Chocolate Biscotti Recipe

chocolate biscotti

The pastry department is always the most popular part of the kitchen amongst the rest of the staff. (Unless I’m in it, though. Then that’s debatable.) For one thing, anytime there’s a staff birthday, you’re called into service to make the cake. And since everyone has a birthday, folks are usually nice to you the other 364 days of the year. Another thing is that regular cooks like…no, love to snack on anything sweet.

Whenever I made biscotti, the ends and broken bits would end up on a plate in the pastry department, and almost immediately the staff would swoop down for the kill the moment the rounded end hit the plate.

After chewing for a moment, invariably, someone would always say, “You know…(pause)…I like biscotti better only once-baked.”

I’m sure they were certain I was hanging on to their every word, and how I managed to resist the urge to say, “So what?”—I’ll never know…

But since biscotti refers to being twice-baked in Italian, you can’t have biscotti unless they are, indeed-twice baked. I believe truth-in-advertising extends to pastry professionals.

cioccolato

Another thing I found constantly annoying, since I’m on a roll, was that anytime I had to walk through the kitchen or staff area carrying a cake or tart, without fail, a cook (usually a new one who didn’t know me better) would say, “Hey! Is that for me?!” followed by a smug chuckle at their brilliant humor.

Little did they realize that each-and-every new cook said that, and while they’ve only said it once, it was hardly original and I’d heard at least 973 times prior. The first few times, I just smiled gamely and let them pretend they were actually amusing me.

But after a while, like nine years, I finally got to the point where I would say, “Sure! Here’s ya go…” hand them an entire cake or pie, and walk away.

I like to think of it as a lesson in be careful what you wish for. So if you want to only bake biscotti once, that’s fine with me. But crisp, twice-baked biscotti are the perfect dunking cookie for a shot of espresso or glasses of vin santo. I’m particularly attracted to these chocolate biscotti, which are slightly-sweet but pack a nice wallop of chocolate flavor. I make these a lot since it’s nice to have on hand something chocolaty to snack on, but isn’t rich, sweet, or loaded with butter.

Just don’t ask if these are for you, because I think you already know the answer to that question. Instead I’m handing over the recipe. And you’ll need to come up with your own smart-alecky retorts.

Chocolate Biscotti
50 to 60 cookies

Use a good-quality cocoa powder. You can use natural or Dutch-process for these, whichever one you like. Just remember that the chocolate flavor of the finished cookies is dependent on the quality of cocoa powder you use. So it’s worth using a decent one. I used Valrhona. See notes below on ingredients.

If you like extra-crisp biscotti, you can flip each one over midway during the second baking, in step #6. I sometimes smear one side of the cookies with melted dark chocolate. When dipped in a warm espresso, I can’t imagine anything better.

For the biscotti

  • 2 cups (280g) flour
  • 3/4 cups (75g) top-quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup (125g) almonds, toasted and very coarsely-chopped
  • 3/4 cups (120g) chocolate chips

For the glaze

1 large egg
2 tablespoons coarse or crystal sugar (see Notes)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees.

2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, sugar, and vanilla & almond extracts. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, then mix in the nuts and the chocolate chips until the dough holds together.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into two logs the length of the baking sheet. Transfer the logs onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart.

5. Gently flatten the tops of the logs. Beat the remaining egg and brush the tops of the logs liberally with the egg. (You won’t use it all). Sprinkle the tops with the coarse or crystal sugar and bake for 25 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch.

6. Remove the cookie dough from the oven and cool 15 minutes. On a cutting board, use a serrated bread knife to diagonally cut the cookies into 1/2-inches slices. Lay the cookies cut side down on baking sheets and return to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.

Once baked, cool the cookies completely then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. If you wish, the cookies can be half-dipped in melted chocolate, then cooled until the chocolate hardens.

Notes: The sugar I use in France, is called cassonade, a coarse-grained, naturally-colored sugar that resists melting.

In the United States, one can find similar sugars, such as C & H Washed Hawaiian Sugar or Florida Crystals demerara, available in supermarkets or natural food stores. Turbinado or demerara sugars are also available online. If you don’t have any, you can skip the egg wash and sugar glaze.

Valrhona cocoa powder is available in bulk at ChefShop. The best-value is the 3kg pack, which conveniently comes in three separate sealed bags so if you have two baking friends, it’s easy to go in on a shipment.

Related links and recipes:

Chocolate FAQs

Cocoa powder FAQs

Chocolate-dipped Florentines

American Baking in Paris

How to Temper Chocolate

Chocolate Idiot Cake

Cheesecake Brownies

Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons

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98 comments

  • Mario
    January 27, 2009 12:34pm

    I am glad to see you didn’t use butter in your recipe, I like how the lack of fat makes biscotti super crispy and hard.

