September 17, 2010

Mint Biscotti Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate

Biscotti is too often pigeonholed into two dull categories: almond or chocolate.  But this is too limiting for the elegant biscotti. I searched the interwebs for a recipe that was equal parts minty and chocolatey, but nothing turned up.  So I created this one for Mint Biscotti Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate.  Yes, the recipe title is a tad wordy, but I wanted to be clear that this is not a run-of-the-mill, bland biscotti with a dunking in mint chocolate (though that wouldn't be too terrible), rather it's biscotti - infused with cool mint - and then coated in rich, dark chocolate.  It's the perfect way to anticipate the winter months when Mint and Chocolate traditionally come together in peppermint mochas, mint chocolate brownies, and the like.  Now biscotti gets in on the fun too.

This recipe skips the phony flavorings and cleverly gets its brisk mint taste from a couple of tea bags.  Just break them open and pour in! Add more or less to get your desired level of mint flavor.

Mint Biscotti Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate
makes 24 biscotti

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of dried mint leaves (from about 2 mint tea bags)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate

Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, mint tea leaves, baking powder and salt.

In a mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Scrape down and beat in the egg and egg yolk. Beat in the lemon juice.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter.  Mix until all ingredients come together into a moderately stiff dough. 

The dough will be somewhat crumbly
Divide the dough in two mounds on the baking sheet. Shape each half of dough into a 8-inch by 3-inch log.  Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet for even baking and bake for 20-25 more minutes until golden and firm to the touch.

Remove from the oven and let the biscotti cool until able to handle. Using a sharp knife, cut logs into 3/4-inch wide diagonal slices.  Try to cut each biscotti slice in one smooth motion.  This will give your biscotti nice clean sides without the edges snagging on the knife.

Place biscotti cut side down on baking sheet and bake again until pale golden, about 10- 20 minutes.  Check every 5 minutes to ensure that they're not getting overly browned. Let the biscotti cool to room temperature. They will crisp up as they cool.

In a double boiler or microwave, melt the baking chocolate and dip each biscotti in.  I like to dip the bottom side of the biscotti so that you get a little chocolate in each bite.  

Place the dipped biscotti on a parchment lined surface out of direct sunlight to allow the chocolate to harden.  Brew a fresh pot of coffee or cup of tea and enjoy.

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