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Author Notes: Before yesterday, my husband had never had biscotti. Amazing, because trust me on this, he loves dessert. But so many biscotti recipes incorporate almonds and we're both allergic to the little guys. So I wanted to made a biscotti that my husband would love - which meant it had to have chocolate somewhere in it. For this recipe I used ground anise seed and anise extract to suggest the traditional almond flavor along with some brandy. I folded in some chocolate chips at the end. The biscotti is great even without the glaze, but I felt the glaze dressed it up a little more for a dessert and the orange, anise and brandy flavors in the glaze served to further bring out the anise flavor in the biscotti. Unglazed, this biscotti would be great crumbled up in a semifreddo in place of amaretti cookies, or I could see this all ground up and combined with butter and lemon zest for a crust for a cheesecake instead of graham crackers. All fun things to try in the future. Important Tip: use chocolate chips instead of slivers from a bar of chocolate. Unlike bar chocolate, the melting properties of chocolate chips are designed to better hold their shape during the baking process. This will be important when you go to slice the biscotti before baking it the second time. —TheWimpyVegetarian
Makes 1 loaf (about 12-14 slices)
Chocolate Chip Biscotti
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
- 1 tablespoon brandy (you could probably use grappa here too, but I didn't have any)
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350F. For baking these, I preheated the oven for an hour with a pizza stone on the rack I was planning to use. When I was ready to bake, I put the cookie sheet directly on the pizza stone to get a very even temperature baking process. I'm sure it would work well without this, but this gives you a little insurance policy. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt to evenly distribute the baking powder through the flour. Set aside
- Using a standing mixer, cream the butter until light colored and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to cream for another minute. Grind the anise seed in a grinder and add to the butter mixture along with the anise extract, brandy (or grappa) and egg. Mix until fully incorporated and for another 2 minutes.
- Fold in the dry ingredients by hand with a spatula in thirds. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured board and roll into a log about 2-3" in diameter and the length of a cookie sheet. Bake in the upper third of the oven until a golden brown - about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a cutting board for about 20 minutes - or until the chocolate chips begin to harden up a bit. Slice 1/2"-3/4" slices with a serrated knife. It is very important to make each slice in one clean cut and to clean the knife of any chocolate between cuts to avoid chocolate "schmeers".
- Lay the slices back on the cookie sheet and pop back in the oven for a final baking. Bake until golden brown - about 10 minutes on each side. Remove and cool completely before glazing.
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- orange zest from 1 large orange
- 1/4 teaspoon anise extract
- 1/4 teaspoon brandy
- pinch salt
- Mix all ingredients together. Add additional confectioners sugar, if needed, to get a thick consistency. If it's too liquidy, it won't harden well enough to pack the biscotti in a pretty jar.
- Dip the biscotti in the glaze, smoothing out the glaze with a plastic basting brush as needed. Work quickly as once it starts to dry, it's not too forgiving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Italian Dessert