Biscotti is a tricky treat because of the twice-baked method. You make a simple dough; you bake it; you slice it; you bake it again. I call this out only because it made me fumble in the baking exercise and resulted in a less-than-perfect biscotti. But it still tasted fine.
I like mine a bit chewy – not so crunchy that they’ll break your jaw if not dipped in coffee. So adjust the baking time to your desired crunch factor.
This recipe came from my friend Merissa. I made only a couple tweaks.
Toasted Hazelnut Bsicotti with Cirtus Zest and Pepper
- 3 1/2 cups unbleanched all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 3 cups hazelnuts, with skns, toasted, roughly chopped
- 1 large egg, whisked for egg wash
Position one rack in the top third of the oven, one rack in the
bottom third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 cookie
sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt,
and pepper and whisk together.
In another bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter with the
sugar for 1 minute or until a sandy mixture has formed. Add the eggs,
zests, and extracts and mix until fluffy, about 1 minute.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine well. Add
the hazelnuts and fold in with a spatula to distribute the nuts
evenly. The dough will be very thick and hard to stir at this point.
Divide the dough into four equal portions, about 14.5 oz. each.
On a lightly floured counter, roll each portion into a log 9 inches
long by 2 inches wide by 1.5 inches high. Place 2 logs on each of the
prepared cookie sheets with several inches between the logs.
Here’s one big log, pre-portioning:
In a small bowl, mix 1 egg with 1 tsp. of water to make an egg
wash. Brush each log with egg wash, coating them evenly on the top and
Bake for 22 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets from top to bottom
halfway through baking. Bake until lightly browned, puffy, and still
somewhat soft. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on.
Cool for 30 minutes, then place one log at a time on a cutting
board. With a serrated knife, slice each log into individual biscotti
by cutting at a slight angle into 3/4-inch think pieces, keeping the
slices in a row. Slide the row of biscotti together, lift and place
them back onto the cookie sheets, then separate the slices, leaving 1/2
inch of space between each one.
Bake again for 16-20 minutes, rotating once during the baking until
the biscotti are slightly firm and light brown in color.
Cool and eat, or pack in an airtight container to store for up to 6 weeks (they also freeze well!).
I love the combination of flavors – all the citrus with the hazelnut and black pepper that kicks in at the end. A wonderful little breakfast or tea-time snack.