Sometimes baking isn’t a planned event but instead is brought about by a shopping experience. Just the other day I was at Whole Foods and found myself in the bakery section contemplating chocolate biscotti. I picked up the package of two chocolate dipped biscotti and found them to be around $4. I found myself in a battle between my craving for something sweet and rational thought which told me I could make many more biscotti for the same price.
I pulled out my iPhone and brought up the Epicurious app (filled with lots of great recipe ideas). I found many biscotti recipes and one of them was for chocolate walnut biscotti. I reviewed the ingredients and had everything at home except the chocolate chips. I went to the bulk aisle and bought what I needed for less than $4.
It’s been nearly 10 years since I last made biscotti and it hadn’t been a glowing experience. The biscotti turned out way too dense and had a awful taste. I didn’t want to fail this time (especially when my stomach was grumbling now quite loudly in anticipation of chocolate biscotti) so I put my faith in the recipe.
Biscotti really shouldn’t be scary. They are actually easier to make and much less fussy than regular cookies. The dough will be super thick and you merely shape it into a long flat log. You bake it for about 30 minutes then remove and cool slightly. Using a sharp knife, you cut the log into slices then bake these slices for another 10-15 minutes to further dry them out. Biscotti can then be customized further by dipping into dark chocolate, white chocolate, chopped nuts, crushed peppermint sticks, or whatever you like.
Triple Chocolate Biscotti Recipe
adapted from Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti (Dec 1994, Gourmet)
The dough will be stiff so I used my hands to mix in the chocolate chips and nuts. In place of walnuts, I used chopped whole almonds. I baked the biscotti for 10 minutes cut side down, then stood them up on their bottoms (so both cut sides are exposed) and baked 5 minutes longer. After cooling, I melted some chocolate and dipped the bottoms of each biscotti for a triple chocolate bonanza!
The biscotti texture is exactly how I like it. Firm and crisp, but you won’t chip a tooth on it. Perfect for dunking in your favorite drink. My mind is already racing with what type of biscotti to make next … gingerbread flavored then dipped in white chocolate. Yum.
So, I’m pleased with my decision to make my own biscotti. For just a few dollars I was able to make a couple dozen biscotti for the same price as buying two pieces from the grocery store. And I’m thinking, wouldn’t these make a great Christmas gift for a friend or neighbor? Just wrap them in some waxed paper and tie with a string!