Sunday, June 8, 2008
About 2 years ago Christmas I hit a wall where biscotti baking was concerned. Totally burned out in the biggest way possible. Debbie and I embarked on baking a good 300+ biscotti to give as Christmas presents. She's got 3 ovens and a nice collection of Kitchen Aid mixers at her house, so that's where we set up shop after having procured a vast amount of ingredients needed at Costco and Central Market. I'm going to let you in on some hard won knowledge now. Please don't be upset, but I'm going to have to use all caps....DON'T EVER BUY ANISE SEEDS IN THE BULK SECTION OF ANY SUPERMARKET. Anise seeds have an unfortunate resemblance to CUMIN seeds! Let me just mention that we made all the dough before baking any of the 10 batches of biscotti off. Need I go on?
Who knows if it was a genuine mistake or a cruel prank, but there were definitely cumin seeds mixed in with the anise seeds. I walked away from the whole business. Could not face giving away those freak show biscotti...though several people claimed that they were still edible.
They ended up in the trash...such a waste. I remained pretty put out about the whole episode for for a looooooong time.
But! The other day I had a gift that needed giving. These are what were made...my first foray back into the biscotti baking arena. I still couldn't bring myself to make the old recipe, but this was a wonderful alternative. Although they don't fall into the category of being a healthful treat, they sure were good. Even better, I got to eat just a few then send the rest on their way! ;-) If you're a chocolate lover, you should give these a go. Fantastic dipped in a hot steaming cup of matte latte tea (now that I've eschewed coffee!).
The recipe comes from Farmgirl's blog...that I go to every day for my "daily dose of cute." :-)
Farmgirl Susan's Biscotti For Chocolate Lovers:
(only slightly changed...) Makes About 36 Pieces
2/3 cup (4 ounces) semisweet,dark chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate (I used dark choc. chips)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar (I used evaporated cane juice baking sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder (make sure it's fresh)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tbs corn meal (This is the only change I made to the recipe...a hold over from James' mom's recipe. :-) I like the texture it adds since there aren't any almonds in this one.)
1 beaten egg white for glaze
Farmgirl writes "Make it a Mochaccino!":
Adding 1 Tablespoon of instant espresso powder (Medaglia D'Oro brand) in with the dry ingredients does amazing things to this biscotti. (I didn't use this in my batch, but I'm sure it'd be delish.)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and chocolate together (I put them in a Pyrex measuring cup and microwave them) and set aside.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar until lightened (I use an electric hand mixer and beat them for about two minutes.)
3. Add vanilla and chocolate mixture.
4. Mix in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt just until combined. You should have a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add the extra 1/4 cup of flour if dough is too sticky. (I had to add the extra 1/4 cup)
5. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, form each half into a log that is 3-1/2 inches by 9 inches. Place logs on a large baking sheet and brush with egg white and sprinkle with a dusting of evaporated cane juice sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are set.
6. Reduce oven to 275 degrees. Let logs cool as long as you can (the cooler they are, the easier to cut), and then slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully turn slices over, and bake for another 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container or freeze.