Biscotti Revisited

Yesterday was my sister-in-law Lauren’s baby shower and I offered to make biscotti for the event. As far as labor goes, biscotti is pretty easy. The dough comes together nicely and requires little, if any, kneading. What you need to be long on is time, since biscotti is a twice baked treat. For the shower I needed 150 pieces—two per guest—and since my oven only has one rack, this could have taken a VERY long time.  I knew I needed to come up with a way to speed this process along. I decided that I would divide each batch of biscotti dough into three logs, which would not only give me the smaller sized cookie that is just right for a favor, but would yield me more pieces per batch. After discarding the ends and burnt pieces (which went into a bowl that Johnny and I have been snacking on since) I was able to get about 30 cookies from every batch of dough. I had Christie print me festive tags, put Johnny to work helping me tie ribbon, and knocked this project out in one day.

Aren’t they pretty? In addition to the cranberry walnut and almond chocolate chip varieties I usually make, I also tried out a chocolate walnut version using dutch processed cocoa. I had never used this ingredient before in my baking but I’ve often read about what a difference it makes. Whole Foods had Rademacher Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa on sale so I bought some and added it to my dough. I can now tell you that doing so absolutely makes a difference. The flavor was rich and pure without being overly sweet. The cocoa is a bit of a splurge (expect to pay around $7-10 per box) but so worth it.

Biscotti is delicious any time of year but is especially popular around the holidays, so I wanted to repost my recipes. I use Giada de Laurentiis’s recipe as my base and then I change up the add-ins accordingly. Happy Baking!

Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs one at a time beating until smooth. Add dry mixture and mix until just blended. Stir in walnuts. Separate the dough into logs (you should have enough for three logs, but for bigger biscotti do two) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the biscotti are pale golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.

Place the biscotti on a cutting board. Using a large serrated knife, cut the biscotti on a diagonal into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch pieces. Place cut side down onto baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes, turning the cookies halfway through baking time. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour (I also substitute one cup whole wheat flour or white whole wheat)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs one at a time beating until smooth. Add dry mixture and mix until just blended. Stir in walnuts and cranberries. Separate the dough into logs (you should have enough for three logs, but for bigger biscotti do two) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the biscotti are pale golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.

Place the biscotti on a cutting board. Using a large serrated knife, cut the biscotti on a diagonal into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch pieces. Place cut side down onto baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes, turning the cookies halfway through baking time. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Almond Chocolate Chip Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour (I also substitute one cup whole wheat flour or white whole wheat)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs one at a time beating until smooth. Add dry mixture and mix until just blended. Stir in almonds and chocolate chips. Separate the dough into logs (you should have enough for three logs, but for bigger biscotti do two) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the biscotti are pale golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.

Place the biscotti on a cutting board. Using a large serrated knife, cut the biscotti on a diagonal into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch pieces. Place cut side down onto baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes, turning the cookies halfway through baking time. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Trail Mix Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour (I also substitute one cup whole wheat flour or white whole wheat)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup pepitas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs one at a time beating until smooth. Add dry mixture and mix until just blended. Stir in add-ins. Separate the dough into logs (you should have enough for three logs, but for bigger biscotti do two) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the biscotti are pale golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.

Place the biscotti on a cutting board. Using a large serrated knife, cut the biscotti on a diagonal into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch pieces. Place cut side down onto baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes, turning the cookies halfway through baking time. Cool completely on a wire rack.

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