Chocolate Passover biscotti

These biscotti have a tendency to vanish. Biscotti are twice-baked cookies, once into a loaf, and the second time after being sliced, and until crunchy. Something about the denseness means they don’t lose much — if anything — from being made with matzo meal instead of flour, and thus kosher for Passover.

I got the recipe from my mother, who explained to me that she never bakes the full batch at once, because however much you bake, it immediately disappears. I baked mine before the holiday officially began, and thus kept myself from eating them — no Passover food until it’s Passover.

So first thing after getting home from the seder, I made a beeline for the cookies — yes, after a four-course meal and all. And it’s only been downhill from there.

My version of this recipe contains way more nuts and chocolate than the original, since that’s how I like it, and may make a bit less — I halved the amount of batter, but bulked up on the fillings, and the net result was 20 cookies instead of 24. Not that it matters how many cookies you make, because you’ll probably have to make another batch either way.

For about 20 slices:

3/8 cup oil plus additional for the pan
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 eggs
1-2 tablespoons espresso (or brewed coffee)
Pinch salt
3/4 cups matzoh meal
1 tablespoon potato starch
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Oil a 10-by-20 centimeter (8-by-4 inch) loaf pan, or fold a sheet of aluminum foil into a rectangle to make a makeshift pan (the batter is pretty stiff, so this works).

Meanwhile, mix the oil, sugars and vanilla in a bowl. Add the cocoa, and then the eggs, then the coffee, salt, matzoh meal and potato starch. Let stand about 10 minutes; the batter will thicken.

Chop the nuts and chocolate, and mix into the batter. Pour it into the loaf pan/tin foil — it should be quite thick.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until dry and cake-like; cover the loaf with aluminum foil after the first 10 minutes in the oven so that the top doesn’t burn.

Let the loaf cool, so that it becomes firm (you can leave it sit overnight or longer if you want).

To finish, heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300 Fahrenheit), slice the loaf into thin cookies and arrange on a baking sheet (or aluminum foil).

Bake until dry, for about 20 minutes. Make sure the cookies don’t burn.

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