Chocolate Chip Almond Biscotti

by Anne Bennett on March 9, 2010

When our son Corbett was in high school my girlfriend Marguerite occasionally baked cookies for him. He loved those home made treats and often lamented, “I wish I had a mother like Marguerite who baked cookies for me.”

It’s true, I didn’t bake a lot when the kids were young. Why? My selfish, bad-mother reason is simple: I love cookies as much, if not more, than Corbett, and if they were around, I’d eat them.

Like many Americans, my all-time favorite cookie is chocolate chip. They are irresistible if freshly home made. Great dunked in coffee or tea, or even gobbled as one heads out the door. (Notice how I euphemistically refer to active on-the-run gobbling rather than the sitting-on-the-couch-in-front-of-the-TV kind? It’s a Catholic-guilt thing.)

But I’ve found that you actually can have your cookies and eat them too. While these biscotti aren’t exactly diet fare, they don’t contain any butter, they’re impossible to consume quickly (too hard and crunchy) and they satisfy that chocolate craving quite nicely in just a few bites. They’re best when dunked in either coffee, tea, or as the Italians do, wine.


This recipe is from Maida Heatter, who has been called America’s queen of desserts. Her original recipe calls for two large eggs, but I found that the dough was much too dry (perhaps my flour was less hydrated due of our dry, cold winter) so I added three eggs and the dough was still pretty stiff but workable.

These take the cake, or should I say, cookie?

Chocolate Chip and Almond Biscotti

6 oz. (1 1/4 cups) whole almonds
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
1 cup minus 2 T. sugar
12 oz. (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. brandy

Toast the almonds in a single layer at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, shaking the pan a few times. Allow them to cool.

Change oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and stir to mix. Place about 1/2 cup of these ingredients into a food processor, add 1/2 cup of the almonds and process until the almonds are fine and powdery, about 30 seconds. Add the processed mixture to the rest of the dry ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips and the remaining almonds.

In a small bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla and brandy, just enough to mix. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until the ingredients are moistened. (Maida says to be patient, which you will have to be. This is a stiff dough.)

Turn dough out onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Wet your hands and shape the dough into a round mound and cut with a sharp knife into four even pieces. Continue to wet your hands and shape each piece into a log about 9 inches long, 2 inches wide and about 1/2 inch high. (Press, don’t roll, the dough.)

Prepare two baking sheets by layering them with parchment paper, and place two logs on each sheet. Place both pans into a 375 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes, reversing the sheets midway through baking time.

Remove the sheets and slide logs onto a cutting board to cool for 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees.

With a long serrated knife, carefully slice each log diagonally into slices about 1/2 inch wide. This can be tricky, so go slowly and cut with a sawing motion. Place the slices cut side down back onto the baking sheets, which at this point can be unlined.

Return to a 275 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes, turning the slices over midway through baking. Turn the oven heat off, open the oven door, and let the biscotti cool in the oven.

When cool, store in an airtight container. They’ll keep indefinitely!

Makes about 40 biscotti

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lin March 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Have you made any of her other cookies? I’m a fan of the chocolate on peanut butter sandwiches. 🙂 I made the chocolate biscotti yesterday and they were’t perfect, but with practice they will get better; will share tomorrow @ 8.

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