  • January 27, 2009 12:44pm

    Those look really good.

    As for the humor – I’m just remembering the one and only restaurant kitchen I cooked in. No pastry department. One tiny corner of what had once been the interior end of a row house basement. I couldn’t have answered smart alecky questions because I was too busy fending off bits of flying lettuce lest they land in the whipped cream.

    It’s gross today here – snow last night and icy pellets all morning. So perhaps I’ll go make some biscotti to warm us all up. Cookies plus hot black coffee would hit the spot.

  • January 27, 2009 12:50pm

    I wish these were for me…they look absolutely incredible. Hmm coffee and chocolate should be together forever! Have a great day.

  • January 27, 2009 1:19pm

    “rotating the baking sheets midway during baking”
    What do you mean by rotating? Simply turn the pan? I’ve never baked anything, but I love biscotti, so I may give this a go.

    Yes, it means to turn it around in the oven. I changed it, and hope it’s clearer. -dl

  • Charissa
    January 27, 2009 1:39pm

    Yummmmm. I just ordered the cocoa powder – thank you for the link to Chocosphere even though you don’t get a cut like you do at Amazon. 3kg is headed my way…but I think I’ll break down and makes these with Hersheys today, just in case of an emergency…

    By the way, just because I live in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean I can’t get a good chocolate fix. The town of Bozeman, Montana (yes, Montana) now has an amazing source for French chocolates at La Chatelaine – http://www.chatelainechocolate.com/ A cowboy revelation!

  • Colleen
    January 27, 2009 1:55pm

    Must……have……..one………NOW!!! Gosh these look simply divine David. Thanx so much xxx

  • January 27, 2009 2:08pm

    These look choco-licious! I have my own recipe, but will try yours next time!
    And I totally concur on the twice-baked issue. If you only baked them once, wouldn’t that make them monoscotti?

  • January 27, 2009 2:09pm

    How about the cooks who steal a cookie or treat but then don’t re-wrap or close the container properly? Or who come in for a spoonful of ice cream during the busiest part of service? Or who take a handful of nuts from the tray not knowing that you had toasted the exact amount needed for a recipe? Blurgh…

    Valrhona cocoa powder is worth every penny, by the way.

  • Dani
    January 27, 2009 2:14pm

    I guess I will have to go to Michel Chaudun tomorrow and buy some more quality cocoa powder (I know I’ll get lots of sympathy here). My daughter used up the last of it for a Devil’s Food cake over the holidays.

    I’ve never made biscotti before but this may become my new chocolate fix instead of chocolate chip cookies or brownies (I have an addiction problem, I’ll be honest). The lack of butter is a real plus after the over-indulgence of the holidays.

    Thanks for another mouth-watering recipe and photo!

  • January 27, 2009 2:23pm

    Maybe someone will make these for us as Vday approaches!

  • January 27, 2009 2:24pm

    Oh these sound delicious. I have been making cantuccini for ages in bulk for the whole extended family, but it never occured to me I could make a chocolaty version.

    Just one question though – do you have any idea how your 1/2 teaspoon almond extract translates into the German almond arome? It comes in tiny flasks here, with a strongly aromatic oil, which usually is much stronger flavored than anything I have seen in other countries so far.
    With vanilla extract, I am quite sure how to reduce the amount, but almond extract… Any idea?

    Thanks a ton!

  • January 27, 2009 2:24pm

    I always enjoy your humor. I’m going to try those biscotti for sure. Just about anything with chocolate is good. I made a curry with it Sunday.

  • January 27, 2009 2:25pm

    Dani: You can also buy Valrhona cocoa powder, cheap, in bulk at G. Detou. Although then you don’t get to stop in M. Chaudun’s fabulous shop.

    barbra: I pity that fool that crossed either one of our paths! My favorite was the line cook that insisted on storing the container of chopped garlic, that he never covered, right next to the whipped cream. He, of course, didn’t merit a birthday cake…

    Charissa: The price of that cocoa is so much cheaper at Chocosphere, and they’re nice people (at least from my interaction with them), that I wanted to point folks in the direction of a decent deal. Plus they have an amazing selection of really hard-to-find chocolates, too.

    Reuben: I don’t know, since I use American-style almond extract. I would imagine you could use the same amount, but if you’re timid, cut it in half just to be sure.

  • Yaron
    January 27, 2009 2:44pm

    Hi David,

    First, thanks for this recipe (and the other recipes and tips you post here).

    I wanted to ask about the rotation/turning of the baking sheet. What purpose is it supposed to serve?

