Bittersweet Honorable Mention: Best With Afternoon Coffee

We are recent biscotti converts; we didn't realize until lately how wonderful they are, dunked into a cup of afternoon coffee. This recipe for Xocolatl-Cranberry Biscotti from Katie went in our to-make-soon file, along with our other recent Honorable Mention, Spring's Bittersweet Granola. Granola for the morning, biscotti for the afternoon.

Recipe and comments from Katie below...

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From Katie:

These biscotti pair the bitter flavors of bittersweet chocolate and tart unsweetened cranberries with the sweetness of cinnamon cookie and dark chocolate accented with chilies.

Biscotti are the most coffee-friendly baked goods, and these particular ones are the paragon of coffee accompaniment -- their bitter and spicy flavors set against the cinnamon of the cookies perfectly complement the flavor of coffee. Additionally, this recipe yields extremely hard biscotti, and the prolonged dunking required to soften them sufficiently means that the cookies actively absorb the coffee, ensuring that the flavors have time to mingle and enhance each other.

Xocolatl-Cranberry Biscotti
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
2 2/3 cup pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup dark chocolate with chilies, chopped (Dagoba "xocolatl" or similar bar)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream the butter and add the two sugars, stirring until smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, and add the wet mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Mix in the cranberries and both types of chocolate. The batter will be very dry.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and shape the dough into two loaves about 1 inch tall and 2 inches wide. Bake 35 minutes, or until firm, dry, and cracked. Remove from over and cool for 30 minutes.

Lower oven temp. to 275 degrees. Cut the logs into 1/4-1/2 inch slices and lay them side-down on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until dry.

Cool on a rack. Eat with coffee, dunking liberally.

(Images by: Katie Gustafson)

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