Cookies for Breakfast? Well, When in Rome…: Peanut Butter Chocolate Biscotti

Cookies for breakfast? Twist my arm.  Well, maybe not cookies in the traditional sense, but rather biscotti, or, as the Italians call it, cantucci.

According to the online magazine, The Nibble, the popular Italian cookie known to all of us as biscotti, which means “baked twice,” traces its origins to Roman times. What we now see as a treat to eat with coffee were originally more about convenience food for travelers.  Their hard texture and dry consistency make them a durable choice for travel and nourishment for the long journeys—Pliny boasted that they would be edible for centuries.

The traditional, Tuscan flavoring was usually limited to almond extract, but walk into any coffee shop today and the varieties you’ll find are as plentiful as the colors in a box of crayons. Personally, I’m not a fan of almond extract, but I am a fan of peanut butter. Therefore, I made a peanut butter chocolate variety that is chock full of cashews. If I’m going to mix it up, I’m going nuts.  Literally.

These were super easy, and last forever, so give them a shot. I mean, who doesn’t need a cookie?  Especially in the morning!

Recipe from Food Network Kitchens

Ingredients

10 TB unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
1 1/4 cups dry roasted cashews
1 1/4 cups chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chunksDirections

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Continue to cook until the butter browns and gets a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

3.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.

4.  Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar while beating. Then slowly add the butter and vanilla until evenly mixed, about 30 seconds more. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined.

5.  While mixing slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet, in 2 additions, mixing just until absorbed. Fold in the peanuts and chocolate pieces.

6.  Divide the dough evenly into thirds, and put each portion in the center of a baking sheet. Shape the dough with slightly wet hands into logs about 2-inches wide and 15 inches long.

biscotti loaf
7.  Bake until set and brown around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. (For even baking take care to rotate the pans– top to bottom and front to back–about half way though.) Cool logs on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes.8.  Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting board. Cut logs crosswise, with a long serrated knife at about a 45 degree angle, into 1/2-inch thick cookies. Place cookies cut side down on the baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 8 minutes. Flip the cookies over and bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes more. Cool biscotti on the baking sheets. Serve.

cut cookies9.  Store cookies in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.

biscotti
While typically dunked in something strong like espresso, I’m a bit of a wuss, and I like my café au lait, so for me, this was breakfast this morning.

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