Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: Two Really Different...Yet Really Delicious Biscotti

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Two Really Different...Yet Really Delicious Biscotti

Last weekend, in preparation for the arrival of my aunt and uncle who were visiting from New Jersey, I decided to bake some cookies. 

I'm a huge fan of Gina DePalma, the pastry chef at Babbo, and an even bigger fan of biscotti. So I decided to try Gina's recipe for Mosaic Biscotti.  And since I never do anything on a small scale I also made her Almond Anise & Orange Biscotti.  Of course I added a few minor personal touches. You'll see them in the recipes below.

The Mosaic were a huge hit. Everyone seemed to love the chocolate cherry combination.  My favorite of the two though were the Almond; I really enjoyed the way the anise and orange blended.

I'll be making both of these for the National Food Bloggers Bake Sale on April 17th.   Here in Arizona the sale is being held at 5th and Wine in Scottsdale. Hope to see all my local readers there.

Mosaic Biscotti

adapted from Gina DePalma
3 1/2c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1t. baking powder
1t. kosher salt
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks, plus 1 egg white for the glaze
2c. granulated sugar, plus 1 1/2T. for the glaze
2 t. pure vanilla extract
12oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semisweet chips)
2c. skinned or unskinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (I substituted 1 cup dried tart cherries)
2c. whole, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C) and grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together for about 2 minutes with an electric mixer.

2. Add the vanilla extract, continue beating and add in the dry ingredients and then the chocolate and nuts.

3. Form 5 logs of dough and place on prepared baking sheet. Beat the remaining egg white(s) and brush on logs.

4. Bake until lightly golden brown and firm to the touch, about 20-25 minutes. Cool the logs on the baking sheets for about 40 minutes.

5. Turn oven back to 200F (90C). With a very sharp knife (or serrated) slice the logs on a slight diagonal into 1/4″ wide slices. Lay on the baking sheet in a single layer and cook for 20 minutes or more, until toasted and crisp. Cool completely before storing in airtight containers

Almond Anise & Orange Biscotti
adapted from Gina DePalma
 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1 teaspoon kosher salt
 4 cups whole blanched almonds
 4 large eggs
 2 large egg yolks, plus 1 egg white for glaze
 2 cups granulated sugar, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons for glaze
 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
 1 tablespoon whole anise seeds
 Freshly grated zest of 1 large orange


1. Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Using a sharp knife, coarsely chop the almonds and set them aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, the egg yolks, and the 2 cups sugar on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. The mixture will look somewhat curdled. Beat in the vanilla extract, anise seeds, and orange zest. Beat in the dry ingredients, then the chopped nuts, to make a soft dough. Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap it in plastic, and chill for 2 hours, or until it is firm enough to handle.

3. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or butter or line them with parchment paper.

4. Divide the dough into 5 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion of the dough into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 10 inches long. Place 2 of the logs on one of the baking sheets, 3 inches apart, and 3 of the logs on the second baking sheet, also 3 inches apart. In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork until frothy. With a pastry brush, glaze each log with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.

5. Bake the logs until they are lightly golden brown, firm to the touch, and just beginning to crack slightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Rotate the sheets 180 degrees halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. Allow the logs to cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack until they are cool to the touch, about 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°F.

6. With a sharp, serrated knife, slice the cooled biscotti slightly on the bias into 1/4-inch-wide slices. Lay the slices on the baking sheets in a single layer. Return them to the oven and cook for 20 minutes more, or until they are toasted, dry, and crisp. Cool the biscotti completely on the baking sheets, then store them in an airtight container kept in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.


  1. I didn't know about the national food bloggers bake sale. I was surprised to see KY on the map at all.

    Your biscotti sound delicious, chocolate and cherry is an awesome combo.

  2. Oh yummy, I adore biscotti. Great for dunking in a nice hot mug of coffee! The cherries are a nice addition.

  3. I love vanilla cookies way more than chocolate so I am inclined to agree with you! These look delicious.

  4. Love the idea of a mosaic biscotti, which I've never made. Have a great Easter!

  5. Homemade biscotti have been on my must try list for a long while. Both of these recipes sound fabulous!

  6. Mmm, it's been a while since I've made biscotti. I think it's time to make some. Yours look great!

  7. These both look so delicious!!!!!

  8. Hi, feel free to come to my blog to stand a chance to win a Rachael Ray Casserole!