Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chunky Monkey Biscotti

Put together a little chunky (peanut butter & chocolate chips) with a little monkey (mashed banana) and you get these dark, rich cookies that are perfect with a cup of coffee. Based on the Ben & Jerry's flavor combo :

these biscotti have a blend of banana, chunky peanut butter, and chocolate all baked (twice, more on this later) together into the form of the traditional Italian dry cookie.

More on biscotti: The plural of the Italian biscotto, meaning cookie or biscuit, biscotti are a twice-baked (from which they get their name "bi-cooked") and therefore relatively dry cookie or biscuit. Biscuit, actually, is a cognate (Can you tell I'm a linguistics major?) of biscotto, as are the Spanish bizcocho and German Biskuit, although the latter two refer more to a type of spongecake than to a cookie!

Before I get to the recipe, I need to thank my friend and roommate from last year, Trent, who offered to let me bake in his kitchen! Not only did he save me from scrubbing the AEPi kitchen with Lysol wipes (he keeps his kitchen spick and span) , but he also was a big help: I conquered my OCD and let him measure the cocoa powder.

Now, the recipe:

Chunky Monkey Biscotti (from Sugar Plum)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melted chocolate for dipping, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
 In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt;

Whisk in sugar and chocolate chips until combined.
 In a large mixing bowl, whisk together banana, eggs, peanut butter and vanilla until well combined.
Stir in dry ingredients until well combined. When the dough wasn't "doughy" enough I realized that I had forgotten to put in the last 1/2 cup of flour... I blamed it on Trent asking me to measure it after he failed at opening the bag of flour.
Divide dough and shape into three (9 x 2-1/3 inch quite specific...) logs on cookie sheet.  Despite the less-than-appetizing associations and imagery Trent just HAD to tweet about, the dough at least smelled delicious...
Bake for 30 minutes; Towards the end some of the biscotti were getting a bit dark around the edges, but I got them out before they really burnt.
Cool 5 minutes before transferring logs to wire racks to cool an additional 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut rolls diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices.
Place, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees; bake 10 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake an additional 15 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire racks.

Dip in melted chocolate if desired.

After all the baking, Trent's suite smelled  amazing, with notes of chunky and monkey drifting through the air, of course. Upon tasting the biscotti, we noticed that the banana got overpowered by the peanut and chocolate, but we decided that that wasn't  horrible thing.

I brought a few home this weekend and they tasted great dunked in that cup of coffee.  I wish I had more left.


Stefanie said...

These look like the perfect little treat for coffee lovers (such as myself)! I'm Italian myself and I'd say these definitely measure up. Great Job!


Matt from AEPie said...

Stefanie- thanks for your comment! I highly highly recommend trying these out to go with your coffee. They're such a treat. I'm glad I got them right even though I'm not Italian, haha.


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