    Is it in case the oven is uneven, and the unevenness is roughly symmetrical at 180 degrees? Or is it mostly an excuse to open the door of the oven for a while (to cool? Release moisture?) at mid-bake, and people are happier doing something instead of opening a door, waiting 10 seconds, and closing it? Something else?

    Flipping I can understand, but just turning the pan/sheet in place puzzles me.

    Most ovens have “hot spots”, even the fancy, expensive ones (yes, even the convection ones, too) so I recommend people turn baking sheets midway during baking. -dl

  • Anna
    January 27, 2009 3:00pm

    Thank you for this recipe- I can’t wait to try it. Last week I also made chocolate biscotti for the 1st time (they were a hit) but had a bit of trouble at first because none of the recipes I was consulting said to work on a lightly floured surface and I didn’t think the dough would be as wet as it was. I appreciate that you added that tiny *yet significant* detail.

    Also, I can relate with your kitchen story. I worked in the pastry department of a restaurant and I swear the only reason any of the staff ever came to talk to me in the separate dessert kitchen was to steal dessert or cheese.

  • January 27, 2009 3:02pm

    Wow, it looks so rich! Very different then the dry ugly looking biscotti I am used to. I also experience those comments and boy does it get annoying! I am glad that there are people out there it bothers as well.

  • January 27, 2009 3:16pm

    so true. everyone loves the pastry department. i worked in a well known hotel and even the GM and all the directors would always come down to the “dungeons” to get snacks. Of course, they would never say hi to any of us outside of work (who are those low grade cooks?), but as soon as we wore beanies, we were loved. for a minute at least.

  • January 27, 2009 3:17pm

    and david, without sounding too much like a groupie… i love your blog. it makes my day.

  • January 27, 2009 3:23pm

    So I have a question. Is there a name for it when it is only once baked? My Italian grandmother made them both ways, and I think she called the once baked ones something different, but now for the life of me, I can’t remember…

  • January 27, 2009 3:30pm

    “Hey! Is that for me?!”….kidding kidding ….
    Sounds very chocolaty, bookmarked!
    Thanks David.
    Cheers,
    Elra

  • January 27, 2009 3:41pm

    Saw your tweet about these the other day, and here they are. I have provided my own surly comments. No need to thank me.

    1. I love Chocosphere (So what?!)
    2. I love twice baked biscotti (Good for you).
    3. I can’t tell you how many times I said “And your point is….?” to a line cook in answer to statements such as “I like my (blank) like this:” (And your point is?)

  • Dani
    January 27, 2009 3:51pm

    I think reading your blog and visiting G. Detou is going to have adverse effects on my waistline. Since I’m planning on going to Les Halles Thursday anyway I guess I will have to check out G. Detou. At least I’ll be prepared for when I swoon. ;-) Paris never ceases to thrill me and I’ve lived here for 15 years!

  • January 27, 2009 4:01pm

    I like the fact that they look really rich, but in fact aren’t. It’s like tricking yourself.

  • January 27, 2009 4:02pm

    That “cioccolato” photo up there doesn’t happen to be from Bicerin in Torino does it?

  • January 27, 2009 4:04pm

    Oh, chocolate and coffee. You can’t go wrong with a delicious biscotti and a cup of coffee. I may be baking this evening, what an inspiration!

  • Susan
    January 27, 2009 4:06pm

    For those of us occasional users of Valrhona cocoa, Whole Foods carries it too. Would the Valrhona be okay to use in your Best Chocolate Sauce? I know you recommend dutch process cocoa; does it make a significant difference for the sauce? I really, Really like this sauce!

    I’ve just started making biscotti for the first time this Christmas. I finally found a recipe that reviewers said had a crisp yet tender (not tooth breaking hard) crumb but that stands up decently to dunking, but it’s an almond citrus flavor. I’d love to have a chocolate one as well. What is the crumb texture/density of this one?

    Valrhona is Dutch-process cocoa and you can certainly use it in my Best Chocolate Sauce recipe, although I’ve made it successfully with less-expensive cocoa powders, too. These are fairly sturdy biscotti, but will soften up after a day or so, stored in an air-tight container. -dl

  • Laura
    January 27, 2009 4:14pm

    David,
    Just one question about the cocoa powder–Is that sweetened or unsweetened? I have sweetened in my cupboard and would like to go ahead and make these if that is the right kind of powder. Thanks!
    P.S. I really love the recipes that you share. Your Coconut Macaroons dipped in chocolate have made me famous with my neighbors as has your Super Lemon Ice Cream from your “Perfect Scoop” book. All delicious!

