The flavors in this Chocolate Pecan Biscotti recipe are so subtle and complex that your taste buds will be saying WOW! The addition of candied ginger with the nuts and chocolate takes these Italian cookies to a whole new level. If you are timid about the ginger, substitute cranberries instead. In fact, this recipe is so versatile that I am going to give you a number of suggested alternatives:
- If you are on a sodium low diet, eliminate the salt.
- Substitute dried cranberries for the crystalized candied ginger if you prefer.
- Crystalized candied ginger is readily available in grocer stores.
- Instant espresso powder is optional. It is readily available in grocery stores.
- Regular granulated white sugar can be substituted for the Stevia but the calorie count will be impacted.
- Semisweet chocolate chips can be used instead of bittersweet, however you will be losing the health benefits that are in the dark chocolate.
What I also love about biscotti is that they can last up to 4 weeks in an airtight container.
This recipe appears more complicated than it is. I have described all the steps in a fair amount of detail so that people new to biscotti can take advantage of my learning experience. Biscotti is so easy to do. The first time you make biscotti extra time but then you will be a pro, it is that easy!
What is lovely about this particular recipe is that the biscotti are relatively low in everything; calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates.
- 220 g (1¾ cups sifted) flour (I use Nutri flour blend)
- 80 g (1/3 cup packed) brown sugar
- 10 g (1/3 cup) stevia sugar substitute (zero calorie for cooking) (or white granulated sugar)
- 40 g (1/3 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 10 g (2 tsp) instant espresso powder (optional)
- 5 g (1 tsp) baking soda
- 2.5 g (1/2 tsp) salt
- 152 g (3/4 cup) dark bittersweet chocolate chips (70% or above)
- 84 g (3/4 cup) pecans, toasted
- 80 g (1/2 cup) Crystallized Candied Ginger (or dried cranberries)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 325 degree Fahrenheit.
- Combine the flour, brown sugar, stevia, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt, and sift together into a mixing bowl.
- Combine the chocolate chips & pecans in a bowl.
- Add 2-3 g (1/2 tsp) of the flour mixture to the chips & nuts.
- Dice the crystalized ginger into small pieces and add to the bowl, using your fingers to separate any ginger clumping together. (The addition of the flour mixture is used to help reduce the clumping.)
- Crack the eggs into a cup and add the vanilla.
- Turn your mixer on low speed and start mixing the flour.
- Add your egg mixture approximately one yolk at a time, pausing briefly between each addition, until the cup is empty.
- Now start adding the chip/nut/ginger mixture a third at a time pausing briefly between additions.
- Turn off mixer. At this point the biscotti batter will be mostly incorporated but not fully. Using the blade of the mixer or a spatula manually incorporate the mixture together. The mixture will be dry and crumbly.
- Dampen your hands with water. (The water helps you to be able to shape the biscotti without it sticking to you. Some recipes use flour for this task, however, I prefer water because I do not need to worry about the flour residue spoiling the presentation. This also eliminates the need for an egg wash and I am all for eliminating steps.)
- On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper dump out the dough and divide into 2 equal parts.
- With each half form into a rough roll about 25.5 cm (10 inches) long, making sure to space them evenly apart.
- Pat down each roll so it is 6½ cm (2½ inches) across.
- Place on the centre rack in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotating the sheet at the 20 minute mark. At this point the biscotti will be firm to the touch.
- Remove the sheet from the oven and let the biscotti logs cool for 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
- Using a sharp or serrated knife, cut the biscotti logs into cookies, 1¼ cm wide (1/2 inch) tilting the knife at approximately a 60 degree angle to the cutting board (90 degrees is perpendicular to the cutting board).
- Place the biscotti flat on a rack on a baking tray (preferred) or flat on a cookie tray.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, flip the cookies onto their opposite side, rotate the cookie tray, and place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place the biscotti onto a cooling rack.