Italian Biscotti make perfect Christmas gifts. These Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti are crunchy, not too sweet, but full of chocolate hazelnut yumminess!
Chocolate + Hazelnut.
This pair whisks me back to my studies in Italy – bacio, nocciola, nutella – hazelnuts are ubiquitous there and they happen to be my absolute favorite.
Every Christmas I make a big batch of dark chocolate hazelnut biscotti. They are my signature biscotti and I don’t fool around with this recipe.
In fact, this recipe is a perfect base recipe for any type of biscotti. Swapping the nuts and chocolate, maybe adding some dried fruit, you can create many winning combinations like:
- White Chocolate, Dried Cherries + Pistachio
- Milk Chocolate + Almond (in addition to the blanched almonds)
- Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Almond + Orange Zest
- Walnuts + Cinnamon – dip the ends in chocolate.
Italian Biscotti have many merits.
- First and foremost, they are acceptable to eat for breakfast. Yay
- Then there’s the fact that they taste even better with a little coffee.
- Biscotti are made without butter and I consider them a healthier alternative to the rest of my holiday bake list.
- Plus biscotti are easy to make-ahead and have a great shelf life.
- They freeze + store for the holidays too.
With all of these fine merits, Italian biscotti are one fine cookie to have around the house whether they’re on your Christmas cookie tray, Easter buffet or in your cookie jar.
How to make Italian Biscotti
Biscotti are twice-baked to achieve that super crispy texture. Between the first and second bake time, the biscotti will need to cool. That said you’ll need to set aside at least an hour and a half to make them.
Here are the basic steps for making biscotti:
- Make biscotti batter.
- Divide dough into 2 pieces.
- Flatten into rectangular logs.
- Bake Time #1. Then cool.
- Slice logs into biscotti slices.
- Bake Time #2.
You may also like these: Italian Cannoli Cookies
Say no more, let’s start baking these amazing biscotti!
Chunks of dark chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, almonds and amaretto baked into a crunchy biscotti perfect for dunking in coffee!
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 Tbs amaretto
- Up to 4 Tbs water
- 1/3 cup blanched almonds toasted
- 10 - 12 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate cut into small chunks
- 1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts peeled and chopped into large pieces
Grease a large baking sheet and set aside for the biscotti dough.
Heat oven to 375°F.
Place the almonds and hazelnuts on two separate sheet pans and toast them in the oven as it warms up. The almonds only take about 5 min - so watch them carefully. The hazelnuts a tad longer...just until they start to brown.
In a large bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In a food processor, place 1/2 cup of the flour mixture and add the toasted almonds.
Grind until fine and powdery (about 30 sec).
Add the almond mixture to the bowl with the rest of the flour mixture. Stir to combine.
Mix in chopped chocolate and hazelnuts.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, extracts, and amaretto together. Add to dry ingredients and mix.
If the mixture seems too dry, add 1 Tbs water, up to 4 Tbs. The dough will be thick and give you a good arm workout to mix well. Add water with caution...give it time to absorb before each addition or dough may end up too sticky.
Turn dough onto well floured surface and divide into 2 pieces.
Press or roll out to 5x13x1 flattened rectangular logs.
Transfer logs to greased baking sheet.
Bake 25 min on middle rack. Rotating pan after 15 min.
Remove from oven and let cool 20 min.
Reduce temp to 300° and cut logs diagonally with serrated knife. I find it's easier to apply pressure to cut them rather than a slicing motion.
Grease pan again. Lay slices on one of their cut sides and bake 25-30 min until dry and lightly toasted. Either remove from oven to cool on racks or turn off oven and leave biscotti in the oven to cool. The longer they stay inside the oven, the harder and crisper they will become.
*To help work with sticky biscotti dough, try working with slightly damp hands to quickly mold the dough into its log shape.
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