Chocolate Biscotti

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm almost done with my second week at my new job, and today I realized that I have yet to introduce any of my new coworkers to my tasty treats.

I rarely baked for my coworkers at my old job, because everyone was too good--no one would eat it. Plus, my office was pretty small and there weren't many people, so even a single batch of cookies was too much to bring.

My new company is a completely different story; I discovered this last week, on St. Patrick's Day. I was meeting with a coworker in a common area of the office when someone came in to announce that there were clover-shaped cookies in the kitchen. People ran, y'all. When I went into the kitchen a while later, it looked like the cookie platter had been raked over by a pack of wolves. And so I knew: These people like to eat.

I've had a few biscotti recipes bookmarked for quite some time. I've been intending to try them, as I've never made biscotti before, but it's rare that I bake up breakfast treats, so I haven't had much opportunity to make them. But as I took a few minutes earlier today to brainstorm about what I could bring my new coworkers, I quickly settled on biscotti--two different kinds of biscotti. Oh yeah, baby: Go big or go home.

First up is this chocolate biscotti from Dorie. That's right; I got to bust out the Baking Bible!

Instead of making them exactly as the recipe calls for, I tried a variation that I saw posted at Proceed With Caution, which substituted white chocolate chips for the almonds. Yum.

This biscotti has wonderful chocolate flavor, and although I thought the white chocolate chips were a bit overpowered by the cocoa, they still added just a little extra something that made these so perfect. Delectably crunchy... there is no doubt my coworkers will love them!

Chocolate Biscotti
(Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)

- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (I replaced with additional cocoa powder)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped almonds, blanched or unblanched (or about 4 ounces white chocolate chips)
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips (I only had regular-sized chocolate chips, so I chopped them up so they were smaller)
- Sugar, for dusting

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Working 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 medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may be 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 a 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, then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar.

Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will spread and crack--and that’s just 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 the biscotti to a rack to cool.


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