Christmas Cookie Times: Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Walnut Biscotti
For the first of my Christmas cookies series – Better-than-Starbucks’ Ginger Molasses Cookies – click here.
So, I uploaded these pics, deleted the ones I didn’t like, and then chose the one above – my favourite – and now that I see it in large size I see it’s blurry! Aaahhh I hate when that happens but I’ve eaten ALL of the biscotti now – (I DID make them a couple of weeks ago in my defense), and I have so many more cookie recipes to try before Christmas. SO, I doubt I’ll get to them again…
I hope, then, that a good recipe is a decent exchange for a crappy photo? Sorry!
These chocolate-dipped biscotti make a GREAT gift to give someone, because they last really well. Of course the meaning of biscotti (think bi-scotti) means twice-cooked, so the secret to the crunchiness of biscotti is cooking them twice. Actually, because on the second round of cooking you have to cook each side you’re really baking them three times. But it’s worth the wait! Biscotti last up to 2 weeks in an airtight container stored at room temperature, and I made 20 out of my batch. They’re great for dipping in coffee or tea as they soften up nicely in the liquid and make a great accompaniment. You can get them really crumbly like the ones they serve at Starbucks, but these ones still have a slight softness to them and I prefer that myself.
Although they are twice cooked, so it does take a bit longer to make them, they are super easy and if you have kids the chocolate-dipping part is lots of fun!
Let’s get to it, as I know you’re not reading anymore… 🙂
Anna’s Naturally-Sweetened Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Walnut Biscotti
INGREDIENTS (makes about 20):
2 tbsp margarine, melted
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 1/3 cup flour (as you maybe can see in the photo above, I used gluten-free flour for these ones. They came out okay but my originals, made with wheat flour, still taste better…)
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 bar Lindt 85% dark chocolate (or whichever percentage you prefer, but 85% has very little sugar in)
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
2. Mix agave nectar with melted margarine until they are the same colour and thoroughly blended.
3. In another bowl blend flour and baking powder.
4. Add eggs one at a time to agave nectar/margarine mix. Mix well in between additions. Add vanilla and mix. Add to the flour mixture in one go, stirring until nearly combined.
5. Add walnuts and stir mixture until combined.
6. Use your hands to form the dough into two logs on the baking sheet – each about 3 inches wide and 12 inches long (should look almost like feet, quite flat and wide). It is useful to know here that the width of your log will be the length of your biscotti, so if you want short biscotti make your log narrow and if you want longer biscotti make it wider. It should look like this:
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the log is set and starting to brown. Take out of the oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Cool the oven to 300F.
8. Slice the biscotti with a serrated knife on an angle. Remember you are slicing the log widthways to create each biscotti. Work your way down each of the logs, producing 10 biscotti from each log. It should look something like this:
9. Lay the biscotti back on the baking sheet with one side facing up. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip biscotti so the other side faces up and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven (check that biscotti is firm but gives a little bit in the centre) and let cool at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. They will harden even more once cooled, so they don’t need to be rock hard out of the oven.
10. Put broken-up chocolate bar into a Pyrex or heatproof bowl. You can either melt the chocolate by putting it on half power in the microwave and stirring every 30 seconds, or by placing the heatproof bowl in a saucepan with boiling water and allow the heat from the steam to melt the chocolate.
11. Once melted, pour the chocolate into a dish with a wide surface area (the bottom needs to be at least as wide as the length of your longest biscotti).
12. Dip each biscotti in chocolate so that just the bottom surface is covered. Return to a wire rack covered in parchment paper, chocolate side up, and put in the fridge for no more than half an hour to allow the chocolate to set (longer than that in the fridge and the biscotti will soften). Store in an airtight container (such as a mason jar, see below) for up to 2 weeks.
13. These are best served with coffee or tea, as below. Enjoy!
Nutritional information below is per biscotti if recipe makes 20 and you use at least 70% chocolate to dip in: