Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: Double Chocolate Fennel Pollen Biscotti

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Double Chocolate Fennel Pollen Biscotti

VOTING IS NOW OPEN:  Please head over MarxFoods and vote for my Double Chocolate Fennel Pollen Biscotti.  Voting ends midnight on 12/22.  Thanks Much!!

Biscotti are probably the most versatile cookie out there.   Every Italian family I know has a recipe they call their own and all seem to be different. I’ve seen them flavored with anise (that’s how I make mine), almond and just about everything in between.  Some people make them with butter, some use Crisco and others like myself use a mixture of the two.  Even the size of these cookies vary…short and fat, or long and thin…it really just depends on your tradition.

I usually don’t deviate from my family biscotti recipe but when Marx Foods announced its Capricious Chocolate Challenge and picked me to participate my wheels started turning.  With the holiday season in full swing I already had cookies on the brain.  So why not go with that.  The challenge was to create an original chocolate recipe using one or more of the following ingredients supplied by Marx Foods: fennel pollen, dried chilies, coconut sugar, granulated candy cap mushrooms, or  vanilla beans.

I thought long and hard about the best flavor combination and decided to do a Double Chocolate & Fennel Pollen Biscotti.  Why fennel pollen?  Well for one thing I’m intrigued by this spice.  Collected from the flower of the fennel plant it’s a highly aromatic spice that will transform just about any dish.  I would highly recommend trying it if the opportunity arises.

Double Chocolate Fennel Pollen Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel pollen
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used 1/3 vanilla bean)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. grease a large baking sheet.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, fennel pollen and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Add vanilla.

Mix in flour mixture a little at a time. Stir in chocolate chips.

On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, approximately 2 inches wide.

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes.

Cut logs diagonally into slices. Arrange cut sides down on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.


  1. I need to get my hands on some fennel pollen! I will check Whole Foods the next time I'm there.

  2. Wow these are INSANELY inventive! I love how fennel pollen can fit into both sweet and savory dishes.

  3. Oh I bet these tasted amazing! Biscotti are the perfect holiday cookie (they ship perfectly!) and I love any dessert I can dip in my coffee!

  4. YUM Theresa!! I love biscotti. Especially Chocolate biscotti. :) Great post!

  5. They look amazing and what a creative use of fennel pollen! Good luck to you!

  6. How decadent! Great use of fennel pollen! Yum!

  7. Yum! What a great idea for the fennel pollen. I bet they would be so good dipped in a nice hot espresso!

  8. Wow Theresa! Your chocolate biscotti sounds perfect! Great idea to use fennel pollen

  9. Fascinating - I use fennel pollen with pork roasts - never thought to use it in my cookie. Although it makes sense - love anise in biscotti. These look densely-delicious!