After I mastered making chocolate chip cookies, I decided to test my baking expertise by making biscottis. The word biscotti stems from the Latin word “twice baked.” That is because these tasty treats are baked twice in the oven.
Story has it that way back in the olden days of Italy, flour was scarce and food had to be preserved properly. Thus biscottis are the ideal item because they do not have butter in them and only require a few ingredients. Butter causes baked foods to be moist and tender. However, buttered items do not last long. When you remove butter from the recipe the biscottis are easier to preserve and can last up to 6 months in a well-sealed container.
My desire to indulge in some chocolate almond biscotti stems from a childhood memory. When we were younger my mother would take us to Chapters after school for some hot chocolate from Starbucks. Back then Starbucks used to sell these double dark chocolate biscottis. I would dip the Italian biscuit into my hot chocolate and be in a state of complete bliss. It is funny how childhood memories have a lasting impact on the types of food you eat!
I have experimented with different biscotti flavors in the past but the household favorite is the chocolate almond biscotti. My chocolate almond biscotti recipe combines the flavors of toasted almonds and rich dark chocolate. This recipe is adapted from Joy of Baking. I absolutely love Stephanie’s recipe and feel it is the most authentic one since it does not use butter.
For this recipe, you will need to have blanched almonds. You can easily purchase them at the store or blanche your own almonds. Blanching your almonds takes time, however, it is cheaper than buying them. You can blanche a big batch in advance and store them for later use. To enhance the almond flavor I add real almond extract. This is optional but I personally recommend it has it really enhances the taste of the biscottis.
You are more than welcome to use any type of chocolate for this recipe. Personally, I prefer to use dark chocolate to offset the sweetness of the biscottis. However, semi-sweet or milk chocolate can easily be substituted.
As the name indicates, these biscottis must be twice baked. There is no way around this. If you do not bake your biscottis properly you will end up having parts that still contain raw dough. Trust me it does not taste good at all! The longer you bake them the more crisp and crunchy they will be!
With that being said, please enjoy my chocolate almond biscotti recipe. They are the perfect accompaniments to your morning latte or hot chocolate.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Place the almonds on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until fragrant and toasted brown. Let them cool and then coarsely chop them or leave them whole.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick pale and fluffy (about 7 minutes). Mix in the vanilla, almond extract, and lemon zest. Make sure you scrape down the sides of your bowl to fully incorporate the ingredients.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined. Fold in the almonds and chocolate.
Wetting your hands, transfer the dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Mold the dough into 2 log shapes that are about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. This does not have to be perfect. If the dough still sticks to your hands, wet them again. Alternatively, you can make one long log that is 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Sprinkle the coarse sugar on top.
Bake the logs for about 25 - 30 minutes or until firm to the touch. Let the tray rest on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Afterward, using a serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally into 2 cm wide slices. Place the cut side down and place it back in the oven to cook for another 10 minutes or until dry enough to the touch.
Remove and let cool before storing in an air tight container.
The fragrance from these biscottis while baking is absolutely delicious. I love eating them while they are still warm from the oven. I also have zero patience so sometimes I burn my tongue on the very hot chocolate pieces. No pain no gain though, right?
Let me know how the biscottis go for you. I will be posting another recipe for the double dark chocolate biscottis you see in the photos above. That flavor is my favourite.
Until next time!