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.