Wednesday, August 17, 2011


In the words of my father, "Chocolate and nuts, of course they're good."
Biscotti have gotten the unjust reputation of being a treat only purchased at the coffee shop register, not baked from scratch in your own kitchen. I'm here to amend the misconception... it is easy to make biscotti. Your morning cup-o-joe and afternoon mug of tea will thank you.

Yes, you do need to bake them twice, however those of you skeptics who have sliced and baked a toll house tube of dough should be old pros. The easy batter is shaped into flattened logs, plopped onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and baked for 25 minutes. After a 20 minute rest to cool down, you slice and space the cookies, lining them up like an army of Italian soldiers. Back in the oven for 10 minutes to ensure the crusty exterior and you're finished - the perfect dunkable cookie. Laced with chopped bittersweet chocolate, infused with espresso powder and speckled with walnuts, these beauties beat the bland, Starbucks counter offering in both flavor intensity and texture. Note to self, next time make sure these little soldiers put on a coat of dark chocolate before leaving the house.

Chocolate Biscotti
(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan,

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp instant coffee or instant espresso powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

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

With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes until light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla; beat for another 2 minutes. Decrease the 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 and mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead a few times just to incorporate any dry ingredients that didn't get mixed in before. Divide into two portions; on the baking sheet, shape each portion into a 12 inch log, then flatten with the palm of your hand so the rectangle is only 1 inch high. Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the sheet from the oven and let it cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Then, with a serrated knife, slice the logs into about 3/4 - 1 inch slices and leave the slices standing up on the baking sheet, making sure they do not touch. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes of baking.

Transfer biscotti to a rack to cool. Once cool, feel free to make a pool of melted chocolate for the biscotti to take a dunk in.

Rain or shine was no lie this past Sunday when I competed in and completed my very first sprint-length triathlon! After a 1/4 mile swim, 10.5 mile bike ride and 3 mile run in a steady down pour I crossed the finish line, still breathing and surprisingly first in my age group. The reward? An awesomely kitschy bobblehead, complete with silver ponytail and bronze nikes. Add in some chocolate biscotti and I'd call that an excellent end to the weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment