Happy Chocolate Monday! Today’s treat is Chocolate Biscotti! Biscotti (biss-koh-tee) (the plural of biscotto) is an Italian twice-baked cookie. Extra crunchy, they are perfect for dunking in coffee or espresso. You form the dough into logs and bake them most of the way through. Then take them out of the oven, cool slightly, slice and finish baking. The first time I tried to make biscotti, I didn’t trust the recipe and left the cookies in too long on the first bake. When I tried to slice them, they crumbled. Don’t make the same mistake I did!
Biscotti can be made in a wide variety of flavors, with almond being the most traditional. I make a variation with pinenuts and orange zest that is fabulous. Hazelnut is another flavor that I particularly like. Feel free to experiment and see if you like other flavors as well or better than this!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Traditionally baked, sliced, and then baked a second time, biscotti can sometimes be quite hard. For a softer cookie you can reduce the time of the second bake or eliminate it altogether. If you are making them for babies or older folks, this might make it easier for them to eat.
- For the biscotti
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cups top-quality cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup almonds, toasted and very coarsely-chopped
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- For the glaze
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp coarse sugar crystals such as Demerara, Raw, or Turbinado
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, sugar, and vanilla & almond extracts. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, and then mix in the nuts and the chocolate chips until the dough holds together.
- Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into two logs the length of the baking sheet. Transfer the logs onto the baking sheet, spaced evenly apart. Gently flatten the tops of the logs. Beat the remaining egg and brush the tops of the logs liberally with the egg. (You won't use it all). Sprinkle the tops with the coarse or crystal sugar and bake for 25 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch. . Remove the cookie dough from the oven and cool 15 minutes.
- On a cutting board, use a serrated bread knife to diagonally cut the cookies into 1/2-inches slices. Lay the cookies cut side down on baking sheets and return to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, spinning the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.
- Once baked, cool the cookies completely then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. If you wish, the cookies can be half-dipped in or drizzled with melted chocolate, then cooled until the chocolate hardens.
- Yield: 50 to 60 cookies