It’s christmas cookie season, and while biscotti isn’t technically a cookie per se, they often find their way onto the plethora of platters that mark the season. From cookie swaps, to office parties, to host/hostess gifts, cookies are part of what defines the winter holidays.
Biscotti means twice-baked in Italian. First you form the crumbly dough into one stiff mass and bake it whole. Then you let it cool, slice it and bake it again at a lower temperature. This is what gives biscotti its almost cracker like quality that goes especially well with coffee.
This festive chocolate/coffee pistachio biscotti recipe is excerpted from my book Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground coffee
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup shelled pistachios
About 1/2 cup (4 ounces) colored candy melts
Red nonpareils or other sprinkles
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat in the eggs at low speed for about one minute, until a crumbly dough forms.
2. In a separate large bowl, beat the brown sugar with the butter and the vanilla, coffee, and almond extracts until combined, then add it to the mixture in the first bowl. Beat at low speed until dough begins to form. It will not come together completely.
3. Fold in the chocolate chips and shelled pistachios.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press the dough together with your hands, forming it into one mass. Then divide it into two equal parts and form the dough into two logs.
5. Place one log on each prepared baking sheet; form into a slightly flattened log, Use the palm of your hand to flatten each log until they are about 3' wide.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven and let the biscotti rest on the cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Log will be slightly spongy to the touch, similar to a dense bread.
7. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees.
8. Remove the biscotti from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut int 1/2" slices using a serrated knife. Return the slices, cut side up, to the cookie sheet.
9. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and cool on wire racks.
10. Melt the candy melts in a deep mug or bowl according to package directions
11. Dip cooled biscotti half-way. Place on parchment and decorate with dragees and sprinkles
Makes two dozen biscotti