March 06, 2013
Anise-free biscotti that is. There are few things on the planet that I dislike, and star anise or anything that tastes like black licorice is one of them. This may be why I dislike fennel so much, unless someone cooks the crap out of it. Then it’s ok. Maybe you can begin to understand why I’ve never been a huge biscotti fan. Not all biscotti is made with anise, but much of it is. At least that’s what I think of when I think of biscotti. I love the idea of having biscotti with my coffee (and or beer (=), so I decided to create my own anise-free biscotti. Chocolatey yet nutty, and buttery yet crispy, I’m sad that I didn’t think of this sooner. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but they are absolutely remarkable. I hope you find as much pleasure in making them as I did.
I do wish I liked star anise, and I’m not saying that I NEVER cook with it because I do, but there is just way too much of it going on in your everyday biscotti recipe. Besides, they are super cute, that just the idea of having them in my spice cabinet makes me very happy. My recipe is a tad different. Of course you get the same texture and crunch as you would with any other biscotti recipe, but it’s more like a chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookie got together with biscotti and had a baby.
When I think of traditional biscotti, I imagine myself sitting at a cafe in Italy with a couple shots of espresso, people watching and taking in the sites. We obviously don’t live in Italy…sad, but unfortunately true, we had to make do. I did go ahead and pair this with a beer. I don’t think it’s such a bad idea. The flavor combinations actually go very well together, especially when you are pairing it with a coffee porter like we did with Big Sky Brewing’s Cowboy Coffee Porter. The reason we chose this beer was because it is very, very coffee(y). It’s great for an after dinner snack.
If you plan on eating this biscotti in the AM, I do not suggest pairing with a beer however. Biscotti and coffee go together like spaghetti and meatballs. They are perfect for dipping, or you could just eat them all by their lonesome.
Oh and if you decide to add anise, you won’t hurt my feelings =).
- 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- ¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ cup white granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
- 1 package white chocolate chips, melted
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder until completely combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (with paddle attachment fixed), cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at at time, making sure the first one is completely incorporate before you add the second one. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. In ½ cup increments add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until all is incorporated until you have a very thick “cookie-like” dough. Gently fold in with a heavy wooden spoon the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
- Flour your work surface and dump the dough onto it. Mold into a 12 inch by 4 inch log and transfer to your baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until just hard to the touch (be careful). Remove from the oven and let cool COMPLETELY for about 45 minutes to an hour. Transfer the parchment paper along with the biscotti to a cutting board and cut ½ inch slices out of the log. Line your baking sheet with another sheet of parchment paper. Lay out the biscotti slices, cut side down. Bake again for about 15 minutes or until crispy.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.
- Once the biscotti has cooled again COMPLETELY, dip the biscotti into the white chocolate about ¼ of the way down, and decorate as you please. Place on a piece of parchment paper to dry completely.