Sorry for another biscotti recipe, but it's Checkered Biscotti so it's special. You get two kinds of biscotti in one! So far I've made chocolate & almond, chocolate & peanut butter and chocolate and butterscotch versions. Maybe when the holidays roll around I'll try almond & gingerbread biscotti. It is just so fun to make and kind of a stress reliever, really. I don't know why, but biscotti is just the most calming thing to make.
Anyhow, to get the checkered effect, you slice each of your biscotti logs into 4 strips, lay 4 strips next to each other in alternating colors, then stack 4 more strips on top alternating again. Squish it all together in one log, chill for a bit, then bake! Since the log is rather large, it's baked at a low and slow bake temp and time. This helps prevent too much cracking and ensures the biscotti is baked thoroughly.
At first glance it appears to have a very long ingredient list, but it does not. The list is just separated into vanilla dough and chocolate, but most of the ingredients are the same. The mixing technique is pour and stir, so that's easy too. Here's a picture of a baked log before it was sliced. You can see how the chocolate dough cracked when baked. For the next couple of rounds I added a tablespoon of alcohol to the chocolate dough and it cracked less, so you will see in the recipe that there's an optional tablespoon of brandy, amaretto or whatever you have (Marula Cream, in my case).
If you are reading this and thinking of all the flavor combinations, you'll be happy to Chocolate and Peanut Butter Checkered Biscotti works. I put the ingredients for the peanut butter dough in the notes. The butterscotch version is pretty much the same as the almond, you just use brown sugar instead of granulated and add butterscotch chips. Here's a photo of the chocolate & peanut butter version. It was good, but I think the chocolate & almond version is really the best.
- Vanilla Dough
- 1 cup minus 1 T. all-purpose flour 120 grams
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt plus a pinch
- ⅓ cup sugar (63 grams)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (42 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon brandy or other type of alcohol
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla or use a mixture of ¾ almond and ¼ vanilla
- ⅓ cup whole almonds toasted and chopped
- Double Chocolate Dough
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 135 grams
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder natural (20 grams)
- ⅜ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus a pinch
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled (42 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar 50 grams
- ¼ cup brown sugar 50 grams
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp brandy, etc. Use whatever, or just leave out
- ⅓ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
- 4 oz white or dark chocolate (for dipping) -- optional
- Make the vanilla dough first. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together sugar, melted butter, egg, and vanilla (and/or almond extract).
- Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir, then stir in the almonds. Shape into a flat rectangle about 4 inches by 8 inches, then wrap in plastic and chill for about 30 minutes or until firm. Dough should be pretty soft.
- Chocolate Dough: Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together sugar, melted butter, egg, and vanilla. Add a tablespoon of brandy or other alcohol if using.
- Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir, then stir in chocolate chips or chunks. Shape into a flat 4 inches by 8 inches rectangle, then wrap and chill for about a half hour.
- Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle.
- When both sections of dough are firm enough to handle, cut each vertical to make 4 strips of vanilla dough and four strips of chocolate. On a large piece of plastic wrap. Line up dough strips side-by-side in the pattern vanilla, chocolate, vanilla, chocolate. Stack a second layer of alternating dough pieces on top going chocolate, vanilla, chocolate, vanilla. Squish gently into a log, wrap and chill for another half hour. NOTE: If your dough seems too soft to work with, you can throw it in the freezer for a few minutes.
- Remove the chilled log from the refrigerator and shape it gently so that it’s a little over 8 inches long and 3 inches wide and forms a peak in the center.
- Cut each long in half vertically, then line the logs up so you have chocolate, vanilla, chocolate vanilla
- Stack logs so that you have a chocolate and vanilla on the bottom and a vanilla and chocolate on top. Shape into a large log about 8x4.
- Bake at 325 for 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for about 15 minutes.
- Cut into ¾-inch slices with a serrated knife ( the thinner the blade, the better).
- Reduce heat to 300 degrees F.
- Stand the biscotti on a clean baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.
- Melt the white or dark chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Pour on a plate or in a narrow bowl and sink biscotti into chocolate coating just the bottom. Lay or stand on a parchment lined plate or tray, then chill or freeze to set the chocolate.