When Lisa of La Mia Cucina and I get to talking, you just know there will be some baking happening.

Ah, yes. It’s good to have blog friends!

After the fun we had with our pretzel cross-posts, we decided to try another cross-post for the holidays. We wanted to bake something that was traditionally Italian and well-suited for enjoying with friends. After a few late-night e-mails, we decided on biscotti.

As many of you know, biscotti are a typically dry Italian cookie. The name of the cookie literally means "cooked twice" due to the fact that biscotti are usually baked twice. Homemade biscotti are a pure treat. They’re easy to make and they last a long time so you can enjoy them with your milk and coffee throughout the week.

I absolutely do not buy biscotti in coffee shops. For starters, they are almost always overpriced. Even if you use nuts, making biscotti at home is always more economical and you’ll find the results to be much better. Which brings me to my next point about most coffee shop biscotti … they’re usually not very good. If you try making biscotti at home, you’ll see that yours are much better!

After deciding to make biscotti, Lisa suggested that we invite a few other bloggers along for the cross-post. After the pretzel experiment, Peabody, Brilynn and Helene all expressed interest in a cross-post. We decided to try a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s recently released Baking:  From My Home to Yours.

We chose Dorie’s Chocolate Biscotti recipe as the starting point. The only rule was that there were no rules. We were all free to adapt the recipe however we saw fit.

For my biscotti, I decided to reduce the amount of almonds and add toffee bits. Also, instead of using chopped bittersweet chocolate, I used semisweet chocolate chips. And to finish off my biscotti, I bathed them in lots of melted white chocolate. (I’m not sure there’s anything more fun than drizzling chocolate over stuff!)

The biscotti were delicious! Not too hard and not too soft, they hit just the right note of sweetness between the chocolate and the toffee bits.

And now that you’ve read about my biscotti, please go and visit Lisa, Helene, Peabody and Brilynn to see the adaptations they came up with. They had me drooling!


Chocolate Toffee Biscotti

Adapted from Baking:  From My  Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 stick (6 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces white chocolate (for garnish)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix for another 2 minutes.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients.
  6. As soon as the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the batter, remove the bowl from the machine and add the almonds, toffee bits and chocolate chips. You can use a wooden spin to stir them into the dough, but I prefer to use my hands.
  7. Once you’ve incorporated all the ingredients, divide the dough in half and roll each half into a log about 12 inches long.
  8. Carefully transfer the logs to the parchment-lined baking sheet. With your hand, flatten each log so that it’s roughly an inch high and about 2 inches wide.
  9. Bake the logs for 25 minutes. The logs will spread a bit and may even crack a bit, but don’t worry.
  10. After 25 minutes, remove the logs from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes.
  11. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the logs into biscotti. Each biscotto should be about three-quarters of an inch wide. Transfer the biscotti back to the baking sheet and stand them upright.
  12. Once you’ve sliced the logs into biscotti, return the biscotti to the oven for 10 minutes.
  13. Once the biscotti are done, place them on a wire rack to cool.
  14. When the biscotti are completely cooled, melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. Using a whisk or a fork, drizzle the melted chocolate all over the tops of the biscotti. Let the chocolate set before serving the biscotti.
  15. Enjoy!

Note:  You should get anywhere from 20 to 24 biscotti (depending on how wide the slices are). Store the biscotti in an airtight container for up to a week.

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