Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

I hope you had a Merry Christmas, everyone! I wish that all of you were able to spend lots of time with family and friends, and of course enjoyed lots of delicious food. I have had a very relaxing break so far, mostly involving sleep and organizing myself before I have to go back to the hectic schedule I have once school starts up again.

One thing that I have been very grateful to be able to do over these past few weeks is really explore what New York has to offer in terms of classical music, namely going to lots of concerts. Some of my favorite things that I’ve seen this year include Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, and most recently, the New York Philharmonic’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. It’s hard to find time mainly because I’m the only one in my family that thinks it’s really fun to watch an opera for 3 and a half hours, but between birthdays and the holiday season, I’ve made it work.

While I don’t get sucked up into the holiday cookie craze too much (this is when gymnastics season starts, after all), I still love to make a nice treat for my family and others to enjoy this time of year, and one of my favorites is biscotti. Between the endless thumbprint cookies, crinkle cookies, gingerbread, etc., I like to make something that isn’t cloyingly sweet and is easy to enjoy in the morning, afternoon, or as a sweet treat after dinner that won’t give you more calories than you can count.

Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Walnut Biscotti- Adapted from The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 7.48 ounces (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (1 1/8 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1.83 ounces (1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups toasted walnut pieces
  • 4.59 ounces (3/4 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg for egg wash

Directions

  1. Position one rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar for 1 minute or until a sandy mixture forms. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until fluffy and lighter in color, about 1 minute more.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, coffee powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and whisk together. Add to the butter and egg mixture in 2 additions, and mix only until combined.
  4. Fold the walnuts and the chocolate chips into the dough, and mix until evenly distributed. The dough will be thick and hard to stir. If it is too sticky, chill briefly.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces, about 16 oz. each. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a log about 2 inches wide by 14 inches long by 1 1/2 inches high. Place the logs on the prepared sheet pan with several inches between them.
  6. In a small bowl, mix 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush each log with egg wash, coating them evenly on the top and sides.
  7. Bake for 27 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet from front to back halfway through baking, until very lightly browned and somewhat firm. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  8. Cool the logs for 20 minutes, then place them onto a cutting board. With a serrated knife, slice each log on a slight angle into 3/4-inch thick pieces, keeping them in a row. Slide the row of biscotti together, lift and place back onto the cookie sheet, then separate the slices, leaving 1/2 inch of space between each one.
  9. Bake again for 9-12 minutes, rotating once during baking until the biscotti feel slightly firm.
  10. Enjoy!

Enjoy the rest of the holiday season!

-Rayna

 

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Cornmeal and Olive Oil Biscotti with Pine Nuts and Dried Cherries

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your day is filled with lots of joy and happiness (but most importantly, tons of delicious food!) Instead of the typical pecan cookies or chocolate and peppermint cookies, I thought that a biscotti would be a wonderful thing to wake up to on a cold December morning. I’ve never made a biscotti before, so trying something new from Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy sounded especially interesting to me.

Biscotti is not like a cookie or sliced cake, mainly because it is baked twice. The first time, you shape the dough into a log and bake it just until it gets a cake-like texture, and then you slice them and re-bake them so they get the signature crunch that they lend themselves to so well. This is an American style biscotti, as Mommy the chef told me, and the difference is in the ingredients. While the Italian one uses almond flour and honey, the American one uses all-purpose flour instead. Interesting, right? Either way, I hope you enjoy this not-so-typical twist on a widely enjoyed breakfast treat.

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Cornmeal and Olive Oil Biscotti with Pine Nuts and Dried Cherries

Ingredients

  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (3.67 ounces) cornmeal
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 (4.625 ounces) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk together thoroughly.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, eggs, and lemon zest on high speed for 3-4 minutes, until lightened in color and slightly thickened.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture. The batter will be thick and sticky. Stir in the pine nuts and cherries. Scrape the batter down the center of the prepared pan and spread it to form a flat rectangle 14 to 15 inches long and 5 inches wide.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the loaf is golden on top and golden brown at the lower edges. Rotate the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pan on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Leave the oven on, turning it down to 325 degrees.
  6. Transfer the loaf carefully to a cutting board. If you used a liner, slide a metal spatula under the loaf to detach and remove the liner. Use a thin sharp knife to cut the loaf crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Transfer the slices to the unlined cookie sheet, standing them at least 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges and tops of the biscotti turn slightly golden. Rotate the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Set the pan on a rack. Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. May be kept in an airtight container for at least 2 weeks.

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