Biscotti is crazy inexpensive to make, and crazy good. Frugal by nature, made with the simplest of ingredients, these crispy little chocolate and vanilla cookies are a perfect of example of the sum equaling more than the parts.
The ancient Romans carried Biscotti on trips – we usually just carry them from the coffee shop. Make them at home and you can make three dozen or so for less than the price of a single coffee shop Biscotti.
My family loves these, and they are a little addictive; I used to include these in my Christmas cookie packages every year, and we’re not even Italian. It’s ok to like these, though…they’re a better treat than some.
So next time you want just a little something, think about Biscotti. Bring them on a road trip, bring them camping or skiing. Throw several in cellophane bag and put in a nice mug for your children’s teachers or office coworkers. 36 cookies go a long way. (They do store very easily, keeping fresh for weeks.) The majority of the cookies will be seven to eight inches long, the ones cut from the edges slightly smaller.
Black & White Biscotti
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional (walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts all work well here.)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (a hazelnut liquor is good here)
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons butter or shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter until mixed, one to two minutes. Add eggs and vanilla or liquor and beat till light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture. Stir in nuts, if using. Remove half of dough and add chocolate to the remaining. Mix lightly.
Divide each portion, the chocolate and vanilla in half. On a lightly floured surface roll each portion out into a six by 3 inch log. Place one chocolate portion onto each vanilla portion. Roll again into about a 10 by 2 1/2 inch log. You can vary this, but it alters the baking time.
Place each log three inches apart on a baking sheet and bake 20 to 28 minutes until the vanilla portion just begins to show a bit of color. Let cool for 15 minutes and slice carefully into half inch slices on the diagonal. (Save any crumbs to sprinkle over ice-cream.) Place each cookie cut with the cut sides down on the cookie sheet and bake an additional 14 – 18 minutes, turning half way through. The outside should be just golden brown.
Melt each type of chip with one teaspoon butter or shortening. (Do this in the microwave in short intervals of about 25 seconds, stirring after each interval, until melted.) Drizzle over the cookies with a spoon, or if you’d like a more professional look, use a Ziploc with the corner trimmed off or a pastry bag.
Note: I use a very thin sharp knife to cut, with a very specific motion: I drag the tip through till I’m near the end, then bring the knife down – it seems to make better cuts with fewer crumbs. I also use an offset spatula to move the cut, but not yet baked cookies, a couple at a time to where they need to be on the cookie sheet.
from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read Strategies for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
Nutrition for Black and White Biscotti, per cookie:
Cal 86, Cal fr fat 26, 33%, tot fat 3g, sat fat 2 g, chol 14mg; sod 61mg, tot carb 12g; fib .5g; sug 6g; fib 1.5 g
Put Your own Spin on It:
- I already mentioned several ways to change Black and White Biscotti: Vary the nuts, vary the extract or liquor.
- You could, of course make this much more inexpensive by making them all one flavor and omitting the chocolate altogether.
Black & White Biscotti made April 2012