Make it All Better

June 23, 2008

You know the crispy bits around the edges of a pan of brownies? The ones that have buckled from the heat of the oven? The ones that practically disintegrate in your mouth when you take a nibble? If you like those bits, you will adore these biscotti. They’re similar to the brownie bits in their crunch and deep chocolatey flavor, but they’re also studded with dark chocolate chips and slivered almonds.

I’ve dabbled with a variety of biscotti recipes: some stripped down and simple, some featuring dried fruit, some savory. But I’d never tried a chocolate recipe. I blame the double chocolate cookies of a couple weeks back for nudging me into trying this one.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

And I am pretty lucky that I did because these biscotti saved dessert last Monday. After a series of trials and tribulations that night in terms of menu selections (I completely forgot that my friend is fairly lactose intolerant and served an appetizer stuffed with mozzarella, a pizza liberally topped with gorgonzola dolce, and gelato for dessert; right so: whoops) and the actual cooking (I grilled the pizza, feeling quite confident after our last grilled pizza experiment, only to lose substantial portions of the dough through the grates of the grill), I thought I had dessert in the bag. The cherry gelato was safely stashed in the freezer and I was expecting it to be as creamy and delicious as it had been the night before, when it was just churned. (As you’ve already heard, it was not.)

And here is where I reveal the moral of the story: when a dinner party is not going the way you’d hoped and when dessert, to top it all off, turns out to be a bit of a flop as well, stick a plate of these biscotti in the middle of the table. Heck, tuck one right into each person’s bowl of the disappointing cherry gelato, as I did. Because these biscotti make everything all better.

Double Chocolate-Almond Biscotti
Adapted from Gourmet

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F and butter and flour a large baking sheet.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined well. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips.

On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Bake logs 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.

On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool biscotti on a rack. Biscotti keep in airtight containers 1 week and frozen, 1 month.

14 Responses to “Make it All Better”

  1. Mia Says:

    Those biscotti look beautiful! I’m also a huge fan of biscotti…a big plateful with some tea and coffee is the perfect way to end a dinner party.

  2. Amanda Says:

    Damn, talk about bad luck! Normally, that spread would’ve been well received, but probably not if you were lactose intolerant. Oh well, at least the biscotti saved the day, right? I forget about biscotti, which is unfortunate because I love these dry little cookies dipped in coffee. Especially nutty chocolate ones…. I made some during Christmas, but they need a revival now.

  3. Gena Says:

    As the “fairly lactose intolerant” friend, I whole-heartedly object to the post. The whole meal was delectable, to say the least. The pizza, the dessert, and frankly everything I could get my hands on was simply tasty. It seems that in your able hands, dairy is simply a non-issue. Please proceed with cheesecakes, ice creams and the like.

  4. becky Says:

    wow, the chocolate biscotti looks amazing. the fact that they saved dessert was just a plus!

  5. Laura Says:

    Those looks fantastic. I am not a nut in cookies fan–would it work ok with just chips?

  6. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    Mia: I couldn’t agree more.

    Amanda: I think I “forget” about biscotti because I think they’ll be overly complicated for a cookie, with their two bakes. But they’re just not. I’m glad I reminded myself of that.

    Gena: You asked for it! I think next time we will have milkshakes for dinner.

    Becky: Thank you!

    Laura: Yes, I think they would certainly work with just the chips. You might want to use smaller chips (mine were huge) or chop the chips first, to help your dough come together better. Let me know how it goes!

  7. Jane M Says:

    I bake these biscotti with walnuts ALL THE TIME! In fact, I’m “known” for my double chocolate walnut biscotti. They are everyone’s FAVORITE!

  8. Olga Says:

    Those look awesome: can I please have one right now? I think it’d be also great with hazelnuts.

  9. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    Jane M: I hope you don’t mind that I borrowed your famous recipe! I can’t wait to try them with walnuts (which, for everyone else’s benefit, is what the recipe originally called for). I went with almonds here to marry with the cherry gelato (which was spiked with almond extract).

    Olga: We actually have a few left and they have held up really well. Hazelnuts would be delicious. Mmm, nutella.

  10. oliwiadrozd Says:

    That would make me feel much better!!!!

  11. OneEyedMan Says:

    Is that regular or dutch processed cocoa?


  12. OneEyedMan: Because the recipe didn’t specify, I went with regular cocoa. My results were good. There may be something about this in the Epicurious comments, but I’m not sure. If you try Dutch process, let us know how it goes.

  13. everydayfoodie Says:

    I made these today and they were just fantastic. Thank you for sharing your version of the recipe and for remindig me why I love biscotti so much. I’m taking them into the office tomorrow as a Monday morning pick-me-up. I wrote about my take on these in my blog:

    http://everydayfoodie.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/double-chocolate-almond-biscotti/


  14. everydayfoodie: What lucky co-workers you have! Glad you liked these. Looks like yours turned out great.


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