Mexican chocolate is an ingredient that I keep in my pantry so that I can make amazing hot chocolate any time that I get the urge. The chocolate is sold in thick tablets and has a unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from other types of chocolate. Mexican chocolate is made with sugar, cacao nibs and cinnamon, which gives it a little spice. These ingredients are ground together to create a chocolate with a deep roasty, dark chocolate flavor and a gritty texture. The texture comes from a generous amount of coarse, undissolved sugar in the chocolate. I know that this might sound a little odd at first, but this unique chocolate is incredibly flavorful and very delicious.
While I often use it to make hot chocolate, you can use the chocolate in other ways. These Mexican Chocolate Biscotti are loaded with chunks of spicy, rich Mexican chocolate and toasted almonds. Despite what you may thing, the Mexican chocolate is not overly sweet and that means that these biscotti aren’t either. They’re ideal for pairing with a mug of hot chocolate, in fact, and you could also pair them with coffee or a cocktail.
The most difficult part of making this recipe is cutting the Mexican chocolate into chunks. The chocolate tablets are very thick and it requires quite a bit of effort to break them apart. I use a chef’s knife or a chocolate chipper when breaking them down into chunks, and I do so very carefully so as to avoid any knife-slippage on the thick tablets. Once the chocolate is chopped, the rest is easy. The cookie dough is shaped into logs and baked once, then cut into individual cookies before being baked a second time. As with most biscotti recipes, these cookies keep extremely well once they are cooled and crisp, so store them in an airtight container and you’ll have sweet snacks on hand for a long time.
Mexican Chocolate Biscotti
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sliced, toasted almonds nuts
1 cup chopped Mexican chocolate (about 1 tablet)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the egg white and vanilla extract.
With the mixer on a slow speed, gradually incorporate the flour mixture, stirring just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in almonds and chocolate.
Divide the dough in half. Shape one half of the dough into a log about 2-in high and 8-10-in long (log should be quite narrow) on the prepared baking sheet (dough will be quite sticky; use a spatula or bench scraper, or lightly flour your hands to make it easier to shape). Dough will spread, so repeat the process with the rest of the dough on another baking sheet.
Bake logs for about 30-35 minutes, until golden and set. Cookies will spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
Allow dough log to cool on a wire rack for 20-25 minutes, then slice into cookies 1/2 inch thick using a sharp chefs knife or serrated knife. Arrange flat on baking sheet.
Turn the oven down to 325F, bake cookies a second time for 10 minutes, then flip the cookies and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until they are lightly browned on the sides and slightly crisp. The cookies will firm up more as they cool.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.