Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day. Happy Valentine’s Day! I think chocolate is a must-do today, right? I made these biscotti to take to a coffee for an international group here, where we were all advised to take something sweet or savory, wear red, and bring a gift. Of course, there were all sorts of treats on hand, but I am quite happy that no one brought anymore biscotti.
I personally love biscotti, which in Italy they are actually called Cantuccini, since biscotti just means cookie. I have been making them since times immemorial, I think since I was 16 or so, for my mother’s bridge games. Rarely do I make them with chocolate though, since I find them harder to pair with dessert wines. Alas, the chocolate tradition won over today, so I naturally decided to pair them with hazelnuts, since all things that resemble nutella are delicious in my book.
I really like these biscotti because not only are they incredibly chocolatey, I don’t use any fats like butter or oil so they are not sooooo damaging to your waistline! If you can, try to use some high quality chocolate, such as Valrhona, since the main ingredient is chocolate!
So here’s what you’re going to need:
Makes about 30 biscotti (Adapted from the New York Times Recipe)
1/2 cup whole toasted hazelnuts
1 1/4 cups four
1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp sanding sugar
1 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). In a large bowl, sift together the flour, chocolate, salt and baking powder, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the eggs and sugar, beat on medium speed until just mixed. Reserve one tbsp of the egg mix in a small bowl.
Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, and beat on low-speed until just incorporated. Fold in the hazelnuts.
Form into a log shape, about 18 inches long and 3 inches wide, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush on the egg mix you set aside, dust with sanding sugar and the black pepper.
Place in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or firm. Take out and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into diagonal slices, 1 inch thick, with a sharp serrated knife. Place back on the cookie sheet, on their side, and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack, and they can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
From my kitchen to yours,