The other day the mood struck to make biscotti. I'm not really sure why, it isn't something that I particularly love and I never buy it. But I wanted to make it. Biscotti often has nuts and/or dried fruit in it, and I had neither, so I needed a recipe that contained items I did have. Namely, chocolate.
I took to the internet to find a recipe. I started with one that had gotten favorable review on recipezaar.com, including one from someone who said they made the biscotti and sold it at a local Italian restaurant. That biscotti was awful. The dough was so sticky I could hardly form it into logs, and when it was baked it was unpleasantly crumbly had had a very eggy flavor and was not terribly chocolatey - and it contained 3/4 cup cocoa powder and 6 oz chopped chocolate. They were inedible. This is not that biscotti.
After my biscotti flop, I turned to Dorie. Why I didn't go to her first, I have no idea. I found exactly what I was looking for in Baking From My Home to Yours.
These are wonderful. They have a deep chocolate flavor which is accentuated by the addition of espresso powder. The coffee flavor is not predominate but it is there, and I loved that. If baked for the amount of time Dorie suggests, they are actually rather chewy on the inside but crunchy on the outside. I ate a few that way, then baked the rest for another 10 minutes so they would be more like a classic biscotti. Though crunchier, I actually think they lost some of their flavor in those extra 10 minutes, so next time I will stick to the instructions as written.
These are biscotti that I would buy, these are biscotti that I would crave, these are biscotti that I will make again.
adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Combine flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale - about 2 minutes - the mixture may be crumbly. Scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes. Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled at this point. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Scrape sides of bowl. Stir in chopped chocolate. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces and form into logs about 12" long. Place logs on baking sheet and flatten logs so that they are about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Bake logs for about 25 minutes, or until they feel slightly firm. The logs will spread and crack. Leaving the oven on, remove baking sheet and put it on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Using a large serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Carefully place these slices back on the baking sheet with a little space between them. If it helps, use a large, thin spatula for the transfer. Bake the cookies for 10* minutes and transfer to a rack to cool.
* If you like your biscotti crunchy, you may need to bake them for 5-10 minutes longer the second time