Biscotti in Italian means ‘baked twice’. These hard, crisp biscuits were designed to keep well for months, making it ideal to survive long sea voyages in days of old. Which works out great for us now too, despite the lack of month long voyages, a large batch of these can keep you happily sated at tea time for quite some time. Throw in chocolate and hazelnut into the mix, and happily sated is just an understatement.
For delicate gums generally accustomed to the soft cookies, these Chocolate Hazelnut biscotti can be a little hard on the jaws, but thankfully, these are served with a drink (wine in Italy, coffee or tea elsewhere). Dunk the biscotti into the beverage it is served with, and it soaks up the liquid like a parched, thirsty man stranded in the desert.
Another use for these humble Chocolate Hazelnut biscotti – holiday gifts. Dunk them in chocolate, drizzle beautiful designs in white chocolate on top and you have a relatively inexpensive, handmade, thoughtful, not to mention delicious gifts. All they need are a gift wrapped receptacle to present them in and they will bring joy wherever they go.
To begin, you start off with room temperature eggs and sugar. Whisk them together until pale yellow. Then add in the softened butter.
Whisk in the rest of the ingredients – generous vanilla to mask the egg, flour and baking soda. Keep whisking until you get a thick batter. Turn it all out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and knead until it comes together into a soft dough. Stir in the nuts and chocolate.
Fashion into a long log and flatten it to an inch thick.
Bake for about 25 minutes until slightly browned. It will be firm on the outside, but rather still soft and cake-like on the inside.
Cool slightly and slice into 1/2″ slices while still warm. Return the slices back to the baking tray, spaces slightly apart and slow bake for about 1.5 hours until crisp and firmly baked.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Keep well for months, if it isn’t eaten up by then.