Keeping with the theme of cool and amazing couples, this week’s sweeeeeet recipe comes from one of my very favorite couples— Ryan Kuonen and Yolim Khoo. I first met Ryan and Yolim at a Greenpoint-Williamsburg CSA signup shortly after my move Brooklyn. Not only did they encourage me to put together a community cookbook for that CSA (which came out beautifully thanks to everyone’s talent and contributions) but they also brought the Greenpoint Church Soup Kitchen to my attention. Next thing I knew I was in the church kitchen, digging through Ryan and Yolim’s delivery of organic fruits and veggies, prepping beautiful salads and stews for hungry Greenpointers in need. Fast-forward: these days you can find them hosting homebrew-tasting parties and putting together potlucks in conjunction with their Southside CSA. I’m always excited to see what they’re stirring up, be it social activism or delicious treats like this recipe by Mark Bittman for chocolate-covered biscotti. I suggest you bake some for your darling Valentine.

Now I know that Ryan and Yolim could probably rattle off about 140 great ways to cook a kohlrabi, but being that it’s Valentine’s week, I asked Ryan to indulge me and see if she and Yolim had anything sweet in their bag of tricks.  Here’s what she said:

Yolim is typically the baker of sweet things in our house. I rock out the spicy jams while he is the king of fruity pies. But in the dark days of winter he is known to experiment with chocolate. He made these babies for a dinner party and changed how we think of biscotti in our house. Such a sweet treat, and truly a crowd pleaser — both as a dessert or something to dip in coffee during breakfast in bed 😉

Chocolate Covered Hazelnut Biscotti by Mark Bittman

Baked twice for incredible crunch, long-lasting flavor, and ideal dunking.


Time: 1 1/4 hours
Makes: About 2 dozen

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Pinch salt
1/2 lb chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons butter

1. Heat the oven to 375. Grease a baking sheet with some butter and dust it with flour.

2. Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well blended, then add the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, nuts and salt. Add dry ingredients to the egg-butter mixture a little at a time beating until just combined.

3. Divide the dough in half, roll each half into a loaf about 2 inches wide and put on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the position of the pan in the oven if necessary so they cook evenly, until they’re golden and beginning to crack on top. Cool the logs on the sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 250.

4. When the loaves are cool enough to handle, carefully transfer them to a cutting board and use a serrated knife to slice each on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. put the cookies on the sheet, sliced side up (its ok if they are close to each other). Return the pan to the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once, until they dry out. Cool them on racks.

5. While the biscotti is cooling, melt 1/2 pound chopped chocolate with 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over low heat Transfer the chocolate mixture to a cup or glass just big enough to hold it. When the biscotti are cool enough to handle, dip half of each cookie into the chocolate (or spoon on top if you like it that way…), tap against the rim to remove excess, then put them on the rack. As they continue to cool, chocolate will harden a bit.

Thanks to Ryan and Yolim for sharing this recipe, and for working to connect us with the farmers that make the food we eat. Now that’s LOVE!

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

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