It’s that time of year again – cookie time! I started my holiday baking and giving earlier than usual this year, so we didn’t have many left when the cookies from this exchange starting landing on our doorstep. Perfect timing to get three delicious batches of cookies from Nicole & Susan, Kristin and Mollie! I received cranberry-lemon sandwich cookies, chocolate peanut butter crispies, and amaretti. All were delicious, and didn’t last long in our house. Thanks ladies!
I sent batches of chocolate biscotti made from a recipe by David Lebovitz. This was my first attempt at biscotti, and it wasn’t half bad. The dough is a bit hard to work with, but the end result tasted just great. They’re not too sweet, and that rich chocolate flavor is perfect for dunking in a cup of coffee or espresso. Biscotti also keep very well, so they are perfect for make ahead holiday gifts!
Chocolate Biscotti, adapted from David Lebovitz
2 cups flour
3/4 cups top-quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup almonds, toasted and very coarsely chopped
3/4 cups chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chips, but feel free to substitute based on your tastes)
For the glaze:
1 large egg
2 tablespoons coarse or crystal sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, sugar, and vanilla & almond extracts. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, then mix in the nuts and the chocolate chips until the dough holds together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into two logs the length of the baking sheet. Transfer the logs onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart.
Gently flatten the tops of the logs. Beat the remaining egg and brush the tops of the logs liberally with the egg. (You won’t use it all). Sprinkle the tops with the coarse or crystal sugar and bake for 25 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch.
Remove the cookie dough from the oven and cool 15 minutes. On a cutting board, use a serrated bread knife to diagonally cut the cookies into 1/2-inches slices. Lay the cookies cut side down on baking sheets and return to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.
Once baked, cool the cookies completely then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. If you wish, the cookies can be half-dipped in melted chocolate, then cooled until the chocolate hardens.