I know, I know. It’s early January, everyone is out there striving to make good choices, and here I am, sharing yet another cookie recipe with you. Unhelpful, you say? Guilty as charged, but bear with me.
What can I say in my defense? These biscotti can fit into your life without perpetuating any heavily-frosted dessert binges you may or may not have enjoyed during the holidays. They very happily serve as a little breakfast nibble or afternoon snack, and I arguably prefer them that way, rather than as a traditional “dessert.” Like all biscotti, they are excellent dipped into coffee, espresso, or any other warm beverage. Even better than most biscotti, they have a delightful crunch, thanks to whole almonds, and a silky lining of dark chocolate to sweeten the deal. Also, you can adjust the size of the cookies very, very easily if you want to make them more petite.
Lastly, if you really want to do a little baking but maintain your virtue at the same time, you could leave off the chocolate garnish. But I wouldn’t recommend taking things that far!!
This particular biscotti has been a favorite of mine for about four years now, since I first dog-eared the recipe in an old issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine (is that even still published anymore?? I haven’t seen it in forever, but then again, I don’t frequent US newsstands with great frequency these days). Biscotti were intimidating to me at first – how do I get cookies in that shape!? – but it turns out they are surprisingly straightforward, faster to shape even than drop cookies. Make dough, pat it into a loaf, bake, cut, bake again. Voila!
For some reason I was possessed to bake these on New Year’s this year, as if we hadn’t had enough of a baked good smorgasbord over the past couple of weeks. However, I have been so very glad that I did, and judging by the dwindling number left on my countertop, I’m not the only one. 🙂 Bake a batch and enjoy on their own, next to a tall glass of milk, or dipped into your latte for a splurge. I hope you love them as much as we do!
Chocolate-Dipped Almond Biscotti
- 2 cups unsalted almonds, divided
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 5-6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped or broken into small-ish pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Combine 1/2 cup almonds and 1 tbsp. sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Mix until almonds are finely ground. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and pulse several times to combine.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, vanilla, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Blend on high speed until mixture is thick and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture, and mix on low just until incorporated. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups whole almonds by hand.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and, using a rubber spatula, shape into two rectangular loaves, each approximately 10”x4”. Lightly smooth the tops. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board, and slice crosswise into cookies approximately 1” thick.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Return the sliced cookies to the baking sheet, and bake until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Test for doneness by pressing lightly on a cookie with your finger or a spoon; it should be crisp and firm. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on wire racks.
- If desired, melt chocolate in a wide bowl in 30-second bursts in the microwave at 50% power, stirring in between, until smooth. Dip the bottom of each biscotti into the chocolate, and smooth with an offset spatula. Place the dipped biscotti, cut flat side down, on a sheet of parchment or wax paper until chocolate sets, about 20 minutes. Cookies will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.
Source: Adapted from Rachael Ray Everyday, July 2012