    Hi Laura: Cocoa powder is always unsweetened. If it has sugar in it, it’s usually labeled “ground chocolate” or “hot cocoa mix.” You can read more chocolate tips in my Chocolate FAQs. Enjoy! -dl

  • January 27, 2009 5:05pm

    It’s the exact same thing when you buy flowers and walk through the market with them: every five meters a stall keeper will be all, “C’est pour moi ? Comme c’est gentil !” and you have to smile like it’s funny.
    As for the biscotti, they look great and give me oven envy! I’m counting the days (fifteen) until the new one gets delivered.
    Bises !
    Clotilde.

  • January 27, 2009 5:32pm

    I just had to tell you that the EXACT same thing happens to me every time I bake biscotti, where people say they like them better just once-baked. Is it weird that it made me really happy to know people say that to you, too? That top photo is gorgeous, and I want these. Now. Thank you.

  • January 27, 2009 5:34pm

    Perfect thing to have around the house! Looks like it would be quite satisfying for the sweet tooth, which would help me avoid the trap of eating everything in sight (i.e. cheese and toast with lots of butter) just because I can’t find the one thing that I actually want.

  • January 27, 2009 5:36pm

    I think I might bake them once…but I promise not to call them biscotti.

  • PF
    January 27, 2009 6:05pm

    I’ve been making the walnut biscotti recipe from an old Chez Panisse cookbook for years (with 1 stick of butter). They are my most frequent and favorite recipe. Sometimes I do a variation by adding cinnamon and chocolate chips to the dough – and yes, they quickly disappear before the second bake. One bake or two, they are wonderful.

  • June2
    January 27, 2009 6:10pm

    I remember when my best friend, who was a genius food nerd 15 years ago, insisted that the biscotti recipe in the Chez Panisse cookbook – our bible at the time – was the Best. Was that your recipe, then? We loved them so much!

    June: If that’s the recipe with the Marsala-soaked raisins, I think that’s Patty Curtain’s recipe, and was the first biscotti I ever made. They do have butter (and anise seeds), and they’re excellent, although I haven’t made them in over a decade. -dl

  • January 27, 2009 7:17pm

    Oh my, these look fantastic! I recently made the biscotti from the Baker’s Dozen Cookbook (twice) any they didn’t last. I think another batch is due! By the way, food historian Laura Schenone has a fascinating blog post on the history of biscotti here.

  • Lex
    January 27, 2009 7:57pm

    As a line cook I have learned many rules about venturing over to the sweet side. Do not sample unless offered (seriously if anyone ever picks at my meat station place a missing finger might happen so I always respect my own rules in the gingerbread house), do not say obvious statements like “Well looks like all my calories are done for the day” when looking at a dessert, and always offer team pastry a plate at the end of the night consisting of protein, starch and vegetables. Because where would I be without them when I need to make my impromptu affogato at 8 PM during the second turn? No one else helps me when I have to make something with gelatin or when I stand for minutes on end screaming at spoons that do not magically quenelle, don’t even get me started with plates that have to use ring molds. Thank you to all pastry cooks and chefs for putting up with the savory sides’ ridiculousness, loose morals, and cheesy statements. At the end of the night no matter how much we messed up the dessert always makes the whole kitchen look good.

    As for front of the house…

  • Fernanda Baeza Scagliusi
    January 27, 2009 8:41pm

    The biscotti seem delicious, but your history is even better.

  • January 27, 2009 8:45pm

    You had me at the photograph.

    A shot of coffee AND chocolate biscotti? Have you no mercy?

    I was in trouble with no place to hide, but that’s okay. I’ve just decideed that I’m having these for lunch tomorrow, just in time for my second pot of coffee. :)

  • January 27, 2009 8:58pm

    Aw gee, now I’m craving chocolate biscotti, but it’s too late to make it. I made it once, and it had cracks. Did I cook it too long the second time?

  • January 27, 2009 10:08pm

    These look amazing. Must. Make. Tomorrow. Think they’ll work with gluten-free flour mix?

  • Linda H
    January 27, 2009 11:31pm

    I’ve never cooked professionally, but one of my prime irritations is the guest who visits the kitchen just prior to dinner being ready and who picks and snoops around in the food–lifting lids and even opening the oven to peer in. I don’t feel I can yell “Out! Out!” at the guests the way I can at my husband when he begins sampling before dinner. If I were a professional, I could vent with some justification. David, do you ever feel your professional temperament come out when you’re cooking at home?

  • January 28, 2009 12:45am

    Hey! Is that for me?!

    Well…. it was worth a try

  • January 28, 2009 1:38am

    Yes, Barbra, stealing nuts! Just two days ago a co-worker of mine was attempting to find a secret spot for storing his cashews because they are “always the kind that disappear.”

