Let the crumbs fall where they may
Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies to make, not least because they’re a satisfyingly crunchy, not-too-sweet, everyday snack.
But especially around the holidays, you can rely on a batch of homemade biscotti to get you through any number of situations. Think last-minute gifts. Friends and family dropping by. Get-togethers where you don’t want to arrive empty-handed.
These double-chocolate biscotti come to the rescue in these seasonal moments, and then some. If you’re looking for a no-fail chocolate biscotti recipe, you’ve come to the right place. They’re a favorite for sure, thanks to their irresistibly deep chocolate flavor and an ideal ratio of crunch to crumble. With a flourish of melted-chocolate drizzle as a finishing touch, they get an A+ for satisfying a chocolate fix.
Traditional Italian biscotti are baked twice and often made without butter, a method that produces cookies that are hard – as in chip-a-tooth hard. Their concrete-like texture is fine if your intention is to dunk them into a cup of coffee or hot chocolate (which is what they were invented for). But for munching dry? Not so much.
Because this dough is enriched with butter, the biscotti turn out with just the right degree of melty chew.
Biscotti are not very fragile, which makes them the perfect choice for packing up in bags to give as gifts. Better still, they keep for days and days when stored in a cookie tin or other container with a tight-fitting lid.
As far as technique goes, biscotti are far less fussy to make than other kinds of cookies that require rolling and cutting. Getting the hang of the method doesn’t require any special skills, other than using your hands. In essence, you simply make the dough with an electric mixer and then shape it into two logs.
The chocolate dough isn’t too sticky, but the easiest way to form logs is to divide it into two oblong shapes, roll them with your hands on a lightly floured surface, then pat and firmly push them into shape.
Transfer the logs to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake. After that, turn down the oven temperature, slice the logs and return them to the oven to dry and crisp them.
Karen Tedesco is a recipe developer, food stylist and photographer living in Maplewood. For seasonal recipes and more, visit her website, FamilystyleFood.com
Makes about 30 cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups cup dark chocolate baking chunks or chips
1. Arrange baking racks to the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
4. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the sugar and mix at high speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl if needed, then beat in the eggs. Lower the mixer speed to stir in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in 3/4 cup of chocolate chunks.
5. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half on a lightly floured counter into a firm log about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Arrange the logs on the baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
6. Bake 30-40 minutes, until the logs are firm to the touch. Cool on a rack 10 minutes.
7. With a large, sharp knife, slice each log into ¾-inch wide slices on a slight diagonal and put them cut side down on the baking sheet.
8. Lower oven to 300 degrees. Bake 5 minutes, then gently turn the biscotti onto the other cut side and bake for another 5 minutes.
9. Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.
10. Melt the remaining chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, or in 30-second increments on high in a microwave, stirring each time.
11. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cool biscotti.
To drizzle the biscotti with the melted chocolate without making a mess, set them on a cooling rack over a piece of parchment paper, either on their sides or upright. Dip a small spoon or fork into the chocolate and drizzle away. Let the chocolate cool and set before packing in bags or boxes. Keep the biscotti in a covered container for up to a week.