Chocolate Biscotti

I made these biscotti as part of the package I put together for Operation Baking GALS (sorry it’s taken me a while to get this post up!), which also included plain vanilla biscotti and chocolate chip biscotti. These biscotti come courtesy of Dorie Greenspan and were actually the second-ever Daring Baker challenge, back in December of 2006. Since I’ve been wanting to tackle all of the old DB challenges as part of My 100 list, and given that I had already decided to do a biscotti theme for my package, I thought throwing in these biscotti only made sense. I wouldn’t be a good baker if I didn’t taste test what I was shipping off (*wink*), so I made sure to give these a try. I thought they were absolutely fabulous and plan on adding them to my list of things that will go in my Christmas packages this year.

Although these call for almonds, given my nut allergies I wouldn’t have been able to taste test them, so I went with chopped white chocolate. This was perfect, I loved the balance it gave to the dark chocolate in the recipe.

Chocolate Biscotti

Yield: 2 dozen biscotti

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped almonds, blanched or unblanched (I subbed 1 cup chopped white chocolate)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or ¾ cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
Sugar, for dusting

Directions:

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes; don't worry if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate, then turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead in any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

4. Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into 12-inch-long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand, so that they are ½ to 1 inch high, about 2 inches across and sort of rectangular, then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar.

5. Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will spread and crack - and that's just fine. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, put it on a cooling rack and cool the logs for about 20 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)

6. Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between ½ and ¾ inch thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet - you'll have an army of biscotti - and baking the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes.

7. Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.

(Source: Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, p.144)