Decadent Browned Butter and Toberlone Biscotti
I have a soft spot for single subject cookbooks. I like taking a deep dive into a particular baking genre and peeking into the mind of the author who has spent a concentrated amount if time studying the particular item at hand. I was a bit surprised to see a book on biscotti, just because it didn’t seem very “new”. Lucky for us Domenica Marchetti has brought us a collection of classic biscotti as well as some truly inventive takes of this double-baked crunchy cookie in her book Ciao Biscotti. Two things I have always loved about biscotti are that you get a bunch out of one batch and they tend to keep well, so you get to enjoy them for quite a while. I like them crispy and crunchy on their own, or dipped into tea or coffee. We are featuring her Browned Butter and Toberlone as well as the Smoky Gouda Biscotti. The book has several savory versions, which is a really nice option. Very nice as a nibble before dinner with a glass of wine. The book is fun to look at, too, as you can see from the image. These are bold biscotti.
Excerpted with permission by publisher. Ciao Biscottiby Domenica Marchetti, published by Chronicle, 2015. Images by Antonis Achilleos.
My friend Laura has a wonderful baking blog called Tutti Dolci, which means “all sweets” in Italian. One day, while reading the blog’s archives, I came across a recipe for biscotti with chopped Toblerone chocolate folded into the dough. Brilliant! Laura generously gave me the go-ahead to share the recipe here.
- 2 3⁄4 cups/340 g unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
- 8 Tbsp/115 g unsalted butter
- 3⁄4 cup/150 g sugar
- 1 Tbsp brandy
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pure almond extract
- 3 large eggs
- One 3.52-oz/100-g Toblerone bar, cut into small pieces
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 oz/115 g semisweet chocolate, melted
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside.
- In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Continue to cook the butter, stirring continuously, until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Let the butter cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until it is no longer hot.
- Pour the sugar, brandy, vanilla, and almond extract into the bowl and beat on low speed until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Dump in the flour mixture and beat on low speed until a soft, sticky dough has formed (it will be very soft). Toss in the chopped Toblerone bar and mix on low just until incorporated. Using a spatula, scrape the dough onto a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap. Pat it into a disk, wrap, and set in the refrigerator to chill for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Lightly coat an 11-by-17-in/28-by-43-cm baking sheet with the oil.
- Cut the chilled dough in half. Place one portion on one half of the baking sheet and use your hands and fingers to roll, stretch, and pat the dough into a log about 4 in/10 cm wide and 10 in/25 cm long. Shape the second piece of dough in the same way. Press down on the logs to flatten them out a bit and make the tops even.
- Bake the logs for 25 minutes, or until they are just set—they should be springy to the touch and there should be cracks on the surface. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Gently slide an offset spatula under each log to loosen it from the baking sheet. Let the logs cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to the rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F/165°C.
- Transfer the cooled logs to a cutting board and, using a Santoku knife or a serrated bread knife, cut them on the diagonal into ¹⁄²-in-/12-mm-thick slices. Arrange the slices, cut-side up, on the baking sheet (in batches if necessary) and bake for 8 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for another 8 minutes, until they are crisp and golden brown. Transfer the slices to the rack to cool completely.
- Arrange the slices cut-side up on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Dip a fork into the melted chocolate and wave it back and forth over the biscotti to create drizzles and droplets (you may not use all the melted chocolate, depending on how much drizzle you want). Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for the chocolate to set. Let the biscotti return to room temperature before serving. The biscotti will keep for up to 10 days in an airtight container stored at room temperature.
What to drink: Perfect with a shot of hot espresso on a cold afternoon.