At our house we like biscotti with a good cup of coffee. In Berkeley (where the freshly roasted coffee craze began in the mid-sixties) there are lots of options for coffee, but nowhere compares to the perfectly made, and perfectly presented, lattes and espressos at Bartavelle Café. To best show off these chocolate biscotti I knew that Bartavelle was the place to go. On a sunny afternoon, when the café was quiet, we took a couple of pictures. Their coffee is as photogenic as it is delicious, and made a gorgeous backdrop. After the photographs were taken we put away our biscotti props and ordered our favorite avocado toast with pickled vegetables.
One way to get honest feedback about something you’ve made is to secretly watch from afar. I tested this method by bringing a plate of these biscotti to a meeting and having someone else place the platter on the table. I stayed at the back of the room. A few people took a cookie right away. Then a buzz began in the room as people took their first bite and smiled. By then the meeting had begun, and late comers had to figure out a way to sneak to the table unnoticed.
One by one people reached for their invisibility cloaks and tip toed to the table for a taste. Others inched along the wall to the table, just close enough to grab one more cookie from the disappearing pile. Seeing a room full of chocolate lipped biscotti eaters is a sight to behold. If the Multigrain and Seed Biscotti are the chameleon cookie, these are the stealth bomber cookie. A chocolate explosion of the best kind.
These cookies are not the dry crunchy biscotti you find on a shelf at the grocery store. They are brownies disguised as biscotti–moist and desserty. Because they are full of cocoa powder, cranberries, and chocolate chunks they remain somewhat soft and delightfully chewy, even after a long second bake. I often do a shorter second bake to keep them even moister. Except for their shape, I wouldn’t really call them biscotti at all. They are the perfect accompaniment to a good strong cup of coffee, or an ice cold glass of milk. Maybe a better name for them would be Twice Baked Brownies.