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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Almond Chocolate Chunk Biscotti


As Autumn is starting to roll around and the weather is starting to change my mind turns to baking.

What? That made no sense. My mind is always on baking, right?

Here's the thing. I don't know what it is, but there is something about Fall that makes me want to bake obsessively.

Oh, I already bake obsessively.... hmmm.

Exactly. That is the problem.

In the past couple of weeks, I've gone from being relaxed about all the things I want to make to obsessively making lists and priorities and bookmarking and making copies of recipes and basically thinking about baking all the time!

Even more than usual.  Which is tough to do.


I thought though, since the cooler weather also makes me obsessively start thinking about and drinking more hot chocolate, that I would share my most favorite biscotti recipe with you so that you can make something to dunk in your hot chocolate.

Remember a while back, when we made the Lenox Almond Biscotti recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie?  Hands down, this is the recipe I have riffed on and made out of Baking From My Home To Yours the very most. I've only ever actually made the recipe as written once though.  I've tweaked it so many times I'm not sure I've even written them all down.

In fact, if I had had to buy the book and only ever got that recipe from it, I would have been perfectly happy.  My favorite change that I always make probably makes my version less authentic though because I like my biscotti a little more on the chewy, slightly soft side, than really crunchy.

I have to admit, before I ever made biscotti at home I figured they would be difficult to make. I was so pleasantly surprised to find that they aren't difficult at all and are amazing.

Need a quick gift to give to a friend or someone you want to impress? Wrap a few of these up in a cellophane baggie with a pretty ribbon and they will love you forever.  Of course, they may also ask you to make them for them again and again too.  Since then you would have to eat a few - you know, quality control and all that - that isn't a necessarily bad thing.

So, my suggestion to you, especially these days, if you are like me and love having a cookie to dip in your hot chocolate or coffee, then do yourself a favor and make your own biscotti to go with the steamy beverage of your choice.  They are far better than anything I've ever had from the store or even most bakeries.


Almond Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks (or chips)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center position.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl (preferably a stand mixer with paddle attachment) beat the softened butter, brown sugar and sugar together at medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes until very light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat for 2 minutes more, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times to make sure everything is well beaten.  Add the almond extract and vanilla and beat till combined. 

Turn the speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Add the sliced almonds and chocolate chunks and mix till just combined.

Scrape half the dough out onto one side of the lined baking sheet.  Using your hands and a rubber spatula, shape the dough into a log about 12-inches long and about 1 ½ inches wide.  The dough will be very sticky and should be more of a bumpy rectangle.  Repeat the process with the second half of the dough down the other side of the baking sheet.

Bake the logs for 15 minutes, or until light golden but still soft to the touch.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool on a rack 30 minutes before cutting and baking the cookies the second time.

Use a wide metal spatula to move the logs to a cutting board.  Cut the logs into 1-inch thick slices and place the slices back on the lined baking sheet.  Bake the cookies another 15 minutes, until golden and firm.  Transfer them to a rack to cool completely.  Store the cookies in an airtight container to keep them more chewy.


Monica said...

Your biscotti looks so yummy! I have never made biscotti before, but this fall I'm going to change that!

PheMom said...

I really hope you do Monica! I had never made them either until last year or so. I've made them at least 10 times since then - in a perfect world we would have them on hand at all times.

scrambledhenfruit said...

These biscotti look so chunky and good. I'd love some to dunk in my coffee tomorrow morning!

Fallon said...

I love biscotti as well. It actually really easy to make!

I can't wait to try this recipe out.

Megan said...

I have tried and true biscotti recipe but it's time I venture out and try a new recipe. This one sounds like the one. And your right, I think they are easier then a batch of drop coookies. Now, I just need my new oven to get delivered.

PheMom said...

@scrambledhenfruit They really are a nice balance between cookie and chunky nuts and chocolate. Honestly, the baking and waiting are the most time to this recipe - actual hands on work is probably only about 10 minutes. So worth it! Make them tonight and you'll have them for all your coffees for a week (if you can keep from just munching on them all the time!)

@Fallon I was shocked to find out how easy they are to make. I had no idea! So good!

@Megan I would LOVE a copy of your recipe if you have it available. These really are fantastic, and I love them, but I too am always willing to try something new :) - oh, and I completely agree - it is easier than drop cookies. Good luck on getting that oven soon!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

at the last bakery i worked for, i always rushed to be the one to make the biscotti...mainly so i could eat all the end scraps! yours have all my favorite add-ins...they look great!

PheMom said...

@steph LOL! I eat the ends too - it's my favorite part. I'll bet the ones at the bakery were great too!

Lisa said...

Biscotti is one of my favorite things to make. Yours looks so pretty. Speaking of fall, I've made a Cranberry Ginger Chai Biscotti on my site -

Tiesiog Aš said...

Could you clarify what is the size of your cup? and how much grams is 1 stick butter? i'm sorry but i'm from Europe so i'm a bit confused with the measurement..:)
i what to try this recepie so bad :))

PheMom said...

Hi! Happy to help. Please let me know how this turns out for you!

2 cups all-purpose flour = 280 grams or 10 oz (unsifted)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, soft = approx 114 grams or 4 oz

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar = 100 grams

1/2 cup sugar = 112.5 grams

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sliced almonds = about 50 grams or 4 oz

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks (or chips) = about 75 grams

I used online converters, mainly at Traditional Oven (link below) to try to convert this to grams and/or ounces for you. Hopefully it still works as it should. I haven't tested these new measurements obviously, but they seem to be accurate and the biscotti dough is fairly forgiving. You should still have a sticky dough that can be shaped into a log. Good luck! Please do let me know how they turn out!


Gourmified said...

Holly! I keep thinking about that Almond biscotti you brought me and keep meaning to make it. SOOO...adding this to my to-bake list for this weekend. Yup. I just HAVE to do it now. Maybe 2 batches. One original and one with the add-ins. YUM-O!

sarah said...

a lovely recipe and the picture is gorgeous, something I want to try. Skydiving does sound a bit more exciting than the usual ;-)

Unknown said...

That biscotti looks wonderful. I've never made or even eaten one, I really need to soon!

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