I’m obsessed with coffee, and when I go to a nice Italian coffee shop, I always need something to go with it. Pastries are great and I have never been known to turn down a baked good like a muffin or a scone. However, the most perfect pairing to a really great coffee is a biscotti (dipped in chocolate!) A biscotti needs nuts and dried fruit too, or else it’s kind of lame.
Making biscotti scares some people. Baking can be a daunting task, so baking twice (where the term ‘biscotti’ comes from) will have any rookie baker saying ‘no thanks!’ I get it! I feel like ever since I had my kids, I only have time to bake late at night when they’re already in bed. So, since I like my biscotti with all the fixings, nuts, dried fruit (which could get pricey when buying everything separately) and dipped in chocolate, I needed to find an easier way that wasn’t so time consuming and much cheaper.
I visited my Fruit Cake Biscotti recipe recently and it dawned on me, what if instead of adding nuts and dried fruit separately, why can’t I use a bag of prepared fruit and nut mix? The brand I have been using lately, Central Roast, has bags like their ‘Energy’ and ‘Think’ Mix that have a perfect mix of dried fruits and nuts. And that’s not even the best part – one 260g bag is the EXACT amount needed for my classic biscotti recipe so all you have to do is roughly chop the pieces so they’re not so large and you’re good to go! A bonus is the vitamin and nutrients packed into these.
Here’s another tip when you’re making biscotti. When you’re trying to figure out how to dip your biscotti into the chocolate, try dipping the bottom flat edge so that every single bite gets a little bit of chocolate. And one last thing, when it comes to the hint of citrus in these, I like to change it up depending on the season:
Winter – orange,
summer – lime,
spring – lemon.
These are great to bring as a hostess gift in a pretty box or to a cookie exchange. They’re pretty classic and they freeze great so having them in your freezer may save you the next time you have some unexpected guests.
I hope if you were scared to try baking biscotti, you will try them now that I’ve made it a little bit easier for you. I can’t wait to enjoy my coffee tomorrow morning with a few of these!
- 2 ½ cups (260 g) raw nut and dry fruit mix (or 260g bag of Central Roast Energy or Think Mix)
- ½ cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp (7 ml) freshly grated citrus zest
- 2 ½ cups (625 ml) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
- ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
- 1 egg white
- 10 0z (300g) dark bittersweet chocolate, for dipping
- Roughly chop your fruit and nut mix into smaller pieces and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla, and citrus zest until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the butter mixture in 2 additions, just until combined. Fold in the nuts and dried fruits with a spatula.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. On a lightly floured surface, shape each half into 12 inch (30 cm) long logs. Place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on a parchment lined rimless baking sheet; press to flatten slightly.
- Whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon of water; brush generously over the tops of the logs.
- Bake in 325 degrees Fahrenheit oven just until light golden brown and firm to the touch (about 30 minutes). Let cool on pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut diagonally into ½ inch (1 cm) thick slices. Stand slices upright, about ½ inch (1 cm) apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake in 300 degree Fahrenheit oven until almost dry (about 30 minutes). Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Melt about 10 ounces of chocolate over a double broiler. Dip the flat bottom edge of the biscotti into the chocolate and let harden on a parchment lined baking sheet. These should last up to a week if kept sealed in an airtight container.