Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chocolate Biscotti

On the weekends, Mihai makes himself a latte using his (fancy, and getting even fancier soon) espresso machine and has some biscotti with it while reading. I am ashamed to say that the biscotti are usually store bought, though he doesn't seem to mind that too much. But, a couple of weeks ago, I finally managed to do something I'd been meaning to do for a while - actually make some biscotti at home.

I have made biscotti before (even if I haven't blogged about it) - both of these were quite good. But the previous versions were sorely lacking in chocolate, and I really wanted to make chocolate biscotti this time. Fortunately, there's been a chocolate biscotti recipe stowed away for ages in my very long list of starred items in Reader, so finding a recipe was easy. My favorite part of biscotti is the "soft stage" of the cookie, after you slice them but before you bake them again. However, these are good even once you've made them into "proper" biscotti - Mihai says he likes them.

Chocolate Biscotti
Adapted from David Lebovitz

2 cups flour
¾ cups top-quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almonds, toasted and very coarsely-chopped
¾ cups chocolate chips
¼ cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, then mix in the nuts and the chocolate chips until the dough holds together. Note: my dough was much too dry at this point, which is why I added a bit of milk to the original recipe, since there was no way my dough was going to come together otherwise. (If ¼ cup does not seem like enough, feel free to use up to ⅓ cup. You want a dough that holds together but is not too wet, or it will be hard to work with in the next step.)

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into two logs the length of the baking sheet. Transfer the logs onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart.

5. Gently flatten the tops of the logs. Bake for 25 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch.

6. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and cool 15 minutes. On a cutting board, use a serrated bread knife to diagonally cut the cookies into ½ inch slices. (I struggled with the "diagonally" instruction, but they biscotti turned out OK anyway.) Lay the cookies cut side down on baking sheets and return to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.