chocolate and walnut biscotti


If you have a little time and would like your house to smell of magical things a bakin' for over an hour, these are the cookies for you.  Biscotti literally means twice-baked, which is exactly what you do.  They will keep for a very long time which was very important for those Roman soldiers traveling extreme distances needing a little sweet something to put in their fanny packs.

This particular recipe is extremely versatile in the sense that you can quite easily change the nuts, chocolate and spices you use, maybe swapping out the chocolate for some dried fruit etc, and come up with some great combinations.   I used a combination of  bittersweet and this lovely dark chocolate bar with orange peel.  You can also dip one side in melted chocolate or any thing else your creative self can dream up.

Serve them with ice cream, espresso, some vin santo or just simply tuck one into your warrior's pocket.

chocolate and walnut biscotti

2 c flour

1 c sugar

1/2 c rolled oats

1 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t sea salt (or kosher)

1 1/2 T cocoa powder (omit if not using chocolate and add 1-2 T of your spice)

2 large eggs

3 T olive oil

1 1/2 T orange zest

2 t vanilla

1 c chopped dark or bittersweet chocolate (I used a combination of  bittersweet and dark with orange peel)

1 c chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350º

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together the eggs, oil, orange zest and vanilla.  In a stand mixed combine the wet and dry ingredients until they come together.  Add in the chocolate and nuts.  The mixture will be frighteningly dry and crumbly to look at but have no fear. Spill the "dough" out onto a lightly floured surface, dividing the pile in half.

Press each dough half together to form a 2" wide log.  Be patient and press hard.  It will come together.  

Carefully transfer each log to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.  Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the sheet at 15 minutes.  After 30 minutes have passed, take the logs out of the oven and let them cool completely (or at least 20 minutes, especially if you have used chocolate) Position your oven racks on the top 1/3- bottom 1/3 and reduce the temperature to 250º.   Once cooled, transfer the logs to a cutting board.  Using a bread knife,  slice the logs diagonally into 1/3" thick pieces.  Arrange the biscotti on two baking sheets lined with parchment or silpats.    

Return them to the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes, switching the position of  the sheets half way through.  

Cool on a sheet and store in an airtight container.