I have tried to make biscotti several times, but for some reason it always comes out too wet. It’s not that the taste is bad, the texture just isn’t there. Instead of being a crumbly cookie, it is a chewier cookie. Last week I decided to try again, after looking through my cookbooks. I thought it would be nice to make a batch for my mom, who enjoys cookies that aren’t as sweet as ‘normal’ cookies. The first go-around I made a coffee-flavored biscotti dipped in chocolate.
This week I decided to make another batch, since my friends and family inhaled the last batch-in less then 24 hours. My parents suggested that this time I put in nuts. Originally I though I would use almonds, but since we were out I decided on chopped pecans. I dipped the biscotti in chocolate again, but this time I dried them chocolate-side up and sprinkled more chopped pecans over the chocolate. What came out was a very crumbly, perfectly ‘dry’ biscotti, with a bit of sweetness from the chocolate and a beautiful peanut sprinkle (if I do say so myself). I love this recipe, and am looking forward to making the other two varieties in the same cookbook, Professional Baking.
Recipe: Coffee Biscotti, adapted from Espresso Biscotti from the cookbook Professional Baking
4 oz. butter
6 oz. sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 oz. hot water
2 TBS instant coffee powder
10 oz. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 oz. chopped pecans
Several handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 TBS or so of shortening
A handful of chopped pecans
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and continue to beat. Combine the hot water and instant coffee in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Add to the creamed mixture. Add in the flour and baking powder, mixing to combine. Stir in the chopped pecans.
The mixture will be pretty sticky. Divide in half and shape into a logs about 2 1/2 inches thick-you don’t need to flatten them. Place the logs onto a silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Now, to shape the logs what I did was I put half the sticky batter into my hands and quickly shaped them in the air over the baking sheet. Once it got too unruly I set the long down and finished the shaping best I could on the baking sheet. The book suggests an egg wash at this point, but I didn’t.
Bake in the oven at a preheated 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Take the dough out of the oven when it starts to golden. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees. Let the biscotti cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack. When it is cool enough to handle, place on a cutting board and cut diagonally. Each piece should be about 1/2-1 inch thick, or as thick as you want your biscotti to be. Mine was about 3/4 inches thick. Place the pieces back on the baking sheet, cut side down.
Remember your oven should be at 275 degrees right now. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, until the cookies are toasted and dry. Let the biscotti cool on a cooling rack.
Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave or your preferred method of melting chocolate. In my microwave I stirred every 25 seconds until it was completely melted. Be sure to not over melt the chocolate, it starts to get dry and weird if you do.
Dip each piece in the chocolate and you can either place chocolate-side down on a non-stick surface, or chocolate-side up. For the first batch I did chocolate-side down, the second batch I did chocolate-side up. After I was done dipping I sprinkled the rest of to chopped pecans over the biscotti, trying to evenly distribute. For both methods it takes about an hour or two for the chocolate to set.
Store in an air-tight container so that the biscotti doesn’t get stale.