My love of cookies or biscotti goes back to my childhood. My fondest memories were of my sister and I making chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles and, my personal favorite, peanut butter cookies. Peanut butter has always been a staple in my life. Growing up, my best friend Lori and I would eat it straight out of the jar by spoonfuls. I would say that makes me cringe today, but on occaision I’m still guilty of this. When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Haiti, I used to make my own peanut butter and I even taught the Haitian family I was living with how to make peanut butter cookies in a dutch oven over an open fire. I will go to great lengths for my peanut butter cookies.
When I first moved to Italy, I was incredibly disappointed that my local grocer did not carry peanut butter. So, I went on a scavenger hunt all of Rome for the illusive peanut butter. Luck was on my side as I found a place that carried a German brand. So, I stocked up just to make sure I would have enough for at least a couple of months. My husband (who is Italian) just couldn’t figure out my obsession with peanut butter. In fact, he would keep telling how gross it sounded. You see when you translate peanut butter into Italian it literally means peanut flavored butter. I kind of agree with my husband that is does sound kind of gross when you put it that way. I was, however, determined to get him to try it. I kept telling him that if he likes Nutella, he will love peanut butter. Ok, I know that was a stretch, but it get him to try it and I can happily say he is now an official peanut butter lover. Whew! Now, I just need to convince his family!
So, these biscotti are a blend of both me and my husband, the best of U.S. and Italy together in one cookie. They are an italian style cookie or biscotti combine with the American flavor of peanut butter and some chocolate for added measure. In my world, it can’t get any better than this!
You will then bake them a second time cut side down for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are dried out and toasty brown. Once they are completely cooled, dip them in melted dark chocolate (milk chocolate if you prefer) and then dip in some crushed peanuts for some added texture. You will need to let the chocolate and peanuts set; maybe about an hour or so.
I can’t tell you how delicious these Italian American cookies are…even my husband approves! They are superb with a cup of cup of coffee or tea or even a scoop of vanilla gelato if you are feeling indulgent.
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cup AP (00) flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 milk (whole or 2% is okay)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips (I like dark chocolate, but milk chocolate is okay too)
- 12 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate
- 3/4 cup chopped peanuts
- Preheat oven to 350 F (174 C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder
- In your standing mixer bowl (you can also use a hand mixer) combine the two sugars then add the peanut butter and cream until light and fluffy (2 to 3 minutes). Scrape down the sides and cream another 30 seconds.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl then add the vanilla and mix until combined.
- With the mixer on low-medium speed, add half the flour mixture and combine until just incorporated. Pour in the milk, mix then add the remaining flour and mix until just incorporated.
- Fold in chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and maybe a little sticky.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a 4 x 6 inch (10 x 15 cm) rectangle and about 1/2 to 3/4 inch (1 1/2 to 2 cm) thick and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. If you have an oven with hot spots (like mine) rate the baking sheet halfway through baking.
- Allow the rectangle loafs to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
- Cut each loaf into 1/2 to 3/4 inch (1 1/2 to 2 cm) width slices.
- Place slices cut side down on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasty born and dry.
- Cool the biscotti on baking sheet for about 10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
- Once the biscotti are cool, prepare the dipping chocolate by chopping the chocolate into rough pieces and melt in a the microwave in a microwave safe bowl (about 60 seconds, but start checking after 30 seconds). You can also melt the chocolate on the stove using a double broiler.
- Dip the biscotti bottom side down then dip the chocolate covered biscotti into the chopped peanuts.
- Dry chocolate side up and allow to set (about 45 minutes to an hour)