Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Chocolate Chip and Almond Biscotti


I love to bake cookies.
I love the process, testing the batter, smelling them while they bake, eating them fresh out of the oven with a cup of tea or a coffee… and not to brag (but I’m bragging) I bake a REALLY good cookie.
Unfortunately, with just Kris and I in the house, baking is a TAD ridiculous. What are two grown people going to do with 36 cookies?
Eat them all. Obviously.
So I tend to bake like a fiend at Christmas and distribute my goodies, so that we can have SOME, and then my loved ones get a treat. Generally this means hours in the kitchen baking biscotti and the world’s most epic ginger cookies.
This year, as a special treat, my mother in a braggadocios way (for which I love her) told the women organizing my shower that I would bake biscotti for all my guests as a thank you, that we would forgo just BUYING goodies for anyone.
So. 40 guests, 3 pieces of biscotti each… that’s 120 pieces of biscotti.
Each recipe makes about 20 pieces, and requires 45 minutes of baking time plus 15 minutes of prep… 6 hours of biscotti baking.
While I would NOT recommend baking for 6 hours as a fun way to spend an afternoon (the wine and Chinese food helped) we’ve since received feedback from my shower attendees that they MUST have my biscotti recipe because it is SOOOO good.
Well, you asked and I will oblige! Here is the recipe for my delicious chocolate chip and almond biscotti! passed down from person to person and tailored to what I think is a damn fine cookie recipe… just limit yourself to only 1-2 batches!

Chocolate Chip and Almond Biscotti (makes approx. 20 cookies)

Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted buter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup golden brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder**
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds***
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Notes on ingredients:
** The espresso powder shouldn’t say “with crema” - while it’s not a big ingredient, you don’t want to be adding extra powdered milk to a baking dish - no bueno, it won’t be as good (fine, but not GREAT)
*** The original recipe called for walnuts. This is delicious, but I find that the slivered almonds have a better taste to offset the coffee. You definitely want the slivered almonds though and NOT the shaved or pieces, you will be disappointed by both.
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 325 F
2) Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon & salt
In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugars & espresso powder. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy!
note: biscotti dough is REALLY dense and difficult to mix, even with an electric mixer. While you can safely double your recipe, I wouldn’t recommend trying to mix more than 2x the recipe at once.
3) Add eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time & beat until fluffy (about 2 minutes)
4) Mix in your almonds and chocolate chips!
5) Now add your flower mixture & mix until it is just blended.
6) Divide the dough in half. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using lightly floured hands, form each ball of dough into a log (about 3” wide and 3/4” high). Once the logs are formed, use a sharp knife to score slight diagonal lines along the top of the dough to outline the cookies, into about 1/2” slices. This will make it easier later!
7) Bake the cookies for 25 minutes - remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes, but leave that oven on!
8) Carefully transfer the logs to a flat cutting surface. Using a serrated knife, cut along the lines you scored earlier (1/2” diagonal slices).
9) Arrange the slices back on the baking sheet, cut side down & bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip onto OTHER cut side, and bake again for 10 minutes.
10) Remove from oven for the final time, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool! When they’re easy to handle, serve with a piping hot coffee (or some of that espresso!) and try not to eat them all in one sitting… but no judgement!
Question: What is the “thing” you’re known for brining to the party? Do you bake, cook, make a mean spinach dip? I want to know!
xxox - Laura

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