    Biscotti was one of the first things I baked. I wasn’t in love with the way they turned out. In retrospect, I think they were just great biscotti, I just had never actually eaten biscotti before, and the very hard texture put me off. I was not a coffee drinker then.

    To Linda H, I recommend sending a co-host to the other room with appetizers (and drink, bien sûr) to attract people away from the kitchen. Or setting aside some menial tasks for the peekers to attend to. “Could you set the table?!” you could frantically ask, while feigning intent stirring and give them a handful of forks. No one could turn it down.

  • January 28, 2009 1:59am

    Lex: AMEN!

    (And let me know when there are openings in your pastry kitchen…I’m on my way…)

  • tisha
    January 28, 2009 3:30am

    about things cooks say to pastry people… how bout when a customer brings in a hideous cake for the table, and you’re the one to put it on a plate to be presented. how many people are going to say, “nice work!!” … ugh

  • January 28, 2009 3:38am

    Yummmmm0,

    Those Choc Biscotti are fantastic, THANK YOU for making me realize just how wonderful chocolate is.

    If there were no recipes, your comments just crack me up. I have also spend a long time in many kitchens…oh those comments, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! AND then there are the ones that actually have the NERVE to say,do you REALLY think those will sell!!!

    Thanks for all the inspiration, now I’ve found you I don’t think a shrink will be necessary.

    Geraldine

  • January 28, 2009 4:03am

    Pie in the face of the guy who likes it once-baked. It’s called BIscotti for a reason.

    This bichocolate also – chocolate biscotti and chocolate dipped!

    The best birthday gift ever is a cake that’s been made by the person who is giving it to you. If I’m baking a cake for your birthday you know I really love ya.

  • charlotte s
    January 28, 2009 4:05am

    mmmmm! those look delicious ;)

  • Shirel
    January 28, 2009 4:14am

    This looks divine!!
    I have recently started going through your recipes and have become a huge fan!!!!
    i have a question though about measurments, when you say one cup of flour or one cup of sugar, you give different measurements. i know that they have different weights but i tend to use my one cup meausuring cup for all ingredients. The first time i made your brownies, i used the normal cup measurements but then on the second and third and forth times i used half the quanitity of the measurment cups. Any idea how to go about measuring ingredients when you dont have a scale???

    thanks
    Shirel

  • January 28, 2009 7:05am

    Ooo these look delicious….and looking at the recipe, I think I could amend these to be gluten free too… Are there any flours that you could recommend to replace the wheat flour? Kim

  • January 28, 2009 7:47am

    Valrhona got quite a spanking in the review section of the amazon.com store but if it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for me!….and yes it just happens to be available here so I can get it.

    Yes, I read those reviews. But as someone who’s had a variable relationship with Valrhona, I do really think their cocoa powder is great. But what it boils down to is what tastes best to you since everyone’s taste (and budget) is different. -dl

  • lisa
    January 28, 2009 8:12am

    Lex.. Pastry chefs ’round the world salute you… You’re a good good lad.

    David.. Thanks for the great entry today.. Nice start to my ass dragging morning. Now I’m ready to get in the kitchen, whereas, fifteen minutes ago, I really (really) wasn’t..

  • hannah
    January 28, 2009 12:29pm

    Does the shmeared melted chocolate need to be *tempered* shmeared melted chocolate?

  • January 28, 2009 1:31pm

    The best thing I ever did was order those 3kg bags of Valrhona cocoa..
    I put a heaping tablespoon in my daily hot chockie and I plan to work through all 3 bags nonstop.
    These biscotti would be so perfect to dip in…YUM

  • Jeena
    January 28, 2009 4:56pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have my flattened-logs baking in the oven right now!

    The only thing that I can’t wrap my brain around is the diagonal-slicing. Is it to get more surface space?

    (I’ve never made biscotti before, so I’m extra excited. I also want to thank you for posting your German Chocolate cake recipe. I made it for my friend’s birthday and it was a hit!)

  • January 28, 2009 6:28pm

    GODDAMN MY TINY PARIS KITCHEN.

    No oven.

    So sad.

  • January 28, 2009 7:26pm

    aaah! your pastry chef annoyances speak to my heart! thanks for bringing a smile to my face… even if it’s only to remember how relentlessly annoying and simultaneously hilarious servers and cooks can be.

  • Tracy
    January 29, 2009 1:56pm

    Do you have a flour preference? Not long ago I switched to a soft wheat flour (White Lily) and like it much better for baking biscuits than the all purpose King Arthur flour I had been using. Do you use flours with different protein levels, and when do you choose a medium protein flour over a low protein one?

