Sunday, November 04, 2007

Favorite Chocolate Biscotti Recipe

chocolate biscotti

Despite the many baking failures I had over the past, I am extremely blessed in the biscotti department. In fact I find my favorite biscotti recipe the first time I attempted it. Although I blogged about these biscottis a couple of times in the past, I failed to include the recipe. Firstly because I am lazy. Secondly, the recipe is lengthy.I have the book and even copied it by hand in my notebook, so that I could bake it during my last trip home. So I find no rush to put it up here.
Until not long ago, my friend A asked me for the recipe. Her friend who tried the biscottis and has since moved to New York is thinking of attempting the recipe herself. So I thought I might type it here for her, and others who may be interested too.

After my first sweet success, I have since tried many biscotti recipes but none (ok, except those mosaic biscottis) measured up to this one. This recipe, which comes from the Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook is my reliable source for chocolate biscottis. I have also tweaked it a few times with different flour components, amount of sugar, varieties of nuts and even used different brands of chocolate, just to see if that makes a different. Come to think of it, I must have made it more than ten times.

chocolate biscotti

For research purpose, I bought biscotti from Starbucks one day and did a blind test. In my humble opinion, they tasted equally great. So I would safely say that I wouldn't be getting my biscottis from Starbucks again. I figure that the money saved could be used to buy other quality ingredients!

I strongly encourage bakers who have not tried baking biscottis before to give this incredibly easy recipe a go. And for the novice bakers out there, making this will guarantee an instant confidence boost. I certainly felt invinsible the day I made my first batch. There is no way you can mess up this easy cookie.

To make the process even easier,I have one tips for you. Just one. Instead of shaping the dough by hand, simply drop spoonfuls directly onto the parchment paper to form logs.

chocolate biscotti

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
adapted and modified from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I like to replace 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup whole wheat flour for the all purpose)
1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1 tsp granulated sugar for glaze (I used 1 cup and it's the right sweetness for me)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups(about 8 ounces) blanched hazelnuts (sometime I use almond, but I prefer hazelnuts)
12 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunk(I like to use one pack of 3.5oz 72% Lindt and make up the rest with 60% Ghiradelli Chocolate chips)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 eggwhite for glaze (optional), at room temperature
Sanding sugar (or granulated)for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.Line two large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the flour, cocoa,baking soda,salt, 1 cup of chocolate chunks and hazelnut, until chocolate chunks and hazelnuts are the size of peas. *if you don't have a food processor (like me), coarsely chop the nuts and chocolate and sieve the flour.

In a bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the whole eggs, and granulated sugar until the mixture holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface for a few seconds when you raise the whisk.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture. When it's well combined, add in the nuts and chocolate and stir by hand, using a large spatula.

Martha Stewart's proper way:
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide into 3 equal pieces. Shape each pieces into an 18 inch log. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. With the palm of your hand, gently press the logs to flatten slighlt. Brush egg wash over logs. Sprinkle with sanding sugar if using.


Mandy's lazy not messy way:
Using the spatula as a guide, drop the dough by spoonful into a 2.5-inches wide and 18-inches long log directly onto the parchment paper. Slightly flatten it to 1/2-inch thick. Leave 2 inches space between logs.*** Brush eggwash over logs. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, if using.

Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until logs are just firm to the touch, 20-24 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

When the logs are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to cut biscotti log on the diagonal, into 1/4-inch thick, or if you like, 3/4-inch thick (which is more durable to be send off as care package.

Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down on the rack.Bake until biscottis are firm to the touch and completely dry. 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove pans from the oven;Let biscottis cool completely on the rack. They can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. I keep them in the freezer when I don't feel like sharing with others. They can be kept there for months.

note: chocolate drizzle is not necessary, but I used it for aesthetic purpose.


Anh said...

Mandy, there is no doubt that your biscotti is better than the Starbuck craps! And they look so good, I just want to grab one and dip into my coffee!

LianneK said...

I've always, always wanted to make biscotti for Chinese New Year but the idea freaks me out. Your biscotti inspired me again. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Another snack I like because it's got chocolate! :O

Anonymous said...

I have a tried and true biscotti recipe I got from a bed and breakfast over on the coast. I always make them at christmas and pkg them pretty and give away. I'll be posting in Dec. Meanwhile, I'll give your a try! Thanks for posting the recipe!

Deborah said...

I am one that has never made biscotti before. I'm saving this recipe, though!! It seems like the holidays are a good time for biscotti, so I'm sure I will be making this soon!

Kajal@aapplemint said...

u really seem like the queen of biscottis. They look fabulous.

bakeorbreak said...

