Biscotti have become quite popular in coffee shops these days. They're the perfect little treat to have with your coffee or tea, mid-morning or late afternoon. Actually, the Italian word for any cookie is "biscotto" with the plural being "biscotti". Literally the word means "twice cooked/baked". In the United States, when we think of biscotti, that's what we are thinking about....the cookies that are first baked in a loaf, then sliced and baked again to make them a little crunchy. But true biscotti, like the ones made in Italy, are made with no fat besides the eggs, which makes them even crunchier. Italians like to dip them in sweet wine. I've never been much of a cookie dunker, but a glass of cold milk would be my beverage of choice!
Personally, I like both the authentic Italian biscotti and the more American version. This particular recipe comes from Martha Stewart and wouldn't be considered authentically Italian because the recipe uses oil, but they're delicious. They have a deep chocolate flavor with just a hint of spice from the ginger. And I love the crunch from the walnuts! I can imagine several variations of this recipe and will definitely be trying some, but this time...... Martha's version.
Double Dark Chocolate and Ginger Biscotti
(makes 26-30, including the ends)
1 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil ( I used regular vegetable oil )
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and yolk together with the sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla extract and the oil and beat until well combined. Turn mixer to low and add in the flour. Then fold in the walnuts, chocolate, and ginger.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half and place on parchment. Form each into a flattened log 9"x 2 1/2".
Bake the loaves until set on top, 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on the pan. Meanwhile, reduce the oven to 325 degrees.
Cut each log diagonally into 1/2" slices. (use a serrated knife) Place the slices back onto the parchment and bake until crisp, 20 minutes, turning halfway. (the cookies will take up more room now that they're sliced, so you may need another baking sheet) Cool for 5 minutes on the sheets and then remove to racks to cool completely.