Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chocolate, Almond & Dried Cherry Biscotti

I usually only make biscotti once a year – my Christmas themed white chocolate, dried cranberry, and pistachio biscotti!  For some reason the thought to make them at any other time of the year never strikes my mind.  So it was a pleasant task to find this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie assignment was a Chocolate Biscotti (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours, p. 144).

Biscotti are a very rewarding cookie in that they keep for a very long time (since they are baked twice and therefore dry by design) and that they are very versatile.  These Chocolate Biscotti are perfect to stir your morning coffee, snack on during the day, or use as a spoon with a nice bowl of gelato for dessert.  You can also dress them up with a drizzle of melted chocolate, or dip them into melted chocolate and then affix any sort of edible decoration to the chocolate glue (like sprinkles, chopped nuts or crushed peppermint).

The raw dough, rolled in sugar and shaped into a flat log
The Biscotti after the first baking
Sliced and baked for the second time

All biscotti seem to have the same method: 
1) Combine all of the dry ingredients together (in this case flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt). 
2) Cream the butter and sugar together, and then add the rest of the wet ingredients (eggs and vanilla). 
3) Combine the dry and wet ingredients. 
4) Mix in your flavor additions (chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit) until well combined.
5) Form dough into long logs and flatten them slightly.
6) Do a first bake of the logs – and then cool.
7) Slice the logs with a serrated knife into the characteristic biscotti shape, separate the cookies and bake for another 10 minutes or so until further dried.
8)  Dip in chocolate and toppings if desired.

The one hint that I wish this recipe had was in shaping the logs.  The chocolate biscotti dough is quite moist and sticky.  In order to roll it into the log shape with the least amount of mess it is helpful to cover your work surface with granulated sugar.  (Because this is a dark chocolate colored biscotti you do not want to use white flour here as you might with a light colored dough - otherwise you'll coat your dark chocolate color with white and ruin the look of the cookies.)  Then simply dump the dough onto the sugar, shape, and roll!  This also encrusts the biscotti with a nice crunchy dusting of sugar.

This recipe called for almonds and bittersweet chocolate – and I added some dried cherries per the “Playing Around” suggestion since I had some in the pantry.  These would surely be great with any combination of nuts, chocolate, and dried fruit.  As one recipe makes three dozen cookies (less or more, depending on how thinly they are sliced) I’m very happy to have these crunchy, flavorful biscotti around for the next week!  And as for those Christmas biscotti?  This was a good reminder to bring that recipe out (and post it) as we get closer to the holidays!

Please visit Tuesdays with Dorie to see how the other bakers in the group fared with their biscotti!


  1. For some reason I never think to make Biscotti. Don't know why. I guess it does seem like a 'special' treat.

    These were good, weren't they?

  2. Why do I never think to make biscotti in the summer? I don't know, but yours look fantastic.