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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Chocolate Biscotti with Pistachios, Almonds and Dried Cherries

Chocolate Biscotti with Pistachios, Almonds and Dried Cherries

1¾ hours 45 minutes active, plus cooling

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Chocolate Biscotti with Pistachios, Almonds and Dried Cherries

Free

The late Maida Heatter has about a dozen cookbooks to her name, all of them focused on baking sweets. These biscotti, our adaptation of a recipe from “Maida Heatter’s Best Dessert Book Ever,” are made with a combination of cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate. With a flavor boost from instant espresso powder, they’re dark and rich and not too sugary. Each satisfyingly crunchy slice—perfect with coffee or dessert wine—is studded with pistachios, almonds and dried cherries. We prefer to use Dutch-processed cocoa here, as it lends the cookies a deeper, darker color than natural cocoa, but natural cocoa works, if that’s what you have on hand. Once the biscotti are fully cooled, they will keep in an airtight container for a few weeks. If they soften slightly during that time, put them into a 250°F oven for about 10 minutes; they will crisp as they cool.

Makes about 3 dozen

biscotti

Tip

Don’t use chocolate chips in place of the bittersweet chocolate, as chips contain additives that help them retain their shape but give them a waxiness and affect their flavor. Rather, opt for bittersweet chocolate sold in bars or chunks. When chopping the chocolate, aim for pieces no larger than ¼ inch. Large chunks create big pockets of chocolate in the biscotti that reduce their structural integrity.

1¾ hours

45 minutes active, plus cooling

115 grams (¾ cup) whole almonds
228 grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
214 grams (1 cup) white sugar
27 grams (⅓ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
228 grams (8 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (see headnote), divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
115 grams (1 cup) roasted pistachios
71 grams (½ cup) dried cherries, roughly chopped
Ingredients
  • 115

    grams (¾ cup) whole almonds

  • 228

    grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 214

    grams (1 cup) white sugar

  • 27

    grams (⅓ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

  • 1

    tablespoon instant espresso powder

  • 1

    teaspoon baking soda

  • ½

    teaspoon table salt

  • 228

    grams (8 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (see headnote), divided

  • 3

    large eggs

  • teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ½

    teaspoon almond extract

  • 115

    grams (1 cup) roasted pistachios

  • 71

    grams (½ cup) dried cherries, roughly chopped

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 375°F with the racks in the upper- and lower-middle positions. Distribute the almonds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast on the upper oven rack, stirring once, until lightly browned and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet; reduce the oven to 300°F. When the almonds are cool, transfer to a small bowl; set aside. Line the same baking sheet as well as a second baking sheet with kitchen parchment.
  2. 02
    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. In a food processor, combine ½ cup of the flour mixture and 114 grams (4 ounces) of the chopped chocolate. Process until the chocolate is finely ground, about 25 seconds; do not overprocess or the chocolate may begin to melt. Whisk the mixture into the dry ingredients.
  3. 03
    In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and, using a silicone spatula, stir and fold, mashing the mixture against the bowl with the spatula, until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened and no streaks of flour remain. Add the remaining chopped chocolate, the almonds, pistachios and cherries. Lightly flour your hands and knead gently until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. 04
    Lightly flour the counter, then turn the dough out on it and divide it in half. Moisten your hands with water and roll one portion into a 14-inch log. Place the log on one side of one of the prepared baking sheets. Shape the remaining dough in the same way and place on the other side of the baking sheet, spacing the logs about 4 inches apart.
  5. 05
    Bake on the lower rack until the dough has spread into flat, fissured loaves that are firm on the surface and appear dry in the cracks, 45 to 50 minutes. Let the loaves cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 20 to 25 minutes; immediately after removing from the oven, reduce the temperature to 275°F.
  6. 06
    Using a wide metal spatula, carefully transfer the loaves to a cutting board; reserve the baking sheet and its parchment. Using a serrated knife, cut each still-warm loaf on the diagonal into ⅜- to ½-inch slices; use a gentle sawing motion to slice about halfway through the thickness of the loaf, then bear down on the knife, slicing straight down to complete the cut. (This slicing technique helps prevent breakage, as sawing through the entire thickness of the loaf has a greater chance of dislodging nuts, causing the biscotti to break apart.)
  7. 07
    Place the biscotti cut side up in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until firm and dry, about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets and switching their positions about halfway through. Let cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for about 10 minutes. Transfer the biscotti directly to the racks and cool completely.
Tip: Don’t use chocolate chips in place of the bittersweet chocolate, as chips contain additives that help them retain their shape but give them a waxiness and affect their flavor. Rather, opt for bittersweet chocolate sold in bars or chunks. When chopping the chocolate, aim for pieces no larger than ¼ inch. Large chunks create big pockets of chocolate in the biscotti that reduce their structural integrity.
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Reviews
Mariano I.
July 2, 2022
Extraordinary biscottis
This is the best biscotti recipe I tried. It is a bit involved but the results are well worth the effort.
Ji Young K.

I loved this! So easy to make. The biscottis are crisp but have brownie-like, fudgy chocolate flavor. I appreciate the detailed instructions.
I assumed it was a typo in the ingredient list and added 1/2 cup of cherries, not 7 grams of cherries. :) Did you mean 70g?

Elisabeth B.

