Exams are over for me, but that does not mean that work is over (Biology IA, English World Lit Essay, Extended Essay...the list never ends). However, it does mean that I can manage to allocate a little more time for baking, instead of stuffing my face into a Biology or Chemistry or Maths textbook all the time.
I had some hazelnuts that I had to use up. And I haven't made biscotti before, so Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti it was! Biscotti, meaning 'twice-baked' in its Latin name, is an Italian cookie. The dough is shaped into a long, wide log and baked for once to cook the outside. It is then cooled, and sliced into long fingers and baked again to crisp up the interior.
The original recipe I used was for pistachio biscotti, but I replaced it with hazelnuts. Me, being the lazy person I am, didn't shape the dough on a floured surface, but I just patted the dough into a pile, turned it onto the parchment paper and just shaped it with my hand and spatula into a rough-ish log, as pictured above.
The final product was wonderful straight from the oven - because of my mediocre slicing skills, some of the thinner biscotti snapped and I tried the broken pieces. The cookie was nice and crunchy, with pockets of melted chocolate chips and the lovely aroma of hazelnuts. I ate a few for breakfast the next day (despite keeping in a Ziploc and an airtight container, they became a bit soft), dunked in milk, and my sister had them dunked into her coffee. A happy start to a school day!
Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies via Use Real Butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda (I reduced to 1/2 tsp for my elevation)
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup shelled pistachios (try 3/4 cup) - I used the equivalent amount of hazelnuts, which I toasted, skinned and halved.
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (just under) - I used the full half cup :)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs, beating on low speed until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.
5. Add the flour mixture and beat to form a stiff dough. Mix in the hazelnuts and chocolate chips until just combined.
6. Transfer the dough to the parchment paper and form into a slightly flattened log, about 12×4 inches. Bake until slightly firm, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
7. Reduce the oven to 300°F. On a cutting board, with a sharp serrated knife, cut the biscotti diagonally into 1-inch thick slices.
8. Arrange the cookies cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until crisp but slightly soft in the center, about 8 minutes.
9. Move to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in a container at room temperature up to 1 week. Makes 1 dozen.