After nearly running out of everything during one of my recipe testing sessions in the middle of January, I stopped by the store to pick up lots of pantry essentials and baking staples. I pushed my cart up and down the aisles, grabbing flour and cocoa powder and milk and eggs off of the shelves, but then…
I ended up doing a double take halfway done the baking aisle, then pulled my shopping cart backwards to check out the display I had almost missed. My local store had stocked some pretty interesting ingredients, which was so out-of-character for them. Normally, I feel incredibly lucky just to find my favorite brand of whole wheat flour!
As I slowly scanned the shelves, I spotted cashew flour, pecan flour, cauliflower flour, powdered almond butter, and even beet powder. Although totally tempted to grab all of them, especially the cashew flour (my favorite nut!), I ended up reaching for the beet powder and nothing else, reasoning that it was worth the spur-of-the-moment splurge and price tag because I had been meaning to experiment with it as a natural red food coloring for baking recipes. (I’m still tweaking and playing with it, but stay tuned!)
Before heading to the registers to pay for my groceries, I also stopped by the store’s seasonal aisles completely decked out for Valentine’s Day. I smiled at the sight of so many bags of chocolate bars and truffles — Ghirardelli, Lindt, Godiva, Lindor, Hershey’s Dove, Ferrero Rocher — all just as tempting as those semi-exotic baking ingredients… I’m such a chocoholic and will eat (and buy!) it almost every chance I get!
On a second aisle, I noticed different Valentine’s Day decorations and gifts covering every inch of shelf space. Wreaths made of artificial red roses, white stuffed teddy bears with red hearts as their tummies, tiny tin mailboxes for children’s school classroom Valentine’s card exchanges, garlands of paper letters strung together to spell out “I love you” and “Happy Valentine’s Day”…
And oversized coffee mugs covered in X’s, O’s, and dainty hearts that were filled with the ingredients to make microwaved single-serving chocolate mug cakes. I glanced at the instructions and nutrition information included in the packaging, my eyes immediately widening in shock, and quickly returned the mug back to the shelf.
Each chocolate mug cake could’ve easily constituted as three servings of dessert… Not just one!
As I finished perusing the Valentine’s Day displays, my mind wandered back to the adorable coffee mug containing that cake mix. The porcelain mug itself certainly looked so pretty and festive…
But I’d much rather fill it with these homemade Healthy Double Chocolate Biscotti instead! They’re just as decadent and chocolaty as that chocolate mug cake mix looked, yet these are far more sensibly portioned… And they also have no butter, oil, dairy, refined flour or sugar!
Just like my ultimate healthy classic biscotti, the cookies made in this chocolate version are simple and straightforward to bake, deliciously crisp and crunchy, and perfect for dunking in coffee or tea (or even chocolate milk or hot chocolate for an extra chocolaty treat!). They’re also 53 calories!
WHAT ARE BISCOTTI?
What are biscotti? I’m so glad you asked! In a nutshell… Biscotti are twice-baked Italian cookies!
To begin, you make the cookie dough. It traditionally consists of flour, eggs, sugar, and almonds — a fairly simple ingredients list! — yet American versions often include butter, oil, and sometimes milk or cream.
For the first bake, you shape the cookie dough into a long and skinny rectangle, about ¾” tall. That goes in the oven for about half an hour, or until the outside feels crisp and firm.
After a few minutes of cooling — just long enough so you don’t burn your fingers! — you slice that rectangle into strips. The strips can either be straight across or at a slight diagonal, but then you put those strips (your individual cookies!) back in the oven to continue baking until they’re completely crisp and crunchy.
Because of this twice-baked method that normally leaves them dry and hard, biscotti are usually more shelf-stable and will keep much longer than other types of cookies. (This is why people often dunk them in coffee or tea… The hot liquid softens the cookies so they’re easier to bite into!)
Hint: If you’re a nerd like me and want to learn more about the history of biscotti, then I’ve covered that over here with my ultimate healthy biscotti recipe!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HEALTHY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI
With that little baking history out of the way… Now wet’s go over how to make the best ever healthy chocolate biscotti! I tried to keep the recipe as traditional as possible — with just a few chocolate changes, of course! — so the ingredients list is short and simple.
You’ll start with a mix of white whole wheat flour and unsweetened cocoa powder. Use the regular unsweetened cocoa powder, like this! Dutched and “special dark” cocoa powder have a different acidity level, so they behave different in baking recipes and can often affect the taste and texture. Besides, you’re using ½ cup of cocoa powder, so your healthy double chocolate biscotti already taste exceptionally rich and chocolaty without those other two types of cocoa powder!
As for the white whole wheat flour, such a thing actually exists… And it’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour! Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They both have the same health benefits, like extra fiber, but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the crisp texture and rich chocolate flavor of your double chocolate biscotti really shine!
Just remember, it’s really important to measure the flour and cocoa powder correctly using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own!) Too much of either one will dry out your cookie dough and make it impossible to shape into a rectangular log. Too much cocoa powder will also make your cookies taste bitter, rather than rich and decadent. So pretty please, take those few extra moments to properly measure your ingredients. I promise these healthy double chocolate biscotti are worth it!
As one of the teensy tiny ways we’re breaking with biscotti tradition… You’ll also whisk a little baking powder into the flour and cocoa powder. I think that small amount gives these healthy double chocolate biscotti a little extra lift, which helps with their lovely crisp and crunchy texture!
