Biscotti are one of my favorite kinds of cookie to bake. First, the results are a bit more impressive-looking than drop varieties. Second, they last forever (well, up to two weeks) when wrapped tightly. Third, and most importantly, it’s perfectly acceptable to eat them for breakfast.
While today's Cook the Book recipe for chocolate-nut biscotti sounds simple, in fact it is anything but ordinary. Chocolate Epiphany author François Payard adds orange zest, aniseed, pistachios, and hazelnuts to create a truly unique cookie. Enjoy them with strong espresso, tea, or dessert wine such as Vin Santo.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon aniseed
- 1 cup shelled pistachios, toasted
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted
Place a rack in the center of oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the butter, sugar, and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and aniseed until well combined. Use the whisk to break up any lumps.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and beat on low speed until the ingredients are about halfway combined. Add the pistachios and hazelnuts, and beat until everything is just combined.
Lightly dust your work surface with flour, and remove the dough to it. Roll the dough into a log 12 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. Using a rolling pin, slightly press the log down to flatten its top. This will help the dough spread, to make long biscotti. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the biscotti feels firm when you press on its top. Remove from the oven, and let the log cool to room temperature on the baking sheet. Do not turn off the oven.
Using a serrated knife, cut the log diagonally into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Place the slices back on the baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. The biscotti will crisp up as they cool. Once completely cool, store them in an airtight container in a dry, cool environment for up to two weeks. You can also store them in the freezer for up to one month. In that case, let them thaw out in the refrigerator overnight before serving.