Anyone who loves biscotti will obsess over this recipe for crunchy Italian biscuits. Laced with fragrant saffron and rich with bittersweet chocolate, this cookie is truly something special when dipped in a cup of hot coffee ... or just enjoyed all by itself.
- 1 tablespoon vodka (you may use another clear liquor)
- 1/4 teaspoon finely crushed saffron threads
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg white
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- Swedish pearl sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine the vodka and saffron. Let that mixture stand for at least 15 minutes. This process is called blooming.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Add three of the eggs to the saffron mixture and whisk to combine. With an electric mixer, beat the egg mixture into the flour mixture on medium until the dough is evenly moistened, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in the chocolate. Gather the dough into a ball.
3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Split the dough in half and with slightly wet hands (the dough will be sticky), roll each half into an 8-inch log.
4. Transfer logs to the prepared baking sheets spaced at least 2 inches apart. Brush the tops and sides of each log with some of the remaining egg white. Sprinkle the top of each log with the pearl sugar.
5. Bake logs until golden brown and puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center of one log comes out clean, 28 to 32 minutes. The top should look dry. Transfer the sheet to a rack until cool enough to handle. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
6. Transfer the logs to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut each log into 3/4-inch slices. Transfer the slices, cut side down, to the prepared baking sheets. They won’t spread at this point so they can be close together on the baking sheets.
7. Bake until the cookies are lightly browned and crisp, rotating sheet and flipping the cookies over halfway through, about 20 to 25 minutes.
8. Transfer sheets to racks to cool completely before serving.