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Author Notes: OMG--that's what my husband said when he tasted these. These are made in two batches--in one I added chopped toasted almonds, almond extract and orange zest. In the other, I used powdered instant espresso (which enhances the chocolate flavor) and chopped toasted pecans (my favorite nuts). I found that the orange-almond biscotti need to cook a little longer than the pecan biscotti--the zest adds a little moisture--and that I had to cut the orange ones a little thicker than the pecan cookies. Both are amazing and they keep well when stored in an airtight container. —drbabs
Serves about 40
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- zest of one orange (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 large egg (for egg wash), lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or 1/2 sugar and 1/2 coarse salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- Beat together 3 eggs, sugar, vanilla extract. Stir in chocolate chips and flour mixture till dough comes together with flour completely blended. Divide dough in half.
- To one half of the dough, mix in orange zest, almonds and almond extract till thoroughly incorporated.
- To the other half of dough, mix in the espresso powder and pecans till thoroughly incorporated.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each of the doughs into a log the length of the baking sheet. Place them both on the baking sheet evenly spaced apart. Gently flatten the tops. Brush the logs with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar and/or coarse salt (if using).
- Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes--till dough is dry and feels firm to the touch.
- Remove dough from oven and let cool for 15 minutes on cutting board. With a serrated bread knife, cut the logs into 1/2-3/4 inch slices. Place the cookies cut-side-down on the baking sheet. (You will probably need a second baking sheet. Line it with parchment paper.) Return the cookies to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Take baking sheets out and rotate them. Turn cookies over. Return them to the oven to cook for 10-15 minutes more, till dry but not burned.
- Cool completely. If you're a total chocoholic, you can melt a little dark chocolate and dip the cookies in chocolate, letting them cool till the chocolate hardens. But that might be gilding the lily.
- Brew some espresso, scoop out some gelato, and enjoy these!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Italian Dessert
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