I love biscuits and without doubt the Italian biscotti is one of my true favourites. They are crunchy, with a lot of texture, and versatile. They are elegant and perfect treats with a cup of coffee or tea. They are so cultured but rustic at the same time. I never made them before because I thought they are a lot more complicated than this – but I was wrong. The best thing about them, that you can also add lots of different nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips – whatever combination you prefer.
This recipe is NOT a traditional biscotti recipe, because it supposed to have only eggs as binding agent and that gives the perfect crunchiness to the biscotti. But in my view – as I’m not fussed about how a meal “supposed to be” and I like experimenting too – adding butter will make your job easier and you’ll be less likely to mess it up with the baking process – meaning that the biscuits will not be too dry.
I used two types of chocolates: a plain dark chocolate bar from Gnaw Chocolate,(two of them in fact) for the melted chocolate and 100 gram (about 2/3 of the bar) of their fantastic quality Brook and Amble Dark Chocolate With Cranberries In my view, it’s always worth to go for the best quality ingredients, especially when it comes to baking because it does make a difference in the end.
The main thing is really setting the oven to the right temperature, biscotti should be baked slowly and thoroughly to reach the desired texture. Give it a go, the cranberries make it quite festive too – the recipe is very detailed for you – so you can’t go wrong!
This is a lot easier as it sounds - delicious, festive treat. Crunchy biscuit with smooth chocolate - perfect combination.
- 260 gram all purpose flour plus extra for dusting
- 200 gram light brown sugar
- 60 gram unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 150 gram pistacchios whole, unsalted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 medium eggs 3 for the recipe, 1 for the egg wash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 gram dark chocolate for melting
- 100 gram chocolate chopped roughly
- 2 handfuls dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 150 Celsius and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Spread the pistacchios and toast them for about 8 minutes not more - be very careful, they burn very easily. When ready, remove them, and set aside. Leave the baking paper on, you can reuse it for the biscotti.
Whisk the flour, the light brown sugar, the salt, the cinnamon and the baking soda together in a mixing bowl.
Add the cold, cubed butter and with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
Add the two handfuls of cranberries and two handfuls of the toasted whole pistacchios.
Beat 3 eggs in a small bowl and add them to the bowl.
Mix everything together with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Remove the dough from the bowl and turn it out on a lightly floured surface. With floured hands knead the dough for 6-7 times. It should be soft and lightly sticky. If it's too sticky and feels wet add more flour with a tablespoon - as many as you need to make it right.
Divide the dough in two, place both on the baking tray, next to each other, leaving 5-10 cm gap between them. With your hands, simply press them down and form a flat rectangular shape, around 2-3 cm thick.
Brush the tops with egg wash.
Bake them for 25-30 minutes. Depending on your oven, it can take a little more or less - they are ready when they are golden brown on the surface. Use a toothpick to check if they are baked on the inside too. Letting them cool for 10 minutes.
Cut the biscotti into 2-2.5 cm wide slices.
Melt chocolate above boiling water in a heat resistant bowl.
Roughly chop the remaining pistachios or use a food processor to do this. I just used a clean cloth and a rolling pin.
Dip one end of each biscotti into the melted chocolate (around 1/3 of it) and sprinkle with the toasted, chopped pistachios.