Tuesday, June 14, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Biscotti


I feel like I won the lottery this week! and I kind of did. Believe it or not, after three years of baking, chopping, caramelizing, and mixing, all of the Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) bakers have had a turn picking the weekly recipe and we're (kind of) starting over. Instead of going back to the beginning of the list, however, Laurie, founder of TWD, has opted for a "pick a name out of the hat" approach and so I get to pick this week. YEAH!!

I have to take a moment to applaud Dorie for a really fabulous baking book. After making 150 or so of the recipes from this book, I feel qualified to say that this is one of the best baking books EVER. The recipes are consistently good, the directions clear and precise, and there's so much variety. Bravo to Dorie!

There were still plenty of tempting recipes to choose from and I went with the Chocolate Biscotti.

Dorie's directions first call for mixing the ingredients and rolling halves of the dough into 12" logs, then flattening them out. I opted for a lazier approach and dropped hunks of the batter into loose rows.

I dipped my fingers in some cocoa powder and nudged, prodded, and coaxed the cookie dough into flattish logs. Then I sprinkled on some sugar, as directed.


Next came the first round of baking, about 25 minutes.


The baked logs were allowed to cool slightly and then sliced.


Next, the slices are placed cut-side-up back on the baking sheet and then into the oven they go for their second round of baking. Here's my secret, though, I only bake about half of them the second time. I leave some on the racks to cool because I think they're just perfect at this point.


Then all that's left to to kick back and enjoy! These biscotti were perfectly chocolate and just plain delish. If you noticed, I left half of them plain and half of them had chopped pistachios and dried cherries added. Either way, they were awesome!

Chocolate Biscotti

Reproduced with permission from "Baking, From my home to yours", by Dorie Greenspan.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 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
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
sugar, for dusting

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

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

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.

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 1/2 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.

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.)

Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet - you'll have an army of biscotti - and bake the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes.

Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.

29 comments:

Nancy/n.o.e said...

So you ended up with 4 different variations on the biscotti? (I guess some were uniscotti, or something, since you only did the one bake for those!) I think I'd have to sample one of each so that I could render an impartial and informed verdict... great pick this week. How fun that you got a second chance; it's been a long time since your first.

Judy said...

These are some of the best biscotti I've made -- a bit softer than usual which we like. Thanks for a great choice.

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Great choice, Jacque! We loved these!

Nicole said...

I added dried cherries to mine and they were very good. Pistachios would be great too! Thanks for picking this recipe!

spike. said...

great recipe- best biscotti to ever come out of my kitchen! Thanks for hosting

Jules Someone said...

Thanks for such a yummy pick! I used plastic food gloves to shape mine

Leslie said...

Ahhh-mazing pick! We loved these, and not just because they were dipped in chocolate (which doesn't hurt). I love your flavor combos, and can't wait to try them without the second bake. That might be today since my photos are awful (I waited several days to take pictures).

Amber Marie said...

Your biscotti came out so well! I cut mine the other way - lengthwise and then in pieces, and they didn't turn out so pretty!

Dorie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peggy the Baker said...

Yours look fabulous! I agree that these are great baked just once, twice, with or without add-ins. A great choice!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks for this pick - it was delicious. I must remember to leave some out mid way next time to try.

jillbert said...

Thank you for the great pick! We loved these! Definitely one to make again. I like them crispy, but now I want to try them after a single bake.

Gourmified said...

I absolutely positively without question LOVED these!!!!!! GREAT pick!

Lauryn said...

your biscotti look absolutely perfect! I liked these a lot! Thanks for a great pick!!!!

margot said...

The biscotti look fantastic! I love the "lazy method" for the logs, I am definitely trying it. I was so happy for this selection, I loved them!

Katrina said...

GREAT cookies, Jacque. I just drove 6 hours to my parents house today and grabbed the frozen leftovers on the way out the door. My dad is LOVING them and I'm glad I'm not the only one eating them at my house (my husband doesn't like crunchy cookies). All the sudden, I'm wanting to try these just as a drop cookie only baked once. I'll bet they make some good cookies.

Nichi said...

Gorgeous! Great pick, I hope to make them if I have time tonight... late but they look worth it ;)

TeaLady said...

These were sooo good. Thanks for picking them. I needed a chocolate fix!!

Love your process!!!

Nina said...

What a great pic! Yours look wonderful. Couldnt agree more on the book...it is one of the best ever!

Mary said...

Great pick. We loved it.....I used cashews and dried cherries.

Pamela said...

I never got over here to tell you how much I loved this recipe. Thanks for choosing it!! So good, it had to be shared, or I would have eaten all of them.

Lynne said...

Thanks for the great pick this week. I love making biscotti! Yours look wonderful-thanks for the step-by-step photos.

Anne said...

I'd never had biscotti before and loved these, thanks so much!

PS Love the process pictures, could have used them when I was baking these!

Jessica said...

A belated thank you for a delicious pick! Love the idea of pistachios and cherries.

And Baking is just a fabulous, all-around great book - I agree!

Katie said...

What a perfect recipe to choose! I do not yet own this book, but I know I need to get it!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Congratulations on getting to pick. Dorie's book truly is amazing :)

I've never made biscotti, but I want to looking at your pictures.

natalia said...

ciao Jacque ! i've just posted (late!) the biscotti and wanted to thank you (late!) for the great choice !

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i finally got to making these over the weekend. better late than never--they were great!

Nadia said...

just tried them today and they are perfect :)