    Thanks. Love the blog and I look forward to making these biscotti soon.

  • January 29, 2009 2:13pm

    Hi Tracy: I don’t use ‘specialty’ flours since results can vary, and if you call for a specific product, to me, you should have a pretty good reason for it. That said, White Lily is great for biscuits. But living in France, we don’t get that here.

    So that’s why there are no biscuits here! ; )

    I use regular all-purpose flours in recipes, unless indicated.

    Sergio: Yes, that’s terrible news. I’m sure there was an economic reason for doing so, but it’s still really sad. Luckily there are other small-batch chocolate makers in America who were influenced by what John and Robert did, and hopefully those places will get even more public support than before as a result of this. To keep artisan chocolate-making alive in America.

  • January 29, 2009 3:32pm

    I skipped down to the chocolate biscotti because I was expecting the usual chocolate cookie that turns hard as a rock when second baked, and then I could move on to the bacon ice cream and be done with it. But this biscotti is the real deal – all eggs, no butter, able to crisp up and be a delightful dunker. Although I think if you just bake them once then they’re just plain ‘scotti…We always put biscotti out with coffee, because you should never serve coffee naked, I mean alone! But I think these might also be good with port. But now I have to get baking . I’m a new fan – I’ll be back.

  • Amalia Jacobucci
    January 30, 2009 11:03am

    Hi, Thanks for reply to my question on Croquantes. On biscotti, have you ever used bicarbonate of ammonia? Nick Malgieri discusses it as promoting dryness in biscotti. I’ve never tried it. Would it make the biscotti as crisp without being quite so hard? They are great for dunking but I would not risk my teeth on them otherwise. Most of the ones I make do not contain any fat.

  • Isabelle
    February 1, 2009 8:25am

    Hmmm, I’m trying to work out why I got 30 squished (albeit still delicious) biscotti from the recipe rather than 50-60.

  • Blair
    February 1, 2009 9:56am

    This is the first recipe I ever made from a food blog, and it was a great one to chose. I used Ghiradelli powder and baking chips because I’m a good bay area kid and I have grown up loving their chocolate. Lucky for me raw/cassonade/turbinado sugar is easy to find in the wine country so I sprinkled that on top for a nice crunch and then I also sprinkled a little Hawaiian red sea salt to one more element. That and the peanut gallery was annoyed that I chose biscotti over brownies, scones, flourless chocolate cake, or the chocolate caramels that are part of my normal evening baking list. To sum up. The biscotti where excellent with the muscat dessert wine that I found down in the cellar, and even better this morning with my coffee! Thanks

  • February 4, 2009 11:04am

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the recipe & the post on the biscotti. I used a terribly difficult recipe a couple months ago for chocolate and have been on the hunt for a new one since. Will be giving this a whirl!

    D

  • February 15, 2009 6:41pm

    Seems like folks are the same all over. I remember people that would say stuff like that all the time. It isn’t funny even the first time, so I think you must have had such an amazing amount of patience. These chocolate biscotti look heavenly too me and I can’t wait to make them. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

  • June 11, 2009 11:26pm

    David – those look sumptuous and I can’t wait to try them. I do my second baking on a wire cooling rack so that oven heat and air gets all around the cookies.

  • June 12, 2009 2:16am

    Okay – I really couldn’t wait. These were delish! I didn’t have any chocolate chips so I used dried cherries macerated in chocolate liquor. It worked out great although I wish I’d had had a handful or two of mini chocolate chips and it would have been perfection! I got less out, too, and I think it was because I cut them a bit thick. I was having a bit of trouble forming the logs so I wet my hands and it went much easier.

    Thanks for this great recipe :)

  • Mary
    July 6, 2009 7:09am

    First of all thank for the detailed instructions. Photos are also great. I love chocolate biscotti since it was the first think i baked myself when i was little. That was the first time i tried biscotti and their hard texture really put me off, since i was not a coffee drinker than. I just want to say that i liked this recipe a lot. I tried it recently and the result was great!!

  • Joyce
    August 24, 2009 9:29am

    Dave
    These look great…wondering if we can substitute pistachio for almonds?
    Thanks

  • david
    August 24, 2009 9:38am

    Hi Joyce-Why not? I can’t imagine anything going wrong if you swapped out another nut. I would just caution that toasting pistachios will make them lose their vibrant green color.
    : )

  • September 10, 2009 5:02pm

    these looked to yummy i just had to try them today.
    i posted the outcome at my blog (which is still pretty new) and linked back to your site for the recipe. i hope this is okay?
    if not please let me know and i will delete it immediately :)

    thanks again for this great site, i enjoy browsing through it during study breaks so much!

    marie

  • Graeme
    October 8, 2009 8:41pm

    David

    HELP!!. made it and it started off so well but the “loaf/roll” split down the middle about half way through cooking making it impossible to cut cleanly? Also it seemed very dry. A admission of stupidity here – I was an egg short so didnt do the glaze. Would that have caused the roll to dry out so as to make it hard to cut? Thanks for the help

  • October 9, 2009 3:31am

    Graeme: Can’t advise what happened. I’ve made these numerous times and not had the dough split. Omitting the glaze wouldn’t cause that to happen. Perhaps there was a mismeasurement in there? Or the eggs you were using weren’t graded ‘large’ could be another reason.

