Saturday, October 21, 2006

Chocolate Biscotti

The first time we made this biscotti, back in 1998, we had nothing left, nothing to share---gone, all gone. Every last one. It was sad. So I went and made up another batch right away. But it was no trouble, they are very easy to make, no oil, no butter, no shortening. Seriously. It's wise to make a batch for keeping and then another for gifts. They look fancy wrapped up in those cellophane gift bags, tied with raffia or grosgrain ribbon. If you want to be generous, fill a large glass jar with these biscotti, and give a batch of them to someone you love. Enjoy!

makes 24 to 36 cookies SEE NOTE*

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour, King Arthur is best
1 cup cocoa powder, use a quality brand
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 3/4 cups almonds or pecans or hazelnuts
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
For dipping: 12 ounces white chocolate, good quality

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine flours, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, salt and espresso powder in mixer fitted with paddle and mix at low speed. Add nuts, semisweet chocolate. In another bowl whisk eggs and vanilla, add to flour mixture at low speed. Mix only until dough comes together. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead to incorporate any dry ingredients. Divide dough and shape into four logs about 2 inches wide and place on two parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Logs will be firm and dry to the touch, slightly cracked. Turn oven down to 300 degrees F. Allow logs to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet. Cut each log on the diagonal, slicing the biscotti about 3/4" wide, cutting straight down. Place cut slices flat on the baking sheet and return to the oven, baking for another 25 to 30 minutes. Place on racks and cool completely. While the biscotti are cooling, either nuke the white chocolate for a few seconds at a time to melt, or melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the biscotti into the melted white chocolate and place on sheets of waxed paper to dry. When finished drying, store biscotti in airtight containers.
*NOTE: If larger biscotti are desired, shape dough only into two logs, increase first baking time about five minutes, and slice baked logs about 1-inch wide.

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