A Biscotti recipe to share
I have never made biscotti before. I was thinking of making some for Christmas gifts. Does anyone have any favourite recipe that they would like to share? Also does anyone have any tips on making them?
I recommend the recipes and instructions in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. They give recipes for both Italian and American-style biscotti and give lots of tips for managing mix-ins like nuts and chips with a stiff dough.
I like the almond chocolate chip recipe from joyofbaking.com, but if you do a search on this board a lot of people are planning to give biscotti as holiday presents (including me: http://www.chezpei.com/2006/12/holida...)
Biscotti is a good choice because it's really easy to make, hard to mess up, but expensive to buy at the store. I like recipes that don't have butter in them for a few reasons: it makes the recipe a lot cheaper to make, it decreases the calories per biscotti, and I feel like if I'm going to dunk the thing into coffee I don't want or need it to be buttery.
My go-to recipe is a chocolate hazelnut one from the Williams-Sonoma holiday cookbook. I've used different types of nuts and it's always good. If you want the recipe, I can post it. As Pei said, it's pretty fail-safe. Once I was an egg short but had already started so I finished them and they tasted fine. As tips go, it's a dry dough so hard to do with a hand mixer and a serrated knife will make cutting it after the first baking much easier.
Here you go (with my little editorial comments...). There are weights for the measurements but I measure. If you want the weights equivalent, just ask and I'll add them. This makes a lot--says 5 dozen. I'm sure you could cut it in half if you want. I've paraphrased so if it doesn't make sense, please let me know.
1 c. butter, room temp
3 cups sugar
6 c. flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c. hazelnuts, toasted and skinned (I always toast, don't always skin, both work fine; almonds are also really good)
warm melted bittersweet chocolate (I've used chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate)
There is no vanilla in the recipe but I add some or almond extract if I'm using almonds.
Preheat oven to 325 deg. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in bowl and set aside. Beat together butter and sugar until combined. Beat in eggs. Add half the flour mixture, mix on low speed until combined; mix in nuts until combined; and then remaining flour mixture (I've done all the flour and then the nuts. It's harder w/ a hand mixer but if I had a stand, I'd do it that way all the time).
Knead dough (briefly) on lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 (I make a round and then cut it with a knife). Shape each part into 9"long x3" wide loaf. Place on buttered cookie sheet (I use silpat mats instead). Bake until loaves are golden and firm when you press top about 1 hour. Cool slightly on cookie sheet, leaving oven on.
W/ serrated knife, cut crosswise and a slight diagonal (making that biscotti shape), 1/2" thick. Arrange cut side down on baking sheet and bake until golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool.
Dip one side into melted chocolate to cover. I've done this and it takes a LOT of chocolate. Plus, the crumbs fall off into the chocolate so when you dip the next one, you get crumbs on it. I started putting the chocolate into a pastry bag (you can use a ziplock bag w/ a tiny cut corner) and pipe it over them in a zig zag pattern. It's easier to leave them on the wire racks while you do it so the extra drizzles off. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Makes 5 dozen cookies.
Hi Chowser! Thanks for the great biscotti recipe! I have been using this recipe (http://www.fineliving.com/fine/napast...) for a long time and was decided to break my habit and try yours! It was fantastic! I made these on a whim and didn't quite have all the exact ingredients -- did not include the nuts or the chocolate chips and actually used 3 cups dark brown sugar instead of white. I was really excited about the results. They had a crisp texture with a subtle caramel flavor.
Thanks so much!
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or any flavoring -- anise is common but I actually don't like anise so I never use it, but I've used plenty of others and I'm sure whatever you like would be fine)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Preheat to 375.
Grease cookie sheets. In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and flavoring until well blended. Combine the flour and baking powder, stir into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough.
At this point if you want to add chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, or other flavorings, go for it. I've had success with plain, vanilla almond, cranberry lemon (dried cranberries and lemon peel)... really whatever you like as long as its in really small pieces, as with any cookie.
