Chocolate covered strawberries are a classic treat for Valentine’s day, but strawberries aren’t exactly at their peak in February. It’s possible to find fresh ones, of course, though your options are either going to be fairly expensive hothouse berries or berries that simply don’t have the flavor of those at their peak later in the season. I decided to make these biscotti as a stand in for the classic, using strawberries in the biscotti and dipping the cookies themselves in chocolate.
I didn’t use fresh or frozen berries in these biscotti; they’re too juicy for the crispy, dry cookies. Normally, I’d use dried fruit in biscotti, but this time around I decided to use freeze-dried strawberries. These berries have zero moisture content and incorporate easily into any batter without changing the texture. They contribute a good strawberry flavor (not as much as a fresh berry, though) and still allow the biscotti to maintain their crisp, perfect-for-dipping-in-coffee texture.
The basic cookie has no added fat and bakes up to be fairly crunchy, not tender and crumbly. The cookies aren’t hard – thanks to the relatively high egg content – but they really are meant to be dunked in coffee or tea for optimum enjoyment (although I really do like to eat them plain). Use any kind of chocolate you like for dunking. I opted for dark and white chocolate, but milk would work out very well with these, too. And don’t forget to save some for your sweetheart!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Biscotti
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups freeze dried strawberries*
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, adding sugar gradually, at medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract. At low speed or by hand, stir in flour mixture followed by the freeze dried strawberries (it’s ok if they break up).
Drop spoonfuls of batter into two long lines on prepared baking sheet and, with well floured hands, shape the irregular lines of dough into two rectangular logs about 1/2 inch high. Length and width are your prerogative, and you can use more than one baking sheet, if necessary. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, until logs are a light gold color and are fully set (they will spring back slightly when touched with a finger, like a cake).
Slice logs into 1/3 inch thick slices (1-1.5 cm) and lay flat (on their sides) on baking sheet.
Lower oven temperature to 300F. Bake sliced cookies for 15 minutes, flip them and bake for an additional 15 minutes. If cookies were sliced thickly and do not seem crisp, turn once again and bake for 10 more minutes.
Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 4 dozen.
*Note: You can use about a cup of dried strawberries if you can’t find freeze dried.