  • Kathleen
    October 25, 2009 8:34pm

    David,

    I’m an expat also and recently returned from the States with a new baking pan that measures 11″ by 16″ only to find that it is too big for my small oven. So it’s back to using my smaller baking sheets. I have searched your recipe and can not find the size of baking pan specified. Am I missing it? Please give dimensions.

    Also, do you recommend a silicone mat over parchment paper? While the paper is disposable, thereby not helping the environment, the silicone products are expensive. Are they worth it?

    Thank you.

  • October 26, 2009 3:46am

    Kathleen: This recipe is easily adaptable and just make the logs as long as the length of your baking sheet. I use silicone mats, for the most part. I don’t know if they’re better for the environment or not, since they need to be fabricated and washed after use. But either will work for these cookies.

  • Judy Crockett
    October 27, 2009 8:03pm

    I’m baking these for a fundraiser for our Bach Cantata group here in Portland OR. They look very tasty. Let’s hope they bring in dough.

  • Don
    December 1, 2009 10:07pm

    Great recipe. Can pump up the ratio of cocoa to 1:2 cocoa to flour if lower quality cocoa is used. A tablespoon of instant coffee / espresso to the batter also heightens chocolate notes without adding appreciable coffee flavor. Be cautious with almond extract … I think that a 1/2 tsp can be a lot for non-almond lovers, and artificial almond extract can be downright chemical in taste.

    I’ve used pistachios (roasted, unsalted, hand-shelled) in this recipe and it works great. You get about a cup of chocolate chips and a cup of nuts to work with … I’ve used almonds, chopped hazelnuts … you can’t go wrong.

    Thanks David.

  • December 5, 2009 10:15pm

    i had the same problem as graeme. i didn’t do the egg wash, and mine also puffed up ginormously and split. when i cut them, they fell apart. i mean, i just ate the crumbs and put them back in the oven, which i assume will turn out just fine, but i was hoping for something prettier like your beauties.

  • Stacey
    December 22, 2009 8:32pm

    I just made these with the addition of some dried cherries, delicious! I have a sneaky suspicion that these will soon be requested more often than my current #1 (white chocolate cranberry biscotti)!

  • Kathleen
    December 27, 2009 6:58pm

    David,

    I find that the sliced biscotti crisps more quickly during its return to the oven if the slices are placed on a cake rack (the type used for cooling a cake), which is on a cookie sheet. This exposes both sides of the slices to the oven air, and results in a quicker crisp.

  • January 5, 2010 10:28pm

    Thank you David for this awesome biscotti recipe (my 3 yo daughter is in love with them!)

    But I’ve also had the problem of splitting on top. Based on your answer to the above poster I added and extra half an egg today when I made it again to make sure it’s not too dry (in fact the dough was maybe even too wet, and was very difficult to handle…) but it split again a little bit. Do you have any idea why this happens? Would it be because of the kind of cocoa powder used? I’m ashamed to admit that I used Hershey’s cocoa powder since that’s all we had in the house, could the splitting be caused by inferior cocoa powder?

    Well, either way the recipe is a keeper and I’m looking forward to getting some high quality cocoa to try it again.

  • susan
    February 7, 2010 4:11pm

    looks like a great recipe…
    question- I would like to use some whole wheat flour…perhaps 1/2 cup of the total amount… or more ??? your opinion/advise would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks!!

  • Mabe
    March 6, 2010 2:21pm

    Yesterday, only 2 hours before I had to leave for my weekly argentine tango milonga (in San Francisco), I checked my facebook wall and was amused (as always) by your posts. Reminded that I had planned to make some Altoid Brownies for the guests (most venues have a tin of Altoids for breath-freshening throughout the evening), I got sidetracked by this recipe because I had never made biscotti without butter.

    I followed your recipe exactly, except I had no chocolate chips and substituted chopped Scharffen Berger semisweet (62%). And I brushed the logs with just egg white (left over from making your Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream) and demerara sugar (from Rainbow Grocery.) With utmost restraint, I ate only the bits that fell off from the slicing. I was not about to skip the 2nd baking, so I took the biscotti still warm. Red wine and dark chocolate biscotti with tango music in the background…what could be more perfect? Maybe just a spoonful of caramel ice cream when I got home.

