Friday, November 23, 2012

Triple Chocolate Biscotti

As foodies around America slowly digest their turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, it is time to officially kick off Christmas cookie season!  If you're like me, you've been waiting all year to show off your best cookie creations.  And if you haven't added biscotti to your Christmas cookie repertoire, now is the time!

I know biscotti sounds and looks fancy, but that's what makes it the perfect cookie for your next cookie exchange, or just to share with someone to say "thanks" this holiday season.  I promise it's not hard to make.  I have made biscotti several times, and it has impressed every time.  I'm no fancy pastry chef.  And I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  It really is easier than you might think!  If you've been putting off trying biscotti because you haven't found the recipe that just knocks your socks off, this is it.  Have you ever had triple chocolate anything that wasn't amazing?  I didn't think so!

This is the second biscotti recipe I have posted.  My first one, cinnamon almond biscotti, has step-by-step pictures (I had a lot more spare time a year ago!) if you want a little extra guidance.  But basically the difference between making biscotti and your standard cookie is that when your biscotti dough is formed you roll it into logs, flatten them, and bake them.  Then you let them cool, cut them into sticks, and bake them again until they're crisp.  It really only takes slightly longer than making regular cookies!

And these are so worth the time!  They have a rich, chocolate, almost brownie-like base that is made even better with the addition of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips.  They are great just like that, but I think they become over-the-top amazing with the addition of a simple chocolate glaze.  And it makes them look prettier!

As I found out the hard way, these crispy, chocolaty little devils are absolutely irresistible dipped in a cup of hot coffee.  Even if it's morning.  If coffee's not your thing, try them with a cup of hot chocolate, or go the classic cookie and milk route.  You just can't go wrong with triple chocolate!

Triple Chocolate Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a stand mixer, or a large bowl with hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.
Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until a dough forms.  Stir in chocolate chips and turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead in any dry ingredients that might remain.
Divide the dough in half.  Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into 12-inch 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 rectangular.  Carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet.  Sprinkle each log with sugar, if desired.
Bake the logs for 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm.  Remove from the oven, put it on a cooling rack and cool the logs for about 20 minutes.
When logs are cool, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between 1/2 and 3/4-inch thick.  Return slices to baking sheet, cut sides up.  Bake an additional 10 minutes, flipping slices once.  Cool completely, then top with chocolate glaze, if desired.

Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp shortening
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
Melt chocolate chips in microwave.  Stir in shortening and corn syrup until mixture is smooth.

Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, p 144.

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