However, while classic biscotti recipes often use almond extract, I decided to break with tradition again and use vanilla in these healthy double chocolate biscotti. Even though almond extract is my all-time favorite flavoring extract and takes me a great deal of self-restraint not to use it… I thought that vanilla extract really enhanced the rich chocolate flavor and made these the best healthy double chocolate biscotti imaginable!
Whereas typical biscotti recipes call for refined granulated sugar, you’ll use coconut sugar to sweeten yours instead! Coconut sugar is exactly what it sounds like: an unrefined sweetener that comes from coconuts. However, it does not actually taste like coconuts! It has a rich caramel-like flavor, similar to brown sugar, which perfectly complements the decadent chocolate flavor in these healthy double chocolate biscotti. (And you can often find coconut sugar right next to the regular sugar on the baking aisle!)
Finally, we need the second chocolate component… Finely chopped dark chocolate! Initially, I tried using mini chocolate chips for a quick shortcut. However, chocolate chips usually to hold their shape while baking, which proved to be problematic. When I tried to slice the rectangular log into the individual biscotti after the first bake, it crumbled and broke into dozens of pieces whenever I hit a mini chocolate chip. Pretty frustrating!
So for the next round of recipe testing, I switched to using bars of high-quality dark chocolate that I finely chopped into small pieces. That worked SO much better! Dark chocolate fully melts in the oven (whereas chocolate chips contain a stabilizer that prevent them from doing so!), so those chocolate chunks were still warm and flexible when I sliced the rectangular log into strips after the first bake… And none of the biscotti broke into pieces as a result!
HOW TO BAKE THE PERFECT BISCOTTI
Now that you’ve mixed together your cookie dough, it’s time to shape and bake it!
First, rub your hands with a little neutral-tasting oil (just to prevent the cookie dough from sticking to them!). Then roll and shape the cookie dough into a fat log in between your palms. Place that down onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat (my favorite!) or parchment paper, and then gently but firmly press down on the tops and sides to shape it into a rectangular log.
The size and shape of the rectangular log actually matters a lot! If your log is too tall and thick, it’ll take much longer to bake. If it’s too short and thin, then it could burn. For the perfect healthy chocolate biscotti, you want your rectangular log to be 2 ¼” wide and ¾” tall.
Yes, I keep a ruler in my kitchen… Yes, I use it every time I make biscotti… And yes, it’s totally worth it!
After the first trip to the oven, your cookie dough should feel firm and hard on the outside. Let it cool for 10 minutes — no more and no less! You want it to be cool enough to touch without burning your fingers… But you want the inside to still be warm and flexible so you can slice through it without it completely falling apart into itty bitty crumbs.
To slice it, use a sharp serrated knife (aka a bread knife). This is the one I use, and it’s one of my all-time favorite knives! You can cut straight across or at a diagonal — it doesn’t matter! — just as long as you make each of your biscotti ½” thick. Again, pull out a ruler if you need to! The thickness directly affects the amount of time your healthy chocolate biscotti require during their second bake, so for the best results, make sure your biscotti are ½” thick.
Now carefully set your individual biscotti back onto your baking sheet, and slide that back in the oven. However, you get to choose the amount of time for this second bake!
For biscotti that are mostly dry and crunchy yet still have a little “give” in the centers, you’ll bake them for 6 to 8 minutes.
For biscotti that are completely hard, dry, and crunchy (aka “dunkers!”), you’ll bake them for 12 to 16 minutes.
Tip: I prefer to flip mine halfway through the second bake, just to make sure both sides bake and crisp up evenly!
Regardless of how much time you choose for the second bake, leave your healthy double chocolate biscotti on the baking sheet after removing them from the oven until they’ve completely cooled to room temperature. I know it feels like pure torture to wait that long, especially with their irresistible chocolate aroma wafting through the kitchen, but I pinky swear promise that it’s worth the wait! And then the only question is…
Will you eat yours plain — or dipped in something delicious like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?? 😉 And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy chocolate biscotti!
Healthy Double Chocolate Biscotti
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the coconut sugar. Add in the flour mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Fold in the diced dark chocolate.
- Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet, and shape into a long and skinny rectangle that’s 2 ¼” wide and ¾” tall using your hands or a spatula. (If the cookie dough sticks to your hands, rub them with a little neutral-tasting oil first!)
- Bake at 350°F for 33-35 minutes. (The outside should be very dry and crusty!) Let the rectangle of baked cookie dough cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes (no more and no less!).
- Transfer the rectangle of baked cookie dough to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the rectangle into ½”-thick strips (no wider!), working from one short end of the rectangle to the other. (Both diagonal strips and horizontal strips will work!) You should end up with cookies that are ½” thick, ¾” tall, and 2 ¼”+ wide.
- Place the cookies onto the original baking sheet with one cut side facing down and the other cut side facing up. Bake at 350°F, flipping the cookies halfway through, for 6-8 minutes (for centers with just a bit of “give”) or 12-16 minutes (for centers that are completely hard and dry). Cool completely to room temperature on the baking sheet.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Biscotti
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
♡ Healthy Flourless Triple Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Chocolate Sugar Cookies
♡ Healthy Fudgy Triple Chocolate Cookies
♡ Healthy Chocolate Blossom Cookies
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy cookie recipes!