Biscotti (Italian, for “twice-baked) are Italian cookies that are baked as logs on a cookie sheet. After cooling, they are cut and baked once more – this makes them dry and crunchy.
Make these Spider-Web Biscotti by frosting them with swirly lines. Kids of all ages will love’em. Happy Halloween!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 to 30 minutes
Makes: 22 to 24 biscotti
Ingredients for the Biscotti:
2 cups all-purpose, unbleached white flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s Cocoa® preferred)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Dash ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsweetened butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup roasted, slivered almonds (optional)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Ingredients for the Orange Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cold water
4 drops yellow food color
1 to 2 drops red food color
Preheat Oven & Prepare the Cookie Dough:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line one 18 X 12 baking sheet with parchment paper. Alternatively, butter the baking sheet, add 1 tablespoon flour; shake off excess flour and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract; stir in the almonds and chocolate chips.
6. Gradually (a little at a time) beat in the flour mixture until all ingredients are amalgamated or uniform.
7. Shape dough into one ball. Divide the ball in two smaller balls.
8. On a lightly-floured surface, gently roll out one ball until it forms a log, measuring 14 inches long by 1-3/4 inches wide.
9. Gently lift and place the log on the baking sheet – about 1 inch from the long edge (this ensures that there is room for the next log).
10. Repeat rolling instructions for the remaining log and place it about 3 inches away from the first log.
Bake the Cookie Logs:
1. Place the baking sheet on a rack positioned in center of oven.
2. Bake the cookie logs for 25 to 30 minutes or until they spring to the touch.
3. When cookie logs have baked, transfer the cookie sheets to a rack or a counter.
4. Leave cookie logs on sheets to cool for 5 minutes.
Cut & Bake the Biscotti:
1. After 5 minutes, gently transfer one cookie log on a cutting board.
2. Using a serrated knife, cut DOWN into the log in this manner: You will cut 3/4-inch wide biscotti by positioning the point of the knife at top edge of the log.
3. In one motion, bring the knife down and cut through the log.
3. Cut the remaining biscotti into 3/4-wide slices.
4. Carefully place the biscotti, cut-side down on the baking sheet.
5. Bake 5 minutes per side. Remove baking sheet from oven and set aside on a counter – let biscotti cool completely.
Prepare Frosting & Decorate the Biscotti:
1. In a 3-cup mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the water. If the mixture is too dry, add about 1/2 teaspoon more water. It should not be too runny nor too hard.
2. Add the food color – you may need to adjust the tone by adding 1 more drop yellow or red food color.
3. Transfer the orange frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a narrow tip.
4. Lay out the cooled biscotti on a baking sheet and drizzle the frosting over each one, creating a web-like pattern.
5. Serve biscotti immediately or store them in a tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Text & Photograph ©2017 Nancy DeLucia Real