Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Biscotti al Cioccolato 1-2-3






I have always had a love/hate relationship with Biscotti.  This is probably why I have always stayed away from making them, leaving it to the professionals.  Until that dreaded day that I bit into one in front of a certain Pastry shop while visiting New York and an hour later was at my parents dentist office.  That Biscotto cost me about $200. 
I had been noticing lately on several blogs some Biscotti recipes popping up.  Feeling a little dangerous, I thought why not finally give it a try to make.  Why not try to make this twice baked cookie something grand myself.  After all, running to the dentist is alot less expensive in Mississippi.    Let me give it a try.  I tested several recipes, all good.   Here is my version, easy and simple.  A philosophy I live by on a daily basis.  Hope you enjoy it. 
I am posting two versions:  Traditionally this Biscotto, or "Twice baked" cookie is made without butter.  The addition of butter gives a softer texture to your end result.  Guess which one wins for me? I liked them both.  The second issue is about the sugar content.  Biscotti should not be sweet.  They are not sugar cookies.  Preheat your oven to 350/bake.
Ingredients: Version number 1
8oz of good quality chocolate.  I use Ghiradelli
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups flour/ unbleached ( a little more for your counter/hands/etc)
3/4 stick butter
a pinch of salt
2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 cup sweetened cocoa powder 
2 eggs gently beaten
2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla extract
optional 2 teaspoons espresso brewed coffee

In a double boiler, melt your chocolate and butter.  Set aside to cool.  In a large bowl combine your eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.  Beat with your electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Add your cooled, melted chocolate and combine.  Add your flour/baking powder/cocoa powder and mix until combined.  It will be sticky.  Do not worry.  Rub some flour on your hands and remove your mixture from the bowl to your kitchen counter.   Work to combine.  It will be sticky and this is normal.  Add some additional flour if necessary.  Line to baking sheets with parchment.  Divide your mixture in half.  Add more flour to avoid sticking to your counter.  It will be somewhat messy to combine.   Place your divided mixture onto your baking sheet and form into a long, log form, using the back of your spatula to help shape it.  They should be about 10-12  inches long by 1 inch or so high.  Let rest a few minutes.
(Those are specs of flour you see on top of the logs. They are not nuts.  I am so sorry for the poor quality of this photo).

Place in your oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes. You will notice that your logs have increased in size some and that your crust on top is just beginning to break.  Remove from Oven and let cool 30 minutes loosely covered.  Lower your oven temperature to 300/bake.(If you are dealing with a convection oven, please make your appropriate conversions before baking).
Uncover your logs and begin to cut straight across in pieces, working in a quick manner. Make sure you are working with a sharp knife.  Your cookies should be cut across about 1 inch wide.  You are now shaping your cookie.   Keep them separated on your cookie sheet. 

The next step will give your cookie the twice baked taste and texture.
Place your baking sheet with your cookies spread across the parchment paper, back into your oven.  Set your timer for 10 minutes and  Bake.  You do not have to turn them. It will not hurt them to do so but I find this step unnecessary in my recipe.
Remove from oven and let cool.  They are now ready to serve as they are or you can sprinkle some powdered sugar on them.  Buon Appetito~

2nd Version:
Follow the above steps and  omit the butter. This is the traditional way to bake them.  Your result will be a dry cookie, perfect for dipping into your ice cold glass of milk or cup of coffee~Buon Appetito~

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

These look yummy and I'd like to make some! Is the unsweetened cocoa like hot cocoa mix?

SundayAtTheGiacometti's said...

No, you must use unsweetened cocoa powder, available in most grocery stores. Do not use cocoa mix as it contains additives and sugar that will alter your recipe. Thank you~ Good luck! barbara~

Anonymous said...

After looking at the recipe again I had decided to use the unsweetened cocoa (the recipe says sweetened) and they came out GREAT! We enjoyed them Christmas morning :)

Thanks!
Paula

Alessandra (Dinnerinvenice) said...

I love the two variations. May just have to try both :)

Newlywed Cook said...

I have the same love/hate relationship with biscotti. I didn't know they weren't supposed to be sweet either…maybe that's why I haven't fallen head over heels for them. :) But these chocolate ones actually look fantastic. I think I'll try adding the butter too.