David Lebovitz’ Chocolate Biscotti — Great Recipe

Several months ago a dear friend casually mentioned in an email her disappointment with a batch of chocolate biscotti she had just baked. I have been obsessed with finding a good chocolate biscotti recipe ever since, testing recipes, fiddling with proportions, and generally just eating and eating and eating some more. I think I have started each morning for the past two months with a chocolate biscotti. None, however, was particularly satisfying until I discovered David Lebovitz’ recipe.

I held out on making this recipe for so long because I didn’t think a biscotti recipe without butter would be good. Boy was I wrong. These are divine. Perfectly sweet. Not too hard. Crumbly. Soft. Not too soft. Loaded with chocolate and studded with almonds. A perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee. I am convinced there is no better way to start the morning (and mid-morning and afternoon and early evening, etc.).

For those biscotti-making novices out there, there is nothing tricky about baking cookies twice.I basically followed Lebovitz’ instructions to a tee: baked the logs first for 25 minutes at 350ºF; let them rest for 15 minutes; sliced them up and baked them for 15 minutes more, which was a little bit less than recommended but a perfect length to achieve the texure I like. Yum yum yum.

I also can’t emphasize enough how easy baking becomes when you introduce a digital scale to your arsenal of kitchen tools. I tend to measure in ounces but Lebovitz’ recipe was in grams, which seem to be more precise. This recipe is a winner. Make these biscotti. They’re a real treat.

And if you’re not so much a chocolate fan, try these almond biscotti — it’s another great recipe.

Chocolate Biscotti

Source: Adapted from David Lebovitz
For notes regarding cocoa and other matters, check out his post. I do think using good cocoa makes a difference. I had good results with Ghirardelli.

2 cups (280g) flour
3/4 cups (75g) top-quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 large eggs*
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 cup (125g) almonds, toasted and very coarsely-chopped
3/4 cups (120g) chocolate chips

Notes:

*Twice now I’ve had to whisk up another egg and add it to the batter at the end to help the batter bind together. So, if your batter doesn’t seem to be forming a mass, beat up an extra egg and mix it in. That should help. Next time I think I’ll just add 4 eggs.

** I chose not to glaze/eggwash my biscotti. I feel a glaze in unnecessary with chocolate biscotti. If you wish to glaze, however, refer to David Lebovitz’ post.

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, sugar, and vanilla & almond extracts. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, then mix in the nuts and the chocolate chips until the dough holds together.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Divide the dough in half. Form each half into a log. Transfer the logs onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart.

5. Bake for 25 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch.

6. Remove pan from the oven and cool 15 minutes. On a cutting board, use a serrated (or not … I’ve used both types) knife to diagonally cut the cookies into 1/2-inches slices. Lay the cookies cut side down on baking sheets and return to the oven for 15 minutes*, turning the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.

Notes:

* Lebovitz bakes his for 20 to 30 minutes during the second baking. I like my biscotti not too crisp and have found good results with just 15 minutes of baking second time around. Also, really make sure your oven is at 350º or less — the chocolate will burn if your oven is hotter.

**Once baked, cool the cookies completely then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. If you wish, the cookies can be half-dipped in melted chocolate, then cooled until the chocolate hardens.

17 Comments

  1. these are DELICIOUS!!! thanks for the recipe. I made them today & I just cut them up & put them back in the oven for partII… I wanted to just eat them up right then & there. so good. the almond extract makes them extra delicious – and it’s not overpowering at all, but the perfect flavor!!

    PS I was 1/2 way done making these & realized I was all out of almonds. so I used 1 C chocolate chips & 3/4 C craisins.

    Reply
    • Kristen – chocolate chips and raisins sound amazing! So glad you liked the recipe. I just made some gingerbread biscotti, too, that were fantastic. I’ll have to report back on those soon! Happy New Year!

      Reply
      • Hello!
        I have your biscotti recipe in the oven as we speak. I have made biscotti before and my concern is the batter is more like a cake batter. Difficult to form into logs. I used an additional egg too. Please advise. Thanks!

        Reply
        • Hi Linda,

          So sorry for the delay here! How did they turn out? I have to admit, I haven’t made these in ages, but I remember the dough being tricky to work with but forgiving in the end. It sounds as though the dough is too wet? Were you using a scale or measuring cups to measure? I know at different times of year, flour absorbs moisture differently, so it’s possible that due to the weather, the flour was hydrating better — next time, I might just add a bit more flour or even chill the dough before I try to shape it into logs. Hope that helps!

          Ali

          Reply
  2. There’s biscotti craze in our family these days and this looks like it would fit right in. Love that you didn’t add a glaze and the rich color you got. Butter is definitely the way to go!

    Reply
  3. Making this now. Four eggs from the get go. Have no almonds. No worries. Tossed in about a third of a cup of dried cranberries. As George Carlin used to say, “Take a chance!” Dough is made and two rolls are in the convection oven now.

    Reply
    • Oh my gosh, fun! I hope they turn out well for you! Love the idea of dried cranberries. Love the George Carlin quote. Haven’t made these in ages, but think I might need to now. Happy Holidays!

      Reply
  4. Just tried these, such a great chocolate flavor! I had a whole bunch of shelled pistachios left over from another recipe, so I used those instead of almonds and I am really happy with how they came out

    *the dough seemed dry, so I added the 4th egg and then it seemed too wet… idk, maybe I will just add a yolk next time. good suggestion though!

    Reply
    • Yum! I love the idea of pistachios. I haven’t made these in ages, so I’m sort of blanking on the texture of the dough, but I like your thinking. Thanks so much for writing in!

      Reply

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