Chocolate-Dipped Almond and Anise Biscottiyields 2 logs, 18 pieces each plus 1/2 cup melted chocolate - level Difficult
For the Biscotti
- 3 Tbsp. anise seeds
- 1 cup whole almonds, toasted and cooled
- 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, preferably Arbequina
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, grade B or dark Amber
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup organic sugar for shaping
For the Chocolate Coating for Biscotti
- 4 oz premium quality, dairy free chocolate (68% to 75% cocoa content), finely chopped
- Optional, but suggested: 2 to 3 tablespoons California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- Lightly toast anise seeds in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly until fragrant. Cool. Grind in a spice grinder until fine. Grind almonds medium-fine a food processor.
- Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour and salt to a strainer set over bowl, and sift. Stir the ground almonds and ground anise into the dry mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil,maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts until thoroughly blended.
- Pour into dry mixture and stir until dough forms. A small piece should hold together when squeezed. Allow dough to rest in bowl for 10 mins. Turn dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and cut in half.
- Spread half the sugar on the counter and roll one piece of the dough in the sugar to form a log 11-12 inches long. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Wrap each log in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
- Position rack in middle of oven, preheat to 350˚ F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the logs and place on the prepared baking sheet, 3-4 inches apart. Bake for 25-30 mins, until firm and lightly browned.
- Cool 10 minutes; then carefully, slide the logs, still on the parchment paper, off the sheet and onto a rack. Cool completely.
- To ensure neat and even slicing, wrap the logs and refrigerate about 1 hour until cold. The parchment paper can remain on the baking sheet for second baking.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Use a serrated knife to cut 1/4 inch thick diagonal slices, creating the typical biscotti shape.
- Cut straight down or saw into the logs gently; experiment to see what creates the neatest slices. Place the biscotti cut-side down on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 6 mins. Remove the sheet from the oven and use turn each piece over using a tongs or spatula. Bake 6-7 mins longer, or until dry. Cool the biscotti.
- Store in a tightly covered tin for 1 week. Freeze in an airtight container up to a month.
For the the chocolate coating
- Line a sheet pan or another flat surface with parchment paper.
- Pour a few inches of water into a saucepan. Set a heatproof bowl over the saucepan so that the bottom of the bowl sits above the water. Put the chopped chocolate into the bowl. (Note: Chocolate must always be melted slowly, over very low heat or it is in danger of scorching. And, never allow any water or steam to come into contact with the chocolate, or it will become hard, lumpy and ruined)
- Bring the water to the lowest simmer over low heat. Do not stir the chocolate until about half is melted; then stir chocolate gently with a silicon spatula until it is completely melted.
- When the chocolate is melted, add the optional 2-3 teaspoons of California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil and stir very gently to combine.
- Pour 1/3 of the melted chocolate at a time into another smaller bowl. Dip one piece of the biscotti at a time into the chocolate, coating 1/4 to 1/3 of the cookie. Place the dipped biscotti on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat until all the biscotti are dipped, adding more melted chocolate to the dipping bowl as needed. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set. Store the biscotti in the freezer, in a tightly closed tin, layers separated by parchment paper. They defrost in minutes.
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