Culinate editor’s note: The cracked pepper gives these a little zing — a perfect accompaniment to a cup of black tea.
Making biscotti is easier than you think, and they are the perfect hostess gift at holiday time. Think about wrapping the biscotti in cellophane bags tied with ribbon and having multiple packages for co-workers or friends. In addition, they are ideal for a Christmastime cookie-swap party.
There are three key ingredients that make these biscotti spectacular: chocolate, cherries, and black pepper. Use a deeply rich chocolate, such as Valrhona Le Noir Amer 71 percent cacao, and chop it into pea-size bits using a sharp chef’s knife; be sure to include all the little shavings, as they melt deliciously into the dough. Look for dried Bing or tart cherries that are soft and plump, usually found in specialty markets. For big pepper flecks, a pepper mill with an adjustable grind mechanism or a mortar and pestle is the best way to grind whole peppercorns very coarsely.
|2¼||cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting|
|1½||tsp. baking powder|
|1||tsp. ground cinnamon|
|½||tsp. kosher or sea salt|
|⅓||cup unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|¾||cup granulated sugar|
|1||tsp. pure vanilla extract|
|1¼||cups dried cherries|
|¾||cup (3½-ounce bar) coarsely chopped dark bittersweet chocolate|
|1||tsp. coarsely ground black pepper|
Storing: Layer the biscotti in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper. Store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Gift-giving tips: Wrap the biscotti in cellophane bags tied with ribbon, or layer in attractive tins or laminated gift boxes lined with decorative waxed paper. Attach a gift card. To turn this into a gift basket, consider including gourmet coffee and fun, seasonal mugs. Alternatively, include a bottle of vin santo or a digestif, such as grappa, both of which are traditional for dunking biscotti.
This content is from the book Gifts Cooks Love by Diane Morgan.
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