Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bake Bittman's Biscotti

I have a small addiction, I can not start my day without a coffee and a biscotti. Often I can't even drink my coffee without having a biscotti to dip. I have been known to drive across town just to get my biscotti fix. I will even brave Saturday morning Granville Island traffic just to get some. 

I get my fix from a place called Terra Breads in the GI public market. For the past almost 10 yrs I have been making a weekly treck to get the double baked cookies for my morning dunks. However the Olympics has thrown a wrench in this and I have been left high and dry as I do not want to contend with the crowds and restrictions imposed on the local market.

Also it has come to my attention, I have never really looked at the numbers before, I spend over $40 a month ($480 a year!!!!) on biscotti. Not necessarily the most costly habit, there are much worse, but it is still an expense that I can cut back on. We make our latte's at home why not make my biscotti at home as well?

The tots and I embarked on a baking adventure. Turns out they like a steamed milk and biscotti in the morning too. In the past I have tried several recipes with not much luck. I thought I would give Mark Bittman's from  How To Cook Everything a try using chocolate chunks and anise seed additions.

Great for dunking in coffee or dessert wine.
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick or 1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the sheet. 
  • 3/4 cup eggs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond
  • 2 1/4 cups flour plus more for dusting the baking sheets.
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp anise seeds
  • 3/4 chocolate chips or chunks
Preheat oven to 375f. Ready two baking sheets by greasing and lightly flouring, tap out excess flour. 

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in one egg at a time. Mix all of the dry ingredients including the the anise seeds in a separate bowl. Leave chocolate chunks until the very end of the recipe. Combine the dry ingredients with the butter mixture a little bit at a time until a batter is formed. When fully combined add the chocolate chunks and mix through on a low speed for a couple of turns. You do not have to beat the batter, you just want the chunks evenly dispersed.

Turn dough out and form two logs about 2 inches wide, place one on each sheet and flatten the top slightly. 

Bake for about 30 minutes on a middle shelf and no lower until the top of the logs crack and there is a golden brown colour on the sides and at the base. Remove from oven and lower the temperature to 250f.  When logs are cool enough to handle gently cut (a serrated knife is best) on a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.

Place the slices back on the sheets and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until dried out. Turn half way through. When done transfer to a cooling rack as soon as you can. But whatever you do, do not leave them unattended with a amped up not napping  three year old in the vicinity!

I'm pretty happy with it, it will do until I can tweak it and make it my own. 

photos by me.


  1. Megan, the biscotti sound excellent, glad you found a way to save money and still be contented at the same time.

    Question, I don't bake often and was starting to gather things slowly at the store for the random moment I decide to. My question is, can I substitute, whole wheat flour for white flour in any recipe? The O man likes baked things but I want to make them healthier or at least try.

  2. Yum! I'm a biscotti nut also, so I'm definitely going to give these a try! :)

  3. I have already started plotting my substitutions and additions, stay tuned ...

    @Little T, some recipes work better than others with whole wheat substitutions, also the percentage of whole wheat to all purpose depends on the style & method.

    @ Michelle, these are so simple and easy to make. I have already done two batches in as many days- great for giving away!

  4. Oh how cute you have little helpers in there with you! great post!

  5. They are a big help, especially in the tasting department!

  6. Oh yummy! My kids love to make anything with me especially if it's edible :)

  7. homemade biscotti sound so good. I love your little helpers in the kitchen, so cute! next time i'm not able to get one of my fave foods i hope i feel inspired to make it at home =)



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