Friday, October 28, 2011
I seem to be on a biscotti jag lately. I love the crisp crunchy dry texture that begs for a good cup of steaming hot coffee or cappuccino. I love their rustic nature and the fact that most recipes have a lower sugar content and very little to no butter. And secured in an airtight container, they will last for quite a long time. Biscotti also make great gifts on any occasion.
This recipe comes from David Lebovitz, a pastry chef who’s earned everyone’s good trust with several terrific cookbooks over the years. These biscotti have a delicious depth of flavor from the use of good quality cocoa powder. That flavor is deepened with the addition of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. The texture is also beautifully enhanced with chocolate’s soul mate, toasted almonds.
Although I didn’t take the extra step, David says he sometimes smears one side of the baked biscotti with melted dark chocolate. That, of course, would take these cookies into the realm of chocolate nirvana.
- Since there’s a lot of cocoa powder in this recipe, use a good quality one, either natural or Dutch process.
- The dough may seem like it won’t hold together. Just gently press it into shape and it bakes off beautifully. I form the logs directly on the prepared baking sheet rather than trying to pick them up and transfer them from another surface.
- Use a sawing motion with a good serrated knife to slice the biscotti after the first baking. This will help prevent breakage.
- If you want your biscotti extra-crisp, turn each one over half-way through the second baking.
- Biscotti aficionados would also enjoy Classic Biscotti from Chez Panisse and Tish Boyle’s Triple Ginger Pecan Biscotti.
adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes about 50 cookies
2 C flour
3/4 C cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3 eggs @ room temperature
1 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
1 C almonds, toasted and coarsely-chopped
3/4 C chocolate chips [I used chopped bittersweet chocolate]
For the glaze
2 T coarse or raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Add the nuts and chocolate chips until the dough holds together.
Divide the dough in half. Place on the prepared baking sheet and form each half into a log about 14” long and about 2” apart from each other. Gently flatten the tops of the logs.
Beat the remaining egg and brush it on top of the logs (you won’t use it all). Sprinkle with coarse or raw sugar and bake for about 25 minutes or until the dough feels firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool 15 minutes.
Place each cooled biscotti log on a cutting board. Using a serrated bread knife, slice 1/2” cookies on a diagonal. Lay the cookies cut side down on baking sheets. Return to the oven for 20 - 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway though baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.
Cool the cookies completely. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.