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Chocolate Almond Biscotti Tested Recipe

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Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti have two distinguishing features; its long, thin, curved shape and its crisp and crunchy texture. I don't think there is a better cookie for dipping in your coffee, which is probably why you see canisters of them lining the counters of coffee shops and bakeries. Since most biscotti contain nuts, with almonds being the most popular, these Chocolate Almond Biscotti are just about perfect as they contain both almonds and chunks of chocolate.

 

Sweet almonds are ivory-colored with a pointed, oval shape and smooth texture. They are the nutmeat found inside the pit of the dry fruit on almond trees. Almonds come in sweet and bitter forms. The sweet almonds are what most people are familiar with and used by bakers. The sweet almond, used here, has a mild, delicate flavor. We use blanched almonds which you can buy or if you want to blanch the almonds yourself; place in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain and place in ice water to stop further cooking of the almonds. Peel the skin off with your fingers. Bake them in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for about 5-10 minutes, or until almonds are dry, but have no color. 

Now, we could pair almonds with anise as this is the more traditional route in biscotti, but we are not going to do that. Instead we are going to pair the almonds with chunks of smooth dark chocolate. Of course, you can use your favorite chocolate chips but I like to cut up my favorite dark chocolate bar instead. The Chocolate Almond Biscotti's crisp and crunchy texture comes from baking the cookie twice, which is different from most North American cookies.  This second baking draws out the biscotti's moisture and how long they are baked determines how crisp and crunchy they will be. Biscotti are made by first forming the dough into a log and baking until firm. The log is cooled slightly and then cut into thin slices. The slices are baked until crisp which has the added bonus of giving them a long shelf life. 

 

Chocolate Almond Biscotti: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Toast almonds for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick, pale, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). At this point beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg mixture and beat until combined. Fold in the chopped almonds and chocolate.

Transfer the dough to a well floured counter and roll into a log shape, about 12 inches (30 cm) long and 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) wide. You may have to flour your hands to form the log as the dough is quite sticky. Place on your baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).  Transfer the log to a cutting board and cut into about 1/2 inch (1.25  cm) slices, on the diagonal. Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 20-24 biscotti.

Adapted From:

Lebovitz, David. Room for Dessert. Harper Collins Publishers. New York: 1999.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti Recipe:

3/4 cup (110 grams) blanched whole almonds

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour

2/3 cup (4 ounces) (110 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-sized chunks (can use chocolate chips)

 

 
 
     
 

 

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