Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sugar High Friday #29

Last month for my first Sugar High Friday, originally created by Domestic Goddess, I was super early, ahead of the game with anticipation. This time around I'm barely squeezing in before the deadline. This time is probably a more accurate portrayal of me, the procrastinator. This month it's being hosted by Chocolate In Context and so it should be no surprise the theme is raw chocolate. Since I'm just a newbie I decided to stick with unsweetened cocoa powder. I went scouting for recipes, and added the extra requirement of it being something I could try out my new Kitchenaid mixer with. I settled on a recipe that is no stranger to the food blog world- Chocolate Biscotti, recipe courtesy of Dorie Greenspan, by way of Peabody. This recipe was super easy, especially with my new toy.

Chocolate Biscotti
Recipe by Dorie Greenspan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Working together with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on a medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may appear crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes; don't worry if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate, then turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead in any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
  • Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into 12 inch long logs. flatten both logs with the palm of your hand, so that they are 1/2 to 1 inch high, about 2 inches across and sort of rectangular. Carefully list the logs onto the baking sheet, and sprinkle each log with a little sugar.
  • Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm. The loafs will spread and crack, which is fine. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, put it on a cooling rack and cool the logs for about 20 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
  • Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices, between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet- you'll have an army of biscotti- and bake the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
My notes: I used slivered almonds, and didn't bother chopping them, just to save a little time. I also used semisweet chocolate, because that's what I happened to have. Other than that everything pretty much went exactly as described above. We took some to Josh's aunt & uncle yesterday when we went to pick up the turntable and records, and they were so impressed that I made biscotti. I guess it's one of those things that can be impressive. Personally I think it's the name that makes the biggest impression. If I told them I brought them some hardened cookie slices they might not be as excited. :)

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