Chocolate caramel biscotti are crunchy, sweet, and pack some serious chocolate flavor–served with coffee they make a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.
Writer’s block is not something from which I’ve ever suffered. I credit years in journalism school with professors so grizzled and intimidatingly news-hardened that my brain wired itself not to disappoint them. But some days I do suffer from a (slight) lack of inspiration. And today is one of those.
Don’t get me wrong; the biscotti itself is not the problem. It’s delicious. And sweet and crunchy and CHOCOLATY, so yum. But I’ve always had a love-hate (but mostly hate) thing with biscotti. This stems from my childhood, when a trip to grandma’s house meant skorpe at for every meal. Skorpe is kind of the Swedish version of biscotti, flavored with cardamom and almond, and so dense you have to dip it in tea or coffee so you don’t break your teeth when you bite down.
Grandma always had a tin of skorpe in her pantry and my sister and I could consume an entire batch in about two days. It was (and still is) our favorite treat.
Then when I was 12 or so, grandma clipped a recipe for almond biscotti out of The Desert Sun and, after literally five decades of baking skorpe, she decided baking biscotti was more fun. I’ve resented those crunchy little cookies ever since for usurping skorpe’s rightful place in grandma’s pantry and in my life.
Biscotti’s crumbly crunchiness just hasn’t ever excited me. Until recently, when I walked into an adorable coffee shop (whose name I’m kicking myself for not noticing—all I remember is that it’s somewhere in downtown San Diego and they serve fab decaf Americanos) with a giant biscotti display in their bakery case. I was smitten and immediately set out to make my own version of their delicious-looking chocolate caramel biscotti.
And this recipe was born. It’s the right amount of crunch and crumble with bites of chewy caramel to add textural dimension. And it begs to be eaten with a cup of coffee because chocolate + coffee = bliss.
So while I can’t say I’m totally over my resentment toward biscotti, I’m a step or two closer to overcoming it. And I can live with that.
And somehow I just wrote close to 400 words about something for which I was less than inspired. My professors would have been pleased. In a very lukewarm and non-effusive way.
Please make a batch this week. If chocolate caramel biscotti is enough to win me over then surely you’ll love it too.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup caramel bits
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and dust with flour. Tap baking sheet over sink to remove excess flour and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, then add vanilla extract. Beat well to combine.
- Combine flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. With mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until just combined. Fold in caramel bits and chopped chocolate.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into two equal portions, then shape each portion into a log about 6 inches long by 2 inches wide and 1 inch high. Place logs several inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re cracked on top. Remove from the oven and cool logs on baking sheet for several minutes, then remove logs to a wire rack. Lower oven temperature to 250 degrees.
- When the loaves are cool enough to handle comfortably, move them to a cutting board and slice diagonally into inches 1/2-inch thick. Place biscotti back on the baking sheet cut side down and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Flip biscotti midway through cooking to ensure they dry out evenly. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.