Hope everyone's enjoying the final week before Christmas! I haven't been able to bake all that I wanted, so don't be surprised to see Christmas cookies on here after Christmas.
I had an idea yesterday to bake coconut biscotti that reminded me of the classic Mounds Bar, a chewy coconut center encased in an envelope of chocolate coating. However, instead of a chocolate coating I added chocolate chips, for two reasons: The chocolate chips wouldn't overpower the coconut, and it wouldn't be as sweet. I enjoy eating biscotti for breakfast with coffee, and a sweeter biscotto would be too much.
I followed the same recipe outline I used for the gingerbread biscotti, which was adapted from the Once Upon A Tart method for biscotti. The egg yolks are whipped with sugar until pale and thick, then the egg whites are whipped into a meringue (I like that I get to work on my meringue skills whenever I make biscotti) with more sugar before being folded into the egg yolk mixture. Melted butter is then blended in, followed by the flour and any add-ins. I like this method because the biscotti come out a bit dense, yet not heavy, and the dough is incredibly easy to work with. These Tart guys really know what they're doing.
Instead of leaving the coconut raw, I toasted the coconut to release the oils and enhance the flavors. Coconut toasts much quicker than nuts, so don't walk away from the oven once you begin toasting.
I added flavors I felt would compliment the coconut without being detected on their own, and those were grated lemon zest and cardamom. Coconut extract also went into the mix to further heighten the coconut flavor. I chopped up regular chocolate chips so the texture was more like shavings. If you have mini chips, use those.
I like miniature biscotti the best. Unfortunately, the dough spread more than I thought and I ended up with regular biscotti, so next time I'd divide the dough into fourths.
These ended up baking a bit too long the second time, but overall I was pleased with them. The sanding sugar on top lends a sparkly, crunchy coating that looks pretty, and there's just enough chocolate without it overwhelming the coconut. The coconut flavor came out pretty much how I hoped! These aren't too sweet at all, either, even with using sweetened coconut.
As always, I like to eat biscotti with tea or coffee because it, I feel, somehow brings the flavors out a bit more, and because all good cookies deserve to be treated like they're special.
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Mounds Bar Biscotti aka Coconut Chocolate Biscotti (to prevent a lawsuit)
Recipe by Christina
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and set aside
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon coconut or vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, or standard chip chopped up a bit
White sanding sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheet (you may need sheets, plural) with parchment paper). Place 1 1/2 cups coconut on another baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, or until thoroughly dry and crispy and there's lovely golden-brown color on much of the coconut. Remove from oven and let cool slightly; place coconut on cutting board and carefully run a knife over it a few times to break up the strands.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together toasted coconut, flour, baking powder, salt, lemon rind, and cardamom; set aside. Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup granulated sugar on medium until yolks become pale yellow and thick, about 2-3 minutes.
- In another bowl and with clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. With the mixer still on high, beat in the remaining sugar until incorporated. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture. When lightened, fold in remaining meringue. Gently fold in butter and coconut extract.
- Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet, until dough forms a ball. With the last of the flour, stir in the chocolate chips.
- Get a small bowl with some water. With lightly moistened fingers, divide dough into thirds and shape into 2 1/2x11-inch logs on the baking sheet (moisten your fingers with water as needed). Sprinkle each log with about 1 1/2 teaspoons sanding sugar. Freeze the dough logs for 15 minutes before baking so they don't spread out so much. Bake until the tops of the logs are golden brown and firm when pressed with your fingertips, about 25-30 minutes.
- After baking, remove parchment sheet with logs still on it to a wire rack to cool for 15-20 minutes. Slice diagonally into 1/2-inch slices and place, sliced side down, back on baking sheet, no parchment necessary. Tops and bottoms can be touching since they're already cooked. Bake for 15 minutes; flip biscotti over and continue baking for 10 minutes. You're looking for a thoroughly golden color, nothing too dark since it'll detract from the flavor. Place biscotti on a cooling rack to cool completely.