Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cookie Carnival: Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Ewwww, biscotti… hard, dry, tasteless, break-your-teeth biscotti. I’ve only had it one time before and that about sums up my impression of it.

As I embarked on this month’s Cookie Carnival recipe, Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti, I was prepared to pitch the freshly baked cookies in the trash and declare smugly “I knew it!”.

But, as usual, I didn’t know. (If anything, this baking blog has been a humbling experience.)

In case you don’t know, biscotti are a twice-baked cookie. First they are baked as a log, then the log is sliced into pieces and the pieces returned to the oven for round two. I, not wanting the experience to be a total bust, held some of the pieces back and didn’t bake them a second time.

Here's the log of cookie dough ready for the oven. I rolled the dough in saran wrap to help form the log and then refrigerated for about 30 minutes to firm it up a bit first.

Here's the baked log being sliced into pieces. It spread more than I thought it would.

To my complete and utter surprise, I actually liked this biscotti. Even the twice-baked version. And the once-baked biscotti? They were awesome! I loved them so much I wanted to marry them.

The only thing I changed in the recipe was the whole hazelnuts that get mixed in at the end. I still haven't recovered from the hazelnut-skinning fiasco from last month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge, so I used roughly chopped macadamia nuts instead. I really liked the crunch they added. I will definitely sub macadamias again.

Oh, yes, I WILL be making these again. Fo sho!

Many thanks to Kate at The Clean Plate Club for hosting Cookie Carnival. I can’t wait to see what September brings.

Here's the recipe... give it a try!

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, husked
3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Grind 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts in processor. Set aside. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Beat butter and sugar in another large bowl to blend. Add eggs and vanilla and almond extracts and beat until well blended. Beat in flour mixture. Mix in 1 cup whole toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts.

Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece on baking sheet into 2 1/2-inch-wide by 14-inch-long log. Place logs on prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart (logs will spread during baking). Bake until logs feel firm when tops are gently pressed, about 35 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Using long wide spatula, transfer baked logs to cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut warm logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Arrange slices, cut side down, on 2 baking sheets. Bake biscotti until firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool completely. (Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti can be prepared ahead. Store in airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.)

1 comment:

Fonny Kresnadi said...

Chocolate Biscotti is my favorite. I will definitely make this for sure. Thanks for all your inspirations