Hello again, my lovelies. Welcome once more to my baking journey. This week’s tasty Tuesday treat is an attempt at something relatively easy but chocolatey–which is not so easy. I had already been told by a baking friend that even he struggles with cakes and chocolate things. With chocolate, apparently, getting both great consistency and great flavor can be difficult. So I had never even bothered trying to bake anything with chocolate in it — other than chocolate chips.
But biscotti are the perfect small, quick snack. I knew that’s what I wanted this week but I didn’t want to make the simple chocolate chip & nuts version I had previously made. I was craving chocolate. Double chocolate.
So I gave this epicurious recipe a try. My apartment smelled pretty divine while these cookies were in the oven! Of course, by now you know that I cannot just follow the recipe. I have a mental block against doing exactly as I’m told. So… I subbed hazelnuts for walnuts and added cherries. I made the full recipe, then split the dough in half. To one lump I added the hazelnuts (1/2 cup). To the other lump I added dried cherries (1/2 cup). Some folks add a tablespoon of espresso or coffee (cooled) to their chocolate confections, which helps to liven the flavor. If you do so, add it to the wet ingredients (eggs, etc). I also added 1/4 tsp of nutmeg to the dry ingredients.
The verdict: just okay. I think I actually prefer the regular, non-chocolate recipe. If I make this double chocolate version again, I’ll probably search for a different recipe, like this one, or one of those below. Or perhaps something with vanilla or almond extract and/or cinnamon or nutmeg, which will hopefully further bring out the chocolate flavor. These biscotti were tasty and crunchy, but, as I was warned I didn’t quite achieve that rich chocolate flavor. Or maybe I’ll use richer cocoa powder. So, if you have a chocolatey biscotti recipe, please do share it in the comments!
Here’s the recipe, with my notes marked with an asterisk as usual:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs *some recipes call for room temp eggs. This one didn’t but I figured it couldn’t hurt. Or could it…
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a large baking sheet.
- In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. *Set aside.
- In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. *Add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg or cinnamon here if you like.
- Add eggs and beat until combined well. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. *This is where I divided the mixture in half and added hazelnuts and cherries. If you do this and decide to use the same bowl, do the half with cherries first. If you do the nuts first, crumbs & fragments will migrate into the chocolate-cherry dough.
- On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. *I did this part this time around, but it’s not strictly necessary.
- Bake logs 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.
- On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet.
- Return to the oven to bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Cool biscotti on a rack.
Biscotti keep in airtight containers 1 week and frozen, 1 month.
Stay tuned! Strawberry season is almost over, so I figure I have one more chance to make a successful attempt at strawberry cake.