Yield : 2 1/2 dozen
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These Baci and Apricot Biscotti were inspired when my client sent me some Perugina chocolate and Baci candies and asked me to come up with recipes for a Christmas campaign. The idea was easy to send gifts from your kitchen, that would hold up well in transport. Via the mail service.
Being twice cooked, Biscotti are very portable
Baci, known as little kisses, is a candy that is filled with whipped chocolate and tiny bits of hazelnut, with a whole hazelnut tucked inside and dark chocolate covering. Baci, Perugina chocolate, extra virgin olive oil, portable…thinking cap on.
Being twice cooked, Biscotti are very portable with their dense texture. Chocolate, hazelnut and dried apricot seemed to be a natural match. So Baci and Apricot Biscotti was conceived. And it was a good conception.
These biscotti are very light and tender. Eat them plain or dip them half-way into some melted chocolate. Enjoy them with an espresso, cappuccino, Sauterne or even a glass of ice cold milk.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mild extra virgin olive oil (I use Colavita)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 (3.5 ounce) bar Perugina Dark or Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (or other high quality chocolate)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Frangelico liqueur, optional
1/2 to 3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
6 to 8 Baci candies, chopped
1 (3.5 ounce) bar Perugina White, dark or bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped, optional
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, (optional)
Heat the oven to 325°F. Put parchment paper on a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set-aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil and granulated sugar; mix on high speed (medium-high if using a free standing mixer); for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar and chopped chocolate bar in a food processor; process until the chocolate is very fine. Add to the sugar/oil mixture and continue to beat 2 minutes more; or until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next; add the vanilla (and Frangelico, if using) mix well. Reduce the speed to medium (or low); add the dry ingredients; mix until well blended. Add the nuts, apricots and chopped Baci. Mix well.
With floured hands (the dough will be sticky) shape the dough into two 10 inch by 2 inch logs. Place the rolls on the parchment paper about 5 inches apart (there is no need to flatten the rolls, they will spread as they cook). Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted into the center, comes out clean. Remove the pan to a rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes; remove the biscotti loaves from the pan and allow to cool on the rack for 10 minutes more.
Using a serrated knife, cut the loaves diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange, cut side down, on an ungreased cookie sheet (you will most likely need 2 sheets to hold the biscotti for the second cooking). Bake 10 minutes; turn and bake 10 minutes more. Cool completely. May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 10 days. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen biscotti
Variation: These biscotti are also delicious when dipped into melted Perugina White, Dark or Bittersweet chocolate. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 20 – 30 seconds until smooth (about 1 1/2 minutes total). Stir in 1 – 2 teaspoons COLAVITA Extra Virgin Olive Oil; dip the biscotti half-way into the chocolate. Place in the refrigerator until the chocolate firms up, about 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.