Any time I hear something with the number ‘2’ at the end (à la ‘Biscotti 2’), I think of all the over-used movie sequel titles, and want to tack ‘The Revenge’ or ‘This Time it’s Serious’ on the end. So – pick your favorite bad subtitle for this post from the above. And now why there is a part 2: I’ve been going a little overboard on making biscotti since my Chocolate Almond Biscotti post at the beginning of the month. But it’s just so easy (waiting time aside) and delicious that I kind of can’t stop.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Chocolate Chip Biscotti

I’ve made several different flavors with varying amounts of success. The batch of cherry biscotti I made (after tediously reducing the juice from puréed bing cherries (laboriously pitted by hand)), were disappointingly uncherry-flavored. The vanilla with yogurt chip biscotti were good, if overly sweet. But the coconut biscotti were outstanding, and the pumpkin pie spiced chocolate chip biscotti was given the stamp of approval by several of my friends.

Coconut Biscotti

Coconut Biscotti

For the pumpkin pie spices, I ground fresh spices for all but the ginger. Using whole spices and grinding them adds extra intensity to the flavors, so I try to do that whenever I can (or whenever I have the energy)). All you have to do is use an old burr coffee grinder, and shake it with the lid held tightly closed to ensure all the spices are well ground.

Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg and Allspice

Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg and Allspice

I actually used a very fine grater for the nutmeg instead of the coffee grinder, and was surprised to see the inside of the leftover nutmeg afterwards – I had no idea how cool looking nutmeg was!

Cool-looking Nutmeg Insides

Cool-looking Nutmeg Insides

Over the past eight batches or so of biscotti, my husband and I decided that we actually like biscotti a little less dry than is standard. Sometimes it’s kind of nice to be able to eat a biscotti in your cubicle at work without having to dunk each bite in coffee so that you don’t disturb your coworkers with reverberating crunch noises. (Honestly, I made one batch that really was that hard – I kind of felt like I should apologize for breaking people’s concentration).

Coconut Biscotti
makes 18-24

1+3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c erythritol*
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c low-fat shredded coconut
1/4 c applesauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1+1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp coconut flavoring
1 egg + 2 egg whites

Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Chip Biscotti
makes 18-24

pumpkin pie spices (you’ll use about half of this)
3 tsp cinnamon
1+1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1+3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c erythritol*
1/4 c sugar
3/4 c pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c chocolate chips
3 tsp pumpkin pie spices
1 egg + 2 egg whites

* Erythritol is usually about 70% as sweet as sugar. If you want to use all sugar instead of a mix, try 3/4 cup of sugar. I haven’t done this ratio, but I don’t think that the missing 1/4 cup of sugar texture would make too much difference since this is basically a quick bread.

Directions for both types:
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil, and spray well with cooking spray.

In one bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In another bowl mix together all the rest of the ingredients, except the eggs. Taste and adjust as desired. Next add the egg and egg whites. Gradually add the flour mixture (in about 3 batches), combining well.

Divide the dough in half, rinse your hands in cold water and just shake (but not dry) them off. Form two skinny loaves between 2-3 inches wide and about 12 inches long. (The dough will spread a bit as it bakes.)

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until it has the consistency of a loaf of bread (just a tiny bit of give when you touch the top). Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. As soon as you remove the biscotti, decrease the oven temperature to 275.

Slice each loaf diagonally with a serrated knife into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices. Wipe the aluminum foil with a paper towel to get rid of excess cooking spray, then arrange the slices on the baking sheets, and bake until the biscotti are dry – anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes (seriously, it’s a crazy range, I have different results with basically the same batter as near as I can tell. The pumpkin will probably take a bit longer since I used a lot of pumpkin to get a bold taste). Remove from oven, and cool on a baking rack.

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Chocolate Almond Biscotti

September 2, 2012

When I was younger, I didn’t really appreciate biscotti. I always thought of them as ‘the disappointing cookie’ (kind of like oatmeal raisin, when compared to chocolate chip). But then one day I decided to give them another try, and found that I actually really like them. And of course they’re perfect with coffee (one of my big passions!)

A while ago a friend of mine mentioned that she had a biscotti recipe, and told me about the double-baking process used to make them. Before that I hadn’t ever thought about how they were made, but that sounded intriguing. So I decided I needed to make some biscotti. I was having trouble deciding on what flavor to make, though. Should I do citrus? Something with nuts or dried fruit? Given that when I was ready to start, I still hadn’t made a decision, I went with the default — chocolate.

I glanced at a few recipes for a baseline, and then just started throwing stuff in. I went with some really good ground cocoa (Dagoba), almond and vanilla extract, and just a touch of espresso powder. I used a smaller amount of fat than most recipes called for, and supplemented with a bit of applesauce. As with most of my baked goods, I replaced a large amount of the sugar with erythritol to cut down on calories. The baking process wasn’t too difficult – they took a lot longer to ‘dry’ in the second baking than all the recipes I looked at, but they eventually did. And the taste? TURBO chocolatey!

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

makes about 20

1+3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c erythritol
1/4 c sugar
3 T olive oil
3 T apple sauce
5 T cocoa powder
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp espresso powder
1 egg + 2 egg whites

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil, and spray well with cooking spray.

In one bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In another bowl mix together the erythritol, sugar, olive oil and applesauce. Add the cocoa powder, almond extract, vanilla extract, and espresso powder. Next add the egg and egg whites. Gradually add the flour mixture (in about 3 batches), combining well.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti Dough

Chocolate Almond Biscotti Dough (really more of a dough/batter hybrid)

Divide the dough in half, rinse your hands in cold water and just shake (but not dry) them off. Form two skinny loaves between 2-3 inches wide and about 12 inches long. (The dough will spread a bit as it bakes.)

Biscotti Loaf Ready for First Bake

Biscotti Loaf Ready for First Bake (No, not very attractive at this point, but keep going – it’s worth it!)

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until it has the consistency of a loaf of bread (just a tiny bit of give when you touch the top).

Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. As soon as you remove the biscotti, decrease the oven temperature to 275.

Sliced Biscotti Loaves

Sliced Biscotti Loaves

Slice each loaf diagonally with a serrated knife into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices. Wipe the aluminum foil with a paper towel to get rid of excess cooking spray, then arrange the slices on the baking sheets, and bake until the biscotti are dry. (Most recipes I looked at online indicated this would take about 8-10 minutes. But it seriously took a full 30 minutes for mine to be *mostly* dry). Remove from oven, and cool on a baking rack.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Nutritional Information:
per biscotti: 73 cals, 2.7 g fat, 2 g fiber

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