Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

My friend Mary asked me if I was going to put any Holiday cookies on my blog. My initial response was no, because unfortunately, I am not much of a baker. Case in point is the Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies I burnt last week! Nevertheless, Mary inspired me to give Holiday baking another try. I found this Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti recipe on If you are a baker, check this site out. I guarantee you will find a recipe you will want to try within a few clicks. I decided on this recipe because biscotti makes good individual "gifts" and I wanted to make some type of Holiday goodie for my husband to take to work and give to all the nurses that put up with him all year. :) I personally love biscotti and how it is a dessert, but can be eaten anytime of the day with coffee.

Warning: this recipe is an all day affair. There are many steps involved. The upside of this lengthy process is that I got to use my brand spanking new food processor, given to me by my wonderful for Christmas. Thanks Mom and Dad! (I did get permission to open this present early!!)

Although my biscotti did not turn out as professional looking as I hoped for, they taste delicious. Rich from the dark chocolate and ground coffee, crunchy from the toasted hazelnuts, and with the last touch of sweet white chocolate, they definitely satisfy that Holiday sweet tooth.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti


4 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon instant espresso (I forgot to get this, so used ground coffee instead)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup toasted hazelnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To toast hazelnuts: spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and the skins begin to flake. Remove from the oven and place nuts in a dish towel. Roll up the towel and let the nuts 'steam' for 5 minutes and then briskly rub the towel (with nuts inside) to remove the skins from the nuts. Cool and then chop coarsely. Set aside while you prepare the dough.

Reduce temperature of oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the coarsely chopped chocolate and brown sugar and process until the chocolate is very fine; set aside.

Sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer combine the eggs and vanilla extract and beat to blend, about 30 seconds. On low speed mix in the chocolate/sugar and flour mixtures until a stiff dough forms, adding the hazelnuts about half way through mixing.

On a floured surface divide the dough in half. Form each half into a log 12 inches long. Do this by rolling the dough back and forth into a cylinder shape with floured hands. Transfer the logs to the baking sheet, spacing them well apart (width-wise on the pan), and pat to even the shapes. Bake until almost firm to the touch, about 35 - 40 minutes (logs will spread during baking). Remove from the oven, place on wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Using a long spatula transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife cut the dough into slices 3/4 inch thick on the diagonal. Arrange the slices cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake until crisp and dry, about 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

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