Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Covering my friends and family with icing and crumbs on their birthday is one of my favorite joys. What to do then, when a dear friend moves 3,000 miles across the country and the postal service won't accept your bribe to deliver a cake with 25 lit candles to their doorstep? You make birthday biscotti, of course.

Happy birthday Kenny!

I'm not a coffee drinker (or espresso, cappuccino, etc.), but I love biscotti. Why? It's another excuse to eat a cookie. I was first introduced to this recipe by an old co-worker at a morning meeting. Let's just say we spent more time raving about his delicious biscotti than we spent talking about work.

My favorite thing about these biscotti, besides the chocolate chip cookie taste, is that you don't have to dunk them in hot coffee in order to take a bite. They are a bit softer than coffee shop biscotti, which makes a non-coffee drinker quite happy.

A few notes:
Use a good dark chocolate. You only need one bar, and you can put three-quarters in your dough and the other one quarter in your mouth. Break up the bar in your food processor and enjoy the aroma that fills your kitchen.

Don't be shy about shaping your dough into skinny logs as it will spread in the oven. I made this mistake the first time, and ended up with extra-long biscotti. Not a bad mistake, until you're looking for a tupperware container to store them in.

The first time I made this recipe, I "sprinkled" the sliced almonds over the dough and ended up with only a few almonds on each biscotti. Now I more or less coat the top with almonds, ensuring that they will indeed be topped in the end. Be as generous as you like.

Packing up for the big trip!

Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Original recipe from Epicurious
Makes approximately 24 cookies

3 1/4 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
10 T. butter, melted
3 eggs
1 T. vanilla
1/2-3/4 c. dark chocolate chunks, 60-70% cocoa
1 c. almonds, chopped
1 egg white
sliced almonds for topping

Preheat your oven to 350° and place oven rack in center of oven. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix flour, baking power, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Mix sugar, butter, 3 eggs, and vanilla in a bowl. Add flour mixture and blend well. Stir in chopped almonds and chocolate chunks.

Divide dough into half. With floured hands, shape into two 13 by 3 in. logs on baking sheet. Whisk egg white until foamy. Brush over tops and sides of dough and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake until golden, approximately 30 minutes. Let biscotti cool for about 25 minutes, while maintaining oven temperature.

When cool, slice biscotti diagonally with a serrated knife into 1/2" wide slices. Place cut side down on baking sheet without parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes, remove, flip and bake for an additional 8 minutes.

Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

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