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Double Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

YIELD: About 48 biscotti
PREPARATION: 1 1/2 hours plus baking, cooling and setting times
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: A chocolate thermometer, heating pad with a control dial (such as the type used for backaches).


  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled with the back of a knife
  • 3/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 Cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder, such as Hershey's European Style or Droste
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons double acting baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 Cups lightly roasted hazelnuts (see Note)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Chocolate coating:

  • 15 ounces Swiss dark chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks

Note: To lightly roast hazelnuts, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 8 to 12 minutes, shaking the pan two or three times, until the nuts are fragrant. Wrap the nuts in a clean towel and cool completely. Transfer the nuts to a large sieve and rub them back and forth to remove the loose skins. Using a large sharp knife, cut the nuts into halves.

Make the biscotti:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Lightly butter and flour an "insulated" cookie sheet. In a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Process in on/off pulses until blended. Add the butter and process in on/off pulses until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the hazelnuts and coconut. Break the whole eggs into a measuring cup with a pouring spout. Add the eggyolk and beat with a fork, until blended. Remove 2 teaspoons of the egg mixture and set aside in a small cup to use later as egg wash. Add the vanilla to the egg mixture in the measuring cup and stir until blended. Make a well in the center of the flour/nut mixture and using a rubber spatula, stir until the mixture starts to clump together. Using your hands, form the mixture into a ball. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and with your hands pat the ball into an 8-inch disk. Cut the disk into 4 equal wedges. With lightly floured hands, gently roll each quarter into a 12-inch log. Carefully place the logs on the prepared cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with the heel of your hand to the width of 1 1/4 inches. Lightly brush the logs with the reserved egg wash. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the logs start to brown and bounce back when gently pressed with a finger. Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack and cool the logs for 20 minutes. Position one rack in the top third and another rack in the bottom third; reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. With a long metal cake spatula, carefully transfer the logs to a cutting surface. Using a sharp, finely serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the biscotti standing up, 1/2 inch apart on two ungreased "insulated" cookie sheets. Bake an additional 15 to 25 minutes, until the biscotti are dry and the sides begin to color. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Coat the biscotti in chocolate:

Wrap a heating pad (normally used for backaches) in plastic to protect it from chocolate stains. Set the control dial to the lowest setting. Press the heating pad in a 1 1/2-quart bowl. (The edges of the pad will hang over the top edge of the bowl.) Place half the chopped chocolate in a 1-quart microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM (50 percent) power for 2 to 5 minutes, stirring every 60 seconds, until smooth. Add the remaining chopped chococolate and stir gently for 1 minute, until half is melted. Scrape the chocolate into another 1 quart microwave-safe glass bowl. This will help lower the temperature of the chocolate. Continue to stir the chocolate. If many of the chunks are still unmelted after 1 minute, microwave on MEDIUM-LOW (30 percent) power for 10 second intervals, stirring until only a few chunks remain. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate. Continue to stir for about 1 minute, until the chocolate is completely melted. Check the temperature with an instant-read chocolate thermometer. It should register 86 degrees F to 91 degrees F. If the chocolate is cooler than required, microwave on Low (10 percent) power for 5 second intervals until the chocolate reaches the correct temperature. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate. If the chocolate has become hotter than required, it will not harden unless refrigerated.
Once hardened, it will not have a glossy appearance or smooth texture and it will soften again once it comes to room temperature. Set the bowl of tempered chocolate in the heating pad-lined bowl.
Control the temperature of the chocolate by turning the heating pad on and off. Stir the chocolate frequently during the coating process, and be sure to check the temperature.

Coat the biscotti:

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Dip one end of each biscotti into the tempered chocolate. Place the biscotti onto the paper-lined baking sheet. Let the biscotti stand at room temperature for 1 hour to set the chocolate. Store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight tin in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks.

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