Wow. I wish I could agree that these were easy to make. For me they were the opposite! The mixture was so dry it was very hard to incorporate all the chocolate, nuts, and cherries. In baking, the bottoms of the logs burned since I followed the direction to do the first bake on the lower rack (even though I took them out at 35 minutes, not 45-50, when they were definitely done). When I tried to cut them, carefully sawing, then bearing down, using a serrated knife as instructed, almost every slice broke apart. The crumbs tasted good, but for the 3 hours I invested, it was a very disappointing result, and not suitable for giving away or even serving to guests.

Christopher S M.

You may not have lowered the temperature to 300 degrees (the instruction were buried the first paragraph, I missed them the first time I made them -almost burned them.)

Maureen R.

These were good but not great. The chocolate or coffee flavor did not stand out even though used exact chocolate and Expresso powder required.

Suzanna Y.

The instructions were well thought out, and the outcome was absolutely amazing!

Christopher S M.

The mixture was very dry the first time I made them so I added and extra large egg. The second time I used Extra Large Eggs and I used a Stand Mixer. The dough was like almost dry cement, but the mixer mixed it and I used a dough hook after added all chocolate and nuts at the end. That did the job. I really think you left something out, the dough was so difficult to work with.
They were delicious and worth the work.

Namcy G.

Loved the biscotti. It would be helpful in the changes in temperature were formatted so they stood out more clearly to avoid errors.

William H.

As Ji Young K. mentioned in the first comment at the top, I assume there is a typo in the ingredients list: "7 grams (½ cup) dried cherries, roughly chopped". In your article, "Baking Mix-In Weights" (March/April 2019), you list 1 cup of dried cherries = 150 g (so ½ cup = 75 g).

Lynn C.

Hello All -

The typo in the weight of dried cherries has been fixed! Thank you!

Best,
The Milk Street Team


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Chocolate Biscotti with Pistachios, Almonds and Dried Cherries

Get Ready to Cook

Makes about 3 dozen

biscotti

1¾ hours

45 minutes active, plus cooling

Tip

Don’t use chocolate chips in place of the bittersweet chocolate, as chips contain additives that help them retain their shape but give them a waxiness and affect their flavor. Rather, opt for bittersweet chocolate sold in bars or chunks. When chopping the chocolate, aim for pieces no larger than ¼ inch. Large chunks create big pockets of chocolate in the biscotti that reduce their structural integrity.

Ingredients
  • 115

    grams (¾ cup) whole almonds

  • 228

    grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 214

    grams (1 cup) white sugar

  • 27

    grams (⅓ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

  • 1

    tablespoon instant espresso powder

  • 1

    teaspoon baking soda

  • ½

    teaspoon table salt

  • 228

    grams (8 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (see headnote), divided

  • 3

    large eggs

  • teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ½

    teaspoon almond extract

  • 115

    grams (1 cup) roasted pistachios

  • 71

    grams (½ cup) dried cherries, roughly chopped

Step 1 of 7

Toast the Almonds

115
grams (¾ cup) whole almonds

Heat the oven to 375°F with the racks in the upper- and lower-middle positions.


Distribute the almonds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast on the upper oven rack, stirring once, until lightly browned and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet; reduce the oven to 300°F.


When the almonds are cool, transfer to a small bowl; set aside.


Line the same baking sheet as well as a second baking sheet with kitchen parchment.

Step 2 of 7

Make the Dry Mixture

228
grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour=
214
grams (1 cup) white sugar
27
grams (⅓ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1
tablespoon instant espresso powder
1
teaspoon baking soda
½
teaspoon table salt
114
grams (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (see headnote)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda and salt.


In a food processor, combine ½ cup of the flour mixture and 114 grams (4 ounces) of the chopped chocolate. Process until the chocolate is finely ground, about 25 seconds; do not overprocess or the chocolate may begin to melt.


Whisk the mixture into the dry ingredients.

Step 3 of 7

Knead the Dough

3
large eggs
teaspoons vanilla extract
½
teaspoon almond extract
114
grams (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (see headnote)
115
grams (1 cup) roasted pistachios
71
grams (½ cup) dried cherries, roughly chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, and vanilla and almond extracts.


Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and, using a silicone spatula, stir and fold, mashing the mixture against the bowl with the spatula, until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened and no streaks of flour remain.


Add the remaining chopped chocolate, the almonds, pistachios and cherries.


Lightly flour your hands and knead gently until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Step 4 of 7

Shape the Dough

Lightly flour the counter, then turn the dough out on it and divide it in half.


Moisten your hands with water and roll one portion into a 14-inch log. Place the log on one side of one of the prepared baking sheets.


Shape the remaining dough in the same way and place on the other side of the baking sheet, spacing the logs about 4 inches apart.

Step 5 of 7

Bake the Dough

Bake on the lower rack until the dough has spread into flat, fissured loaves that are firm on the surface and appear dry in the cracks, 45 to 50 minutes.


Let the loaves cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 20 to 25 minutes; immediately after removing from the oven, reduce the temperature to 275°F.

Step 6 of 7

Slice the Loaf

Using a wide metal spatula, carefully transfer the loaves to a cutting board; reserve the baking sheet and its parchment.


Using a serrated knife, cut each still-warm loaf on the diagonal into ⅜- to ½-inch slices; use a gentle sawing motion to slice about halfway through the thickness of the loaf, then bear down on the knife, slicing straight down to complete the cut. (This slicing technique helps prevent breakage, as sawing through the entire thickness of the loaf has a greater chance of dislodging nuts, causing the biscotti to break apart.)

Step 7 of 7

Continue to Bake

Place the biscotti cut side up in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until firm and dry, about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets and switching their positions about halfway through.


Let cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for about 10 minutes.


Transfer the biscotti directly to the racks and cool completely.

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