Several years ago I participated in a cookie exchange. The lady in charge needed to know what everyone was bringing so that there was a good variety. When I said biscotti she was concerned that it would be so much work for the 10 dozen I needed to bring. This is such a common misconception I hope I can persuade you to try making your own.
1 stick Butter softened
3/4 c Sugar
2 Eggs room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla or Rum
2 c Flour
1/2 c Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
4 oz chopped Chocolate
4 oz melted Milk Chocolate for dipping – optional
Prep time 10 minutes Total Bake Time: 35 min Cool Time 5 min
These are not a sweet cookie because of the chocolate I choose to use. Regular cocoa powder has no sugar added. Another option is to use Ghiradeli which is a combination of cocoa and ground chocolate. This will produce a sweeter biscotti. The chocolate you mix into the dough is personal preference as well and can be as sweet as you like.
Allow the eggs and butter to sit on the counter for at least 15 minutes. The butter should be softened but not room temperature. If you can easily smash it with your hands it is ready to beat.
Place the butter into a mixing bowl and whip until it is nice and fluffy.
Slowly add the sugar and continue beating. At first it will look very crumbly, then it will smooth out but look very grainy. It is ready when it again looks very fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, thoroughly incorporating into the butter. Whip in the vanilla or rum flavoring.
Sift together all the dry ingredients. Slowly add to the butter. If you add it all at once you will end up with lumps of dry ingredients. Mix on low and the powder won’t fly all over the place. If you are concerned about that happening, a tip is to place a towel over the bowl when you first turn it on. Just double-check that it is not in the bowl or it will catch the beaters!
One way to prevent splatters of dry and liquids from the mixer is to lay a towel over the bowl till the ingredients have been mixed together.
Mix until completely mixed and no further. Scrape down the sides and give it another quick pulse. Add the chopped chocolate and pulse just until it has been evenly distributed in the dough. Don’t try to chop the chocolate into the same sizes, it is nice to have a variety in your biscotti. In this case I use unsweetened chocolate but you can use whatever you prefer.
Divide the dough in half and form into logs. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or lightly browned. You can use a silicone mat, parchment paper or a well seasoned stone to bake on. If the dough sticks to the pan you will have a crumbly mess. If yo do not have any of those items lightly grease and flour the pan before placing the dough on it.
Remove to a cutting board (you may have to slide it off if you don’t have a large spatula) and cool for 5 minutes. If you leave the logs on the pan they will continue baking and we need to cool them down.
You must use a serrated knife or this won’t work. A bread knife works the best. Once the dough has cooled down carefully slice the logs on the diagonal about 3/4 inches thick. This version makes about 18 cookies. If you prefer smaller cookies, make the logs longer and more narrow and you can double that amount.
Places the slices upright onto the cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart and bake for another 10 minutes, or slightly dry. Cool on wire racks. I find that an offset spatula or pie server works well to transfer the longer pieces.
Once they have cooled they can be dipped in even more chocolate. I used milk chocolate but white chocolate is nice and provides a contrast in color as well.
Drizzle with chocolate.
Coat the bottom with chocolate.
Sprinkle candy, coconut or chopped nuts on the chocolate while it is still wet.
Dip one end.
Store in a glass jar next to your coffee pot.