired to make these Peppermint Chocolate Biscotti by all of the peppermint white chocolate dipped biscotti I see in holiday cookie magazines. But I never want the hassle of dipping the biscotti, plus, as nice as that looks, it does not make for as easy of storage. To create these, I took my favorite chocolate biscotti recipe from Alice Medrich (of course), and I added Andes peppermint baking chips, as well as chopped up white chocolate. I made the (in retrospect) mistake of chopping the white chocolate with the dark chocolate (first I blitzed the dark chocolate with flour and cocoa powder, then I pulsed the processor a few times with the white chocolate). This muddied its appearance–since then I have chopped the white chocolate by hand. (Update: the picture below is how these biscotti look since I learned to let them sit longer before slicing, and also when I have hand chopped the white chocolate:)
Photo from December 2012!
By the way, Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips are one of the secrets to my holiday cookie baking. I have never found chopped up candy canes to be as easy to work with as advertised, nor as easy to chew after being baked. The Andes chips substitute perfectly, and I now keep them on hand for this recipe, as well as other peppermint endeavors.
- 2 cups (9 oz) AP flour
- 1/2 cup (1.125 oz) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate roughly chopped
- 8 T (4 oz, 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (7 oz) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 cup Andes peppermint baking chips
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
Preheat the oven to 300 F with a rack in the center of the oven.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Remove about 1/4 cup and place it in the food processor with the blade attached. Set the rest aside.
Add the bittersweet chocolate to the food processor with the flour mixture and process until completely pulverized. Add back to the flour mixture.
Cream the butter and sugar together until completely integrated and creamy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla--if using a mixer, mix on speed 2 or lower. Add the flour and mix on the lowest speed, just until all of the flour has been evenly moistened by the butter-egg mixture.
Stir in the peppermint baking chips and the white chocolate. Place parchment or a silicone mat on a cookie sheet. Shape the dough on the cookie sheet to form a long rectangle, about 16X4 inches for long biscotti, or 2 shorter and more narrow logs for shorter biscotti.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes (start checking at 20 minutes if baking 2 logs), until the loaf is firm but springy to the touch. Rotate from front to back halfway through to ensure even baking. Obviously do not let the loaf burn, but in light of my experience with a loaf that was almost too soft to slice, I would err on the side of overbaking. At 300 F this is not too risky.
Remove the loaf to cool on the pan. Let it cool for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Before slicing, turn the oven back on to 300 F. Remove the loaf or loaves–carefully!–to a cutting board. Slice 1/2-inch slices of the loaf and transfer them back to the cookie sheet, placing them 1/2 inch apart. If you need to, use 2 cookie sheets and place the oven racks in the lower and upper third of the oven.
Bake for an additional 35 minutes, until the biscotti feel dry and crusty (they will not feel perfectly hard though, that will happen as they cool). Rotate from front to back (and top to bottom if using 2 sheets) halfway through. Cool the biscotti completely before storing in airtight tins.
For the collage lovers….