Everyone loves these biscotti because they are substantial and flavorful, with a firm, crunchy texture that is ideal for dunking. The nuts and chocolate form pretty patterns that remind me of mosaic tiles. Avoid using a food processor to chop the nuts, because it will invariable turn some of the nuts into a fine powder. These biscotti are great keepers, if you can resist eating them in one sitting.
The steps to making good biscotti are numerous but not at all difficult. At Babbo, the entire pastry staff pulls together in a marathon session of rolling, baking, slicing and toasting in order to make hundreds of biscotti at once. At home, lacking the appropriate team of assistants, I make biscotti on gloomy, rainy days. It cheers me up, simultaneously occupying my hands and freeing my mind, and I never feel guilty about taking my time. When I am finished, I stand back and survey the stacks of perfectly formed and toasted biscotti, as pretty as those in the corner coffee shop, and much tastier. After patting myself on the back, I may even find myself packing up some for a neighbor to share the bounty.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe Coursedessert, snack
Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturechocolatey, crisp, crunchy, nutty, sweet
Type of Dishcookie, dessert
- 3 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks, plus 1 egg white for glaze
- 2 cups granulated sugar, plus 1 ½ tablespoons for glaze
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups skinned or unskinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups whole, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, and 2 cups sugar on medium speed until pale and thick, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract, followed by the dry ingredients and then the chocolate and nuts, until the dough is thoroughly mixed.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or butter or line with parchment.
Using floured hands, divide the dough into 5 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion of the dough into a log about 1 ½ inches in diameter and 10 inches long. Place 2 of the logs on one of the baking sheets, 3 inches apart, and 3 of the logs on the second baking sheet, also 3 inches apart. In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork until frothy. With a pastry brush, glaze each log with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.
Bake the logs until they are lightly golden brown, firm to the touch, and just beginning to crack slightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Rotate the sheets 180 degrees halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. Allow the logs to cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack until they are cool to the touch, about 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°F.
With a sharp, serrated knife, slice the biscotti slightly on the bias into ¼-inch wide slices. Lay the slices on the baking sheets in a single layer. Return them to the oven and cook for 20 minutes more, or until they are toasted, dry, and crisp. Cool the biscotti completely on the sheets, then store them in an airtight container kept in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.
2007 Gina DePalma