Chocolate + Hazelnut. This pair whisks me back to my studies in Italy – bacio, nocciola, nutella – hazelnuts are ubiquitous there and they happen to be my absolute favorite. Every Christmas I make a big batch of dark chocolate hazelnut biscotti. They are my signature biscotti and I don’t fool around with the recipe.
Biscotti have many merits. First and foremost, they are acceptable to eat for breakfast. Yay.
Then there’s the fact that they taste even better with a little coffee.
These are made without butter and I consider them a healthier alternative to the rest of my holiday bake list. Plus they are easy to make ahead, freeze and store for your holiday celebrations.
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 2 tbsp amaretto
- Up to 4 tbs water
- ⅓ cup blanched almonds, toasted
- 10 - 12 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks
- 1½ cups toasted hazelnuts, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- Grease a large baking sheet and set aside for the biscotti.
- Heat oven to 375°.
- Go ahead and place the almonds and hazelnuts on separate sheet pans and toast them in the oven as it warms up. The almonds only take about 5 min - so watch them carefully. The hazelnuts a tad longer. Just until they start to brown.
- In a large bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- In a food processor, place ½ cup of the flour mixture and add the toasted almonds.
- Grind until fine and powdery (about 30 sec).
- Add the almond mixture to the bowl with the rest of the flour mixture. Stir to combine.
- Mix in chopped chocolate and hazelnuts.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, extract, and amaretto together. Add to dry ingredients and mix. If the mixture seems too dry, add 1 tbsp water, up to 4 tbs. Add water with caution...give it time to absorb before each addition or dough may end up too sticky.
- Turn dough onto well floured surface and divide into 2 pieces.
- Press or roll out to 5x13x1 flattened rectangular logs.
- Transfer logs to greased baking sheet.
- Bake 25 min on middle rack. Rotating pan after 15 min.
- Remove from oven and let cool 30 min.
- Reduce temp to 300° and cut logs diagonally with serrated knife. I find it's easier to apply pressure to cut them rather than a slicing motion.
- Grease pan again. Lay slices on one of their cut sides and bake 25-30 min. Let cool in oven.