Biscotti literally means ‘cooked twice’ and this is what you do to make these crunchy, intensely chocolatey Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti. Don’t let this keep you from making them, especially if you’ve got the energy... to do some baking. The recipe is easy and the results are quite delicious. Biscotti keep really well in a tin, making them a perfect high-calorie snack to bake ahead as a treat for treatment, or to simply dunk in a post-dinner coffee as dessert.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Gently dry toast the hazelnuts in a heavy skillet over a medium heat, rolling them around so they toast evenly, about 5-10 minutes. Tip the nuts into a bowl lined with a clean tea towel. Fold the towel over them, then roll them around in the towel on the kitchen top. This will remove the skins, which come off easily. Finely chop half the hazelnuts and reserve the rest. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla and beat until well blended.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and soda onto the wet ingredients and beat into a sticky dough. Fold in the chopped nuts and then the whole nuts. The dough will be very stiff.
Lightly flour your hands and roll the dough into a ball. Transfer the dough to a clean surface and roll into a log about 6- to 8-inches long and about 2½- to 3-inches thick. If it seems small, don't worry, it will spread as it cooks. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. The log will have expanded and its top darkened and cracked.
Leave the oven on. Remove the log from the oven, set the tray on a baking rack and let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Place the log on a cutting board and slice it across into ¼-inch slices with a serrated knife. Carefully return the slices to the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven another 15 minutes, turning each cookie halfway through. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container.
Since this recipe uses both baking powder and baking soda it’s OK to use ‘natural’ cocoa if you can’t find Dutch processed cocoa.
Eat all sweet, sugary treats in moderation. A little bit of sweetness can make you feel good, but don’t overdo it!