Divide dough into 2 pieces. Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie sheet. Place roll onto the prepared cookie sheet, and press down to 1/2-inch thickness.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. When the cookies are cool enough to handle, slice each 1 crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.
Here's where they become biscotti: Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 6 to 10 minutes on each side. Cookie slices should be lightly toasted.
Yield: 3 to 4 dozen
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
If you look on Martha Stewart's website she has a great recipe for cranberry pecan biscotti and another for chocolate pistachio biscotti.
The Zuni recipe for Cornmeal Almond Biscotti as published in the Classic Home Desserts cookbook by Rick Rodgers is the only biscotti I'll ever make, it's so good. Crispy and elegant.
I have been making batches and batches of biscotti this week - I'm out of control! My favorite is the recipe for cranberry pecan biscotti in the Fig's (Todd English) cookbook, but I don't have that with me (and I don't think we're supposed to copy recipes). My current second favorite is the chocolate-orange biscotti from epicurious.com (pasted below) - they are not too sweet and have a nice substantial texture. I make biscotti dough in a food processor, because I don't have a mixer, and it works just fine. Biscotti dough is wet, so don't be discouraged if it seems all damp and sticky. Refrigerating helps manipulate it into logs. Also, all recipes seem to call for cutting with a serrated knife, but in my experience it tends to tear the crust - if your chef's knife is truly sharp, that is better to slice the logs. Finally, I highly recommend using parchment paper rather than greasing the cookie sheets.
For the recipe below, I use good-quality dark chocolate chunks and buy the little "airplane" bottles of Grand Marnier. Mmmmmm, perfect with coffee . . .
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then Grand Marnier and orange peel. Add flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in pecans and chocolate. Gather dough together; divide in half. Wrap in plastic and freeze 20 minutes to firm.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Using floured hands, form each dough piece into 14-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer parchment with logs to rack. Cool 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
Place 1 log on cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut log on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Stand slices upright on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining log.
Bake biscotti until dry to touch and pale golden, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on rack. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container.)
Makes about 3 dozen.
I found a great recipe for double chocolate walnut biscotti at www.epicurious.com from the December 1994 issue of Gourmet magazine. In addition, I dipped my biscotti into melted semisweet chocolate, which was excellent. Use good quality chocolate, like Scharffen Berger I even included these biscotti in a blog I wrote about holiday food gifts at:
I haven't made these, but have been wanting to try both of these recipes from The Good Cookie, by Tish Boyle- should have never checked it out from the library!!
Triple Ginger Pecan Biscotti http://www.nikchick.com/recipes/bisco...
Caramelized Pecan-Orange Biscotti
Here's a healthier recipe that I've tried and enjoyed...compliments of Link930 (cut directly from her/his previous post-link at bottom)
(caveat: I'm no good at writing down recipes) Adapted from elise.com/recipes (one of my favorite food blogs!).
whole wheat flour 2 cups
baking powder 1.5 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp
brown sugar 1/4 cup
Splenda 1/2 cup
eggs, extra large 2
vanilla extract 1.5 tsp
almond extract 1 tsp
star anise dash
pumpkin puree, canned 1/2 cup
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Sift together all dry ingredients.
3. In a separate bowl, beat together the wet ingredients. Add this to the dry ingredients, and mix until it just comes together. Mixture will be slightly crumbly, but will hold together well.
4. Shape into a large, flat log with a slight hump in the middle. It should be about 1/2" thick. Alternatively, you can shape into smaller logs, or even make into cookies. Reduce baking time to about 20 minutes for the smaller biscotti, and about 15 minutes for the cookies, or until you get the degree of crispiness that you like.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, take out of oven, and let cool.
6. Slice on the diagonal, place biscotti on their sides, and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until as crispy as you like.
These will store well in airtight containers for about 9 days.
Yields 12 regular sized biscotti, 24 small