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Mocha Mint Biscotti

by Lisa
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1/2 cup (1 stick butter)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup very finely ground espresso coffee beans
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3/4 cup crushed candy canes or any hard peppermint candy
Extra sugar for sprinkling 

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Melt butter and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, stir sugar with cocoa and ground espresso beans until not little lumps of cocoa remain. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the sugar mixture. Stir to blend.

Using an electric mixer, beat eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy and light-colored. Gradually beat in milk, peppermint extract and melted butter. Pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the dough comes together, with all dry ingredients absorbed by liquid mixture. You may need to finish mixing with your clean hands. Add crushed peppermint candy and mix in, using hands if necessary.

Divide dough in half. On a clean work surface, form each half into a loaf about 14 inches long. Place each loaf on the parchment-lined baking sheet, with at least 2 inches of space between them. Sprinkle sugar over the tops of loaves.

Bake the loaves in preheated 325°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cracks appear on top of the loaves and they feel firm to the touch. Remove baking sheet from oven. Allow loaves to cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Slide loaves onto cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Stand slices upright on the baking sheet with 1/2-inch space between each slice. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Bake biscotti for 30 minutes or until they are dry to the touch. Cool biscotti completely on the baking sheet placed on a wire rack. When biscotti are completely cooled, transfer to a tin, jar or airtight container.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen biscotti.

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