Growing up, my family treasured Baci chocolates at the holidays: dark chocolate with a whole hazelnut inside, there wasn't a taste in the world that came closer to announcing, It's the holidays, and we're home. Now grown with my own family, and living on the other side of the country, I've elaborated on the Baci flavors to ease our two girls into a similar holiday tradition with a personal twist: the same delectible flavors folded into a crumbling biscotti.
makes approximately 20 delectable cookies
Mix the dry ingredients first: flour, baking powder, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
Mix wet ingredients next: eggs, butter, brandy, and Cointreau.
Add wet ingredients to the dry using a fork, then switch to a kneading motion with your hands. As the dough becomes more combined, add the hazelnuts. The hazelnuts should have been ground to a thick flour consistency. This can be done in a regular food processor. If you don't have on handy, place hazelnuts into a bag and pound until the right consistency. By keeping it fine like this, it allows the biscotti to bind much better, which is important when it is cut mid-bake time.
Set your oven to 325° F
Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and divide the dough into half. Form dough tightly into two 11 x 4 (roughly) rectangles. They should stand about 1.5 inches high, and be molded to be flat on the tops and sides. Bake for 30 minutes.
At the end of those 30 minutes, remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Carefully cut the biscotti (careful, the pan will still be hot!) into 3/4 inch slices. Rotate each piece onto it's side. Return tray to oven and bake for 15 minutes with sides down. Remove from oven, flip biscotti over, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Biscotti should be stored in a tin, and not in a air-tight container. Storing it in an air-tight container will make them stale as opposed to crispy. Crispy biscotti is the traditional way! They will last up to a month if stored properly.
We have sent Biscotti overseas in Press'n Seal before, and makes an excellent Christmas gift to those deployed or far from home.
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder*
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 duck eggs or 5 chicken eggs**
1 and 1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon Christian Brothers brandy
1 teaspoon Cointreau orange liqueur
1 cup roasted and roughly ground hazelnuts
*Duck eggs are preferred by many pastry chefs because of their ability to fluff. I wasn't sure I believed it until I baked with them. They were right! They are worth every penny! If you don't have access to duck eggs, substitute 5 chicken eggs.
**Dutch process cocoa powder is much richer than regular cocoa powder. It can be found here on Amazon, or in most grocery stores. If you can't find this, or are hurrying through your cuboards to make this right now, look for dark cocoa powder. It will be the closest to the Dutch process.
Pictured with the hand thrown, artisan "Motherhood Looks Good On You" mug that can be found in our shop.