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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas festivities - Chocolate chocolate chip biscotti

Christmas festivities started promptly when I got home on Thursday afternoon for Christmas.  Our Annual Progressive Dinner Party fell on the 23rd this year, which means the last three days have been non-stop baking, cooking, and eating.

My cousin Travis, who is an incredibly talented baker, and I were in charge of dessert for our dinner party.  Figuring there would be so much food throughout the night, we chose light.  I made chocolate chocolate chip biscotti to complement our traditional Spanish coffee, and Travis made yummy brownie cheesecake bites topped with chocolate-covered berries.  I guess those don't sound so light, but they were bite-size.

When I brought my cupcakes in to work the other day, one of my co-workers told me about a blog called Smitten Kitchen.  She said that every recipe she has ever made from the blog has been fantastic.  I figured it would be a great place to get a recipe for biscotti.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Biscotti,  modified from Smitten Kitchen

You will need:

1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 C flour, plus extra flour for rolling surface
1/2 C cocoa
1 T ground espresso
Pinch of salt
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t baking powder
4 eggs
1 1/3 C sugar

Combine flour, cocoa, espresso, salt, baking powder and soda in a bowl.  Mix well.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl until well-mixed, and remove 2 T of egg in to a small bowl for later. 

Add sugar to the large bowl of eggs and beat well. 

Now add in your flour mixture.  Blend well.  The mixture will become very dense!

On a VERY WELL-FLOURED surface, with very well-floured hands, form half of the dough in to a square, 8 inches by 8 inches. Spread half of your chocolate chips over the surface of the dough and press them in to the dough.

Roll in to a log as shown below, and place on to a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Coat each log with the remaining egg using a kitchen brush.

Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 until tops are firm.  Take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes or so.  Transfer to a cutting board and slice each log diagonally, as shown below.

Transfer slices back to parchment paper, and bake for 15-20 more minutes. 

I was not so convinced with the end result; I even considered not serving them!  I drizzled them with a bit of white chocolate, but I still wasn't totally convinced.

When the basket of biscotti came around the table, I rolled my eyes, took one, dipped it in my Spanish coffee, and took a bite.  What a pleasant surprise!  The biscotti was delicious, and so I had another.

The next day my stepdad Mark said, "Katie, I HATE biscotti, and your biscotti was INCREDIBLE." 

Take from it what you will.

As for Travis' recipe, he totally improvised, which is far more than I can say.

Some oreo crumbs and butter for the crust, topped with a layer of brownie mix and a cheesecake-like mixture, and voila - bite-sized yumminess.

So there you have it.



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