Chocolate, Coconut and Barberry Biscotti

So I teach social media for a living, why on earth am I posting recipes? Well, I DO still do restaurant consulting and my background is cooking. and while in the past I have always had a clearly defined line between Cook and Baker, that line has blurred over the last 6 months as I find I do like to bake (formerly not so much) as long as I can play with amounts and ingredients, that’s a long story in itself.

So why post some recipes? Well, a lot of people besides myself are still doing a lot of quarantine baking, it is something not depressing (especially if it regards anything chocolate) which I think we all need a little of that around now, the non-depressing AND the chocolate, and from a marketing perspective, recipes are one of the most shared things on the internet. That’s about as much of a half baked ? reason I think you will get.

I have recently discovered that cookies are easy to put together and bake, and I can imagine some virtual eye rolls going on about now, but I had mentioned I did not like to bake prior, right? I seem to recall baking Christmas cookies as a kid, but that beside Baking and Pastry classes for a few weeks at CIA as part of the Culinary Program was the extent of my cookie making experience.

So in the course of working my way through various cookie recipes I decided to try making some biscotti, I mean what the heck, it’s a cookie, how hard can this be? So in my browsing for interesting biscotti recipes, I came across, Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti from Allrecipes. I am not a huge fan of cranberries but figured I could sub out dried cherries or dried blueberries in it. 

This weekend I decided to try my hand at it. I did not have any of the extracts left and didn’t have pistachios, so a little recipe editing was in order, plus I’ve recently developed an unhealthy (actually very healthy) addiction to cocao (not cocoa) powder and barberries (Zereshk) and have been putting both in a lot of my baked goods. The end result was actually extraordinarily good and I definitely will be making them again. A good litmus test for my baking is my husband picking up a piece and walking into my office and saying, “what’s this?” Munch, Munch. “Their good!


  • ¼ cup pure olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tea maple syrup (I added a touch more liquid than the extracts original recipe to balance out the addition of the cocao powder)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ¾ all purpose flour
  • 1 tea kosher salt
  • 1 tea baking powder
  • ½ cup organic cocao (not cocoa) powder, not an affiliate link I just happen to like this brand
  • ¾ cup barberries (I think pretty much any other dried fruit could be used)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips, white or dark chocolate could be substituted
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

So my process for this was a bit different from Allrecipes and technically I think the ingredients have changed so much it’s not even the same or similar recipe, but I do still want to try the original, sans cranberries and wanted to credit the original source of the idea. You can use less salt if you prefer but I find most of these recipes online never actually have the amount of salt needed to make the product taste like it should. 1 tea of kosher salt for all of those ingredients is a drop in the bucket. I know everyone is sodium conscious, but I find 99% of the baking recipes out there online can be massively improved by just a small salt addition to the recipe. And for heavens sake stop using iodized salt. Yuck! 


  1. Preheat over to 300
  2. Whisk together olive oil, eggs and maple syrup
  3. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cocao powder
  4. Slowly incorporate the egg mixture into the flour mixture, I used both hands for this, you may want to wear gloves as it’s a bit sticky. When all of the flour mix is well incorporated, add in the chocolate chips, dried fruit (barberries in this case) and shredded coconut.
  5. Split mixture into two pieces and place on a baking sheet, Allrecipes called for parchment paper, I happened to be out, so tinfoil with cooking spray or a silpat mat works as well. Form the mix into to long logs, about an inch and ½ high by 12 or so inches long.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes. I cooled for about 5 minutes (not 10) and cut the logs into 1+ inch slices. I separated the slices out a little bit and then re-baked.
  7. Reduce oven to 275
  8. Bake for another 10 minutes, I think you can bake these for a few more minutes and they would be fine, but I like the crisp but not overly dried out results these had.

Happy Baking!

If you liked the recipe, we always appreciate a follow/like on our Facebook page (we don’t post a ton there as I personally prefer being able to chat with people but I am on FB pretty much all day during the week and your welcome to message me anytime) but would appreciate a page like and happy to reciprocate if you let us know your business page link, or you can connect on Linkedin or Twitter or just come say hello. Questions or comments about the recipe as well always happy to help with.

If you know someone that can use some social media help and would like to be able to learn it and manage it themselves (that’s what we do, we teach it) instead of paying an external company to manage it, please give me a call (860-326-0721) or email me, we are happy to help. Cheers and Happy Holidays. Please stay safe out there!

Chocolate Chip Bourbon Cake

Chocolate Chip Bourbon CakeThis recipe is a long treasured one, developed by master pastry chef Linde Beale at a restaurant in Kingston, NY that I worked at as one of my very first jobs in the restaurant business.

1 1/2 cups good quality chocolate chips, dark chocolate is preferred but milk works as well
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tea. Double acting baking powder
3/4 lb. (1 1/2 cup) butter
1 tea. pure vanilla
1/2 tea. Mace
1 lb, plus one cup light brown sugar (3 1/4 cups firmly packed)
5 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup bourbon

Grease and flour a Bundt pan. This recipe can also be baked in loaf pans
Sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside
With an electric mixer (paddle), cream the butter, vanilla and mace
On low speed, slowly add in the sugar and increase the speed slightly.
Incorporate the eggs one at a time into the butter sugar mix
Add in the milk and bourbon
Sift in the flour mix (this is a double sift, sifting prior and than sifting in again)
Mix until incorporated
Add in the chocolate chips and briefly mix just until incorporated.
Add batter to the pan and bake for an hour and 25 minutes at 350 or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the baked cake sit for about 10 minutes and then remove onto a sheet pan. The glaze for this needs to be added while the cake is still warm.

1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup bourbon
Dissolve sugar over low heat, brush over warm cake until mix is completely gone. Let cool.

This cake can be stored for several days unrefrigerated. If you refrigerate it the consistency of it changes drastically and becomes much firmer and the bourbon flavor more pronounced. (preferred). It also freezes very well.

I love this cake served with some bourbon and honey flavored whipped cream. Snacked on at Midnight is also a favorite 🙂