Thursday, May 13, 2010

Black & White Biscotti

This ain't no toothbreaker.  You know those biscotti that are so hard you think you're going to crack a tooth?  These are nicely crunchy without threatening any of your dental work.  I was shivering on an un-springlike day, wanting to warm up the house with some baking.  Yeah, I know I could have simply jacked up the heat, but there's something about the aromas of baking and the prospect of a project.  Biscotti was on my list of things I haven't tried baking yet, and I was drawn to this two-toned variety on the King Arthur Flour blog.  It's very simple, yet homey and comforting, exactly what I was looking for.

Biscotti Collage 1
From top left: making the dough; the addition of eggs makes for a slightly curdly look; weighing out the dough to halve it into vanilla and chocolate; forming the vanilla log; slathering the chocolate dough on top; the bicolor log ready to go in the oven.

Biscotti Collage 2
Biscotti means "twice-baked" in Italian.  After its first bake, the log is cooled and then sliced on the diagonal.  It upset me that some pieces broke off during slicing, until I ate said pieces.  Yum.  The top was cakey and fudgy, like a brownie.  The intact pieces are stood up on end to allow for maximum exposure in the oven for drying.  The chocolate layer has pieces of chocolate I chipped myself.  If you're like me, chocolate-on-chocolate is usually too much, but in this it wasn't too intense or too sweet.

Black and White Biscotti
From King Arthur Flour
I use weight measurements here.  For volume (cup) measurements, visit the original site.

3 ounces butter
4¾ ounces granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
8½ ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
⅜ ounce cocoa powder, Dutch-process preferred
½ teaspoon espresso powder
3 ounces chocolate chips, mini chips preferred
2 tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping (optional)

Glaze (optional)
3 ounces confectioners' sugar
½ ounce water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18" x 13") baking sheet.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Beat in the eggs; the batter may look slightly curdled.

At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.

Divide the dough in half, leaving half in the bowl, and placing half on the prepared pan. If you have a scale, half the dough is about 10¼ ounces (290g). Volume-wise, half the dough is a generous 1 cup.

Shape the dough on the pan into a log that's about 14" long x 2½" wide. Straighten the log, and smooth its top and sides; a wet spatula or wet bowl scraper (or wet fingers) works well here. Place the pan in the freezer while you make the chocolate dough.

To prepare the chocolate dough, add the cocoa powder and espresso to the vanilla dough in the bowl, stirring to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Remove the pan from the freezer. Using your wet fingers, spread the chocolate dough atop the vanilla dough, pressing it down the sides to entirely enclose the vanilla dough, if desired. You can also just leave the sides bare. Sprinkle the coarse sugar atop the dough, pressing it into the surface gently with your fingers.

Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool on the pan anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes; just work it into the schedule of whatever else you're doing in the kitchen. While the biscotti are cooling slightly, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

If you've used parchment on your baking sheet, use it to lift the biscotti off the sheet onto a flat surface. If you haven't used parchment, carefully lift the biscotti off the sheet onto a flat surface. Using a serrated knife or sharp chef's knife, cut the biscotti crosswise into ¾" slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal — for fewer, longer biscotti. As you're slicing, be sure to cut straight up and down, perpendicular to the pan; if you cut unevenly, biscotti may be thicker at the top than the bottom, and they'll topple over during their second bake.

Set the biscotti, on edge, back on the baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 30 to 40 minutes, till they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden. They'll still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center, if you break off a piece; but they'll continue to dry out as they cool.

Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

If you haven't topped the biscotti with coarse sugar, glaze them once they're cool. Mix the confectioners' sugar and water, and drizzle it atop the biscotti.

Yield: 21 biscotti, about 4" to 5" long.


  1. What a lovely recipe. I'm sitting here, drinking a cup of tea, and imagining how good a slice of this biscotti would taste. Thank you for sharing!

  2. It's breakfast time and I'm wishing a had a piece of this this morning! Absolutely beautiful!

  3. this is an inspired biscotti...lovely!

  4. Ce post m'a beaucoup aide dans mon positionnement. Merci pour ces informations


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