“Those” Biscotti

These biscotti won't last very long!

For many a year now I’ve tried to make a lot of my Christmas gifts, and some years I’m more successful than others, mostly due to time contraints. A few years ago, I found that I was stressing myself so much over buying presents—financially and from a shopping perspective—that it was taking over the holiday season as well as my pocket book.

You have to use your hands to mix up this stiff dough.

These days I’m trying to focus more on the idea of being of good cheer, sharing my time with family and friends, making new memories and sharing the old, and giving things that are handmade or homemade and from my heart. It takes a lot of time and planning—time that’s super hard to find, but whenever I do make the time, I feel so good about it. And I’ve noticed that the homemade gifts are better received than anything I’ve ever bought.

The logs are brushed with egg, then ready for the first bake.

So, what I’m about to share with you is one of the things I always make around the holidays for gifts, and it’s become perhaps the most eagerly anticipated item I make next to the Cranberry Liqueur. It’s Chocolate, Hazelnut and Ginger Biscotti, otherwise known by my family and friends as “Those Biscotti.”

Of all the biscotti recipes I’ve tried, and that’s been quite a few, so far this one is my favorite—although I must say there are some recipes posted out there that have caught my attention recently and that I want to try, namely the gingerbread biscotti at Just A Smidgen, the orange ones at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide and the limoncello ones at Savoring Every Bite. If you’re as much of a biscotti fan as I am, you might enjoy checking those out, too. This Chocolate, Hazelnut and Ginger biscotti recipe makes a very crisp cookie that stays that way even filled with moist candied ginger, chocolate chips and nuts, plus a luscious milk chocolate drizzle on top.

Twice baked and ready for the big drizzle!

“Wow, that’s a LOT of chocolate!” you say? Yes it is, and in the past, I haven’t been a big fan of chocolate on chocolate and sometimes not even chocolate in chocolate. And yet, this is a perfectly balanced and decadent bite in my book. Like all twice-baked biscotti, these take some time to make, but the result is sublime. I can promise you they won’t last long in your house, so my recommendation is to bag and gift them right away before you eat them all yourself. Or, as I’m doing this year, make a batch to have and share early AND a batch to give away later….ho, ho, ho, hee, hee, hee, ha, ha, ha!

Chocolate, Hazelnut and Ginger Biscotti (Bon Appetit, December 1999)
Makes about 48 biscotti.

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, plus one for brushing an egg wash
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (8 oz.)
2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
6 oz. good quality milk chocolate such as Lindt, coarsely chopped
(The original recipe called for white chocolate, which looks prettier, but I prefer the taste of milk chocolate on these.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat. Sift the first 5 ingredients into medium bowl. Add 3 eggs and vanilla; beat until blended. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and crystallized ginger (dough will be firm). Turn dough out onto floured surface. Gather into ball. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into 12-inch-long log. Transfer logs to the prepared baking sheet, spacing 3 inches apart. Flatten each to 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Whisk remaining egg in small bowl to blend. Brush logs with some of beaten egg.

Bake logs until golden and firm to touch, about 35 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Transfer logs to cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise into scant 1/2-inch-wide slices. (This width is important in order to make a crisp cookie) Place slices, cut side down, on large baking sheets. Bake until firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer biscotti to racks and cool completely.

Stir the milk (or white) chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Place biscotti on rack set over baking sheet. Using a spoon, drizzle melted chocolate decoratively in zigzag pattern over biscotti. Let stand until chocolate is firm. (Can be prepared ahead. Store biscotti in airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 month.)

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21 thoughts on ““Those” Biscotti

  1. Wow… these look amazing, I love the chocolate, ginger, hazelnut… the drizzle.. everything about these is so decadent and a heavenly mix of flavors. Thanks for the shout-out… I can’t wait to try these:)

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    • Hey there, thanks so much! I KNOW you will love them if you try them. Even hard core “I don’t eat sweets anymore” folks have loved these. And you’re so welcome for the shout-out, too! I do want to try those swix…so many recipes and so little time!

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  2. These are perfect for a friend of mine, who loves ginger, chocolate and hazelnuts — they are probably her top dessert ingredients and she doesn’t bake. I’ll be whipping up a batch of these for her for Christmas (and tasting for quality control, of course).

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    • Thanks! There are so many great cookie recipes out there right now…I want to try so many of them…including many in your cookie roundup. But, I love to collect them and pull them out to try over time. Who says that even “holiday” cookies have to only be for holidays, anyway?

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  3. I’ve already got the Cranberry Liqueur brewing. In fact, today is a shake day. So my next project will be “Those” Biscotti. I have a huge collection of biscotti recipes, but this one sounds fabulous! Can’t wait to get started…

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  4. What fortunate friends and family you have; I would much rather receive home made goodies that something store bought too! And ‘those’ biscotti sound wonderful! Our neighbours to the south always make biscotti for us at Christmas; every year it’s different, but always well received!

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  5. Pingback: A Holiday Round-Up: Some Sweet, Petite and Neat | bits and breadcrumbs

  6. (having come a year late to the party – let me be the first in 2012 to say these sound wonderful wonderful Betsy! And boy are they cute! I so love giving gifts of food for the holidays…now I’m off to check out the rest of the list!)

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    • Thank you, Spree. These are just wicked they’re so good. I’ve been making them for years now and they have a loyal fan base. People keep asking me if I’m going to sell them, but of course it isn’t my own recipe…they’d fly off the shelves though!

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  7. Pingback: Gifts, Goodies and Greatest Hits | bits and breadcrumbs

  8. Pingback: Twelve Days of Christmas: Biscotti for Santa | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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