    I’m addicted: perfect crunch, toasty almonds, bittersweet chocolate, sweet sugar crystals in every bite.

    I was thinking of adding crushed altoids and mint extract for next week’s batch…

  • March 26, 2010 8:48pm

    Hello. I just made these this week, and loved them! I also took them to a friend’s house, and they were wildly popular. I recently enjoyed your book, The Sweet Life in Paris, and have been looking up recipes on your blog ever since. I hope this is the first of many future delectable adventures using your recipes! Much thanks, Rachel.

  • TracyLH
    April 27, 2010 8:23pm

    I love making (and eating) biscotti as well and will definitely try these. I do agree whole-heartedly that biscotti are only twice-baked. Otherwise… they would be ‘una volta cotto” and not “biscotti”. Okay…that is my best attempt at food humor and a weak one at that. I had best leave that department to you. I will say as a new viewer to your site, that your humor is the perfect touch.

  • May 29, 2010 1:27pm

    Today I am making this biscotti with the variations of almond flour, rehydrated cranberries in green tea, and anise extract. I’ll check back in later to let you know if my twists were fabulous or total folly ^_^

  • Ellen
    July 23, 2010 7:39pm

    I made these and they are delicious however, after a few days, the chocolate chips looked as if they had bloomed. They were a white/gray color. Still tasted good but not so attractive. I believe I used semi-sweet chips. Any suggestions on how to prevent this problem?

    Thanks.

  • July 23, 2010 7:46pm

    Ellen: Because the chocolate chips that are exposed get heated, they lose their temper (emulsification), so the fat will rise to the surface once cooled. There’s no way to prevent that, although you can rewarm them slightly before serving, which will bring a shine back to the chocolate–although just temporarily.

  • Ellen
    August 3, 2010 7:08pm

    David – Thank you for your quick response to my last question about the chocolate chips. One more question along the same lines – do you temper the chocolate that you use for dipping?

    Thanks again!

  • August 6, 2010 12:36am

    A friend just mailed me a bag of Valrhona cocoa the other day, and googling for recipes led me here, one of my fave blogs. I couldn’t figure out what the hoo-haa about this particular brand of cocoa was … Eating my words now, with some delicious crumbs from the first round of baking! Gosh … the biscotti is awesome. I did add some olive oil to the dough since my eggs were small. Love how rustic and luxurious the sliced biscotti looks. It’s in the oven now on second bake. Thank you for keeping the baking flag flying high always!!

  • October 3, 2010 8:32pm

    it looks delicious :)

  • Carrie
    November 8, 2010 8:00pm

    David-
    Just found your blog and made the chocolate biscotti. So delicious, but a problem with splitting. Maybe because I shaped them like long square logs? Should they be more lower and wider??? I did use xlarge eggs. Also, if I want to cut back on half of the almond extract, should I increase the vanilla? Next I am going to try the gingersnaps!!

  • Don
    December 5, 2010 3:24am

    My Aunt makes Biscotti every Christmas. It’s always very thin. It tastes great though. Is there some ingredient or trick that would make it rise a little?

  • KJ
    December 6, 2010 2:48am

    I had a similar problem with Carrie – the logs split magnificently like a San Francisco earthquake. They fell a bit after cooling, but the cracks were still noticeable. No problems with taste, but…

    Also, (less importantly) I’m wondering how you got 50-60 cookies out of these batches. Perhaps it was just my knife skills, but I got only about 24 cookies out of these (admittedly some are monster-sized), but they’re so decadent that one’s usually enough to satisfy a chocolate craving.

  • Dalia
    December 20, 2010 7:11am

    Heavenly. These are amazing. Thank you.

  • January 4, 2011 6:23am

    I am addicted to this chocolate biscotti. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Since I tried making it a few months ago, I have been eating it everyday and whenever I’m about to be out of it I make another batch. Délicieux !

  • June
    January 21, 2011 12:32pm

    Hi David,
    Quick question… Can these be frozen? If so, for how long and at what stage?
    Thanks,
    June (in Ireland)

  • mugsy
    January 27, 2011 2:41am

    These are so great! My morning indulgence.
    I used E.Guittard Rouge cocoa powder. They came out not overly sweet nor crumbly. The chocolate glaze elevates them to Perfection! good with wine too ;-)

  • berit
    February 8, 2011 9:32pm

    Awesome! I made these yesterday evening an find them very tasty :) Now I only need a “normal” biscotti recipe as well ;)