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Holiday cookies: Emily's chocolate mandel bread

December 23, 2011 |  8:00 am

Twice-baked cookies are found the world over. If you're Italian, they’re called biscotti or cantucci. If Cookiecoveryou're Jewish, they’re mandelbrot or mandel bread. If you're Greek, they're paximathakia. In Morocco, they’re fekkas, and in Ukraine, kamishbrot. This recipe comes from food writer Emily Dwass.

They're among the 50 favorite holiday cookie recipes we've collected in our "Holiday Cookies" e-book, which is on sale now.

All of them have been vetted by The Times' Test Kitchen, so you know they work. Download it on Amazon Kindle, on the Nook or via the iBookstore. Or go straight to the source.

Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Emily's chocolate mandel bread

Total time: About 1 hour, plus chilling and cooling times

Servings: Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

2½ cups (10.65 ounces) flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cup canola oil

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sugar

1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the canola oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the sugar, mixing until well blended.

3. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mixing at low speed until it is smooth (if using a hand mixer, some of this may need to be done by hand with a large spoon). Stir in the white chocolate chips.

4. Keep the dough in the mixing bowl and place it, covered, in the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill thoroughly.

5. When the dough is cold, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

6. Wet your hands with cold water and form the dough into two fat, long logs about 12 inches in length, 3 to 4 inches wide and one-half to three-fourths of an inch in diameter. Place them side by side on the cookie sheet, but leave space between them to give them room to expand while baking.

7. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

8. Remove the tray from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees.

9. Cool the logs on the cookie sheet for about 20 minutes. Then cut the logs into ½-inch slices and, keeping them upright, arrange them on the cookie sheet so there is a little space between them.

10. Return the cookie sheet to the oven and bake the slices for an additional 15 minutes to dry them out.

11. Cool completely before packing in an airtight container. I usually double-bag these and freeze them. (You can zap one or two at a time for 20 seconds in the microwave.)

Each cookie: 101 calories; 1 gram protein; 12 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 6 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 15 mg. cholesterol; 7 grams sugar; 20 mg. sodium.