I haven't made biscotti in ages. I have that cookbook, too, so I'll definitely have to check that out. Yours looks delcious!

Nabeela said...

Marking the recipe...if you say it's good, then it's good! :)

Anonymous said...

I love biscotti too!
And yours look sooooo delicious, they make me crave for some.

kate said...

i found your blog on the foodie blog roll---i love that you added the choco drizzle. i'm all for art-ing up the food.

i've never made biscotti. i think i have been under the impression that it's really hard to do. i love to eat it, so maybe i'll give it a whirl!


Venus ~ Vi said...

Hi Mandy ~

Wow, there is so much to take in and learn here...*0*...don't know where to start!

BTW, I saw your comment on Verano's blog about PH; any chance that he will be teaching a class in the Bay Area?

Little Corner of Mine said...

Love that chocolate drizzles, it make a nice contrast!

Oh for the love of food! said...

Oh Mandy! These chocolate biscottis look so yummy, they would make perfect christmas pressies for friends! (hint! hint!)

Helene said...

How long would it take me to drive to your house....?! I love chocolate hazelnut biscotti and the best recipe I have used for them so far is from a Weight Watchers cookbook, believe it or not! I will try these and compare, they sound delicious!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I adore biscotti, and this is a fabulous recipe. I'm printing this one to keep. I just posted on biscotti and linked to yours. You have a delicious blog!

Cate said...

Looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I love chocolate biscotti --- I am going to make them next weekend.

Just wondering -- really like how the chocolate drizzle looks. Does it dry and stay on pretty well. I want to serve at a party.

I just found your blog -- great job, really like it.

Mandy said...


imbi & itchy,
you should really give it a try. it's easier than you have thought!

haha, me too. I like anything with chocolate!

Ican't wait to see your recipe. Will you let me know after you blog about it?

the holiday season is definitely giving us a reason to bake and experiment with new cookie recipes!

haha, I really adore biscotti. Because they don't spoil as easily as other cookies. Sometime I keep a stash in the freezer.

yeah, go and check out that book. it's a winner!

awww, thanks sweetie!

thanks for visiting!

I thought that it's hard to make initial, but it was really easy!

thanks for the link, I wasn't aware of that until I read the article!

as replied on your blog, I really don't think so.

little corner of mine,
thanks! I do without the drizzle most of the time though. It's easier to keep and just as yummy.

hahaha, LOL. I will keep this in mind.

wow. You must tell me which one is better if you try this out!

thanks for the link. Your MIL's version looks absolutely delicious. You are such a lucky gal.


thanks!The chocolate drizzle will harder after refrigerate. If you are going to serve them on a party, remember not to stacking them up in a pile. Good luck!

Indonesia Eats said...

Wow... Those biscottis look so good. I'm a big fan of biscotti

Big Boys Oven said...

Oh so lovely..... amazing!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have started to look for recipes for the holidays, Mandy - I want to make tons of food gifts, and these biscotti look like the perfect recipe for that! Tks so much for sharing, I'm gonna tag the recipe right now!

Unknown said...

Hi, can I check with you how should I defroze the cookies? Just place them at room temperature? Do I need to rebake them slightly to make them crisp? Thanks alot!

Mandy said...

I normally make it without the frosting. Don't have to rebake the biscottis after getting out from freezer. Just leave it to cool to room temperature. I usually just take one out from freezer and munch away! Surprisingly, it's not as hard as I thought!

Anonymous said...

thank you!!! never having done this before, my husband & his friends LOVE road biking for miles uphill, then stopping at a bakery for coffee & biscotti, figured I'de give it a try. your recipe caught me from the initial commentary, so i pre-read, and dove right in. they are FANTASTIC! and it was EASY. and my husband's friends are so JEALOUS! :>)

Baking Fiend said...

This is definately gg into my to-bake list... and it's gonna be right on top of the list! LOLz

Thanks for sharing the recipe.

lillie said...

Thanks Martha,
I am going to send a batch of these to my sister in Westlake, Ohio for her 4oth birthday. She requested I make something home-made. I am taking your "hint" advice and cut them 3/4 inch for mailing purposes. If all goes well, I'll send more for Christmas.
McKinney, Texas

Arielle said...

Just made these earlier, they're great! I'm allergic to nuts, so I replaced the nuts with a little less than a cup of chopped dried cherries. Very good!!

Unknown said...

thanks. i am on a quest for the perfect chocolate hazelnut biscotti recipe. maybe this will be the one. just made a batch from a recipe of a very famous pastry chef, just o.k. by the way, i think biscotti is plural and biscotto is one. don't speak italian but i don't think i ever heard the term "biscottis". thanks.

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